Time to trade that controller for the plastic guitar once again! Yah, you know what I’m talking about: Guitar Hero. The newest installment, Guitar Hero: World Tour by Activision boasts a new array of features and game play options that pushes this game beyond that of what Guitar Hero 3 ever was. In fact there are so many upgrades, I may have to turn this single review into reviews to give this game the justice it deserves!
Lets start with the staple equipment of the game: the guitar. This edition has given the traditional guitar a few upgrades including a star power button next to the strum bar, a longer whammy bar, slide bar, longer neck and a bigger body! The guitar is considerably easier to hold for longer periods of time with it’s larger body size and longer neck. One of the more prominent changes in the guitar is the new slide bar! It’s a tad bit tricky to learn how to use because of the smooth surface of the pad, which makes it hard to distinguish the separate pads from each other, but this new feature seems to be a good touch to add a new twist into the play. The new star power button is a wonderful idea for those who have a hard time tilting the guitar and hitting a note (such as yours truly), but the positioning right up against the strum bar makes it hard to hit, causing those notes to be missed anyways if you decide to go this route to activate the star power. Overall the new guitar design is a great upgrade from the old style with little to complain about!
Now onto the game itself! The graphics are considerably improved from Guitar Hero 3 with smoother curves, more details, bigger (and cooler) venues and smoother character movement with some amusing cut scenes between songs in Career mode. I do have to say, the game has started catching up with what the 360 console is capable of while still holding onto its signature look.
Once you start in either career or quick play mode, you’re able to choose from what you want to play: guitar, bass, drums or vocals which makes for a nice change up every once in a while. The gameplay screen has changed slightly as the display showing your star power, rock meter, score and note streak has been shifted over to the left side of the fret board and is smaller, making it harder to see how much star power has been built up.
The beginning set list is a little slow at first on medium, making the difficulty rather easy, even for a guitar newbie like me! As you advance through career mode, the songs become (thankfully) harder and more challenging. Activision this time around has included a shocking variety in this set list, with everything from Michael Jackson’s “Beat it” to Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze”! Yes, that’s right Hendrix fans, Jimi’s been added to the Guitar Hero world!
So there’s the basics and a very small introduction to the new Guitar Hero. The new features list continues on and on with everything from the ability to customize everything about your character’s look and their instrument to the new feature to create your own song! More than likely a part two to this review is coming up, with a coverage of just about every other feature that I didn’t get a chance to cover
Oh, and for those of you who are yelling and screaming at me about the drum and mic set: I haven’t been able to get my hands on either of those…yet. So in the next review I’ll try to fully cover those new features of the game! I’ve only got so much money on me you know!