Guitar Hero continues their Nintendo DS tour with On Tour: Decades. Unleashing more tunes for you to grip and rock with, Decades starts with the classics and rocks it up to the current line-up of hits with artists like Free, Lenny Kravits and The Darkness. Fans of the original Guitar Hero, and the portable edition should check out the second portable entry to guitar heaven.

Guitar Hero: On Tour – Decades comes only five months after the Guitar Hero franchise invaded the Nintendo DS for the first time. This makes Decades more of an expansion pack rather than full fledged sequel. This is fine for gamers who loved the original DS hit and wanted more songs to jam along with. Decades gives the player more options to rock with a set list of new tunes along with new venues.

For those who aren’t familiar with the Guitar Hero on the DS it is basically a one handed version of Guitar Hero. Minus one fret you will strum away on the motion sensitive DS screen while you match the fret colours with your hand. The games ships with a grip which fits into the Nintendo DS and comfortably lets you rock away on the go. For a more in depth review on the game mechanics you can check out our review on Guitar Hero: On Tour which received high praise at Extreme Gamer. The Guitar Hero franchise is a wonderful alternative to everything else on the market which is even more predominant on the Nintendo DS.

The gameplay hasn’t been touched in Decades making it super accessible to any gamer that has played a Guitar Hero game in the past. The features that Decades can boast about is a bigger versus and co-op multiplayer section with new attacks that are exclusive to the DS. The coolest thing about this is that you can hook up two games and play through each others library of tunes, meaning a friend with On Tour could hook up and play the tunes off Decades and vice versa.

The 28 songs that rock out in Decades isn’t totally focused on one genre, or one decade of music. The music spans from the 1970s all the way to the 2000s. Here is the set list from Guitar Hero: On Tour – Decades. Most of these songs fall into normal Guitar Hero territory; however it is good to see the variety in the tracks Activision selected for Decades.

  • Alien Ant Farm - "Smooth Criminal"
  • The All-American Rejects - "Dirty Little Secret"
  • Blind Melon - "No Rain"
  • Blondie - "One Way Or Another"
  • Bon Jovi - "You Give Love A Bad Name"
  • Boston - "Rock and Roll Band"
  • The Darkness - "Thing Called Love"
  • Edgar Winter Group - "Free Ride"
  • Fall Out Boy - "Take Over, Breaks Over"
  • R.E.M. - "The One I Love"
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers - "Can't Stop"
  • Sammy Hagar - "I Can't Drive 55"
  • Seether - "Remedy"
  • Smashing Pumpkins - "Tarantula"
  • Stone Temple Pilots - "Down"
  • Veruca Salt - "Volcano Girls"
  • Weezer - "Buddy Holly"
  • Foo Fighters - "The Pretender"
  • Free - "All Right Now"
  • Jimmy Eat World - "The Middle"
  • Joe Satriani - "Satch Boogie"
  • Journey - "Any Way You Want It"
  • Lenny Kravitz - "Are You Gonna Go My Way"
  • Linkin Park - "One Step Closer"
  • Los Lobos - "La Bamba"
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd - "Sweet Home Alabama (live)"
  • Paramore - "Crushcrushcrush"
  • Queen - "We Are The Champions"

Playing the career mode will take you through the typical Guitar Hero set-up with each level being associated with a decade. You have to complete the songs before you can move with encores and new venues to unlock. Cash that you earn from gigs can be spent on anything you wish including new digs, custom guitar paint jobs and new guitars. If your have some guitar skills you be able to unlock the plethora of guitars that Vicarious Visions has stored away. Beating the storyline on expert, earning stars, and winning guitar duels will unlock these guitars which include creative numbers like Crimson Mythology, Peace Strummers, and Rockcycler. In total there are over 30 guitars to acquire, so string up and get rocking.

On Tour is a stripped down version of the big console version of the game in every way. If you haven’t been a fan of the Guitar Hero in the past, On Tour is slightly different, but not different enough to change you thoughts on the game. The sad part about Decades is that it isn’t focused enough in one decade. I think a 1970s version of the game would be a great alternative to this mixed batch of potatoes. This could milk the series for a few more games jumping up through the generations. Each decade has so much good music its disappointing when you start to rock out and then have to jump ahead. Queen and Seether are not the same cup of tea, if you know what I mean.

Guitar Hero: On Tour – Decades gives more enjoyment out of the portable version of Guitar Hero. The cross-connectivity and new content should be enough warrant a second pick up, however the leap between the two version is minor. For all those who haven’t tried On Tour, Decades, or the original game are worth checking out.  Guitar Hero: On Tour - Decades is available as a stand alone game, or bundled with Guitar Grip controller. Since the holiday season is upon us, Decades is the perfect gift for Nintendo DS owners. Decades might not have the impact as On Tour did originally, but it is still worth checking out.

Gameplay:9, Graphics:8, Sound:8, Innovation:8, Mojo:8. Final: 8.2 / 10

Reviewed by Downtown Jimmy | 12.03.08
  • Same solid gameplay
  • Purchase game as a bundle or single
  • New Songs covering multiple decades
  • Share the music connectivity
  • More bonus content
  • Still lots of fun, and a perfect holiday gift item
  • Not too different from On Tour
  • Short time span between both versions
  • More of the same, don’t expect new gamers

Guitar Hero: On Tour Decades

Vicarious Visions
Released (US)
November '08