Guitar Hero On Tour: Modern Hits review

The biggest change is the setlist, but still a fairly rocking portable shredfest if your wrists survive

GamesRadar+ Verdict


  • +

    Detects your strums better

  • +

    Can play multiplayer with previous two DS GH games

  • +

    Career mode a little better now


  • -

    No DSi support

  • -

    Attachment still crampy

  • -

    Too little evolution from past GH games

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Did you ever go see your favorite band in concert, then see them again six months later and then again six months after that? It doesn’t matter how good or bad they are, that third time simply can’t feel as fresh as the first one. Playing Guitar Hero On Tour: Modern Hits is exactly like that. The third DS Guitar Hero game to be released in the last 12 months, it plays almost identically to the previous two games. If that’s good enough for you, great – if you haven’t bought it already, go for it. You’ll love it. If the first two games had you feeling “meh,” move along – this isn’t anything you need.

In fact, if you have the new Nintendo DSi, Modern Hits isn’t anything you can actually play. At all. Because the game’s special controller attachment plugs into the GBA port of the DS and DS Lite – a port that the DSi doesn’t have – you’re kinda screwed. We’re sure publisher Activision will eventually create some kludge to make the attachment work with the DSi’s existing ports, but so far that hasn’t happened. Sorry. Then again, we still can’t figure out how to hold the damn thing without getting a hand cramp, so maybe it’s time to redesign the whole contraption.

As for the game itself, there are only a few evolutions. You still strum the touch screen and tap color-coded buttons in time with the notes falling onscreen, obviously. The touch sensitivity is a bit better, and career mode is a little more open now – you amass fans by playing a set, then get them to love you more by replaying the songs and achieving specific objectives they set for you, such as using the whammy bar on every sustained note, hitting a 100-note streak, or launching 6 attacks in a duel. This can be tedious at first because you’ll find yourself replaying certain tunes over and over, (it’s also stolen almost completely from the career mode in the mostly heinousGuitar Rock Tour, but it does add longevity over time.

One thing that hasn’t changed, and in a good way, is that you can play wireless multiplayer matches with someone who owns either of the first two Guitar Hero titles on DS, effectively doubling your multiplayer setlist.

That brings us to the biggest change: the 28-song setlist. As you might guess from the title, it’s more current music than previous GH setlists have been:

12 Stones - "Adrenalin"
AFI - "Miss Murder"
Angels & Airwaves - "Call to Arms"
Atreyu - "Falling Down"
Black Tide - "Shockwave"
The Bravery – “Unconditional”
Coldplay - "Violet Hill"
The Donnas – “What Do I Have to Do”
The Duke Spirit – “Lassoo”
Endeverafter - "I Wanna Be Your Man"
Evanescence - "Sweet Sacrifice"
Fall Out Boy - "This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race"
Finger Eleven - "Paralyzer"
Foo Fighters - "All My Life"
Franz Ferdinand - "The Fallen"
The Fratellis – “Chelsea Dagger”
Kaiser Chiefs - "Ruby"
The Kooks – “Always Where I Need to Be”
Lenny Kravitz - "Where Are We Runnin'?"
Modest Mouse - "Dashboard"
The Offspring - "Half-Truism"
Phantom Planet - "Do The Panic"
The Strokes - "Reptilia"
Sum 41 - "Still Waiting"
Tenacious D - "The Metal"
Weezer - "Everybody Get Dangerous"
Wolfmother - "Dimension"
Yellowcard - "Lights and Sounds"

In the absence of added downloadable songs (or any other big gameplay tweaks), it’s this setlist that will really make or break the game for potential buyers. After all, when you’ve seen a band in concert twice already in a year, it’s probably the new songs that are going to make a third ticket worth the price.

Jun 29, 2009

More info

DescriptionMore of the same in the portable version of the long-standing slightly-more-than-air-guitar simulation. If that's enough for you, rock on. We'll be over here icing our wrists.
Franchise nameGuitar Hero
UK franchise nameGuitar Hero
US censor rating"Everyone 10+"
UK censor rating"3+"
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)