System: Playstation 2
Title: Guitar Hero: World Tour
Publisher: Activision
Circa: 2008
Overall Rating:
80 percent

rarity guide gh

Guitar Hero enters into the whole band set-up that its leading competitor Rock Band has had for a good while now. It’s got a lot of changes over how the series itself has been progressing though it definitely it something of note. While the game itself was meant to run on the modern generation, bless their hearts for thinking about those less fortunate (for unwilling) to part with the money for the modern and like what they have at present. I enjoy my PS2 a lot and still have a good number of games to play. That Activision released it as they did was a very pleasant surprise for the out-dated PS2.

Story …. Not really here this time. GH 3 actually had something of one but this one has only a shadow of one. Each part of the career is that person striving for greatness (or acknowledgement or a band) with their particular instrument. Aside from that, “story” really isn’t there.

This would make up the meat and bones of the game and it’s certainly taken a while for me to play the game enough to get a taste of everything it has to offer, and there’s still more to do. True to fashion of the series, there are still humorous lines on the load screens, my personal favorite being, “when in doubt, blame the singer’s girlfriend”. Easily my favorite part of the series itself since its beginning. This version of Guitar Hero boasts more tracks (85 master) and play than any other GH as well as more features. Each career, at the beginning, gives you the option to go into the tutorials to learn more about playing through with the instrument. These tutorials do seem keys to Guitar Hero instruments, while it makes no difference regarding the microphone, this could cause trouble with drums and guitars if not their brand. The most notable difference in this area of career is that each part is broken into much smaller set-list, though they do grow some over the course of the career. While it’s a wonderful expansion, it was hardly as well done as possible. It might be good, but it wasn’t up to scratch with my expectations for the series.

Character Creation:

This was a delight to know it was here, even with a cap of 8 characters. I knew it’d be less than what the other versions would be but I didn’t expect the sheer amount of lag that would surround the generator. To do anything beyond the initial set-up would take several minutes and that’s predominately just because of the load time for each part of the character you would be working on. There’s only so much initially, playing through the game unlocks more hats, instrument bodies, stands, outfits. Still, while it was finally included, dealing with the lag made it an exercise in patience at times. This applies even when simply changing the color of an outfit or your character’s hair. Tattoos and piercing are available, but they only appear in fixed locations, so no forearm and bicep tattoos for you. Still, you can adjust most of your character’s physical features decently. Also, you are able to set some of your character’s behaviors, such as winning or losing and coming on stage. A lot of things are chosen around the kind of music you choose as your character’s base (My Metal character behaves very differently from my Punk character while playing). This does allow for some variety in characters.

Music Creator:
music studio

This was the last part of the game for me to even touch. I must have had some foresight into the matter because it also proved to be the most annoying. It had plenty of tutorials to help someone get their bearings on what to do, explaining all the functionality, but they were, at times, poorly done. The ending sound frequently overlapped with the instructor’s voice, making any last tidbits obscured and impossible to understand. Even after all the tutorials I was still left with a lot of questions as to how to get down my song idea. Even jamming (a long time cure for such a problem), didn’t really yield the expected results. Also, having tried some of the sample sounds, the sound quality must have taken a hit going onto the PS2, as much of it wasn’t very crisp and frequently annoyed. Again, lag cut into the usage of this feature greatly, making it slow to move through and around in. An excellent innovation, but one that would have been best left for the most powerful modern consoles.


That lead and bass guitar, having respective career tracks, allows for some variety in play for the enthusiast in the audience. The newest addition to both would be the “tap” notes, transparent gems that scroll down that one only has to press the fret button to play. Actually playing guitar, I can attest to the fact this is an actual trick used in addition to the hammer-ons and pull-offs. Another addition is in the sustained notes, where you now have sequential occurrences, building up the sustained note. For both modes of guitar playing it makes some sections at the higher difficulties a bit easier at times, though both remain decently rare occurrences. The lead guitar definitely feels different in ways from its previous incarnations, with me being able to play start to finish in the Hard career mode without once failing a song. Bass guitar itself got something new as well, a sixth note, an open strum (just for those unfamiliar with guitar notation, open means striking the string without pressing on any of the frets). It doesn’t appear until Hard difficulty, but you then need to adapt to this slight change in play quickly. It’s cool in its own right, but still frustrating because it can throw some people off since it requires that no buttons are pressed. After a little while though, you get used to it and can simply incorporate it into your general style of play. The bass guitar is the first to move close to some of the real tricks of guitar playing.


These, initially, I wasn’t too sure about, having only drummed once before at a friend’s because we needed a drummer, I didn’t expect much out this part of the game. I quickly learned though that I enjoyed it quite a bit. Not bothering with the tutorials offered I jumped in and started banging the drums. This is also the only instrument that really allows improvising in World Tour. There are sections for drum fills and so far my experience is to just go wild, swinging fast and accurate, to rack up the most points for the fill. This is a great section to get massive exposure to the rhythm element of music.

Probably the least played, but still nice. The singer of everyone gets shafted the most in this game honestly. There seems to be nothing for the singer to do aside from sing, try to rile up the crowd or vocalize. It’s a decent system used to track vocals so you only need to get the basics of the song, not needing to be spot on in terms of vocalization. This means yes, guys can sing the girl songs and vise versa for girls. What matters is pitch and tone, octave is irrelevant to the whole thing (tone deaf rejoice, at least until your friends force you off the mic). Still because of the lack of raw things to do as a singer I found myself frequently at loose ends during longer instrumental segments with little to nothing to do.

Very much improved as it supports a great number of people now (four) opposed to just the previous two. That you can work together on career mode and benefit from it in some respects is very nice. It’s not drop in drop out play, but around the semi-tolerable lag, it was a simple matter to get someone added into the game within a matter of a few minutes. There was also the addition of that each person in the band needs to confirm they’re ready to continue on before you can progress onto the next song. That is a very worth while addition as it gives each member a chance to have say at the pacing of the sets. Many of the duel features remain in place thankfully, making it, at least, quite enjoyable.
My big gripe lies again with the lag that is prone around the characters. The game won’t progress unless all the characters are loaded, even if everyone’s confirmed their choices. This slowed down game play frequently, cutting into sometimes notably cutting down possible play time.

The controls have seen some overhauls, but nothing too big from Aerosmith or Legends of Rock aside from the new notes added into the game. The guitars seem sharper in response and have a better detection for hammer-ons and pull-offs. The newest models of guitar also have a slide area at the base of the neck, allowing for a tap style of play. Having played around with them a bit, it’s a good step forward for the franchise in terms of design.

The graphics have come a long way since the first Guitar Hero and there’s no disappointment in what this game can do graphically.

Sound Effects & Music
85 tracks, 85 master tracks at that. That makes this one easily the biggest total of any Guitar Hero to date. As they are master tracks the quality is top notch. There are also several live recordings found within that mass as well. These versions are always a delight as they offer something different from any of the studio recorded versions of the songs.
Sound effects by and large are unobtrusive unless their meant to be notices (like missing a note). I was very amusing that adjusting my character had a sound similar to raising or lower notes in tuning.
The only part that grated on me in this regard was dealing with the custom songs. The quality of them is drastically less from the rest of the music found in the game.

This is a harder game to call obscure, especially now. It’s definitely well known in the gamer community and a bit beyond.

Summary/Author’s Take
While the game doesn’t focus exclusively on guitar any more, it did change what anyone could do in the game. It’s a departure, but a necessary one to stay competitive with Rock Band. Game franchises always need to be ready to stay with the competition. This move let Guitar Hero stay on the same field as Rock Band. I was very pleased with the track list that they released for this game and actually play through was no disappointment. Having all the options was nice, but the lag within the game did cause me some issues, making it hard to control or to make quick changes to my character’s outfit.


50 percent

It’s Guitar Hero, no story needed.


80 percent

Expanded content, lag issues.


80 percent

Improved abilities and numbers.


80 percent

Little new.


84 percent

Suffered some.

SFX and Music

90 percent

Wide variety, good choices, okay set lists.


40 percent

I know this one … well, heard of any way.


80 percent

Rock the house ‘til it burns down!

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