Guitar Legend: Get On Stage!
Finally, a way to play some decent music on your cell phone without using embarrassing dial tones.
It had to happen. It just did. Someone saw the success of RedOctane's Guitar Hero franchise and opted to make it work on a portable front. But we're not just talking about Ubisoft's forthcoming DS game Jam Sessions. No, Gameloft, of all people, has a little something to offer to the cell phone community as well. That something is Guitar Legend, a game that proves that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. That's because the format, along with a few of the songs, clearly belong to Guitar Hero II. It almost resembles it closely enough that it might make RedOctane's legal team grumble in anticipation of a lawsuit.
Instead of using a huge, plasticky guitar to play these riffs, you have to use buttons on your cell phone. It does take a little getting used to at first, but the format works about the same. You have to hit the coordinating buttons on the phone to execute the notes, something that becomes tricky with harder versions that come down the line. Some notes have to be hit together, while others require a bit more concentration and hold time in order to keep the charge-up meter filling. Once full, players merely activate it by hitting a button and rocking out, multiplying their point count.
The interface closely resembles that of Hero, with a scrolling playfield separated into five columns for each of the buttons. Easier difficulty only requires a small portion of them, while harder settings require all five. The game does become challenging with each of the songs included here, such as Nirvana's "Heart Shaped Box" and The Police's "Message In a Bottle". It's not the most expansive song list ever conceived -- nor the most original, as most of these songs were taken from previous Hero games. Nevertheless, they sound pretty good here, complete with convincing guitar work to make you feel like you're part of the game, instead of watching from the sidelines.
Guitar Legend does feel off when you consider the lack of a solid guitar peripheral. The inability to download new songs doesn't help either, leaving you stuck with the numbers already put into the game. The button interface requires some patience as well, especially with the frets. Nonetheless, Gameloft has done a serviceable job cramming the guitar experience into your cell phone, giving you something to play until you get home and jam out on the real thing. How it'll hold up in comparison to Jam Sessions is another story, but, for now, this Legend deserves a few props, if not full-blown applause.
What's Hot: Looks and plays great, considering it's just a Guitar Hero clone; a few great licensed songs here.
What's Not: Resembles Guitar Hero a little too closely; needs more tunes; no guitar peripheral.