Guitar Hero: On Tour Decades

White Stripes man slags off music games

Led Zeppelin not big fans either.

Rocker Jack White, who recently signed a deal for his songs to appear in the new Guitar Hero game, has complained about kids playing Guitar Hero games.

Prince turned down Guitar Hero deal

Wants kids to learn to play the real thing.

Prince has said he turned down a deal to put his songs in Guitar Hero. (That's the artist formerly known as the funny symbol thing Prince, not the one who talks to plants or the one who likes to dress up as Nazis or the one who's a massive racist.)

Guitar Hero: On Tour Decades

Guitar Hero: On Tour Decades

Stringing it out.

Last summer, the moment no one but Activision's accountants had been waiting for finally arrived: Guitar Hero made its debut on DS. As you'll know if you read Tom's review, the transition wasn't altogether successful. An uncomfortable control system, limited song choice and poor audio quality resulted in one of the weakest instalments to date. But Guitar Hero: On Tour still sold well thanks to the strength of the brand, and the fact you couldn't illegally download the requisite peripheral.

Here comes the sequel, then, just a few months later. Not much has changed. Even the title's the same, apart from the extra word stuck on the end. The guitar grip peripheral hasn't undergone any kind of redesign, which is bad news for those who found it painful to use the first time around. Personally I've never had too much trouble, but then I have delicately tapering ladyfingers (or terrifying skeletal witchclaws, whichever you prefer). I can't say I've experienced the problem of the grip slipping out of the GBA slot during play, either, perhaps because I've got one of the newer DS units, or perhaps because I'm special.

Once again, you hold the DS like a book and notes scroll vertically down the top screen. You grip the special pick stylus in your other hand and strum away on the touch-screen. Rubbing it back and forth activates the whammy bar in a strangely satisfying way. To trigger Star Power you blow or shout into the microphone (the manual says you have to shout "Rock out" but other phrases appear to be just as effective, which should please those with any dignity at all).

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Guitar Hero outsells Rock Band in US

Guitar Hero outsells Rock Band in US

But gap narrows as music games decline.

Investment analyst Ben Schachter of UBS has been poring over the sales figures of Guitar Hero and Rock Band in the US, and has found that the Activision Blizzard series outsold the EA games by over a million copies in November.

The picture isn't quite as clear-cut as it seems, though. Schachter - as quoted by GameSpot - found that Guitar Hero sales are in decline compared to last year, while Rock Band's are increasing sharply. Overall, the huge US market for music games created by the original Guitar Hero seems to be in decline.

Over 1.7 million Guitar Hero games of all versions and formats were sold in the US in November, of which 978,000 were copies of the latest version, Guitar Hero World Tour. This compares with 628,452 copies of Rock Band and Rock Band 2.

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Nickelback singer slams Guitar Hero

Tells "kids" to pick up a real instrument.

Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger has taken a pop at Guitar Hero, saying players would be better off learning a real instrument.

Guitar Hero On Tour: Decades track list

Second DS instalment out next month.

Activision has unveiled the track listing for Guitar Hero On Tour: Decades, the second DS instalment in the plastic-hammering rhythm-action series.