|System: DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Vicarious Visions||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: RedOctane / Activision||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: June 22, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Career mode allows you to keep track of your scores and find out your weak spot in each song, which you can practice individually for best results. You can also choose your favorite character and customize it a little by purchasing outfits at the Store. The guitars are also customizable, and some of them are hard to unlock! That's why it's important to try to improve your skill little by little and play in difficulties other than Medium and Easy. Hard and Expert are very challenging, but if you don't mind playing till your hands are about to explode, all that extra guitar-shredding will pay off with new unlockables. If you're worried about sharing the game with someone else in your household, worry no more! On Tour lets you save three different profiles, so everyone gets a chance to play.
The characters included in the game are not very interesting. Some, like Axel Steel, have appeared in previous games. Others are exclusive to this new installment, but they're not very original. The 3D visuals in general lack detail. They're a little disappointing when you compare them to other DS games we've seen lately. The venues (Subway, Rooftop, Parade, Greek Arena, and Battleship) are a bit tacky and simplistic for my liking. However, I liked the overall design of the game, including the menu interface, the guitar designs, and the few drawings and caricatures you'll come across.
The game also plays fairly well, which is the most important part about it. Since we have no strum bar, you'll have to strum by hitting the cords back and forth with the stylus on the touch screen. It's a good way to do it, though I got the feeling it wasn't completely accurate. There are a few occasions during every song when the notes don't register, even though they were hit correctly. It's a bit frustrating, especially when you lose the multiplier or the chance to suck up some "Star Power" juice. Also, in order to activate "Star Power" you'll have to yell "Rock On" at the microphone, or simply make a noise or blow at it. It'd be funny to be playing while on the plane and have to yell, so blowing will work best for everyone, even if you end up looking like a goofball anyway. I also have to point out sometimes the "Star Power" goes off by itself if you're in the middle of a crowd and there's noise in the background. This didn't bother me too much, but it may bother those who are trying to obtain perfect scores.
I'm going to give this game 4.2 out of 5 because it's great overall. It's awesome to be able to play Guitar Hero wherever you are, the song list is nice and varied (though too short), and the gameplay is almost perfect. The only downsides are you may get some serious tendinitis in your wrist if you play for too long, and the game feels like you're playing Guitar Hero rather than an actual guitar, which is the biggest attraction for the console counterparts.
CCC Site Director