Guitar Rock Tour (DSiWare)

Game Review

Guitar Rock Tour Review

Europe PAL Version

Posted by Adam

All the right notes, just not in the right order.

Guitar Rock Tour is a rerelease of the game of the same name we saw on Nintendo DS late last year. The game falls into the genre of games such as Guitar Hero and Rock Band, albeit on somewhat of a budget. There are fifteen tracks to tap along to and two modes of play over three levels of difficulty.

Both the original game and the Nintendo DSi release do not require any peripheral add-ons and therefore are played with the stylus or, in the case of the drums, with the shoulder buttons. This of course impinges on what makes some of the other games in the genre so much fun, however stylus input works reasonably well. Players familiar with this type of game will know the drill already - coloured “notes” descend down the bottom screen and the player is required to tap said notes in time with the beat.

As there are three difficulty levels available there is quite a lot of scope for meeting the needs of individual players, and for those who are musically challenged Easy mode really is very easy, at times almost mind-numbingly so. Medium difficulty should suit most players and Hard mode is understandably pretty challenging as many note combinations appear on screen at once. For making successful strings of notes players are rewarded with power ups that can increase the player’s score or wipe the screen of all notes.

There are two modes of play available: Quick Play and Career Mode. Quick Play is pretty self-explanatory: at the start of the game only two songs are available to be played in Quick Play, and the rest have to be unlocked by progressing through Career Mode. Career Mode has a simple back-story which involves the rise to fame of the player and his or her travels around different world venues, claiming fans in various cities such as Los Angeles and Tokyo. There are a few avatars to choose from for the main character, although a character creation option would have been nice. New tracks are introduced in each city in career mode and each stage requires progressively more tracks to be completed. Many tracks are repeated due to the game’s rather miniscule repertoire of songs and this is perhaps the game’s main fault – with only 15 songs to choose from the game can quickly become rather dull.

Throughout the game it is possible to unlock awards for completing various feats such as completing a 200-note streak. These awards are recorded in a special menu, although there is little incentive to gain these as other than the award itself no other extras are unlocked. Like past releases from Gameloft on Nintendo DSi the game makes some use of the DSi camera by asking the player to pose for magazine covers and press releases. While these photos have little purpose it’s a fun add on and Gameloft has to be applauded for trying to make use of the DSi hardware.

The visuals in the game are pretty decent and while the rendering of the game’s characters on the top screen isn't exactly crystal clear, due to the nature of the game the player is unlikely to be paying too much attention to them anyway. The menus are animated quite nicely and the cartoonish art style of the player and his band mates during “cut-scenes” is quite pleasing.

Perhaps the game’s main shortcoming is the most important factor in a game such as this: the music itself. Unlike the physical release of the game, the DSi version does not feature any vocals on any of the tracks, and making the in-game music feel somewhat like cheap karaoke tracks. Certain tracks don’t sound too bad but vocal intensive tracks sound pretty laughable when replaced by an off-key honky-tonk piano. The sheer lack of variety also makes the game become quickly repetitive, and before the end of Career Mode the player has pretty much heard all the game has to offer. On the other hand however, the three difficulty levels do give the game an extra level of depth and in this way tracks can be experienced again at different difficulty levels. The option to play songs either on guitar or drums also adds an extra element to the game, however the drums are quite frankly boring: with only three buttons to be pressed the player really isn’t challenged too hard.


Overall Guitar Rock Tour isn’t a bad attempt at emulating the feel of similar games in the genre, and for the asking price the game really is quite a bargain. For an hour or so the game is a good way to pass the time, but it’s unlikely that after this initial “honeymoon period” the player will go back looking for more than a 5 minute session. This is due to the lack of choice in music and indeed the rather cringy, scaled down representations of many popular songs.

For owners of similar games it’s perhaps best to stay clear of this as you can only be let down by the “bargain bucket” nature of the title. For first timers this may just be the perfect introduction to the genre and for a mere 500 points Gameloft is really just giving it away!

From the web

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User Comments (29)



Sephariel said:

its a good game for 500 points, im enjoying it (especialy the drums)
Ps: nice review



KnucklesSonic8 said:

Very "to-the-point". I like that about the reviewer. Been noticing it over a couple of his reviews.

Too bad about the music, though. But for 500 Points, it's awfully tempting.



thaneds said:

it's a stop and think game, not worth it unless you kept your original points



Kirigirisu said:

Pop Superstar also had vocals in the mini-games, even if the vocals were sometimes a little whiny they were still there!



Kawaiipikachu said:

Well i got the iPod touch version which includes vocals .
Its fun but not the same as Guitar Hero .



Hardy83 said:

It's clear the issue was simply the DSiWares size limit.
Pop Superstar had vocals, but it also only had 3 songs.

This one has 15, and for them to include vocals would just be too big for a 40MB limit, so I guess as a design choice, they went with Midi, which probably would've let them add more songs, but whatever. It's only $5 when the original DS game still runs around $15-20 Canadian.



Homer_Simpson said:

Actually, I believe DSiWare has a 20 MB limit....which is just ridiculous. You thought Nintendo would have learnt their lesson from Wii.



FATEM said:

The lack vocals killed it for me so I'm going to pay around $30 for the original.




This is best to play on the Wii surely? I've played World Tour and Rock Band 2 (but don't own them). Both are excellent. I can't imagine having the same sort of fun on the DS.

It requires the Gameboy slot to play the Guitar Hero retail game on the DS. This is missing on the DSi so this may be the future of GH on the DSi(?)



Hardy83 said:

Oh the size limit for DSiWare games is 20MB? I stand corrected. I never was able to find clarification on the size limites for DSiWare games anywhere.



Pablo17 said:

In the USA, the DS retail version of this has been available at Gamestop for $7.99 for months. I am guessing these are pretty much the same game.



Matthew1 said:

As soon as I get 500 points I'm going to get this, the lack of songs doesn't really bother me as I'm not a music love but it looks like a good way to get introduced to this genre.



Hardy83 said:

Not all the games on DSiWare are "rubbish". Some are in fact, REALLY good... However, overall, I'm extremely dissapointed with DSiWare as a whole. Not with the apps, but just how it works in general and other limitations of it, along with WiiWre.



WeeGee said:

Wow, this is surprising! Your complaining that this game only has 15 songs when Popstar only has 3, and you gave that an 8! And this one is cheaper!



Macaronius said:

actually homer simpson
its double that and thats not even the limit
its just the average



metal said:

Honestly it's not a great game. I guess it was cool for maybe 2 days, but it got boring real fast. A very poor list of songs combined with a rather dumb gameplay style, it's really not worth buying.

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