What really strikes me about this game is how simple it is. You got your axe, which has fret buttons, a strum thingy, and a whammy bar. You play a note by pressing the button and strumming. Hold down the fret button to play a sustained note. Hold down two to play a chord. Complete combos and you get "Star Power" which can double your score. Make sure to play the notes as they come down the screen and that's basically it. There is so little complexity to this game that most of the hints displayed on loading screens are jokes instead of actual gameplay tips (I especially liked "Eleven IS louder than ten" and "They don't really want you to play 'Freebird.' They're just heckling you.") This ain't Dark Cloud 2, that's for sure.
But the thing is, simple or not... it is just so danged fun to rock through an entire song and hear the cheers of the crowd at the end. This is a characteristic of the best video games: they let you become someone else for a little while. No matter what you are in real life, here you can take a break and be a secret agent, or Conan the Barbarian, or a jet fighter pilot, or a criminal kingpin, or the mayor of a city. Or a general. Or God. Or somebody who can dance. Or, in this case, a rock star. I approve.
Now if I can be a really good rock star, that's an open question. I've got easy mode down cold (it uses a mere three of the five buttons.) Medium mode is quite a workout, though -- manipulating the fourth fret button with my little finger isn't easy, not to mention that may not be the right way to do it, and the notes start coming in real fast. The plus is one feels quite an achievement after completing a really complicated bit of fingering. Anyway, so far I haven't been tossed off the stage for lameness, but the night is still young.
One final note about this game: you may have the overpowering urge, upon completing a song, to throw your hands in the air and shout out "THANK YOU, CLEVELAND! GOODNIGHT!"
Go with it.