Guitar Hero World Tour, which was released on October 26, 2008 has big expectations to live up to. After the success of Rock Band, Neversoft, the lead developer of the Guitar Hero series, has realized that it needs to revolutionize the music game industry once again in order to remain the king of music based video games.
In this installment of the popular Guitar Hero series, Neversoft has opted for a more co-op style of game play similar to Rock Band. They have, like Rock Band, adopted drums and a microphone in addition to the standard two guitars.
In Guitar Hero World Tour, each player strums, hits, or sings the notes as they come falling down the screen, creating “music.” Players can also harness “star power,” an ability that gives you a multiplier to your score and decreases your chance of being booed offstage, failing the song. The game offers five difficulty levels, from easy to expert, and allows each band member to play at their own difficulty, mastering their instrument at their own pace.
The New instruments are incredibly fun and very intuitive to play.
The drum set is wireless, a huge bonus that prevents masses of cables in front of your TV. Each pad has a bouncy feel that allows for a more realistic play experience. The raised cymbals take a while to get used to, but after a few songs, hitting them is smooth. The kick pedal is a little annoying because it doesn’t provide a lot of resistance when you press down on it, making it hard to know when it is registering a hit. All in all, the drums are sturdy and comfortable.
The microphone picks up your voice well and has few problems with feedback. Unfortunately it is wired, but Neversoft stated that it didn’t choose to use wireless mics due to their ineffectiveness and problems with interference. Once you get up to expert difficulty, singing is incredibly challenging, requiring some talent to play.
The guitar controller has even received a makeover, getting two cool new features. The easy to reach star power button allows players to use their star power without tilting their guitars, a big plus when trying to play a tricky solo. Neversoft has also added a new feature on the neck right below the five buttons called the slider.
The slider allows for players to tap out notes instead of strumming by touching it while pressing the correct button and tapping out the right rhythm. It also lets players add a wah pedal effect to their sustained notes by stroking the slider as they hold the note. Finally, the slider is used to play a new type of note in the game, a set of clear notes connected by a purple rope. These notes are played by sliding up and down the slider to correspond with the location of the note on the screen.
However, Neversoft has not just changed their instruments and stuck to the standard Guitar Hero formula. While campaign (single and co-op) and quickplay are still available, a new game option has turned a lot of heads.
This option is the Advanced Studio mode, and it allows players to create and share their own songs. The songs can be recorded in real time or note by note, and they are limited to three minutes or 1,200 notes, whichever comes first. The songs can then be uploaded to Xbox Live, Playstation Network and Nintendo Wi-Fi where other players can download and play your songs.
In the Advanced studio mode, players can choose from tons of options to make their songs unique. Different styles of drum sets from modern rock to heavy metal are available, and guitar distortion and effects are available for use. Line 6 studios, an amplifier manufacturer, has several sets of amps that can be used in the studio mode, allowing players to have a wide range of sounds and effects for their guitars. While creating your own song can seem overwhelming at first, it soon becomes fun and very interesting, and it allows for music enthusiasts everywhere to try their hand at creating music, regardless if they play an instrument in real life.
Guitar Hero has come a long way since it first entered the video game industry with games that allowed players to become masters of the frets, and I have no doubt that it will continue to make games for years to come. Guitar Hero World Tour does the series proud.
Guitar Hero World Tour receives an A-