Graphics:
8.0
Gameplay:
8.5
Sound:
9.0
Control:
8.5
Replay Value:
8.5
Online Gameplay:
9.0
Overall Rating:
8.4
Publisher:
Activision
Developer:
Neversoft
Number Of Players:
1-4
Genre:
Music


Now, naturally, we know what 90% of people do when they click on these reviews, they look at the score first and some choose to read the review. So if you're the 10% that reads, well, allow me to make something clear, despite a fairly nice score, I actually don't like Band Hero very much. As is always the case with me and these games, I love them because of their very rock heavy soundtracks. Band Hero is the very opposite of that. You see, this game is aimed at a different kind of gamer…the type who enjoys listening to the top 40 samplings of your local hit station. The songs that would make the rounds of MTV's former Total Request Live. The kind of songs that, well…teenage girls listen to. And quite frankly, it isn't my style. But I've actually not weighed down the score of Band Hero because I don't like the soundtrack, I can't do that because this is all subjective.

I've refrained from giving Band Hero a score as high as the other games, because it offers very little in terms of a proper experience. For starters, unlike the massive libraries of the past Guitar Hero games totaling as many as 85 songs, Band Hero features 65. And yet the price remains a full $60. Moreover, because this is an all new franchise for Activision, many of you may have been expecting a different approach with numerous refinements and some new features. But instead, what you get here is a Guitar Hero 5 expansion pack, essentially. Yes, the menus have been tweaked around, the appearances of your rockstars have been toned down to look less aggressive, and the overall theme of the game is very…glimmery, glittery, and bright.

But that doesn't change the fact that the career mode is pulled straight out of Guitar Hero 5, with virtually no differences made. So here I am, singing a Taylor Swift song, and not knowing a damn thing about it, but my concern is not that I'm singing a Taylor Swift song, but rather, that Band Hero has presented practically nothing new to the table. But it gets a bit worse. You see, for Band Hero they've developed a new drumset, and it features a number of mechanical and physical enhancements to make for a better playing experience. Unfortunately, this drumset is temporarily exclusive for the Wii version, and PS3 and Xbox 360 owners won't be finding a new drumset in their bundles until next year. Instead, what they will find in their Band Hero bundles is the old Guitar Hero 5 drumset. What? I don't know. It makes no sense to me, either.

Now, don't get me wrong, I wasn't looking for a change in the formula, just a few noticeable enhancements and tweaks would've sufficed. Just about the only two new features I saw were a karaoke mode, where you aren't scored and simply sing along. And the other being bonuses challenge per song, allowing you to earn more stars per track if you accomplish certain tasks. It's nothing special or great, though I figured I'd still mention it. But this lack of freshness is not a deal-breaking issue, as the current Guitar Hero setup is still a solid one. And if you're into this kind of music, you will surely enjoy the game considerably, because, again, the fundamentals are still very good. You get the same eight-player online gameplay, the full band experience (though I'm pretty sure the double bass is useless here), the ability to import Guitar Hero 5 and World Tour songs (but at a price), in addition to being able to export the Band Hero songs into GH5. In addition to the career, quickplay, and competitive modes, you still the GH Studio, the Music Store, Rockstar Creator, and Training mode.

The visuals, as I had mentioned, are less metal, and more glitz and glamour. Glittery and bright colors surround the menus, as they do the stage on which you play on. Your characters are also less aggressive looking in design, and instead toned down to the fit the theme of the game. Character details are pretty good, as you'll instantly recognize the likes of Taylor Swift, Adam Levine, and numerous others, when you get a chance to unlock and play as them. Unfortunately, the crowds are still as repetitive as ever before, and there really isn't a whole lot more to see in Band Hero as far as changes go. But it's alright for what it is — it gets the job done.

Of course, as is always the case with these games, you're buying them for the soundtrack. The light rock and pop hits here are brought to you by the likes of Taylor Swift, Maroon 5, Lily Allen, Spice Girls, The All-American Rejects, Duran Duran, Fall Out Boy, Jesse McCartney, Hinder, Jackson 5, No Doubt, Aly & AJ, Yellowcard, Hilary Duff, Filter, Joss Stone, 3 Doors Down, and, well, you get the point. There are a number of classic rock and oldies hits here too, but it's the stuff that's been played to death for the past 30 years, such as Jackson 5's "ABC", Roy Orbison's "Oh, Pretty Woman", Village People's "Y.M.C.A, and so forth. Beyond the whole subjective matter of 'this soundtrack is good or bad', I can say this much: we've played a number of these songs before in other games. It's time for something more fresh.

All in all, Band Hero brings very little to the table, offering only a small number of minute features that add virtually nothing to the overall experience of the game. The bottomline is a very simple one that boils down to the soundtrack of the game. If you happen to like this genre of tunes, then you'll like Band Hero a lot. But if you're a seasoned Guitar Hero fan who, for whatever reason, also happens to like the soundtrack here, don't expect anything but an expansion pack. And avoid getting the full bundle, as it comes packaged with dated hardware.

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Naztycuts
Naztycuts
11 years ago

I hate Bobby Kotick, way to release a halo odst version of guitar hero. (an overpriced expansion pack)

Alienange
Alienange
11 years ago

hahaha !

Naga
Naga
11 years ago

It just seems like a Guitar Hero for fools, come on who would buy this? since I hate mainstream music & Band Hero (solus) with 65 tunes is pretty weak for any music sim even worse its full price.
Well this games completely out of the question but Village People's "Y.M.C.A?? oh for christs sake!! how can anyone put up to this horrible (mindf***) song this really put me off more than that pop crap


Last edited by Naga on 11/7/2009 4:58:57 PM

kevinater321
kevinater321
11 years ago

We get it, you don't like pop music. But some people do so don't be suck a d*** about it.


Last edited by kevinater321 on 11/8/2009 9:03:55 AM

frylock25
frylock25
11 years ago

dont lie arnold, you know you loved pretending to be Taylor Swift lol

i really hope this is the first step in activision falling on their faces. maybe if they suffer enough they will follow the new EA instead of trying to be the old EA

Danny007
Danny007
11 years ago

Was this game necessary?

PilarVIRUS
PilarVIRUS
11 years ago

Nope. Activision just wants more money.


Last edited by PilarVIRUS on 11/7/2009 6:24:19 PM

frylock25
frylock25
11 years ago

no but it is activision they dont know how to do anything but push out games with very little change in them.

556pineapple
556pineapple
11 years ago

I took a look at the tracklist a while back, and decided this game wasn't for me. I like the Lego Rock Band tracklist quite a bit better, but it's still not as solid as other games in the series.

Banky A
Banky A
11 years ago

I love Pop and any mainstream 'gems'.

There's no point bashing the game guys, it still gets a 8.4 from Arnold the tank 😉
And I bet singing as Taylor Swift will get my hard on, heaps.


Last edited by Banky A on 11/7/2009 8:32:58 PM

laxpro2001
laxpro2001
11 years ago

Taylor Swift = untalented
None of the songs appeal to me really, that why I'm sticking with RB!

JMO_INDY
JMO_INDY
11 years ago

Well i've always been a fan of All American Rejects, Fall Out Boy,Maroon 5, and 3 Doors Down, though thats not enough to get me out and buy this game, I just bought DJ Hero for crying out loud, give me a break Activision.

Alienange
Alienange
11 years ago

So … Dragon Age graphics are a 6 but digitized Taylor Swift is an… 8?

PilarVIRUS
PilarVIRUS
11 years ago

These graphic are actually good.

kevinater321
kevinater321
11 years ago

mmmm, taylor swift….

Jackyl
Jackyl
11 years ago

I can certainly understand Activision releasing this game. I think it is only fair to give another demographic the songs they enjoy in a game that has such mass appeal.

…even if their musical tastes are shite on a stick.


Last edited by Jackyl on 11/8/2009 12:44:42 AM

A2K78
A2K78
11 years ago

Jackyl, at the heart activision don't care about a particular demographic but care more about trying to beat the competition e.g. Konami.

JackC8
JackC8
11 years ago

Sorry, but this whole genre of gaming destroys what little faith I had in humanity. Buy a real guitar for god's sake. Learn to play real music on a real instrument. You can play whatever you like, not whatever Activision's marketing exec's think will sell the most copies. It will give you 1,000 times as much enjoyment, and people will actually respect your talent, not wait until you're out of earshot and laugh at you with your silly plastic toys.

Don't mean to be too insulting, but good grief. Sometimes you've just gotta tell it the way it is.

frylock25
frylock25
11 years ago

hmm real guitar you say… what kind of graphics does it have? lol 😉

Fane1024
Fane1024
11 years ago

You do realize the whole point of video games is to pretend that you're something that you're not, right?

How is pretending to play an instrument any different than pretending to shoot a gun or swing a sword or pilot a space ship?

Why don't you guys just join the army and learn to shoot a real gun? Stop playing with your plastic toys (controllers).

p.s. I own a real guitar and a bass guitar, BTW, and playing drums in Rock Band is actually teaching me the basic skills of drumming.


Last edited by Fane1024 on 11/11/2009 4:37:17 PM

thj_1980
thj_1980
11 years ago

Well, it has real life graphics with real life sound too whice is REAL so it is better than playing a fake guitar that has buttons instead of strings! Really advance for the young minds these days

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