|System: X360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Vicarious Visions||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Activision||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 26, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
My other (and biggest) complaint is you can't save people when they're struggling in band mode. In Rock Band, you can use your own star power to save your teammates. Here, the star power is shared by the whole band, and it'll be up to the person who's struggling to use the star power and hope that it lasts long enough to get through that awfully difficult part they're going through. Unfortunately, this forces everyone to be very conservative with the star power, instead of each of them using it as they wish. Besides, star power is not always the answer, and sometimes the band will be forced to repeat the entire song due to one of the members' single lapse. Frustrating!
It's fun to break up from playing songs over and over in order to unlock extra tracks. Once in a while, players will feel like competing Head-to-Head and demonstrating their skills to one another by either playing the exact same track (Pro Face-Off) or alternating play (Face-Off). In Battle mode, you get special items by hitting spiky notes. You can throw these items at your opponent to cause some extra trouble. You can break one of their strings, up their difficulty level, break their whammy bar, etc. Whatever the case may be, the victim will have to deal with it and fix the issue before they can continue playing normally. Guitar Hero veterans should be familiar with this by now and should know how much fun it is.
If you're not always in company of other people, you can just jump online. You can play any of those modes and even rock out with your very own online band. For the first time, people living in different locations will be able to have their own band and play cooperatively. If you prefer competition, two bands can also compete online head-to-head. All these extra features make Guitar Hero: World Tour really fun, both on and offline. Too bad the game wasn't structured perfectly. A few tweaks here and there could have made it a real winner.
Another great highlight of World Tour is its soundtrack (of course!). Other Guitar Hero titles included too many older songs, and most often than not, they were rock and roll. Certainly, that's the music genre of excellence, but most people enjoy other music styles as well. Fortunately, this was taken into consideration by the folks at Neversoft / Vicarious Visions, and Guitar Hero: World Tour sports an A+ soundtrack. There's a great variety of songs of all ages and genres, including hits like Livin' on a Prayer by Bon Jovi, Jane's Addiction's Mountain Song, Beat It by Michael Jackson, Float On by Modest Mouse, and many, many more. All in all, World Tour is packed with over 85 licensed music tracks, which equal a tremendous amount of entertainment. If you want to expand your track list, you'll be able to do so as well. The Guitar Hero store will have new additions every week. This is available on the Wii as well, although the storage limitations of Nintendo's sleek system may leave some players unsatisfied.
In addition, the new Guitar Hero has a nice Music Studio where players can create and edit their own tunes. You can use the guitar and drums to record separate tracks of your own music. You can do this by yourself of with the whole band playing at the same time. Either way, the separate tracks will merge together to create the next big hit. The guitar can even be used as a "keytar", which is simply a virtual keyboard. There's also a library full of sound effects and rhythms that will help you add some personality and originality to your songs. What's more, players will be able to upload these songs to the GHTunes server. They will be able to download and rate other people's creations as well. This means your Guitar Hero: World Tour library will grow in no time. The Music Studio isn't very easy to use. Even after doing the tutorial, players will find themselves wondering how to press play, stop, rewind, etc. However, it should be something you get used to after a while.
The Wii version also includes the Mii Freestyle mode. You can select your Mii and rock out at your own leisure. It's basically a simplified version of Wii Music, where you just choose your instrument and hit whatever notes you want. You can't really save these tunes though. You'll have to work on the Music Studio for that.
Finally, the Rock Star creator is also worth mentioning. It offers deep customization options, and it's very user-friendly. Players will be able to express themselves by modifying numerous facial features, hair, body type, tattoos, etc. You can also dress them up to your liking with available clothes or buy new items with virtual in-game cash. Instruments are also customizable. There are tones of cool guitar, drum, and mic designs, colors, and finishes. To top it off, your band will not only sport a custom name, but you'll also be able to pick from numerous choices and combinations in order to create your very own logo.
On the whole, it looks like Guitar Hero: World Tour has really succeeded as a rhythm game despite its few flaws. The newly added features like the music studio and GHTunes plus all the online modes make it a purchase worthwhile, as long as you're willing to shell out even more cash for new plastic instruments (luckily, you can use the old Guitar Hero guitars). If you already have Rock Band or Rock Band 2, there's not much of a reason to buy yet another music game. However, if you're trying to decide between one or the other, the decision will probably come down to which one is your favorite "team," except in the case of the Wii, where Guitar Hero: World Tour really outdoes Rock Band thanks to online play and the music store (Note that Rock Band 2 for Wii will indeed feature online play and DLC as well).
CCC Site Director