Game Review: Band Hero Xbox 360

Band Hero for the Xbox 360 puts you center stage with great music, fast paced action with guitar, drums and vocals and even practice sessions with friends or by yourself for improvement and training.
Graphics amp; Audio: 18/25,
Gameplay: 22/25,
Creativity 18/25,
Fun 18/25

Total: 76/100

Band Hero is a new music console game from Activision and RedOctane publishing and distribution firms and was developed by Neversoft for the Xbox 360 version. The game is your typical band/music game where you can play vocals, guitar or drums following on screen titles or note streams.

The game may be new to me but seems all too typical for a band and music game so I did not much appreciate the sameness to other games. I have played other band games but not reviewed any just to get a feel for them and have reviewed the Singstar for the PS3.

The game feels fine and plays well with the main areas of music being your Career Mode, Party Play, Quick Play, Sing Along, Competitive, GH Studio and Training with your main area of professional type play in the career mode. Career mode has you playing an instrument or doing vocals and having to perform the songs at a minimum standard.

The neck of a guitar is shown just like in most music games and you need to hit your chosen controllers appropriate color coded button when the on screen color markers hit the targets. Vocals are also part of the songs if you choose and they are done with a microphone and internal sound recognition software to match a players vocals to a songs vocals.

Once you start your career you have to continue along and at minimum complete songs with a certain amount of proficiency but I personally could not do well at them. I am not very musically talented and could not get very far along in my career but the game does work well.

Vocals worked better for me but the game also worked well with following along with songs just like my previous review of Starsing. The words appear on the screen in yellow for upcoming vocals and when they hit the middle of the screen you’re supposed to be actively singing them. There is also a bar graph following along helping you to match pitch as well but again for someone who is not musically inclined or talented I did not do well.

I checked out the training and found that I could do well but not as good as the developers had hoped as I could not get too far along before getting both frustrated and bored. This is by far a game for those who not only enjoy music but also have some kind of talent for it.

The training is a simple way to learn how to play the instruments like bass or lead guitar, drums or vocals and get both timing and general gameplay down. Quick Play has all songs unlocked and allows you to play your favorite songs from Band Hero while being scored with online play or locally.

The Party Play game mode is much like the Quick Play but no scoring is done and Sing Along is much like this mode but allows you to sing without any fancy controllers, just a microphone and button controller like the Xbox hand controller. The Competitive play has a lot of challenges between players both locally and online and is another great way to compete against others.

The GH Studio is a song creation area where you can make songs using the drums and guitar where the Xbox 360 will record the songs and replay them at your leisure. The games all play just fine and from reviews of this compared to Guitar Hero and other games in the Hero series very much like them as well.

There does not seem to be much difference in this game and previous Rock Band games or the Guitar Hero games other than the songs and the general style of the game with things like color schemes. The songs are 65 rock and pop songs from no particular era of music but mainly top 40 songs that have hit high on the charts.

You can also import and export songs but some of this song transferring may cost you according to the licensing of the bands and copyright issues. The main 65 songs are quite a mix and well varied for a good broad range of tunes to play with in the base game.
The game plays well and works just fine for what I could do but I did not receive the game edition with the instruments, just the game itself. After some review requesting I was able to review the Ion Audio Drum Rocker Premium drum set and played the game with that as well as the vocals set with an inexpensive microphone on a headset.

The game played well using the vocals and microphone as well as the drum set that I have reviewed earlier that actually is a well built drum set. The main problem I would have with this is the game really does not feature any new content or gameplay elements over previous versions.

It would seem that Rock Band is mainly an addition of the 65 songs to the same Guitar Hero and other Hero games which is also a consensus to other reviewers. The game works fine and I really cannot say about similarity to other games but if you do have Guitar Hero 5 this may not be a worthwhile purchase for the 65 additional songs.

Band Hero may be much like or almost identical to Guitar Hero 5 which would mean this game really doesn’t have anything to offer previous owners of that game but the 65 new songs. If you don’t have Guitar Hero 5 this may be a good substitute if you like this song collection more which you can find the full list at the Hero website.

Band Hero plays without any real problems and if you enjoy the more laid back rock and pop collection it offers it would make a worthwhile purchase for some fun rocking action on the console systems.

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