(http://www.bandhero.com) Rated Everyone 10+ by ESRB.  This spin-off of the Guitar Hero series from Activision is much like a Guitar Hero game, in fact, it shares many game play components with the recently released Guitar Hero 5. However, the two are vastly different when compared musically. While songs from Guitar Hero is often limited to words like “rock”, “punk”, and “alternative” in its genre; Band Hero is far more diverse and have songs of pop, country, R & B, and even electronica.

(http://www.bandhero.com) Rated Everyone 10+ by ESRB.  This spin-off of the Guitar Hero series from Activision is much like a Guitar Hero game, in fact, it shares many game play components with the recently released Guitar Hero 5. However, the two are vastly different when compared musically. While songs from Guitar Hero is often limited to words like “rock”, “punk”, and “alternative” in its genre; Band Hero is far more diverse and have songs of pop, country, R & B, and even electronica.

 

Song List:

Band Hero is probably geared more toward the mainstream music listeners with hits from many genres although none of the genres gets more than just a few songs. This diversity is further limited by only having a total of 65 songs, compared to Guitar Hero 5’s 85 songs roster. But fortunately for owners of Guitar Hero 5 and Guitar Hero World Tour who want to expend their living room rocking experience, Band Hero allows the player to import most of the tracks from the 2 titles. Band Hero also shares the downloadable content library with Guitar Hero 5, which means players may purchase songs that are also available for Guitar Hero 5.

 

Graphics:

This comes with no surprise to fans of Guitar Hero, but Band Hero features the same stylized look the series has. The virtual band members all move realistically in-sync with the music, swinging and swaying according to the style of music. Though it could be slightly disturbing should the player make Adam Levine’s (Maroon 5 frontman) Avatar prancing around in a feminine manner to Taylor Swift’s Love Story. Aside Adam Levine, the avatars of Taylor Swift and the band No Doubt are also featured in Band Hero. And if they are unsuitable for whatever reason, the in-depth Rockstar Creator allows the player to virtually materialize their inner rockstar in the game. The customization options are lengthy, including loads of different parts for the various instruments besides the usual yet stylish hair, face, and clothing.

       

Gameplay:

In any of the game modes, the player may choose to play as the vocalist, guitarist, bassist, or the drummer, given that the player has the corresponding equipment (available with the game as a bundle). Band Hero is what one would expect from a music/rhythm game – watch a note come down on the screen and hit a corresponding button in-time with the song. The especially challenging part of Band Hero is that should the player misses a beat, the tracks related to the player’s instrument disappear until he/she re-synchronizes with the song. On beginner and easy difficulties, the game is fairly lenient and accessible to the general populace who do not have musical training or extreme finger dexterity. Although on medium difficulty, the game quickly moves toward concert performance level across instruments.

 

Vocal – This is the most fidgety part of Band Hero. The mic included with the bundle is quite sensitive and denotes the slightest bit of air movement as tone changes. It is also a bit sensitive to the texture of the voice as supposed to just the tone, evident by the game judging a male singing voice going sharp as supposed to flat as per the usual case. On the other hand, the multiple options of lyrics delivery style are all intuitive on the spot and helpful. Overall, the singer needs to be spot on in tone and rhythm in order to do well as a Band Hero vocalist.

 

Guitar/Bass – These are perhaps the easiest of the 4 instruments to pick up, and feel stylish while playing to boost. While it’s not as rhythmic as the drums and requires no knowledge of tonality the way a vocalist would, it takes some serious finger dexterity to pull off the faster songs. The best part is that their score boosting mode can be activated by tilting the guitar vertically.

         

Drums – The difficulty changes far more drastically on the drums than any other instruments. On easy mode, the game will have the player using one limp at a time counting mostly quarter notes. Although it scales up very quickly on medium, as it demands independent use of 3 limps. That aside, the drum notes shown on screen sometimes do not resemble the drums played in the song track, unlike the identically matching vocal parts and vocal tracks.

 

Playing Band Hero is a very close experience to being in a band without being in one, because all the various instruments require the player to dedicate some serious practice time in order to pull of a great performance. For the people who don’t have local band mates, Band Hero has online features for co-operative as well as head to head versus play. For those with visiting friends, Band Hero is convenient as a party game with its easy drop-in drop-out options as well as sing-along modes. The career mode is included here also and it details the process of the player’s band claims to fame; starting from a small time local show replacement to an inter-galactic super icon, while unlocking new venues along the way.

Hardware:

Band Hero is a great deal in this regard whether the player already has music game instruments or not, as it supports all the Guitar Hero instruments as well as most other ones. For current owners, having 2 pieces of the same instruments diversifies local multiplayer experience as it allows for local competitive play. The drum kit that comes with the Band Hero Bundle has 5 pieces plus a bass drum pedal, closely simulating an actual drum kit with 2 of the 5 pieces representing the hi-hat and the cymbal. With 2 bass drum pedals and a y-fer, an expert drummer can unlock the double bass drum expert mode for some songs.

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