As concepts go, it’s little wonder quite how Guitar Hero: On Tour managed to get past the concept stage. Considering it’s part of the series where the real fun comes from feeling just like your favourite axe wielding star, it’s a bit surprising to find it out on the shop shelves at all.
But there it is, complete with additional piece of hardware to turn your DS from a bog standard games console into something that feels much more solid.
The curved piece of plastic, consisting of the four buttons you’ll be frantically prodding and holding to play your tunes slides right into the GBA slot on your DS. Even those of you who own the old chunky DS can get in on the action thanks to an additional piece of plastic.
You then slide your hand through the peripherals strap, line up your fingers with the buttons, tighten the strap, and hold the DS a bit you would a book. It looks and feels suitably expensive, and you’d certainly expect it to be just as hard wearing as the bigger guitars.
But all is not perfect. The peripheral has an annoying eagerness to slide out of the GBA slot, and if it pops out too far, you’ll be forced to restart the game with it popped back into place. Certainly not the greatest of things to happen right at the end of your latest tune.
Plus, it has to be said, that the whole thing isn’t quite as comfortable as it could have been. Your hands and fingers working this additional piece of hardware will struggle to take the strain after a handful of tracks.
That’s not the end of the awkward nature of the additional bits of plastic needed for this hand held musical title. The plectrum shaped stylus that you’ll utilise to hit across a guitar icon on the touch screen is solid enough, but an actual prod of the screen with said item isn’t quite as responsive as you’d hope. You’ll end up performing an awkward stroke of the screen, and at least once per song you’ll find yourself cursing that your blatant strum wasn’t picked up by the DS’s touchscreen.
The hardware continues to let things down by not only packing a much smaller track listing (26 in total) but also with the sound itself being much more "tinny" via the DS’s speakers. While the lack of tracks is understandable considering the limitations of the hardware, the poor quality of the sound is unforgivable.
Of these tracks, the quality varies as always. The tracks themselves aren’t quite as memorable as something like Guitar Hero 2, and there are a few too many examples of poor choices to raise the full listing to anything above decent.
Guitar Hero: On Tour has so much going against it that it’s a shock to discover that its anything above average. It might only have a fraction of the tracks, lost the guitar peripheral, and the tunes are heard via a horrible tinny speaker, but that doesn’t stop it being tones of downright fun.
Yes, the drawbacks stop this from being a must buy like its bigger brother, and the peripheral might put far too much strain on your button prodding hand, but that doesn’t stop that same old Guitar Hero fun shine brightly through.