Top positive review
95 people found this helpful
A guilty pleasure... but great nonetheless!
on November 4, 2009
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:
Difficulty: 8/10 (Anyone from grandma to seasoned hardcore guitar hero veterans can get loads of value out of this game)
Lasting Value: 9/10