The Guitar Hero tour continues on the Nintendo DS with Modern Hits. Fans of the handheld adaption of Guitar Hero will likely embrace the new changes while getting a pile of new, more modern tunes to jam out with.

It not surprising that RedOctane and Activision are following up with the On Tour series for the Nintendo DS. Last year’s double dose of palm rocking was one of most entertaining releases for the DS. Besides the normal Guitar Hero formula On Tour owes thanks to the innovative GuitarGrip peripheral and the DS’s unique touch controls. You could even argue that the DS version is as fun, or even more exciting then the normal guitar shredding in GH:World Tour, and that's we we are so happy to jump back into the the tour in Modern Hits.

With a new Guitar Hero game, obviously comes a new batch in songs. In this installment, Vicarious Visions hits up the last five years of chart-hits from the rock world. Modern Hits, is just that, a bunch of Modern Hits. A few of the artists are you main staples like Coldplay, Foo Fighters, and Franz Ferdinand and then you have some outside players like The Bravery, The Kooks and even Tenacious D. From rocking pop-rock in “Everybody Get Dangerous” to a more classic rock style “Where Are We Runnin”, Modern Hits should be able to strike a right chord even if you are unfamiliar with half the selection. For a closer look here is the full set list in Modern Hits.

  • 12 Stones - "Adrenalin"
  • AFI - "Miss Murder"
  • Angels & Airwaves - "Call to Arms"
  • Atreyu - "Falling Down"
  • Black Tide - "Shockwave"
  • Coldplay - "Violet Hill"
  • 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"
  • Kaiser Chiefs - "Ruby"
  • Lenny Kravitz - "Where Are We Runnin'"
  • Modest Mouse - "Dashboard"
  • Phantom Planet - "Do The Panic"
  • Sum 41 - "Still Waiting"
  • Tenacious D - "The Metal"
  • The Bravery - "Unconditional"
  • The Donnas - "What Do I Have to Do"
  • The Duke Spirit - "Lassoo"
  • The Fratellis - "Chelsea Dagger"
  • The Kooks - "Always Where I Need to Be"
  • The Offspring - "Half-Truism"
  • The Strokes - "Reptilia"
  • Weezer - "Everybody Get Dangerous"
  • Wolfmother - "Dimension"
  • Yellowcard - "Lights and Sounds"

In the unlikely chance you haven’t played a Guitar Hero game in the past, the On Tour franchise is a perfect place to start. Sure, it might NOT include a big plastic guitar, but the guitar-grip does a wonderful job of making the player feel like a real guitarist. Don’t expect to jump on the guitar and throw out some Eric Clapton-esq solos, but it will help you feel what it is kind of like if you did play a six-string noise maker. For the readers that are guitar players already, the Guitar-Grip is not only providing escapism into fake-guitar playing, but it will help you finger strength, coordination and timing for the real deal.

In Modern Hits you’ll create your band, select your rock n’ roll alter-ego and head into the music. Like other Guitar Hero titles you’ll be able to upgrade your wardrobe, purchase new instruments and select pretty much exactly how you want to be perceived. In the Career you’ll aim to become a rock legend which involves starting at the bottom, the opening act right up to headlining your own shows.

Being a Guitar Hero rock icon requires you to play shows work with the new PDA interface that allows you to keep track of your fan base in order to build your own Kiss-Army, and of course there is advice from the corporate snakes, the other, unfun side of the industry. Fans can put in requests and as proper rock-gods in training, it’s your duty to give them what they want. Rocking out for the fans provides a new challenges for the player, even if its gets a little old after a while. Like all Guitar Hero games, once you’ve mastered a song, or have grown bored with its arrangements, the game looses a lot of luster. All in all that’s not vicarious fault and in the overall picture, Guitar Hero: On Tour has an enormous amount of value.

Modern Hits also supports multiplayer which is even more fun then running through the career mode. Firing up co-op partnerships, or battling it would in the battle mode is a good for a laugh. For those who haven’t played On Tour, this can involve yelling into the DS, or even blowing out of a fire on your axe. The portable nature of the DS makes multiplayer extremely convenient and more fun when staring your opponent, or band-mate in the eyes. I can’t think of a better non-violent game for kids to enjoy in multiplayer.

One huge execution to the Modern Hits is that you can only enjoy it on a Nintendo DS, or DS Lite, because for some odd reason Activision hasn’t pushed to get Modern Hits to work on the Nintendo DSi. This goes for all the On Tour games. I think Activision owes a big sorry to all those new DSi adapters who are looking forward to the franchise running on the new hardware. DSi owners are in the minority, but its still a shame they didn’t hold of on releasing Modern Hits until the could figure out the problem. Other then that, Modern Hits is on fire and has no major issues to report.

Guitar Hero On Tour: Modern Hits is made for the Guitar Hero fan. Don’t be mistaken by the small handheld's power to rock, the Nintendo DS and its On TOUR series rocks loud and proud, and with a brash new line-up of songs and some new features, Modern Hits provides enough star power to get our recommendation. If you’ve enjoyed a Guitar Hero game in the past then I urge you to look into the latest addition to the rock n’ roll family.

Gameplay:8.0, Graphics:8.0, Sound:9.0, Innovation:7.0, Mojo:8.0 Final: 8.0 / 10

Reviewed by Downtown Jimmy | 06.24.08
  • Solid gameplay remains untouched
  • New tracks to jam out with
  • Inclusion of fans into the franchise
  • More focused on Modern music
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Doesn’t work on the DSi
  • Graphics still deliver, but could use more polish
  • More of the same "unchanged" Guitar Hero action

Guitar Hero On Tour
Modern Hits

Vicarious Visions
Released (US)
June '09