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Band Hero Review

Band Hero, for all intents and purposes,  is Activision's attempt to promote their Hero franchise to the more casual market, removing the heavier rock set pieces and replacing them with squeaky clean pop songs that can be completely hit or miss given the games 'rockier' roots.

We'll start with what we know. The game runs upon a tweaked version of Guitar Hero 5's engine, which means that there's not a great deal to comment on with regards to how it looks and feels. After all, they've had enough iterations of the title to get it right by now. The graphics have received a good scrub with a Brillo pad and some soap, making it more appealing to the more casual player.

This squeaky clean appeal is also prevalent in the rest of the game, with the usual characters you've all likely seen in the other Guitar Hero outings making an appearance. They have however made characters like Axel look more like one of the Jonas Brothers, rather than having spent his life drinking and playing a guitar as was more apparent in the series 'darker' outings. It's weird to see the characters in this parallel universe upbringing.

But none of this is really what the Hero franchise is about. When it boils down to it, your purchasing decision with these games are made by the track list that comes with. They say that variety is the spice of life and this really shows in the track list. With everything ranging from Evanescence and Cheap Trick to more estranged artists to the series, such as the Spice Girls and Village People.

One thing that struck me whilst whittling through "Wannabe" by the Spice Girls is that some of the tracks chosen for this release didn't have guitar parts. In the case of "Wannabe", you're left to play along to the piano. Not a big deal for the more casual players I'm sure, however, for those who are more into their power chords and solos, playing a different instrument with the same plastic representation of a guitar is a somewhat alienating experience.

The biggest factor for Band Hero has to lie in its variety of music. I'm sure that many a Hero player has set up for a few friends to come round to their house and have a blast through some songs, only to be met with the disdained cry from some that there's no songs that they know. Band Hero delivers on that front and can usually cater for anyone that's ever heard some form of music at some point in their lives.

The party mode that Guitar Hero 5 introduced is here, but somehow seems to suit Band Hero a lot more than it did Guitar Hero 5. You can set the game off playing to itself leaving the instruments connected ready for anyone to come along and jam without being pressured into playing a full song. Due to the random song selection of party mode, the likelihood of the instruments being swapped around when a song comes on that a player doesn't like or know gives the game a much greater ability to be part of the party, rather than causing a segregation of those who are playing and those who aren't.

All in all, it's just more of the same. More note charts, more plastic peripherals, more "nobody wants to sing", but most of all, there's more fun too. Band Hero has taken the long running series and blended it with a collection of songs that will have everyone joining in.

8.00/10 8

Band Hero (Reviewed on Xbox 360)

This game is great, with minimal or no negatives.

Band Hero, for all intents and purposes,  is Activision's attempt to promote their Hero franchise to the more casual market, removing the heavier rock set pieces and replacing them with squeaky clean pop songs that can be completely hit or miss given the games 'rockier' roots.

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review
Steven John Dawson

Steven John Dawson

Staff Writer

When not getting knee deep in lines of code behind the scenes, you'll find him shaving milliseconds off lap times in Forza.

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