Activision has announced that the first installment of the Guitar Hero series will be released on the Nintendo DS later this year.
IGN and Yahoo got the exclusive scoop and have confirmed that Guitar Hero: On Tour is currently in development at Vicarious Visions.
Guitar Hero: On Tour will feature the same rhythm-based game play that has become synonymous with the Guitar Hero franchise. It will also feature the Guitar Grip, a new peripheral that has been developed by Red Octane and which allows players to play chords much like you would on the guitar peripheral of the console versions.
Simply plug the Guitar Grip into the GBA slot on your Nintendo DS, hold the DS vertically and slip your hand into the special strap. Players will use a stylus pick (which can be stored in the peripheral) to strum strings on the DS’s touch screen while pressing the corresponding fret buttons on the Guitar Grip. The microphone of the DS will also come into play although details for this have yet to be revealed.
Modes plus two new characters
“We figured that attaching a full-size guitar or even a mini-guitar would be too awkward to play on the road,” said Karthik Bala, CEO of Vicarious Visions. “Hence the design of the more compact Guitar Grip, which gives you the tactile sense of the fret buttons with the touch screen depicting the strings of the guitar.”
The game’s single player Career Mode will be similar to the console versions with players unlocking venues and outfits as they progress. Over 20 licensed songs will be included in the line-up such as Nirvana, OK Go and No Doubt. While the previous Guitar Hero games have included just four guitarists, two characters have been designed exclusively for the Nintendo DS so DS players will be able to choose from a total of six guitarists to represent them in the game.
On Tour will also feature multiplayer options including co-op and competitive two player options via the DS’s local wireless funtions. The battle mode will be similar to the one in Guitar Hero III, however, it will feature power-ups created exclusively for the DS. Players may need to put out pyrotechnics by blowing into the microphone or sign autographs to get rid of fans sent by an opponent.
Guitar Hero: On Tour will be released across North America this summer. It has not yet been priced.
Activision has since released a press release confirming the details of Guitar Hero: On Tour. The game will feature “the most diverse list of master tracks ever offered in a Guitar Hero game, including classic rock, alternative and pop favorites.”
Designed specifically for the DS, the game will come packaged with the Guitar Hero Guitar Grip peripheral and a Guitar Hero pick-stylus which players will use to strum on the touch screen. It will be “easy-to-play yet difficult to master” like the other Guitar Hero games.
Guitar Hero fans will be able to play in co-op mode using a local wireless network or use new battle items unique to the DS to battle it out in Guitar Duel. The game will feature five unlockable new venues and players can personalize their Guitar Hero experience by choosing the colour of their axe of choice, selecting to play as one of six characters and fitting their guitarist in different styles.
Integrating signature game play with new content and features
“We are continuing to introduce new and exciting ways to bring music to audiences with Guitar Hero,” said Dusty Welch, head of publishing for Activision/RedOctane. “The Guitar Hero Guitar Grip redefines how games can be played on handheld systems and the integration of the microphone and touch screen gameplay on the DS, further illustrates Guitar Hero’s leadership in delivering the most unique and creative quality hardware and software on the market.”
“We’re designing Guitar Hero: On Tour from the ground up to take full advantage of the DS platform by integrating signature gameplay with fresh new content and DS specific features,” said Karthik Bala, CEO of Vicarious Visions. “We’ve taken all of our learnings on the DS platform to date and pushed it to the limits to create a truly innovative Guitar Hero experience.”