• Guitar Hero World Tour is the latest iteration in what has become a regular franchise for Activision. The big addition this time is now you have a drum kit and microphone to complete the whole band set. Another new feature introduced in this version is the music creator. You can create your own music, minus the vocals, and upload them to their own music service, entitled GHTunes. There are literally thousands upon thousands of user created music waiting for you to download. As with any user created service the quality of the music varies. There are some really cool music pieces, such as the Mario theme, and then there are some that don’t really deserve any attention. The music studio itself is actually pretty well done. Once you enter the studio you are presented with the options “Recording Studio” “GHMix” “GHTunes” and “Tutorials” for those gamers who don’t have any musical experience. If you choose the “Recording Studio” option than you are presented with some options where you can choose the beats per minute as well as select a bass line and/or a drum track to get started. Then you can go into “GHMix” where you can really get deep into things and actually make your music by playing a variety of instruments. While this mode won’t beat an actual recording studio, it is a very cool addition to the game and should definitely add some replay ability to this section for gamers willing to participate. The only negative side to this mode is that you can’t record any vocals for your music.

    Guitar Hero: World Tour

    You also have the chance to create your own rockstar as well as your own band. Creating your own rock star allows you to pick the sex you are as well as the genre your character likes. After going through that you can edit their name as well as their body, outfit and the type of instrument that they play. It is a pretty decent size creator which should allow you to create the rocker you have always wanted to be. There is also a daily message that you can access whenever you boot up the game that can alert you to new music that is available from the Marketplace. With all of that being said there is of course the music itself. Every song in this game is a master recording. You can choose to go through the career mode, use the quickplay option, go head to head or play over Xbox Live. The career mode is handled a little differently this time as well. Instead of simply working your way down a long list, you have a bunch of different gigs to complete. As you progress and complete more gigs your popularity, as well as your sponsors, will grow and you will be offered more gigs. A gig typically runs from three to five songs long as well as an encore performance if you are good enough. These gigs take place at various venues around the world. It’s a refreshing change to how career modes are usually done in these types of games.

    Of course there are new sets of instruments this time around and some of them have never been featured in a Guitar Hero game before. Of course I am referring to the drum kit as well as the microphone. From my personal experience the drum kit is very responsive. Once I had everything hooked up correctly I didn’t have any trouble getting through songs. The drum kit can also be assembled (or disassembled) within a couple minutes which can be very nice if you are short on storage space. The raised cymbals were an interesting change from other drum kits that were on the market, however, it is a change that I really liked once I got used to it. The microphone seemed to pick up everything that was being said perfectly and overall seemed to be a quality microphone. It would have been nice if it was a wireless microphone, but other than that I don’t have any complaints about it. I have always preferred Guitar Hero guitars for my rhythm games and this year is no exception. The World Tour guitar is very comfortable with that slider bar if you really feel like getting crazy. The song selection is pretty good although there is some overlap with Rock Band 2 on a few songs. While that isn’t an issue for me, others might feel differently.

    With the above being said, the game definitely isn’t perfect. Loading times on this game seem to be frequent and way too long. It will be interesting to see if this is alleviated at all once the New Xbox Experience is available and we can install the game to the hard drive. As I mentioned before there are no vocals for when you are creating your own music. While I am sure there are various legal reasons why they didn’t want to include that feature, nonetheless, it would have been a great addition to the music studio feature. Another annoying feature is within GHTunes. Once you download a song to your hard drive, you can no longer preview it. If I have friends over and I want to show them the song I have to actually play it instead of letting them listen to a sample of it like other music stores allow you to, such as iTunes. Overall this is a fun title to play, especially in a party atmosphere. There is some great music to rock out to and then of course there is the karaoke part where people can get up and sing their favorite song. If you are a fan of the rhythm genre I would say to definitely give this game a try. If you are a music aficionado then I would definitely recommend giving the music studio feature a try. There is definitely something for everyone.

    Score: 8/10

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