When you've got a game as compelling and competitive as Guitar Hero World Tour, you get it on as many platforms as you can as fast as you can, including the mobile phone. On Thursday, the mobile version of Guitar Hero World Tour became available on AT&T phones. We got to try it out.
On the PlayStation, Wii, and Xbox, this fourth Guitar Hero installment counters Rock Band's drum and vocal tracks, which themselves had one-upped Guitar Hero's original stringed instrument. Vocals aren't practical for the mobile version--which still rocks, by the way--but a drum track is. Activision and game-maker Hands-On Mobile have introduced a drum choice for every song.
There's a lot more news here--the updated game, which has a new look and two fresh game-playing features (can you say "battle mode"?). There are also technical details that could make a difference to how the game looks and sounds on your individual phone. Finally, there's all the practical stuff about when your carrier will stock the game and how much it'll cost you. Let's take one at a time.
Anyone who has played Guitar Hero III Mobile (video review) will feel right at home with Guitar Hero World Tour Mobile, which begins with fifteen new songs for guitar and drums, and which uses the phone's keypad buttons instead of guitar frets. When it comes to customization, you drummers out there are an afterthought--guitarists can choose their instrument, but not you. Also, when you're playing drums, the bottom row of keys (7, 8, 9) stand in for the kick-drum, which is represented in the game by a horizontal purple line that floats at you along with the notes. I played several songs in the drummer's mode, where the kick-drum line helped keep the game interesting.
Also new to the mobile game is the multiplayer battle mode, where Hands-On Mobile has created a good way to pair you up with similar players all over the world. You'll be matched by skill level and by phone type (more on this below.) You'll divvy up picking a song and the instrument, and will have to use your star power strategically (called battle power in this mode) to keep your opponent from scoring. After playing, it'll be easy to track your score from the accompanying Web site (launching Friday). This is neat, but what if you want to play your friend? You should be able to duke it out with personal pals as well as with perfect strangers.… Read more