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So much more than war...
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Posted on 04/18/14
The recent blog, Peace in the Era of Call of Duty  really made me think about war games that dig deeper than simply a kill streak reward. The first game that came to mind was Spec-Ops: The Line and although I haven’t played it, I began to wonder if it did the war genre as...

Guitar Hero: On Tour Decades Member Review for the DS

By:
Ivory_Soul
12/06/08
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE Rhyhtm 
PLAYERS
PUBLISHER Activision 
DEVELOPER Vicarious Visions 
RELEASE DATE  
E10+ Contains Lyrics

What do these ratings mean?

The Good: Great track list, good graphics, sound, responsive and intuitive stylus controls, nice pick, you can customize the grip, OMFGBBQ STICKERS 3!@!!@!@#

The Bad: The grip turns your hand into a DS tumor, the grip is a trap, the grip is a lie, the grip hates you, practice mode broke, sound is a bit tinny, the grip slides out a lot, the grip hates me :-[

I finally decided to clear this up myself; I went down to my local Game Crazy, slapped down $50 plus the $3 game guard so I could return the game and I tried this game out myself to see which side of the scoreboard was right...well I tried as hard as I could to love the game, had two other people try the game out, and came out frustrated and (temporarily) $56.32 short in my bank account.

     First off I have to tell you a little history about handheld peripherals; back when the GameBoy Color was released a few game cartridges had the rumble paks built into the games and the first of these were Pokemon Pinball, Perfect Dark, Star Wars Episode 1: Racer and some other games that were either terrible ports from the N64 or just bad games all together. These required an extra AAA battery on top of the 2 AA batteries already in the GameBoy. This continued on with the GameBoy Advance, but it's popularity really hit home on the N64 with over 200 games being compatible with the Rumble Pak.

   Now that the history lesson is over our very first "Guitar" peripheral has been born and seriously stinks. When you open the box angels sing and everything looks super nice and fancy; you have the grip on top, under that you have the DS Cart, a "Phat DS" adapter, a couple of cool sticker sheets, the booklet, and that stupid annoying "Caution Booklet" for retards and house wives. So while all this looks nice and simple you'll spend a good 20 mins figuring out which way to hold the grib right and trying to get the stupid strap on. The "Guitar Grip" goes into the GBA slot (whoops no DSi compatibility I see young Padawan!) and you slip (or smash) your hand under the strap and wrap the tips of your fingers around the back to the four colored buttons. There is a lefty flip and a color flip for people who don't want to melt their brains trying to remember button placement on your grip and the ones on screen...we aren't ALL Jedis you know.

    The problem with the strap is that the velcro was made to hate you and wants to stick to everything even your clothes. The little cushion that the velcro is on must have been folded by a street roller because these things won't stay open. You have to hold the DS with your hand in the strap, undo the velcro, keep it open while you tighten the strap with it's deadly grip, then close the velcro over the loose strap bit. I wonder how they managed contortionism into the design because it didn't work for me and I had to have my sister help me put it on. This thing was a serious pain in the @$$ to get setup and the rest of this trip didn't look fruitful. After finally wrestling the stupid strap on another problem immediately arose: My fingers were to big to fit all four on top of the 3" layout. I have very big hands and I can hold a DS Lite in the palm of my hand, so holding a DS normally is challenging let alone having to use the Death Grip on it for a stupid guitar add on.

    I tried ignoring this since I was really excited to start playing, so I turn the game on and after navigating the menus upside down (I'm left handed) I flipped everything around and I was ready to roll. After checking out the tutorials on how to play the game I started realizing how hard this was going to be since my wrist was bent toward me at a 45 degree angle and I was already getting cramps. You play the game with the "Pick Stylus" that is nice and big and easy to use. You slide it across the touch screen (on a virtual guitar with vibrating strings!) to strum so it really does feel like your picking (I play real guitar just to clarify this). To use the whammy you jump up and down and shout really loudly...ok you don't, but that would be more fun than just scratching the stylus back and forth anywhere on the screen. Star Power is simple or embarrassing depending on your style with either shouts in the mic or just by pressing any face button, BUT this proves impossible since your hand has become a tumor on your DS and you can't even move your thumb to hit the shoulder buttons. Thankfully you can just tap the on screen mic and you can release all your Star Powery delicious goodness to rock & roll victory.

    While those are the simple rules everything else about Guitar Hero is the same and if you haven't played a Guitar Hero yet stop chewing on your Hanna Montana doll and go get one of the 1,200 different games for all 300 systems. There are a few nice additions that aren't in the console Guitar Heros like hmm...NO LOADING!!! Yeah everything is just right there when you touch it (ewww) thanks to the DS's 300 year old cartridge setup. There are new characters, new guitars, and new venues so this makes for a fresh look for Guitar Hero and going from a console game to this feels new and fresh. The only issue with the actual game that you play are the song lists. There are only 25 some songs since the DS can only hold 1GB of data and songs files are big...very big with all the instruments and what not. Another great addition is the fact you can play bass/rhythm in the career or quick play mode. FINALLY!

    So if you get bored with lead go play the instruments no one cares about; either that or you'll get sick of those if you play multiplayer a lot. Yeah, the whole thing where the bigger person gets to play lead or more than just your hand will become the DS's new friend. The multiplayer is super fun and probably the best part about the game, oh wait! I mean the part where you both throw your DS's at each other because you can't hold the stupid thing right! Try playing "pick the plastic out of your friend's eye" and you can even use the pick to do it with. Even with great songs like "One Step Closer-Linkin Park", "crushcrushcrush-Paramore", "Tarantula-Smashing Pumpkins", "Are You Gonna Go My Way-Lenny Kravitz" you just can't get over the stupid retarded grip. I spent a whole hour using it with the strap off, the strap loose, finger tips curled on top, my fingers handing over the edge and pressing with the bottoms of my fingers, I tried 300 different positions and either my hand slipped during the song or I couldn't get my stupid pinky to curl to the blue button!

    The grip is pretty bulky itself and you wind up pushing the grip out of the GBA slot having to restart the whole entire game. While this isn't the only frustrating thing the Practice mode is wrecked since you can't select a play speed. After discovering this I wanted to hurl the game at the wall. If you also haven't noticed your fingers are about 1" apart on a regular guitar controller on here they are about 3 nanometers apart and my fingers kept hitting each other and getting twisted. Now to be fair I had my two sisters try this out and they have different hands (no emails plz!31!@!) One had a smaller shorter hand, one had skinny long fingers. Both of them couldn't get the grip right on the grip and couldn't curl their pinky around to the blue button. Both spent a good 20 minutes on this stupid thing and resulted in a repack and return.

   So, what did we learn here kids? The game is good but the rest sucks. I love the actual game so that would get a B+ (8.5) for me because the game has a great track list, great multiplayer, good sound (yet a bit tinny), and really good looking graphics, but the stupid grip gets an F (2.0) and only 2 because you can put new "decals" inside the plastic thing facing outwards. Oh, and that the pick goes inside the grip so that's convenient. Don't waste your money and stick to the console versions. I'm now going to play Tomb Raider: Underworld I used the return money for. Good day and good luck...


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