Guitar Hero: On Tour Review

When you think of Guitar Hero you think of playing in front of a TV, maybe with some friends close by, and rocking out with a five-button guitar peripheral.  Many have lived their rock star fantasies this way, even going as far as bringing their console and plastic guitars to a friend

When playing On Tour, you hold the DS like a book, similar to Hotel Dusk or Brain Age.  The left side shows the note chart and band, while the right side shows the guitar, as well as the multiplier gauge and Star Power gauge.  The guitar represented on the right side is the same as the one used by your character.  The graphics look clean, and the string of the guitar and the whammy bar move as you play notes.

You have several characters to choose from to play in the band.  Two of them are new and currently exclusive to On Tour.  All of the guitarists have their own unique style, and all of their costumes and their on-stage moves seem to match their personality.  They also perform new moves when Star Power is activated.  While the characters don

A big part of the Guitar Hero games is the variety of bands and songs that you are able to play.  Songs include

You aren

Here is the general idea of On Tour.  The note chart has notes that scroll down and hit targets at the bottom.  You need to have the correct fret button held down while strumming the touch screen.  The higher the difficulty gets, the more notes appear on the note chart and the faster the notes slide down the note chart.  The more notes you hit, the more the crowd likes your playing.  The more notes you get in a row, the higher your multiplier gets.  Complete a string of notes that are shaped like stars and you gain Star Power.  Star Power doubles your multiplier and wins you favor from the crowd.  If you do badly, then you lose the crowd, and if you miss too many notes they kick you off stage.  Anyone who has played any other incarnation of Guitar Hero will be familiar with the concepts.

On Tour has the modes you are probably familiar with on the other systems.  The Career mode has you move through your career, gaining fame and fortune, playing new songs and getting new gigs, working from the bottom to the top.  The Guitar Duels are similar to the Battle Mode games that you might be familiar with from Guitar Hero III.  This mode includes 25 battles in each difficulty level against another guitarist.  With Quickplay you choose a song and then you start to play right away.  The Practice mode lets you choose a song and then practice it.  You can slow down the speed and choose a specific phrase to practice.  Finally the Tutorial has a few lessons to teach you how to play the different modes in On Tour, as well as find out about the newly added power-ups for the Guitar Duels.

If you have played any of the previous Guitar Hero games, then you will be familiar with the Career mode of On Tour.  You start out with a set of songs you can play at a crummy venue.  In On Tour you have four songs you can select from and then an Encore song.  Once you have completed the Encore song you can move ahead to the next area with a new set of songs.  There are 25 songs in all for the career, as well as four difficulty levels.  Unless you have very dexterous fingers, Hard will be a challenge and Expert will test your Guitar Hero skills.  The progression of the difficulty feels natural though.  The higher difficulty levels aren’t a huge jump from one level to the next.

With only four buttons, you might wonder how On Tour might challenge your skills as a portable virtual guitar player. First of all, you will need to learn how to use the ability of strumming on the guitar without lifting up the stylus.  Some areas are too difficult to do by single strumming on the touch screen.  Second, more chords show up the higher the difficulty level.  More notes come on the off-beats as well.

There is one scoring change that I do take issue with.  If I

On Tour may be the highest priced Nintendo DS game to date, but considering the Guitar Grip, it actually is very reasonably priced.  The Guitar Grip is a solid piece of hardware.  It doesn

Ron Burke is the Editor in Chief for Gaming Trend. Currently living in Fort Worth, Texas, Ron is an old-school gamer who enjoys CRPGs, action/adventure, platformers, music games, and has recently gotten into tabletop gaming. Ron is also a fourth degree black belt, with a Master's rank in Matsumura Seito Shōrin-ryū, Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do, Universal Tang Soo Do Alliance, and International Tang Soo Do Federation. He also holds ranks in several other styles in his search to be a well-rounded fighter. Ron has been married to Gaming Trend Editor, Laura Burke, for 21 years. They have three dogs - Pazuzu (Irish Terrier), Atë, and Calliope (both Australian Kelpie/Pit Bull mixes).
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