Released about five months after the original On Tour, Decades is pretty much the same game–just with a much better soundtrack.
Since both games are essentially the same, there is no need to go into detail again (click here to read the first review). All the problems that were in the first game made its way back into this version (hand cramping, lack on online WiFi leaderboards, the fret board is easily dislodged, no purchasable/unlockable extra songs), but a few new minor enhancements do make this game a little more enjoyable than the original.
First, when Star Power is activated, the crowd now claps and cheers along. This sounds like a minor detail, but it does increase the audio quality and “rockstar” feel to the game. Secondly, Decades has a much better overall soundtrack. Instead of the rehashed poppy tunes of the original, gamers can now jam to bands like Seether, The Smashing Pumpkins, Blind Melon, REM, and Stone Temple Pilots. Even the soundtracks through the 70’s and 80’s are well done. Finally, the player now has the option to play through every song by playing lead guitar, bass, and duel mode. Although this is artificially adding more content to the game, it does increase replay value.
Although there is no WiFi mode, the developers made a pretty unique local wireless link mode. It is possible to stream any song from Guitar Hero: On Tour to a player with Guitar Hero: On Tour Decades (and vise-versa). This means that DS Guitar Hero fans can jam to a soundtrack of over 50 songs with both co-op and vs. mode available. IT may not be as cool as Downloadable Content, but it does the best it can with the songs that are available. While there is no single card link mode, having the ability to link up with any version of the game is a great feature to have and makes it worthwhile to find a buddy with a copy of the game.
The final score from between Guitar Hero: On Tour and Guitar Hero: On Tour Decades is pretty close, but Decades is the clear winner. With a much more enjoyable song list and minor enhances lightly sprinkled throughout the game (there is even a new “about” feature with gives more details about each song/band and even gives a background about all unlockable guitars), be sure to choose Decades if you have to make a decision between the two versions.
It sucks that both Guitar Heroes for DS will be incompatible with the upcoming DSi system due to the lack of the GBA Slot, so be sure to play these games now on your DS Lite. Activision has even started to bundle both games together, with one fret board, for one lower price. If you are interested in rocking out on your DS, that double pack might not be a bad idea.