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Atomic Gamer Preview: Guitar Hero World Tour

Jeff Buckland reports:

''At Activision's E3 press conference this year, those who got to attend saw Guitar Hero: World Tour in action. Many gamers who have read the announcement that they're building on what Rock Band achieved last year have been wondering whether they can out-do Harmonix, and from what I've seen, I'm not sure they can. But at the very least, there's going to be some great competition in the music genre this fall.

GH: World Tour includes a new guitar that has the ability for the player to tap near the bottom of the neck, allowing a kind of slap bass. There's also a new touch panel just below the fret buttons on the neck, allowing for easy sliding of your fingers up and down for those pesky sequences of buttons you'll see in many of the songs in GH as well as Rock Band. The drums should look somewhat familiar to those who have played Rock Band with a couple of unique changes. First, there are only three drum pads, and now there are two cymbal pads raised up - much like a real drum set. The snare's on the left, two toms are on the right, while the hi-hat is up and left and the crash cymbal is up and right. There's a single bass pedal down below and it can sit anywhere between the set's legs, as there is no metal bar down there to hold it in place (this could be good or bad depending on how you play). The drumset has ports in the back for additional expansions, although the Neversoft guys weren't really ready to talk about anything solid.''

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