Guitar Hero: On Tour

Armed with a $50 gift card and a twisted obsession with anything gimmicky, I drifted into Best Buy with my eyes peeled and my mind open. At every corner, I was ambushed by tall and gawky nerds in bright blue shirts who asked me if I was finding everything okay. I eventually replied, “No, for you see, I’m just an caveman. Your wares frighten and confuse me!” which bemused them and eventually got them off my back.

As I made my way towards the center of the store, I literally stumbled upon the giant display of the new Nintendo DS game Guitar Hero: On Tour. After knocking down roughly half of the boxes, I managed to pick them up in time before any employees could come around to shoot me an angry leer. The game certainly looked intriguing enough, and in the end, the box art’s promise of turning me into a meth-addicted white trash rocker was too much to pass up.

Fifty dollars is a lot for a DS game, but it does have plenty of extras included. The contents of the package are as follows: a four-button fret with an adjustable strap that fits into the DS’s Gameboy slot, a plastic “skin” for the device, a pick-shaped stylus that fits in the contraption, an adapter for players with an old DS, and the video game itself. I must warn you that the device is a bit small. Since I have tiny little girl hands, however, I had no problem with the size.

For those uninitiated with Guitar Hero, you simply match your fingers to the notes displayed on the screen and strum at the moment that they reach the bottom. You would typically do this with a guitar controller that looks like a Fisher Price toy, but in this version you move your fingers on the attached frets and “strum” with your pick stylus on the touch screen. It works surprisingly well with near-perfect accuracy, meaning that you have no one to blame but yourself when you are booed off the stage.

The downside, of course, is that you are actually playing a simulation of a simulation. The creators of Futurama have already parodied this paradox, but little did they know that it would come true 992 years earlier than they predicted. You won’t get the enjoyment of pretending that you’re Slash or any of your other favorite drugged up guitarists, but you will get a great portable music game with enough tracks (26 in all) to keep you entertained until your parents kick your slacker ass out of the house.

If you want more info, check out my poorly narrated video for a content and game play demonstration.

Item: Guitar Hero: On Tour
Price: $49.99
Purchased at: Best Buy
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Comes with fun and gimmicky fret controller that is sure to impress the ladies in public. Game works surprisingly well for a portable version. Other than Elite Beat Agents, this is the only good music game currently released for the DS.
Cons: Much pricier than regular DS games, which typically retail for $30. Can’t pretend that you’re actually playing a guitar. Controller might be a bit small for people with adult-sized hands. Overbearing employees.

16 thoughts to “Guitar Hero: On Tour”

  1. You were doing well with that Blink 182 song and then I remembered that Blink 182 songs use only three chords so they should be easy.

    May you shred grasshopper.

  2. Must be nice to have that hard plastic packaging fall apart for you, Ace. Every time I try to open stuff like that it’s blood, tears, and maybe a few broken nails.

  3. Oh dear, I worry for the next generation of guitar players. I think my first real guitar cost less than$50!

  4. Meh, I did not like GH:DS. The songs really suck. Who the hell associates Blink 182 or Smash Mouth with “guitar” songs. I felt like it was a soundtrack to a retarded kid’s movie where everyone gets lost at the airport and by the time the final song is over, they made it back to their scatterbrained parents. I’m taking mine back.

  5. So, I take it you’re going to be the guitarist if you and Marvo ever start that boy band?

    Oh yeah, that’s right…boy bands don’t play actual instruments. My bad. Still, this game does look kind of cool.

  6. Oooh, pretty red DS. *is mesmerized* Mine is black and not quite so shiny. And I liked the YouTube addition to this review (although it’s funny finally hearing what your voice sounds like– I always have mental reading voices and yours was a little more consistantly sarcastic sounding. Brain is now officially tuned to your actual voice, haha).

  7. Marvo – I can beat hard mode now. I can’t talk and shred at the same time, though, so I can only demonstrate playing easy Blink songs.

    Domokun – They made this one kid-friendly. I invested in a solid xacto knife for all those other things.

    Reprobate – This is just as food-related as chest waxing.

    Ryne – That’s the truth! My favorite is Ouendan 2, the sequel to its japanese counterpart. I have a soft spot for cheesy j-pop.

    Tiggy – Guitar Hero allows children to pretend to play without all of those inane creative and social benefits.

    Sir Jorge – Until they come out with Triangle Hero, this is the best I’ll be able to do.

    Shell – Sadly, that’s exactly why I like this game. I love retarded Disney movies.

    Chuck – No, I’d be Guitar Hero-ist. I would carry an Xbox on stage and hook it up to a giant monitor.

    LK – I swear I’m not actually this big of an a-hole in person. It just pays the bills.

  8. Did your game come with crippling wrist pain? Because mine sure did. Didn’t stop me from playing it all weekend though.

  9. So, I have already utterly failed at the actual guitar hero but, for some reason Nintendo’s female targeted ad campaign with Carrie, Liv, Jennifer and America on DS commercials have made want one. But seeing an actual person playing it I don’t know it looks strange. Is this game different from the other game where you just use the stylus to pluck strings or is it an update ?

  10. Sea Hag – I haven’t had any wrist pain, I usually play lying down so that probably helps.

    K.C – It’s a new game with new controls, all the songs are new I think.

    Kcdeath – There’s a Freezepop song you unlock after you beat Guitar Duel mode.

  11. This looks a little uncomfortable, and I hate the bands you mentioned, but I am still gonna buy it.
    As for yelling vs. breathing into the mike, I think douchebaggery will ensue in either case.

    Thanks, Ace, and happy Fourth!

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