Review: Band Hero

Guitar Hero franchise


Guitar Hero World Tour


The game is based around the Guitar Hero 5 engine, which is more than rich with features. Band Hero pretty much keeps the same feature list as Guitar Hero 5, but adds just enough to make the game more party friendly.

The biggest addition is the "Karaoke Mode", which somewhat goes hand-in-hand with Quickplay and Party Play. Basically the way it works is the gamer will choose their song from the library of tracks in the game (like Quickplay), then sing along with the words on screen with no chance of failing (like Party Play). Sure it seems like a little thing, but something like that could really be a hit at parties.

The best feature that Neversoft has implemented since taking over the "Hero" name is the ability to import songs from previous games into the newer games. That feature will be put to use here, including 69 of the 85 songs from Guitar Hero 5 and exporting all but four of the songs from Band Hero into Guitar Hero 5.

The imports are very cheap relatively, but there is one looming question. Why in the world did Neversoft not license every single song on the Guitar Hero 5 and Band Hero discs for the Guitar Hero platform. If the company knew going in that they hoped to have the songs work for several games, why tease gamers by having all the songs import except a few.

While it's understandable why some songs from the Guitar Hero World Tour era didn't export, since that wasn't a plan back then, and it's even a little understandable for songs in Guitar Hero 5, since the licensing process can be a long one, it seems as though there would be little excuse for songs not to export from Band Hero. While it may seem like a small nitpick made into a big issue, it's tough to say it's understandable when every single song imports from Lego Rock Band into the Rock Band platform.


Guitar Hero 5 had some of the best graphics ever seen in a video game. The characters were crisp and clear, the arenas and venues looked amazing and the celebrity guest stars looked scarily good. Band Hero carries all of those elements over into it's experience and adds a fresh coat of paint.

While the actual gameplay graphics are based on the same engine as Guitar Hero 5, the non-gameplay graphics have gone through an overhaul. Instead of the dark, rock-based color scheme of Guitar Hero 5, gamers are now greeted with a pop-influenced purple and pink menu. It may not be the most metal color scheme, but it's executed well and it's very pleasing on the eyes.

The characters have gone through a slight retool. Instead of being decked-out in their most hardcore rock outfits, the characters are a lot more clean-cut and fitting to a game based more around pop music than rock. Also, Guitar Hero staple Lars Umlaut, who has always represented death metal in the series, has been pulled in favor of the Japanese pop character from Guitar Hero 3, Midori.

For Band Hero, Neversoft motion-captured Taylor Swift, Adam Levine (of Maroon 5) and the entire No Doubt band. Each character looks amazing and is available to play along with any of the on-disc songs from Band Hero, which has proven problematic when it came to No Doubt.


The Verdict