Battle of the Bands Review
Battle of the Bands box art
System: Wii Review Rating Legend
Dev: Planet Moon Studios 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: THQ 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: April 21, 2008 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-2 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Teen 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Battle of the Bands will give players a couple solid hours worth of solo entertainment before the fun begins to ebb. The game is essentially made with multiplayer in mind, and playing against a friend will stretch the rocking action out further than the single-player game. It's also nice to have someone to share the laughs with because the game tosses some truly ridiculous musical combinations and goofy antics at you. The basic controls are particularly useful in this regard, since it's more likely you'll have two Wii Remotes handy than two Guitar Hero peripherals at any given time.

Battle of the Bands screenshot

The absence of any substantive story further lends to Battle of the Bands' party-game vibe. There's plenty of rocking to be had in the solo adventure mode, but you'll find little in the way of a decent plot. Brief banter between rival bands prior to musical combat is good for a chuckle or two. Unfortunately, that's about as deep as any character interactions get. They'll either be rocking or blowing the socks of their musical rivals as they work their way up the ranks towards an eventual orchestral boss battle with Mr. Hong, the game's protagonist.

With the likes of Def Leppard, L.L. Cool J, Tenacious D, AFI, Soundgarden, and many more, the 30 licensed cover tracks in Battle of the Bands offer a decent variety of tunes for all manner of discerning tastes. The unusual mash-up combinations between the five different styles makes for some hilarious moments. Listening to the Ramones' Blitzkrieg Bop in alternating marching band and ranchero renditions, for example, is a blast.

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Conveniently, all of the songs can be accessed from the start in the multiplayer mode, but this sort of takes the wind out of the solo experience. Even if you're playing on your own, you can skip right to the multiplayer game against the A.I. for some hand-picked throw-down matches. Overall, the features are a tad on the skimpy side, but the addition of a music player that allows you to play any song in the game and switch between the five different musical styles in real-time is brilliant.

Battle of the Bands wraps a neat idea in a novel presentation. It's a quirky game that's best enjoyed in short bursts with a friend. The challenge and gameplay will feel weak over the long run for those who've been spoiled by expert-level sessions of Guitar Hero and Rock Band, although rhythm game novices should find it a good entry point into the genre.

By Nathan Meunier
CCC Freelance Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.0
Graphics
Stylish, cartoonish visuals are entertaining and well thought out. The band animations and shenanigans are excellent.
3.4
Control
Simple Wii Remote controls are good for beginners, but they aren't tight or varied enough to keep the pros satisfied in the long run.
4.2
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
A wide musical selection. The covers are sometimes hilarious, and the transition between playing a song in one style or another is seamless.
3.3

Play Value
It won't take long to plow through the game. It's then reduced to a novelty to whip out during parties.

3.7
Overall Rating - Good
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Battle of the Bands: Prove your favorite music genre is better than the opponents'.
  • Weaponized Instruments: Battle to the top of the charts with an array of artillery and attack styles.
  • Intense Rhythm Action: Feel the rhythm by swinging the Wii Remote in sync with different music melodies.
  • Innovative Music Switching: Explore chart-toppers mashing up in different genres.
  • Versus mode: Heads-on battles perfect for social and party game setting.
  • Adventure mode: Compete with bands of other genres one by one all the way to the Big Boss battle.
  • Music player: Blast out all 150 songs.


  • Screenshots / Images
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