Band Hero Review
Xbox 360 | PS3 | DS
Band Hero box art
System: X360, PS3, Wii, PS2, DS Review Rating Legend
Dev: Vicarious Visions 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Activision 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Nov. 3, 2009 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-4 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+ 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Another grave problem for Band Hero on DS is there is essentially only one mode of play. After creating and customizing your four band members, you'll have the option to Play or take on Fan Requests. You remember Fan Requests from the latest editions of On Tour, don't you? If not, these are side challenges that test your skill by having you best specific criteria. Disappointingly, most players will never get to try their hand or voice at the Fan Requests because they are only unlocked by connecting to Band Hero for Wii - that's inexcusable.

Band Hero screenshot

Being able to access major game functionality only by buying yet another game is shameful. Fortunately, playing the game through Play mode is what most players will pick up the title for anyway, and it is a good bit of fun. However, other than a few asinine mini-games such as crowd surfing and hand slapping, all you'll be doing is playing through songs with no real advancement or reward other than a few unlockables. Why a fully-fledged career mode wasn't included is beyond me? The best part of Play mode is that you can hook up with friends in Co-op, or challenge a buddy in Versus.

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Band Hero was a great idea that suffers from dismal execution. Multiple poor design choices have led to a game that is utterly flawed. While there is still a good deal of fun to be had if you own a DS Lite, I'm bamboozled as to why the game is so limited in scope and not more inclusive of other systems and more extensive in terms of game modes. To go from bad to worse, this game retails for $49.99 - quite a pretty penny. It's a real shame this game doesn't live up to its potential. I expect good things from this off-shoot IP in the future, but as it stands now, I simply can't recommend it.

By Jonathan Marx
CCC Editor / News Director

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.8
Graphics
The visuals have been tweaked slightly since Modern Hits, and I like the change.
2.0
Control
The Guitar Grip is as good as ever, but the drums skin only fits DS Lite and is poorly designed, and the microphone detection is appalling.
3.5
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
This isn't the greatest set list to hit an Activision music title, but at least the sound quality is still great.
2.5

Play Value
The main Play mode and multiplayer are lots of fun, but there are no other modes - unless, of course, you count Fan Requests, but you can only access them by connecting to a copy of Band Hero Wii.

2.9
Overall Rating - Average
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Gameplay modes include quick play, career mode, and multiplayer mode (up to 4 players can play together), and any combination of instruments can be played in multiplayer mode.
  • First ever portable full band experience (guitar, bass guitar, drums, vocals).
  • Bundle comes complete with guitar grip, all-new drum skin peripheral, and vocal support for singing.
  • Drum controller is an easy to attach and remove silicone skin with larger buttons for an improved gaming experience.
  • A wide variety of classic anthems and modern Top-40 radio hits, including 30 of today's hottest Pop & Rock hits (70% of songs from last 9 years,) with songs chosen based on playability with multiple instruments.


  • Screenshots / Images
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