Music games seem to be taking over the world. Can Gameloft get into the action with their Rock Tour for the DS? We get strumming to find out.
Guitar Rock Tour takes on the familiar premise of letting you play along to a number classic rock anthems. In this case, however, there are no plastic instruments, or attachments to wield, just you and your Nintendo DS.
The game is pretty simple and will be familiar to anyone who has played this sort of game before. You have the choice of playing the guitar or drums and the notes come along the strings towards you - all you have to do is hit those notes at the right time to play the song. It is very much like Guitar Hero or Rock Band in this sense, and failure to hit those notes results in the crowd getting nasty and your gig cancelled.
The tutorial sets off by telling you how to best wield the stylus of destiny, but we soon abandoned that in favour of thumbs. Why use a single stylus when you can use two thumbs? This does make things much easier and as long as you can get into the rhythm of the song, making progress is pretty simple.
The career mode basically sends you on a tour which encompasses the globe: a spattering of text provides some sort of background distraction whilst making up the touring banter of your band, visiting different venues. It is of little consequence, as the aim is to step up and ROCK!
Failure to hit the right notes in time will lead to your demise and there is no element of going freestyle here, it is very much perform as instructed or the game ends. The only twist is the switch which allows you to hit superstar mode and multiply your points, or wipe on-coming notes clear so you can compose yourself should you be struggling.
Difficulty levels do make quite a difference and we found that medium was still pretty easy to rock all over the world without too many tragic fails.
The drumming element is pretty much the same as the guitar playing, with oncoming notes for your snare, bass and cymbals, however, it being drumming, it gets pretty boring. Again, the tutorial instructs you how to use the buttons, but you can just use thumbs again to, we feel, much greater effect.
Progressing through the various venues opens up a new selection of tracks to play, however you seem to be able to play them through quickplay anyway, so there is little incentive to play through the entire game, when you can get what you want anyway. There is a rewards system so you can pick up bonuses as you go along, but these are really just trivial distractions from the core of the game and offer little incentive to come back once you get bored.
And therein perhaps lies the only real problem with Guitar Rock Tour: longevity. Easily completed, if you don’t get to have the fun of rocking out in multiplayer mode, you might find you soon tire of the offering. Still, you are not being asked to fork out the same sort of cash as you would be for the more substantial offerings of rival titles on other consoles.
All in all, Guitar Rock Tour is a fun little game, something that you can dip in to for the odd 5 minutes here and there if you wish and it has some quality tracks to appeal to most middle of the road rockers. It’s not too difficult either, so more enjoyable than those games that are just too demanding to get into.