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Guitar Hero: On Tour Review

Author: Andre Asa
Monday, 14 July 2008
Nintendo DS


Ok, so I was a bit skeptical when I got this game, but having played its PS2 version with the 'real' guitar controls, I decided to give the DS version a shot. Sadly my trepidation was justified.

Guitar Hero: On Tour has been designed with a 'guitar grip' attachment with coloured buttons that you connect to the bottom of the DS. A guitar pick replaces the stylus as you strum the notes when they scroll down the screen, while you push down on the corresponding fret buttons on the guitar grip. It takes a little bit of practice to get the strumming motion right and sometimes the game doesn't register your action, which only adds to the frustration of the awkward set up.

The game comes with four difficulty settings: easy, medium, hard and expert, and it does get progressively trickier by throwing more notes and complicated patterns for you to follow. The more you hit on the beat, the higher you score, and the more you miss, the lower your rock meter falls. The Star Power bonus is a good addition, requiring you to yell 'Rock On!' at the top of your lungs into the DS - which is good if you're at home, but doing so in public transport will guarantee the death stares of other commuters.

There are 25 tracks that you can choose from; classic rock in the form of Santana's Black Magic Woman, and '80s rock from artists like Pat Benatar (Hit Me With Your Best Shot) and Rick Springfield (Jessie's Girl). The modern rock era is covered with bands like Nirvana, Red Hot Chili Peppers, No Doubt and Maroon 5.

Guitar Hero: On Tour, despite its best intentions, is a clumsily designed game, which only saw release as a last resort gimmick to capture the handheld market. The controls are an OH&S committee's worst nightmare, while the game's tunes provide its few highlights.