Guitar Hero: On Tour
Guitar Hero has a pretty good reputation on just about all platforms and as such it was inevitable that Activision would bring the game to the Nintendo DS. Admitted, it looks quite dumb when you play the guitar on your DS but it’s addictive as hell.
When unpacking Guitar Hero for the DS, the biggest difference you immediately notice is that you don’t get a full-blown guitar but instead a “guitar grip”. Attach it by connecting it to the seconds DS slot and you’re ready to start playing Guitar Hero on the DS but beware to not be too rough as it’s got the tendency to slide out of the slot and then it’s immediately Game Over.
The biggest difference with the other Guitar Hero games is that you only get four frets at your disposal instead of the usual five, and that the little device doesn’t look like a guitar at all. Only the plectrum-styles with which you play the strings through the touchscreen is the only thing that makes you assume you’re playing guitar.
While playing the tutorial (not obligatory but certainly interesting for beginners) you learn about “star power”. When correctly playing the different notes the star power meter fills up. Once half full you shout “rock out” or some other dumb line and the meter gets activated, doubling your score. The better you play, the more points you get (logically).
You can also start up a career where you can make money. The higher the percentage of correct notes the more money you get. With the cash you can then go out and buy new outfits or guitars.
Graphically the game doesn’t shine but it doesn’t need to. The notes that appear on the screen look quite pixellated but that’s made up by the characters that are present in the background.
Guitar Hero: On Tour has 25 different songs with some big names attached to them like the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nirvana and No Doubt. Sadly enough they don’t play their most well-known songs like Under The Bridge or Don’t Speak, but instead we get some rather unknown tunes. Since I’m personally not much of a rock fan most sounded quite obscure.
Duels are another way to play. You take on the computer or a friend and try to do better than your opponent. The difficulty here is that you get an arsenal of weapons to temporarily disable your opposition. We’re not talking guns and rifles, but annoying fans who come nagging about an autograph, strings that get cut, notes that explode, and so on.
As you attach the guitar grip to the back of your DS, your hand doesn’t have much room for movement. When the game begins a warning pops up that you shouldn’t play for too long as it may cause cramps. Unfortunately that isn’t a lie!
Another difficulty while playing is the use of the blue button. As you need to control it with your little finger, it can cause some problems.
Activision and RedOctane have done their best to bring Guitar Hero to the DS and the result is quite nice. The game is, except for the cramps to your wrist, a lot of fun and addictive to play.