Guitar Hero On Tour: Decades Review


Guitar Hero On Tour: Decades is the second Guitar Hero game to appear on the DS, and in many ways it is indistinguishable from the first. Unfortunately, one of the ways it remains indistinguishable is in the ergonomic issues caused by the game's control scheme. The fret button controller that plugs into the DS' GBA port is in many ways a very innovative way to simulate the Guitar Hero experience on a portable system. However, the human body simply can't be bent into a shape that makes it comfortable to play the game for much longer than it takes to play through a couple of songs. Probably the best you can do is to rest your forearm on a high flat surface while keeping your wrist perfectly straightly aligned with your forearm. Even doing this will only buy you an extra couple of songs before you need to take a break or risk feeling the kind of pain only poor ergonomics can bring you. Since the mechanics of play are identical to those of the previous game's, I'll direct you to that game's review if you're unfamiliar with it and now focus on what's different about Decades.

The short answer to the question "what's new in Decades?" is "not a whole lot." The track list is different than in the first game of course, and in many ways the overall quality of the track list is better this time out. The first game had a track list that was heavy on pop rock and the simply and repetitive nature of the music in pop rock makes for songs that aren't too much fun to play. Decades features a more diverse track list drawn from the past forty years of rock, and the variety makes for a more enjoyable experience overall. The game supports sharing of the song lists between On Tour and Decades, so you can play the game in two player mode and select songs from either track list if one player has a copy of On Tour and the other a copy of Decades.

Outside of the track list, the only other thing that's really new is the addition of a bass/rhythm guitar career. Unfortunately, the bass line on many of these songs is not that interesting to play so I doubt that many people will be excited by the prospect of a bass career.

It's good to see a stronger track list in Decades, but this is still a game in which you can't play more than two songs in a row without causing yourself to feel a strong pain in your arm. And as with the first game, playing Decades doesn't really feel anything like playing a guitar and fails to capture the magic of the console games. Decades is best left to those who have to have all things Guitar Hero. Everyone else is better off waiting until they can get home and play a Guitar Hero game on their consoles.

In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 65%. The pain factor still exceeds the fun factor.