Hands On – Guitar Hero: World Tour

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Yes. I have played Guitar Hero: World Tour and yes you should start saving up to buy it. You might think I am crazy to state it so boldly, but I don’t care because this game rocks out like there is no tomorrow.

While I obviously haven’t had the opportunity to play Rock Band 2, I have been able to spend a significant amount of time with the first Rock Band and unless Rock Band 2 is going to be a lot different to the first one, they are in trouble.

Find out why after the jump.

Ok, first off I want to talk about the instruments. The new guitar is fantastic and not only feels nice and sturdy, but has quite a couple of changes made to it as well. There is no doubt that some of the changes have been taken straight from Rock Band but some very clever changes to existing ideas have made a big difference.

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The Guitar has now been given 5 extra buttons as well, but instead of them being at the bottom of the neck like Rock Band, they are just a little lower down next to the normal buttons. The major difference is that the extra buttons are not buttons, but apart of a lengthy “touchpad” that not only allows you to nail solo’s easier, but adds the ability to properly slide your fingers up and down like you would on a real guitar. Some other small changes have been made as well. The whammy bar is slightly longer and a Star Power button has been added for people who think that they look silly when they tilt the guitar.

The new drums are a piece of work as well. The two cymbal pads work incredibly well and add a significant amount of realism to the experience. The pads themselves are very soft and don’t make much noise when you play on them, which is nice because with World Tour the pads are pressure sensitive, so the harder you hit, the louder it sounds. The drums as a whole are very solid due to the fact that the three main pads are all apart of a base that keeps everything nice and still. The pedal also has a really good feel to it and should hopefully not have the same issues seen with the Rock Band pedal.

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I didn’t take the opportunity to embarrass myself with the microphone, so I didn’t get a very good look at it but from what I heard from when i was playing on the instruments, the singers voices were coming out really nice and clear.

Enough of that then, I want to talk about gameplay.

What I really liked in World Tour was that when you are on guitar, the songs are really still fun to play and there is a good feeling behind the system that detects when you hit a note. The guitar essentially still feels exactly the same as it does when you are playing Guitar Hero III and I don’t know about you, but that suits me just fine.

I decided to try the drums on hard, which, when done in Rock Band usually leads to me failing miserable while the rest of the band works hard to keep everything going. Now it could very easily have been the song that we were playing, but I found the drums on hard to be easier than in Rock Band. I can’t decide if that is a good thing or not as it may leave you feeling unchallenged when you get good enough to attack expert mode. Again, it could have just been the specific song.

On the whole it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience and one that I can highly recommend to anyone who is looking for some fun with their friends. I didn’t even have the ability to mess around with the music creation system, but from what I have been hearing, that is going to be an entirely different reason to buy the game in itself.

I have heard that World Tours pack that includes the game, guitar, drums and microphone will be going for R1700.00 in South Africa when it releases and will confirm as soon as I can. Usually I wouldn’t be so quick to make bold statements in a hands on preview such as this, but if that price is true then this may very well be the bargain of the century.

[ Update: Looks like the price will be closer to the R2000 mark as long as the Rand holds on.]

Last Updated: September 12, 2008

Nick De Bruyne

Video games writer, editor and critic since '08. Living and breathing video games, movies and cars since the 80s. Follow me on Twitter if you love tons of gaming talk, and @pennyworthrevs for fun stuff and links.

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