Guitar Hero – World Tour – Review

g-guitarheroworldtour200Guitar Hero World Tour

(Activision for PS2)
By Mike Delano

True to its name, the Guitar Hero series is still the best place to play fake guitar in a video game. It’s home to sturdy, comfortable guitar controllers, great playlists, and incomparably satisfying gameplay. But with World Tour, the series take a big step outside of its comfort zone, aping the Rock Band formula by adding drums, bass, and vocals, as well a music studio that lets you create and upload your own songs and download songs from other players. It’s a stuffed, worthwhile package whether you buy the full band kit or just the disc and use your own instruments from other music games, but its ambitious redesign isn’t perfect. The guitar game is still the best in the business, but the vocal interface is inferior to the competition, and the drum kit lacks the streamlined charm of its competitor. The music creator is far too complicated to be of interest to most, hampered largely by a complicated and ugly presentation that’s reflected in much of the game’s overall look. And not only did Rock Band have a sleeker look more than a year ago, it had a lot of little innovations (individual “star power” meters, the ability to revive bandmates after failing, a compelling tour mode) that World Tour simply rejects. It’s a testament to World Tour that, despite a lengthy list of annoyances, the core game is so good it can shoulder them and still succeed. But this series will need some fine tuning if it wants to stand toe-to-toe with its rivals going forward.