Sunday, July 20, 2008

Guitar Hero: On Tour : Nintendo DS review

The Guitar Hero series made its landmark on the Nintendo DS for the first time. If you know the series, it would mean that you know it is by far one of the most successful franchises from Activision coming out first on the PS2. After numerous expansion and sequels, we get the portable version!

A little Gripped
To play Guitar Hero On Tour, you'd need the Guitar Grip that has 4 fret buttons (Compared to the series initial 5 fret buttons). For gamers, they think it's much easier. But prepare to be wrong later. At first, we believed this to be looking comfortable and simplistic. Yet the real deal is that, this is really tough on your hands. The grip will make you hurt, if you play it for long hours and at the wrong position of your hand placement. If following the instruction given, it feels truly awkward, yet the wrong position makes your wrist hurt. Go figure. Another problem is that the fingers felt, as if there is no free air. The fingers pressing the button would feel a bit restricted and you might see yourself pressing the wrong fretbuttons with the wrong finger too (Such as the pinky going for the yellow fret button) .

Sound quality
The game itself has 26 songs, which is only 1/3 of the normal 1 game count of songs to play. Songs vary from Rick Springfield Jessie's Girl, to Jet's Are You Gonna Be My Girl and even Maroon 5's This Love. Obviously, some song choices aren't really rock material. But looking back, this is Guitar Hero, and i was begging for more blues in fact. Though the songs are nice, there is no bass. Awkward indeed.

The animation and presentation is nice. The graphics are 3D, and the menu is simple to navigate across. It's nothing stylistic though, but adding album covers is also a nice feat. You won't see the characters having lip sync, obviously due to hardware limitation. but the animation really stands on its own as great looking.

Rock the Game!
To the gameplay itself, considering its Guitar Hero, there are 4 difficulties to go for. The progression of the difficulties, well, lets say that its as steep as Guitar Hero 3 was. The speed is definitely increased in hard, and so is the fret button count. The speed for expert is similar to hard, but more fret buttons to press on. So yeah, if your playing on medium, and wanna go hard, be prepared to be surprised becaouse it really is a bit tough on the edges. But with adequate practice, it should be more than alright. To play this game basically is to press the corresponding fret button and then swipe the DS's touch screen to pick the guitar. Star Power is activated by any button press (Easiest should the be the R button). Multiplayer is interesting but doesn't seem to be highly marketed considering the focus of this pack. But still, you won't go wrong with Face Off (Play alternate riffs), Pro Face Off (Play the same and see who's better on the scoring and combo), Guitar Duel, which is like 2 guys battling out who can do better on the guitar, and Co Op play, for the 1st player takes lead, and the other takes bass or rhythm. During the face off and guitai duel modes, you can use power ups to deliver the pain yo your opponent. Bring fire, or send a fan to ask for a signature, those are just 2 crazy power ups you could use to thrash it up.

The Guitar Hero was great for multiplayer fun, but it seems that this one really takes it away and gives more focus to a single player portable experience. If you can see yourself rocking at the bus or the subway, then this one works for you obviously. But the pain and the grip might turn you off from future titles, even if the sequel is promised to have lots of versions that players can trade among each other with. This stripped down version shows how much fun you could tak e off a game and try its best to put it on an exprience like no other. Good move Activision, but more R&D is needed.

The Score: 7/10.

PS: Credits to Penman for borrowing me his Guitar Hero: On Tour for the purposes of this review. Thanks man!


sherrina said...

Thanks for the review. I think I'll get a set of this game. I've been dying to play a guitar video game but house rules, no video game in the house. So, can't but a PS2/PS3 for myself. But luckily Nintendo created this. Thanks :)

Pure Raver said...

Thank Activision. They thought it was a good idea for guitaring on the go, so there you go!

Hope you have fun with the game. :D