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Guitar Hero: On Tour - Modern Hits Review

Written by J-Monkey on Tuesday, 25 August 2009No Comment

Format: DS and DS Lite

Price: £29.99

Wi-Fi: Yes, but only DS to DS.

Multiplayer: 1-2

Age: 12+

Developer: Red Octance, Vicarious Visions, Activision

Publisher: Activision

 

Wow, what a mouthful of a title. Guitar Hero: On Tour – Modern Hits is the third GHOT in 12 months, and the third GH title so far this year. The game has always had mixed reviews and opinions, but really all it is, is a portable Guitar Hero with a few less songs. The idea is that you have a 4-fretted Guitar Grip that fits into the GBA slot in your DS, and you get a nifty little pick-shaped stylus to strum with. Ok, it’s not a proper guitar, like Guitar Hero for Wii, but still, its good for little hands to get into it and practice, after all, this was the game I started at, and I became pretty good at the normal Guitar Hero after that!

 

The big difference about this GHOT is the fan requests, which add longevity to the game. For each song there’s a Lead Guitar request, Bass Guitar request and a Duel Request. The requests can be anything from a note streak, to using so many battle items, to getting a high multiplier with extra obstacles sometimes or Hyper Speed and n Star Power. I think this is a good addition to the game as it does add much for length, so overall creating 112 songs to play. However, the fan requests and comments are very childish. Whether there’s a geek, or a leather motorbiker, they have to say it in a stupid, immature way, when really there’s no need for it, it’s just the request information that’s needed.

     As soon as you load up the game all the songs are unlocked already in quickplay, which makes this a bit of a spoiler. Nevertheless, if you just want to ‘warm up’ then Quickplay is perfect in this case to do whichever song you like, on whatever difficulty. When you decide to venture into the career mode, it’s rather odd as you do one venue, then go to another one, and then go back to the previous venue for a headline act. Surely it’d make a bit more sense to have the opening act, then the headline act on the same venue before moving to the next one.

     Also, unlike the last two GHOTs, there is a fan basis as well, where you earn more fans for the more songs you play, for the higher difficulty, and for the fan requests. But if you play the same songs again, you don’t get any additional fans, likewise with the cash as well, you don’t get any money for doing the song again, which means you can only earn cash 112 times. So although the longevity is there, there is no replayability in this game at all, unless you just can’t sleep at night and you’re bored.

 

Fan Request...

 

Right, now for the most important bit, the songs. Starting at Rusty Rocco’s the first 3 songs are not ones that you would like to welcome you. Avril Lavigne’s ‘When you’re gone’ to kick-start things is a silly song to put on a Guitar Hero game. The introduction, which is usually played on piano, has guitar notes for, and even when that goes, the other ‘guitar’ bits are acoustic guitar, not electric. That brings me horribly on to ‘Dimension’, by Wolfmother. Oh dear. It’s the same notes throughout, and it’s very easy, even on Expert mode, and it’s a very boring song. ‘Golden Skans’ by Klaxons is the last song, which is ok I suppose, but not that great of a song. The Headline act is considerably better starting with ‘On Call’, by Kings of Leon. Again, much like Avril, the song’s intro is not played on guitar, it’s some kind of synthesizer, but I’m not that sure. So of the verse bits are played on bass as well, so the lead guitar doesn’t need to some in, eventhough it does. Next is ‘Bohemian Like you’ by The Dandy Warhols, which is a good song to be fair. The guitar is quiet at some points, but that doesn’t over-shadow it as a song, and it’s fun to play. The last one in the set is Lenny Kravitz’s ‘Where are we Runnin’?’ which is a great song to conclude. It has plenty of 2-fret chords that alternate between eachother (i.e. Red and Blue, then to Green and Yellow)

     After Rocco’s, is the County Fair, but with only 5 songs in this time, so the Opening Act is only 2 songs long, they are good songs nonetheless though. ‘In the Shadows’, featured as downloadable content in Guitar Hero: World Tour, makes an appearance along with Coldplay’s Violet Hill. They are good songs, not too challenging, but challenging enough to make you work for 100%. And they are both true guitar songs. The headline act is alright, starting with Chelsea Dagger. It’s a bit off a pop-rock song, and the ‘du du du duh’ gets on your nerves after a while, but I can see why people like it. Evanescence is next with ‘Sweet Sacrifice’. I was a bit disappointed that it was ‘Wake me up inside’, as that’s a terrific song, but this song has many alternating chords, which makes it quite challenging, and finally in this setlist is ‘The Bitter End’, performed by Placebo. It has a good balance of chorded slow notes, and quick back and fourth strumming notes. Good song to get a high score on.

     The opening act or ‘Laser Lights’ is also poor, and only features too songs. Starting with ‘Do the Panic’ from Phantom Planet. How you can do the panic, I don’t know, but at least the guitar parts work, and work well. This accompanies ‘Our Velocity’ by Maximo Park, and one of the parts reminded me of ‘I’m not your Gameboy’ from Freezepop on the original GHOT, and the chorus is quite catchy. The guitar notes are quick, and simple, so it’s an enjoyable song to play, but not that great a song to listen to. The headline act has a very large contrast of songs. The Duke Spirt’s ‘Lasso’, kind of reminds me of ‘Lazy Eye’ on Guitar Hero: World Tour. It’s long-ish, which many 3-chorded notes, and definitely one to get a big score on. The second song is one of the best on this game. ‘Call to Arms’ by Angels & Airwaves requires a lot of quick thinking and alternating notes to play a touch note, then strum note, it takes skill to master this technique of playing. Fall Out boy finishes this gig off with ‘This Ain’t a Scene’. The verses are ok, but the chorus is poor, and this song doesn’t take much skill to play.

     Casino Vicarious is the name of the penultimate gig. It has some good rock songs, which are catchy, and fun to play including ‘Reptilia’ and ‘Half-Trusim’. Franz Ferdinand offer a good song to the table, and it has a variety of note sequences, and it’s got a catchy chorus. The headline act paints just as an impressive picture as the Opening act, so Casino Vicarious, really isn’t a bad set list at all for song choice. However the headline act is the penultimate three songs, so naturally, they are very tricky. ‘Still Waiting’ is a prime example of this because of the verse sections mainly. The notes are even spread apart; then go frantic with 3 together in quick succession, which means you need to be alert for some quick back a fourth strumming. The Kooks with ‘Always where I need to be’, follows. This isn’t really a particularly difficult song, I suppose the only difficult bit about this is the places where there are a lot of one-fret notes of different colours in quick succession, which requires a lot of hand action, and maybe even a hand injury. Especially when you’ve just done Reptilia!  The Foo Fighters conclude the Casino with ‘All My Life’, which is a massive points earner, and if you’re any good you can get 300,000 points on this song with ease (my record’s 333,505). It’s such a point-earner because there are so many chords in this song, the only time when there isn’t chords is in the verses, when there’s just quick back a fourth single-fret notes. 

     A now the final venue, Shanghai, China; much like the Great Wall of China that appeared in Guitar Hero: Greatest Hits. 2 songs on the opening act are familiar faces from Guitar Hero 3, these being ‘Ruby’ and ‘Miss Murder’. Not sure why these songs are so late on, because they’re fairly easy is you’re good at your 3-fret chords. The other song is ‘Everybody get Dangerous’, by Weezer. Much like the other two songs, this has a fair few 3-fret chords, instantly after a run of single-fretted notes, which I suppose is the tricky part about this song, but still, not really that hard. The headline act is sensational, and they really saved the best until last. First is Tenacious D’s ‘The Metal’, which is a great, yet very hard song to play as the notes come flying at you of all different colours and sizes. Next is ‘Falling Down’ by Atreyu, which is another excellent song. The only real challenging part is the solo at the end, but if you save some star power for it, and hit most of the notes prior to that, you can easily complete is, and maybe get 5 stars. ‘Scream Aim Fire’ is the DragonForce of Guitar Hero: On Tour – Modern Hits. With its very tricky short solos and general challenging notes, this song truly earns itself at the top of the food chain.     

 

The songs are very mixed because pop rock, and metal. If you liked Guitar Hero: World Tour’s song, you should really like this game for the music, and with no cover versions either, you hear the full sound of the true band rocking away as you play with them.

 

Looks of a game matter, and this game is no exception. When you’re in game, and playing a song, various pyrotechnics go off on stage at certain points; like when the chorus starts or something. This is a very nice touch to the game; because the pyrotechnics change depending on the venue, i.e. at the County Fair, balloons and streamers go off, and at Laser Lights (yep you guessed it) laser lights dazzle the audience. That, however, is the only bit of the appearance of the game that I like. There’s an internet section where you log on after very song, and you get a comment, fans and cash form it. Ok, this is a more ‘modern themed’ thing to do for the game ‘Modern Hits’, but I don’t like the fact you have to log on there to find out your highest score, instead of just selecting the song from the setlist, and it also doesn’t show your star rating of the song. Anywhere…

 

The shop is pretty good as well. You can customize your character’s clothes and guitar by picking the type of guitar, and finish to it. The clothes are good as well as you can choose 8 different costumes for your character, so you can mix and match your guitars and characters to find a matching pair, and something that looks good on stage. The box also brags of new characters. But there’s only two, and they’ve both got silly names, and they’ve replaced previous characters that have been on Guitar Hero games for ages. (e.g. Jonny Napalm) The shop is a good way to use your money, so you shouldn’t have problems spending all of it, if you’ve done every song.

New characters.  

In summary, this is a Guitar Hero game; so naturally, it’s fun to play. But it appears childish at times, and there’s no replayability at all in this game. They have fixed the longevity issue, but still more songs are required to make is a very good game. 83%

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