Band Hero (Software Only) PlayStation 3
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Released on 06/11/2009
Brought to you by the makers of Guitar Hero, one of the best-selling video game franchises of all time, Band Hero brings a new genre of music focused on today's hottest hits and classic anthems that everyone will know and love. Headlined by some of the biggest names in music as in-game artists and playable characters, Band Hero is the ultimate party game where players of all ages will be able to experience the signature, easy-to-learn but difficult to master Guitar Hero gameplay.
Taking social gameplay to new heights, Band Hero, allows fans to create the band they always dreamed of using any combination of guitar or drum controllers and vocals, providing a new generation of rockers and performers the chance to experience and interact with their favorite music.
- Rock to the Beat – Band Hero includes the most fun music that brings friends and family of all ages together to sing, play guitar, or drum to a wide variety of today’s chart topping hits and most recognizable anthems. The game features an explosive on-disc set list of more than 65 tracks from the hottest new bands and classic artists, including Maroon 5, Jesse McCartney, Go-Go’s, The Turtles and Janet Jackson.
- Let’s Get this Party Started! – Novice and expert players alike will find it easier than ever to jump in and jam out with friends and family thanks to Band Hero’s Party Play mode. Party Play inserts players straight into the action from the start-up menu with the press of a button allowing them to join in, drop out, or switch personal options at any time without fear of failing the song or interrupting the jam session.
- Put The Band Together Your Way – In Band Hero gamers are free to create the experience they want by tailoring their band to suit their style. People can play alone or select any combination of multiple vocalists, bassists, drummers or guitarists to create their own band and rock with, in Band Hero.
- Step Up to the Challenge – A little competition never hurt anyone! Band Hero’s RockFest mode is a collection of challenges at varying difficulties designed for up to four players locally and up to eight players online. RockFest challenges include:
• Momentum – Song difficulty level changes with player performance.
• Elimination – Each song is divided into segments, after each segment, the player with the lowest score will be eliminated from the game.
• Do or Die – Missing any three notes for a song section temporarily knocks players out of the game and keeps them from scoring.
• Streakers – Players are awarded points whenever their current note streak is a multiple of 10.
• Perfectionist – Points will be awarded to the player who hits the highest percentage of notes in each section of a song.
• Pro Face Off – Head-to-head battle where players all play the same song on the same difficulty with the same instrument.
- Live In the Moment – Capturing the essence of being in a big-named band and nailing those memorable sections of popular songs is what Band Hero’s Band Moments is all about. Hitting all the notes in a special section earns bands bonus multipliers and creates the ultimate sense of accomplishment as the crowd screams for more.
- The Ultimate Jukebox – Further expanding upon the hours of nonstop on-disc entertainment in Band Hero, is the ability for fans to play Guitar Hero® World Tour’s downloadable content in the game, utilizing all of the upgrades and features in Band Hero*.
- Sing Any Way You Want – A classic karaoke mode where up-to four players can showcase their vocal chops, Sing-Along allows players to perform any song from the entire set list, without worrying about scores or failing out.
Another week, another rhythm action game. Or at least that's how it feels. This one, in case the title is confusing you, is actually from the makers of the 'Hero' franchise, not the 'Band' franchise. The same people, in fact, who only recently released Guitar Hero 5, a game that also featured the option to play as a whole band complete with guitarists, a drummer and a vocalist; not just a lead guitarist. Confusing, isn't it?
Band Hero is, presumably, a proper response to EA's Rock Band series of games. Sure, Guitar Hero 5 introduced full band features to Activision's series, but this is where the franchise is steered away from its rock roots and points towards a future of more eclectic spinoffs.
Pop Til You Drop
You see, while it would be easy to dismiss this as simply Guitar Hero 5 with a new track list (which it is, in terms of its gameplay features)it also represents a pop-based alternative to Guitar Hero's previous staple of relatively heavy rock songs. Those who felt the lighter side of popular music was ill-served by the previous games are going to love this new development.
Those who felt the lighter side of popular music was ill-served by the previous games are going to love this new development.
As far as the gameplay goes it's (mostly) business as usual. Whether you're playing lead guitar, bass, drums or vocals, you have to match your rhythmic actions to the those presented on the screen. Keep to the beat and fame and fortune awaits. Cock it all up and you'll be booed off the stage. In keeping with recent developments in the genre, you can opt to play any or all of the instruments on offer and indeed the options are so flexible you can even play with four drummers if you so desire. So far, so predictable.
Thank You For The Music
Music-wise though, Band Hero is a whole different kettle of fish. The track listing is, depending on your point of view, either amazing or awful. We'd go for amazing and it certainly spans an interestingly diverse range of tastes. Duran Duran's Rio and David Bowie's Let's Dance magnificently headline the game's 80s line-up, there's a bit of disco from Village People, while more up to date acts include Maroon 5, Lily Allen, Fall Out Boy and Snow Patrol. There's also plenty of guitar based stuff there to placate any rockers panicked by the game's new direction. And that's just the console version. The DS line-up is entirely different.
There's also plenty of guitar based stuff there to placate any rockers panicked by the game's new direction.
There are also a few new gameplay features in here to keep us happy until the franchise get its next major retooling. Now it's easier than ever for experts and novices to play alongside one another and players can even join, drop out or change their settings at any time without jeopardising the jam session. Playing online opens up several play modes including Pro Face-off, Elimination and Perfectionist. In addition, vocal fans can try out the karaoke mode, in which they can simply sing along to songs rather than worrying about hitting the right notes or scoring well.
Wii and DS owners are particularly well served by Band Hero. The Wii version includes additional play modes exclusive to the console and the ability to incororate their Miis into the fun. DS owners, as well as simply playing the game on their handheld can also wirelessly link up with the Wii version in order to either manipulate the set-list while others jam out, or take part in a fun Roadie mode. This involves DS players controlling on screen roadies who can tamper with an opponent's equipment while they're playing the Wii game.
Band Hero may not take the genre anywhere new, but it certainly adds a lighter poppier option for those exhausted by the relentless heavy rocking of previous games and also provides enough little tweaks to keep exisating fans happy too.
- Great track list.
- Same great gameplay.
- Online modes.
- Downloadable content.
- Bonus Wii and DS features.
- Not a great leap forward.
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