Guitar Hero World Tour
Reviewed by Didi Cardoso
Review Date Platform Genre Rating Production
2008-12-20 Wii Music/Rhythm T (Teen) Activision / RedOctane / Vicarious Visions

After being On Tour with my DS for the last few weeks, it was now time to go on the World Tour with Guitar Hero. Guitar Hero World Tour may not be innovative, seeing as we had Rock Band already, but it does have a few other things in its favor.

Guitar Hero goes beyond the guitar and bass gameplay by adding vocals and drums. The full bundle comes equipped with all the wireless goodies (microphone, drums and guitar), but you can choose to purchase the guitar bundle or just the stand-alone software (you use both Nunchuk and Wii-mote to rock out), though that seems rather irrelevant if you're looking for the actual band experience.

The guitar is actually quite nice. You know how the Rock Band guitar has the second set of fret buttons? Well, this one has a touch pad on the neck instead, with small colored lines to indicate the position of each fret "button".

I was never very good with the drums in Rock Band, and here it all seems even more complicated. Then again, with each Guitar Hero installment, I seem to notice an increase in difficulty compared to the previous title. The drum kit is composed of three drum pads, two raised cymbals and a bass pedal. In other words, I can't coordinate myself, but I guess that will eventually come with practice, since I am too used to the four pads in the Rock Band drums.

With the Rock Star Creator, not only you can customize your character, but also the look of your instruments (colors, patterns, logos) and even create your own album covers. However, you can have your Mii as your avatar instead.

The gameplay is the same as you know from Rock Band and Guitar Hero, so I won't get into details there. I will get into the vocals though, since they are a little different here.

While you still have the scrolling lyrics method, you also have the option of static lyrics (something you see at any karaoke bar). In some songs, there will be Freeform Vocals, which means you can improvise your own lyrics on that space. There are also Work The Crowd moments represented by blue hands, which mean you must shout out something to the crowd. Furthermore, you can accumulate Star Power while singing, which is activated by tapping the microphone.

The set list is definitely an asset. It contains 80 songs (none of them covers, which is fantastic), with hits by Van Halen, Sting, Ozzy Osbourne, Linkin Park, Metallica, The Eagles, Michael Jackson, R.E.M., Oasis, No Doubt, The Doors, Nirvana, Jimi Hendrix and more. As in every Guitar Hero game, I always find some personal favorites: Crazy Train, Stillborn, Livin' on a Prayer, Hotel California, Beat It and Rebel Yell. But there's more, in the form of downloadable content in the Music Store.

You can play a Single career either by playing one instrument or switching between them, or a Band career locally or online. The Gig Board will show you the gigs available, with more unlocking as you complete others. There is also a Create-A-Gig feature that will let you compose a set of up to six of your favorite tunes.

One thing I really liked was how the artists themselves are represented in game, and how some of them actually participated in the motion capture process (Ozzy, Sting, Zack Wylde) lending their likeness and on-stage attitude to the performances. For something different, Tool were actually involved in the creation of one of the venues, with incredible psychedelic results.

The new major feature in GH World Tour is the Music Studio. Here you can create your own music from scratch using the available in-game tools, the guitar controller and the drum set. You can compose and then share your music with other Guitar Hero players via GHTunes (the community website containing downloads and leaderboards).

The major downside in Guitar Hero World Tour for the Wii is that to have a full-functioning multiplayer band on the Wii you will need four Wii-motes, which will easily add up another $100 (at least) to the hardware cost if you only have the one that comes with the console. It's a pricy experience, especially since the bundles for other consoles need no additional controllers, but it was a very clever move to bring out Guitar Hero World Tour before Rock Band 2 for the Wii.

If you can afford the bundle and additional Wii-motes, this would be one hell of a Christmas gift for any proud Wii owner.

Special thanks to Activision and RedOctane for providing a copy of this title.