Our recent coverage of Rock Band 2 told a story of love, hate and uncertainty. Today, we cover that uncertainty with a review of Guitar Hero World Tour that fills in the gaps. That's not to say you have to go read the Rock Band 2 article if you haven't: no pop quizes, I promise. The point is that we now have the missing piece for a lot of people: the first music game that adds drums in the franchise that started the craze. Will it live up to the hype, or not? Or will it go a third direction. I'm going to bet on that last one. But that's a little unfair since I'm writing the review ;-)

Anyway, let's get the overview out of the way first. Guitar Hero was the first, and many music gamers cut their teeth on it. Guitar Hero World Tour (GHWT for short), takes it to the next level adding the same compliment of 4 player guitar, bass, drum and vocal action. GHWT is a different game than RB2, though. The approach is different, the implementation is different, and the end result is different in spite of the fact that the underlying concept is the same.

The first notable feature is the cartoonish interface. Rock Band and RB2 are a little more polished and clean looking, but different people will prefer different looks, so this isn't a huge thing. But the functionality of the interface is a bit clunky. We'll cover that more when talking about game modes, but navigating the game is less natural than RB2. Career mode is essentially broken up into 4 different solo careers and one band career, and the line up of songs you encounter is geared more toward the career for that instrument rather than a generalized tour like with RB2. This is good and bad. Actually, you'll probably see that phrase a lot in this article, so prepare yourself.

We would expect nothing less from a game called Guitar Hero than innovations in the guitar interface. GHWT also took an aggressive stab at RB2 with a more complex drum controller, but the special sauce is really in their guitar as far as we are concerned. The mic is the mic and it's just about the same as the RB2 mic. There are a couple neat differences in how some things work allowing a little more flexibility, but some of the "innovations" are more frustrating than fun.

The music studio is fairly full featured and allows for a little more creativity than the drum "freestyle" mode in RB2. There is also no way to freestyle with the guitar or bass in RB2, so GHWT adds that as well. But there are some really difficult issues that get in the way of this being a real solid feature.

GHWT online play is better in some ways and worse in others than RB2. Like I said, that'll happen a lot. Let's dispense with this preparatory overview nonsense and really dig in. First up, the guitar (and a sentence or two about the mic).

The Instruments: The Guitar and Mic


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  • george12 - Thursday, December 11, 2008 - link

    Their is so many function apart of this. You can find a more function at here. Guitar Hero World Tour Reply
  • george12 - Thursday, December 11, 2008 - link

    http://spudmobile.co.uk/guitar-hero-world-tour.asp...">http://spudmobile.co.uk/guitar-hero-world-tour.asp... Reply
  • george12 - Thursday, December 11, 2008 - link

    You can read more about the function at here.
  • Desultory - Tuesday, November 18, 2008 - link

    I too have some issues with the drum kit and I also had problems with my first guitar. In fact, I ended up taking it back to the store for a full replacement. My down strum broke the first night and the cymbals were at once so responsive that hitting the drum pads activated them and also so unresponsive when I hit them. I'm not a "real" drummer, but I can play about half the RB songs on expert and all of them on hard and I was finding I couldn't hold a streak at all in GHWT. It was seriously ticking me off.

    After the exchange, I still had an unresponsive yellow cymbal. It was "dead" on one side...no problem though, switched it with the orange cymbal and it's much easier to reach the "good" side.

    But the pedal...ferchrissake that thing sucks. Moves all over the floor and it's WAY too sensitive. My style may be to blame, but I learned to play RB drums keeping my foot down on the pedal and "bouncing". That's impossible with this pedal. The simple act of raising my foot often triggers a bass kick and once again it's impossible to hold a streak. I wish I could use my RB pedal with the GHWT kit. I like the kit better (more stuff to do and "real" cymbals) but the foot pedal makes playing drums impossible.

    I actually found this article hoping to uncover some tricks for the pedal since I'm not the only person with this issue (Google is rife with people having the same complaint and two of my friends who bought the game are in agreement with me). I like the song selection better in GHWT but not being able to play drums is literally breaking my heart.

  • jdport - Thursday, November 6, 2008 - link

    It kind of bothers me when people write stuff about how Guitar Hero is the original franchise, that players "cut their teeth on". As I'm sure you know, this is true in name only. The creators of the original Guitar Hero moved on to Rock Band, so while "Guitar Hero" maybe have been the original... Guitar Hero World Tour shares nothing in common with it other than its name and the basic concept.

    Also, the Rock Band 2 guitars and drums do have a hook up for the XBL headset. You just have to use the adapter that is supplied with the game instead of using the standard plug.
  • bootay69 - Friday, November 7, 2008 - link

    I use the standard plug...the adapter is not necessary. Reply
  • afkrotch - Wednesday, November 5, 2008 - link

    FYI: Guitar Freaks, Drummania, Piano Freaks, etc. Wiki Bemani. Now Guitar Hero was probably the first music game to be in the US, aside from DDR. Reply
  • EODetroit - Tuesday, November 4, 2008 - link

    Honestly I'll never play more than two player mode, so I don't see the point of buying anything beyond my GH3 game.

    But I do like the commercial that I saw during MNF last night.
  • MaverickSY19 - Monday, November 3, 2008 - link

    Honestly I like RB 1 and 2 better for the reason that they are not to hard! I mean a lot of us can't play expert at all let alone breeze though it. I honestly like playing the songs and having fun with it, because as a kid we all did the air guitar and its nice to actually play a song with a fake one you can at least hold on to. :)

    Shoot I'll be happy when I can play RB or GH through all the way on hard let alone Expert. Shoot my wife can't even do easy :P I have yet to try her on the beginner level they added to GHWT.
  • crash resistant - Monday, November 3, 2008 - link

    GH isn't harder. It's more pure. RB has silly drum solos in the middle of every song, even on Expert.

    Singing in GH is harder, as you have to sing more to gain points- and there aren't cheesy tambourine solos that last what feels like forever.

    I guess, it's true- GH requires more skill to attain higher scores- but it's relative to the game itself- You can't relate the score system to RB!

    If you want to party, buy all 3 games. I'm telling you the truth.

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