May 14, 2009 (Updated May 18, 2009)
Review by eyoshimitsu
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Full band, lots of replay value, wide selection (genres) of music
Cons:Maybe too many genres of music, Beginner Level?
The Bottom Line: Well constructed pieces, great online play, hours and hours of replay value.
Just one more song...Is what has been heard since getting GH:WT.
Recommend this product?
What is GH:WT? In the genre of games called rhythm games, the player simulates playing a guitar, drums, or singing (karaoke style) to cues given by the game, much like playing simon says. WT is unique among the GH series of games in that it has added drums and vocals to an otherwise guitar exclusive game. Additionally they have added new songs, too.
First, what's in the box: You get the new WT guitar controller (more about that later), a microphone, and the drum kit (3 heads, 2 cymbals) with drum sticks and foot pedal. Let's not forget the game itself.
The WT Guitar controller: very similar to previous controllers. For those unfamiliar with GH controllers, they are a plastic sized down guitar; the neck and body snap together. I find the fret button action to be smooth and responsive. I especially like the yellow button ridge so you can feel that you're on yellow. Additionally there is now a slider bar on the neck which is used for special sections of songs. Star power activation was (to my understanding) previously only managed through a "power tilt", but with the new controller, can be activated by pressing a "pick up" button near the strum bar. Speaking of the strum bar, I have a second after market controller. The GHWT controller's strum bar is approx 3" wide and has a smooth operation with quick responses; compared to the after market unit that has a shorter (2") strum bar with a friction ridden, poor response unit. Of the two, I much prefer the Red Octane (OEM) controller.
Drum kit: The drum kit has three pads, two cymbal pads, and a foot pedal. The set comes with sticks. The kit comes with legs which can be adjusted for height. The cymbals can also be height adjusted; they can be lower and closer to the drum pads or raised away from the pads as might suit the player. The entire kit can be mounted on the included legs or be placed on a table top. The pads seem quiet, but never having had drums or drum pads before it is difficult to know what is quiet or loud as far as pads go. However, I will say they are louder than simply playing the guitar. While you're unlikely to be playing this game with the sound turned down low enough to hear the pads, quiet pads may or may not be important to you.
Microphone: Unlike the other pieces which can be used wirelessly (you must attach a wii remote in order to use them), the microphone must be plugged into your Wii console. You then use a Wii remote with nunchuck to navigate menu screens. While I haven't used the microphone as much as the other pieces, it seems to be of hardy construction. I believe it to be relatively sensitive, but I have not come across a calibrating screen. Similar to singing in Karaoke, in my opinion: the shy need not apply. Singing requires the player to hit correct tones on cue. It helps to know the words, but they aren't required. Tones and length of sustain are more important.
Game play: Getting Started: I like that it has tutorials to get you started. Although, I feel that sometimes, you'll need to get online and join forums just to get the inside skinny on special features of the game. However, the the most part the game will walk you through the basic play of the game. It provides lessons on some advanced play of the game as well. The game has 5 levels; however, I feel that the Beginner level is useless even as starting point. Playing with the guitar, the basic idea is to hit the correct set of fret buttons and the strum bar when cued to do so. However, at the Beginner Level, on needs only to strum, but use no frets. Similarly, with drums at the Beginner Level, on hits any pad on cue. Singing, one only needs to make noise into the mic when cued. I feel that Easy is a better place to start and that Beginner could have been left out of the game completely. It is the difficulty levels Beginner, Easy, Medium, Hard, and Expert which gives the game its replay value.
Career Mode v. Quickplay Mode: Songs are arranged in sets called Gigs. In Career Mode, you unlock songs through the successful completion of gigs. Quickplay allows players to select the songs they wish to play in any order; however you are limited to 6 songs in a gig.
Head to Head: Allows players to compete against one another.
Band Cooperative Mode: Allows players to take different roles (Guitar, Bass, Drums, and Vocals) to performs gigs in Career or Quickplay modes. Players can have the same or different difficulty settings. However, in Band Mode, if one player fails the song, the Band fails the song.
Network: Players can play online in both Head to Head or Cooperative Band modes. I like this feature; however, I haven't found a way to join the same players again at another time. I like this feature because it's nice to play this game with others, even when I'm home by myself.
The Songs: I feel they attempted to include a wide variety of songs to appeal to the widest audience possible in an attempt be make this a family game. As an example Willie Nelson's "On the Road Again" is on the set list as well as Ozzie Osbourne's "Crazy Train." Jimi Hendrix also makes an appearance. I personally don't care for all of the songs, but I have found that I liked or fell in love with some songs I had never heard before. In some ways, the game seems to be a marketing ploy for the artists, but I digress. If your taste in music is narrow, you may find GHWT does not have enough songs in the genre of your liking. Fortunately, there are other GH games which have more focused genre set lists. IE: GH: Aerosmith, GH: Metallica, and just recently announced GH: Van Halen.
Graphics: During play I find that I'm afflicted with tunnelvision as I can only focus on the "highway" and have difficulty focusing on the animation of the rest of the screen. However, when I've watched DW play, I find that figures are more like puppets that move in limited patterns with pieces that don't quite fit properly. Don't get me started on the cold dead eyes. (Although, Jimi looks fine) Since I'm not playing the game for the graphics (GASP - I know that's blaspheme) I don't find it to be a "deal breaker." It may be for you if graphics and animation are what you are looking for in a rhythm game.
Some neat stuff: They motion captured some big names in the music biz, like Ozzie, Sting, Ted, and others. It's fun to watch them do their thing on stage.
If you were looking for a comparo, I'm sorry you've been disappointed. I don't have it's major competitor nor do I have any of the preceding GH games.
Last words: I find it to have lots of replay value. I can challenge myself with the more difficult songs and I can move up to higher difficulty levels. And when you think you've mastered every song on every level, you can add upto 5 settings of "hyperspeed." And then sometimes I like to just play the songs I really like, just because I they are my favorites.
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