The whole package of the PlayStation 2 version of the game and the guitar is a little pricey at $79.99, but apparently the new guitar is compatible with the original game, so if you decide to buy both games, you only need to buy one guitar. The game is also playable with a normal PS2 controller, but really, if you're playing with the controller, you're missing the point.
When we brought home the game, my brother immediately set it up and created our band, "Silica," so named for the gel packets that came in the plastic wrap with the guitar. (On Saturday, Mark, Mike and I created the band "Cold Knee" after I placed my milkshake on Mark's knee). We hopped right in and started to play a few songs on "Easy" difficulty.
It was fun, but you don't get the sensation of actually playing the song when you play on Easy. It's sort of like in Perfect Dark, if you set the bots' AI to very low, and they'd shoot one bullet every five seconds, and half the time would be shooting it straight up into the air. It's fun to win and kill things, but you don't really feel like a secret agent.
We bumped up the difficulty to Medium, and it was definitely more gratifying. More challenging as well, but that makes it all the more sweet when you complete a song. As a member of "Cold Knee," we began to play through the Hard difficulty level, and I'll tell you, there's a definite jump. But getting the hang of things and playing Woman by Wolfmother and Monkeywrench by Foo Fighters was a real thrill. My wrist ached this morning, but I don't regret the rockin'. What I do regret were those last four wings. Oooh...