The box art for Guitar Rock Tour is deceptively informative. You see a dark-haired girl in a tie and miniskirt playing a guitar, and a nondescript dude banging on the drums. And guess what? You’ll be playing either drums or guitar in this rhythm action game, and that girl is the default character in Quick Play mode. Simple, no? Femophobes shouldn’t worry, though: there are five other characters you can use as well (they’re in career mode), and some of them are mens.
The question thus becomes, “are you a drummer or a guitarist”? That’s important too, because it’ll have a big impact on how you enjoy the game. Neither is instrument is perfect, but we did find one to be better realized than the other.
We’ll start with guitar. Have you played Guitar Hero on Tour for the DS, holding the DS sideways like a book and using the wild attachable buttons? Well, forget about that. Guitar Rock Tour keeps the DS horizontal as God intended, and draws you six buttons across the bottom screen to tap, swipe (for chords), or hold down with the stylus, depending upon what colored gems slide down the rails.
The top screen just shows your band playing, so you can ignore it. You may want to tap the d-pad left or right now and then, though – that’s how you trigger your bonus power (the usual score multiplier) or your special power: a wash of flame that streams up the note grid, burning away every note currently onscreen. It’s a nice way to get out of trouble if you’ve lost your place.