|System: X360, PS3, Wii, PS2, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Neversoft||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 (8 Online)||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
As far as other features go, Band Hero has everything that Guitar Hero 5 has. There is support for online rocking for up to eight players worldwide, and the matchmaking system works well most of the time (I had a hard time finding anyone playing on "medium", but the other difficulty settings yielded some results). The game also included the Guitar Hero creation mode that was debuted in Guitar Hero: World Tour and perfected in Guitar Hero 5. The addition of the creation mode is sort of curious considering the game's demographic, but if you just can't wait to bust out your own tunes, the creation mode, as well as all the demo songs, tracks, and tutorials from Guitar Hero 5 are all there in Band Hero.
Plenty of aspects of Band Hero are carbon copied from Guitar Hero 5, and frankly, I feel like this is Band Hero's biggest weakness. Even gamers picking up Band Hero as their first rhythm title should be treated to a different experience, besides the different color palette, pop songs, and band compilation options. Some new modes specific to the game, for example, or maybe an improved vocal mode would have been nice, giving rhythm game fans more of a reason to pick this title up in lieu of just downloading tracks from the Guitar Hero marketplace.
But if you do end up purchasing both Guitar Hero 5 and Band Hero, you'll be happy to know that both games are compatible with one another, and most of the songs from Guitar Hero 5 can be imported into Band Hero (and vice versa), which is great if you are trying to keep all your tunes in one place.
Although Band Hero sounds like a new IP, it isn't. Band hero is exactly the same as Guitar Hero 5. If this bothers you, well then Band Hero is not your game. But if you don't mind the same formula with the exact same features, then there is definitely some fun to be had with Band Hero. With the new focus on the tween market, Band Hero seems to be carving a niche within a niche. It may sound like an impossibility, but if everything goes according to plan, Band Hero will be the rocking method of choice for young kids (and parents too) everywhere. If you are tired of the old Guitar Hero formula, then don't bother with Band Hero. But if you are new to the rhythm genre, or have a love for pop music, then Band Hero should suit your needs just fine.
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Staff Contributor