I’ll be brief with the history of Guitar Hero. As you may or may not know, Harmonix first made this game, but then swanned off to MTV games to make EA’s Rockband. Meanwhile, Neversoft took over the mantle to make the last game and this one.
Of course, Rockband took Guitar Hero and expanded it to include drums and singing. Not one to be beaten, Guitar Hero’s done the same thing with World Tour and what you get is a similar experience with a few new ideas which don’t’ always work as well as they should.
So you get a lovely tracklist of 40 songs with varied success for the different music disciplines. Newer tracks are featured as well as some golden oldies and strangely, some with non-English lyrics which won’t please vocalists. In career mode you play songs in chunks of three or four in ‘gigs’, then new gigs open up for you to play. The good news is more than one is unlocked at once so now you can play some tracks later on down the line if the ones immediately after don’t take your fancy.
The hardware’s changed a bit in this one. The guitar now has a new part higher up the neck for solos and sliding notes. The problem is, there’s no time to adjust your hand to the new position and not enough signposts for you to find it without looking. You’re better off sticking to the buttons near the headstock.
I was more excited about the drums. These ones come with what look like cymbals to give a more authentic feel and the kit’s very nice to play. It’s quite quiet to hit with the sticks and it’s not too bulky. My only problem is with the sensitivity of the cymbals. If you want to hit them on the edge like a real cymbal it just doesn’t respond. You have to hit it in the middle at the top and this can ruin a good streak if you’re going for records.
They’ve also included a music studio. “Great“, I thought. I can lay down some tracks and make a single. Of course that was never going to happen and especially not using what they’ve provided here. As well as being unintuitive to use, there’s also some serious lag which prevents you from playing anything in time. There’s even lag during proper songs when you hammer some solo drum beats out. This should have been ironed out before release.
When it comes to singing the microphone is actually half-decent and does a good job of picking out even the smallest pitch change.
At the end of the day, Guitar Hero does the job if you fancy living out your rock and roll dreams. It’s nice to have the option of when and how to play each track. Is it better then Rockband? To be honest, they’re almost interchangeable. We’ll see what Rockband 2 has to offer. Guitar Hero: World Tour gets a very good 7 out of 10.
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