Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Modern Rock!

There's no doubt that Mom Central is full of cool Moms--they've teamed up for a blog tour with Activision's Guitar Hero on Tour: Modern Hits for the DS.

You may remember that I recommended Guitar Hero on Tour: Decades in our Holiday Gift Guide. Well, this latest version of the Guitar Hero series not only doesn't disappoint, it delivers even more fun with 28 master tracks from influential artists including Coldplay, Fall Out Boy, Tenacious D, The Strokes and Weezer and LOTS of new multiplayer options.

I am hardly, by the way, a Guitar Hero myself. I've played the games, and I'd say I stack up more as a Guitar Goat. Or possibly a roadie.

But despite my lack of hand-and-eye coordination (or any musical talent whatsoever), I had lots of fun playing Guitar Hero On Tour: Modern Hits on the DS.

I worked my way through the "Opening Act" songs and I'm ready to become a big star--if only I DON'T play against my (much more talented) kids.

I do find the DS interface a little more challenging than the console version of the game. It's very well-designed, in that it comes with a special attachment that allows you to "play" the notes with one hand while strumming your stylus on the DS with with the other. If, you know, you're coordinated.

I'm left-handed, and the game even offers an option for us that allows us to switch the screen around completely and even flip the colors of the notes so that it is left-hand friendly.

Even so, it's a bit of a stretch to get my fingers around and push down the color-coded buttons. And my fingers are pretty long.

I found it easiest to work with the DS not completely "open", so that my fingers can wrap around but I can still work the stylus with the other hand and see the screen fully. I was able to play pretty well this way, meaning that I can get "Star Power" on the first few songs and even get the audience (obviously not too picky) behind me.

My kids can generally get 100% through a whole song, but I am challenging myself to reach a 90% level once I'm past the easy intro music.

GHOT: Modern Hits
doesn't stop with just challenging yourself, though. I'm really impressed, as someone who likes to game and really values repeat playability (which may be a term I just invented, but you know what I mean), with how many multiplayer options this game has.

First off, there's Face Off, which lets players each choose specially designed guitar tracks and play head-to-head, each with their own personal difficulty level chosen. This works well when one player (me) is not as advanced as another player (my kids).

Then there's Pro Face Off, which has the players go head-to-head with the same track, and the same difficulty level.

But it doesn't stop there, and this is what really makes GTOH: Modern Hits rock, to me.

Players can opt for Co-Op multiplayer, where they play a song together, one player taking the lead guitar and the other playing Bass or Rhythm.

Or they can have a Guitar Duel, which is really fun. Players pick up "battle items" as they play, like broken strings and dud notes (bombs), which they can send to the other player to mess them up! Hilarity ensues. At least when I play, anyway. Broken strings freak me out so much I just fall completely apart. This option had me laughing out loud.

Finally, if one player has the older GHOT: Decades and the other has the newer GHOT: Modern Hits, they can use the multiplayer capability for Song Sharing, sending approved songs to each other!

If you can find the right fit for your hand and really get to rockin' with the DS, I highly recommend Guitar Hero on Tour: Modern Hits for parents, tweens and teens to all play against each other. If you, ahem, listened to my recommendations last year, you'll already have Guitar Hero on Tour: Decades, and you can all play against each other!

My take: Guitar Hero on Tour: Modern Hits is a Must-have for your DS games collection!

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