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4 out of 5 stars
Band Hero featuring Taylor Swift - Stand Alone Software - Nintendo Wii
Platform for Display: Nintendo WiiEdition: StandardChange
Price:$29.99
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92 of 93 people found the following review helpful
on November 4, 2009
Platform for Display: Nintendo WiiEdition: Standard
There are 2 groups of people that typically play Guitar Hero: Those who are score obsessed... they are all about mastering the most challenging of songs and having the highest scores on the leaderboards. Then there are those who love having a group of their friends over to play plastic instruments and yell at the top of their lungs for hours on end. For the most part...I fall into the second category.

I have loved every entry in the Rock Band series, and more recently fell in love with Guitar Hero 5. However, these games have failed me in one vital area: the soundtrack for these games is kinda niche. Oftentimes when friends or family would come over for a "Guitar Hero" or "Rock Band" party, it would turn into each of them taking turns scrolling through hundreds of alternative, progressive, or heavy metal songs until they find one or two that they know and KINDA LIKE... and since they don't necessarily own a Guitar Hero or Rock Band game, they aren't overly concerned about scores or anything like that...they just want to play music they know and love. That is where Band Hero swoops in to save the day (or at least save my party!!)

Rather than focusing on niche genres of music, Band Hero does the exact opposite... Band Hero's soundtrack is focused on Pop music. The very definition of POP MUSIC is music that is popular... songs that everyone knows and loves. And I have to say, Band Hero delivers. There is some great music on Band Hero. Granted, the setlist on Guitar Hero 5 was more appealing to me personally... but Band Hero's setlist will be a HUGE hit at my next party, which, thanks to Band Hero, will be more of a "Karaoke party that also features all of the cool Guitar Hero elements for those interested" than a "Guitar Hero party". Here are some of my observations about the game:

*The Music - As I mentioned, the game focuses on pop music, with artists ranging from Yellowcard to Hillary Duff to Taylor Swift to No Doubt and so on. There are several "guilty pleasures" songs that, while I wouldn't admit enjoying any other time, will be a HUGE hit when having friends over to play (especially my wife's friends)... like The Spice Girls, Taylor Swift, Joss Stone. There are even classic songs like "Rio" by Duran Duran, "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me" by Culture Club, and "Kung Fu Fighting" by Carl Douglas (right?)... and cmon...who can really claim not to love singing any of those songs? Sure, they are really easy to play on guitar/bass/drums for the most part.... but they are fun. Besides, if you want a challenge...check out the SONG IMPORT feature!

*Song Import: For a small fee, you can import 61 songs from Guitar Hero 5, and several of the songs from Guitar Hero Smash Hits and Guitar Hero World Tour. Before importing Guitar Hero 5 (and after importing smash hits and world tour), I already had a total of 140 songs available to play in Band Hero! So, in addition to the pop songs included on the disk, I am also able to include alot of the great and more challenging songs from Guitar Hero 5 (like "Smells Like Teen Spirit", "Medicate", and lots of other great stuff!!!)

*Downloadable Content: Like Guitar Hero 5 and Guitar Hero:World Tour, Band Hero includes an in-game music store that allows you to purchase additional songs. Hopefully, this means that, in addition to the more hardcore downloadable songs available for Guitar Hero 5, Band Hero will also be getting downloadable pop music! Also, most (if not all) of the dlc that you purchase for Guitar Hero 5 and Guitar Hero World Tour are AUTOMATICALLY playable in Band Hero! If, however, you want these to be excluded from Band Hero, there is a place in the Options menu that allows dlc to be disabled. With downloadable content and importing the songs from other versions of Guitar Hero, I should have a library of over 200 song available for playing in Band Hero by the end of the week!

*Band Hero = Guitar Hero 5 with more neon lights: Guitar Hero 5 for Wii is a game that any person with a Wii should own. Period. It was the first of the rhythm games to use high-capacity sd cards, effectively adding a hard drive to your Wii. It had AWESOME features like Party Play mode, drop-in and drop-out multiplayer, and the ability change difficulty on the fly. "Beginner" difficulty is also included, which will allow ANYONE to pick up this game and start playing, no matter what skill level. And then there was the AWESOME, Wii-exclusive "Roadie Battle" mode that allowed someone to sit on the sideline with a DS and sabotage other players.... PRICELESS!!! ALL of the features from Guitar Hero 5 are also implemented in Band Hero. That automatically makes Band Hero AWESOME. Period.

I really hope Band Hero sells well. Activision took a great game and made it more marketable. Between DJ Hero, Band Hero, and Guitar Hero 5, there is no longer any excuse for people not to jump in and enjoy rythym gaming. Unless you hate music and hate fun, you should own this game. =) Some parents/players were put off by some of the art style used in the Guitar Hero games (lots of skulls, demons, lightning bolts, and heavy metal)... and those people will be happy to know that the look and feel used in Band Hero is more family friendly...they've replaced those things with neon lights, starbursts, glitter, floodlights... it really feels like "Guitar Hero" meets "The MTV VMA Awards". I really enjoy the game, and hope you will too!!

My review scores:

Gameplay: 10/10
Difficulty: 8/10 (Anyone from grandma to seasoned hardcore guitar hero veterans can get loads of value out of this game)
Presentation: 9/10
Lasting Value: 9/10
Overall: 9.5/10
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on December 26, 2009
Platform for Display: Nintendo WiiEdition: StandardVerified Purchase
I bought this for my 9yr old daughter for Christmas, she got the Rock Band last year but rarely uses it because she doesn't know the songs. But Band Hero changed that...she loves Taylor Swift and there's Maroon 5, Divo, Culture Club, Village People and so much more. And it works with the Rock Band drums, guitar & microphone, which I read people saying it didn't!! We played for hours trying to beat eachothers vocal scores!!! I'm glad I got it! :)
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 2009
Platform for Display: Nintendo WiiEdition: StandardVerified Purchase
I got this for my DD for Christmas 2009, hoping against hope it would work with RB2. It does. Except not all features do - I think the one we can't access is Mii Freestyle. Not much of a loss, but I think if Activision claims compatibility with RB or RB2, then ALL parts of the game should work.

One SUPER ANNOYING thing is the editing of the songs. In American Pie, by Don McLean, they've removed the word "whisky." They just completely skip over it. Seriously?! The line SHOULD be, "Them good ol' boys were drinking whisky and rye, singing this'll be the day that I die." "Whisky" has been removed, but "rye" was left. Like rye isn't an alcohol too? Idiots. Believe me, it's *annoying* especially considering how many times that line is sung. And if anyone feels this might be appropriate based on the 10 & up rating, I would direct you to the "Rock Stars" on the screen, as well as the ones you can create. Sex sells, apparently. But you can't know about drinking.

The songs are great, for people who like the genre - we do. I'd give it 5 stars if not for the above 2 issues.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon November 4, 2009
Platform for Display: Nintendo WiiEdition: StandardVerified Purchase
We really like most of the GH's games and RB2's games - each for different reasons. I was looking forward to Band Hero for a game that focused less on guitar riffs but more on playing a wide range of music.

Band Hero incorporates the ability to link up with your DS for various options. Since I don't have a DS, I feel that I'm not able to participate in the full spectrum of the game. For example, if you want to play roadie challenge (where DS users act like and compete as roadies while your band plays the game), you need a DS. Also, if you want to be able to accept and play "Fan requests", they can only be submitted through a DS.

The graphics have improved on Band Hero, but they are still not quite up to par with RB 2 graphics. The characters, especially the drummer, don't quite sync with the music.

The songs are geared more to a younger audience - Taylor Swift, Spice Girls, Jackson 5 (to name a few). You can download additional songs, but I haven't been able to check out the online catalog yet due to an error code ([...]). Also the tour destinations are geared more toward younger players - the mall, a pool party at Cabo, etc.

One of the things I like about BH vs. RB is that in BH you not only have to try to get 5 stars on every song, but you also have bonus challenges on each song (just like GH5). Some of them require you to hit as many "yellow" notes as you can in the song, get the most points on star power, and some are geared to specific instruments. I find this adds a bit more challenge to the game.

If you're looking for something like RB2, this isn't quite it. However, if you're looking for a game that is great for parties and larger groups, this is it. (Just make sure you have the DS to take full advantage of all the features available). Without a DS, it's probably not worth the price. (and I'm not about to go out and buy the DS just for the game)

Finally, the game isn't very long. The Career mode is much shorter than RB. This is another disappointment for me. The first night of playing, we were able to get through most of the Career levels/gigs in 2.5 hours.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 28, 2009
Platform for Display: Nintendo WiiEdition: StandardVerified Purchase
I thought this would be a HUGE hit in our house, but it seems my kids only like it so-so. It's hard to play with just 1 player. My kids prefer the Beatles Rock Band over this. Still a fun game though.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 5, 2009
Platform for Display: Nintendo WiiEdition: Standard
Ok, so I debated over getting Band Hero or Lego Rock Band for the Wii, I ended up with Band Hero because of the lack of DLC usage and you cant import with Lego. I was really impressed with he presentation of this game, from the bright scenery to the more than quality setlist. I would say with the execption of a few songs this setlist comes in to a close second to the Guitar Hero 3 setlist. How can you go wrong with songs like Love is a Battlefield, Lips of an Angel, Whip It, Y.M.C.A., Every Rose has a thorn, Paralyzer, When I;m Gone, plus a ton more. I was more than happy to see I didn't have to re-download the imported songs from Smash Hits and World Tour and the World Tour DLC that i had already imported to Guitar Hero 5 (It took a long time to download all of the songs), now i just only have to import the Guitar Hero 5 setlist to Band Hero and vise versa. I was disappointed that some of my favorites from GH5 won't import like Feel Good Inc, Fame, Sex on Fire, Song 2, Play That FUnky Music, and the two Tom Petty Songs. But than again Band Hero imports to GH5 only minus 4 songs, which the only one i wish imported was Mr. Roboto. Plus an added bonus for us Wii users that have a DS, you can now link the DS to the Wii and select songs to be played while in Party Mode. So lets say you have a bunch of people over, all you have to do is hand around the DS and people get to pick their songs and you wont have to interrupt the people that are currently playing. So either people pick the songs they want to hear, or what ever song they would jump in on. Very Very cool. So if you have a Wii/DS this game is a must pick up. (You don't have to have the DS version of Band Hero to use this feature!)

Pros: DS linking for picking play list in Pary Play, Great Setlist full of very well know songs (unlike GH5), Importing and Exporting of songs, great looking game visually.

Cons: Can't export Mr. Roboto to GH5 (this is the reason i gave it 4 out of 5 stars, you don't mess with my Styx!) and a good amount of well known songs from GH5 don't import. They didn't let you Import/Export Band Hero/GH5 on release.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 7, 2010
Platform for Display: Nintendo WiiEdition: StandardVerified Purchase
Early review... will provide more in-depth review later.

Band Hero is essentially Guitar Hero 5 for the Top 40 crowd. If you have played Guitar Hero 5 you will find the same engine here, but the difference is that Band Hero is aimed at people that either like more music variety than just rock and metal, or feel intimidated by the usual GH "rockstar" vibe. From a marketing standpoint Band Hero plays safe as it gives you a cleaner look that seems to be inspired by American Idol, and song picks with names like Taylor Swift, Hilary Duff and Spice Girls. Yes. Yes. I know.

Activision was smart to make this brand to be honest. This way they don't completely ditch people that like musical variety on Guitar Hero, while not alienating those that wouldn't stand seeing Nelly Furtado next to Nirvana. Pop songs are usually too easy for Guitar Hero which is most likely what turned off long time GH fans from the previous versions. But those songs do work well for Karaoke-style games as they are well known and more sing-along-friendly, something rare to find on Guitar Hero nowadays... so I guess with this you do get the "best of both worlds". And since you are able to mix and match instruments to your liking, you could treat this game as you want: a Karaoke game, a Guitar game, a full band game, etc.

A neat feature that Band Hero has that GH5 doesn't is DS Party Play. While regular Party Play lets people drop in/out of gameplay and changing their options without ever stopping gameplay, you had to deal with random songs. And if one you didn't want came up you'd then have to pause and choose what you want. With DS Party Play, someone can control the music being played on the fly through a Nintendo DS. This is a very clever and welcome feature for Wii players who also happen to own a DS.

I actually enjoy the variety found here, and being able to import songs back and forth from Guitar Hero 5, as well as using all DLC, means that you can further expand your complete GH song library. Without this compatibility it would have been hard for me to recommend this game. But even with all this said, a regular GH game usually has double the amount of music on the disc. Band Hero feels more like an expansion pack, and as such I wouldn't recommend you pay for it unless you get it for a low price. Considering the release of GH6 is near, the time is probably now.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Platform for Display: Nintendo WiiEdition: StandardVerified Purchase
Band Hero is awesome. I love the graphics and the little stories you get with new venues. Very cute. And I love the newer, more up-to-date songs.

I also really like the challenges that are associated with each song. Makes it easier to play by yourself and still have fun.

I love the stats it gives for each song in terms of the amount/complexity for each instrument. So if you want to play something with heavy bass, you can see right away which songs have the complex bass parts.

Some things that bother me are that you have to pick one online name for your game and everyone that plays has that name associated with them.

If you're not careful the rocker you're playing with currently will be duplicated on another instrument so it'll be like your rocker is playing drums and singing. This can be a little annoying and you have to plug in another instrument and manually change the rocker to someone different. Seems like the system should automatically recognize duplicate rockers and change them automatically.

Also, I don't like that the gigs only play one song at a time. In Guitar Hero World Tour if you played a gig it played each song in the gig one-after-the-other. Band Hero plays one song, then takes you back to the gig's menu and you have to choose the next song. Again, a little annoying and time consuming for no reason.

Band Hero is a fun game. Great to play with friends or by yourself.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Platform for Display: Nintendo WiiEdition: StandardVerified Purchase
Really enjoy playing this with the entire family. My 5yr old has a great time becuase of the no fail mode and the beginner setting too!

It is not that different than previous version of "guitar hero" the best new features are...
sort options there are a lot more to choose from
Difficulty by insrument ratings before you select the song
You can use your DS for many additional options
Add songs you purchased from world tour and GH5

The thing I don't like...
You really have to have a DS to play a of the fun games, I don't like that I have to have yet another peice of equipment.

Overall it has been great. We love the songs Kung Fu Fighting is really fun!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2010
Platform for Display: Nintendo WiiEdition: Standard
Wii was the family Christmas present this year, and among the Guitar Hero and Rock Band games recieved (and rented) this was hands-down the favorite of the 10 family members gethered for Christmas. Great collection of songs and fairly challenging play (Band Hero Easy is equiv to others Medium). From oldies like "Grapevine" and "Happy Together" to classics like "YMCA" to current hits, there were hours of enjoyment without repeating a single song! All three Taylor Swift songs were a hit with the teens and adults alike. Can't wait for more stellar collections like this one! How about TV/Movie theme song collections? Or a Disco Hero collection?
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