Band Hero: Wikis

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Band Hero
The game's logo "Band Hero" sits in the center of a white background, with a rainbow of colors beams going out to the edges; figures of a guitar, drum kit, and microphone are placed around the logo within the rainbow color scheme. Text details about the game (included bands and songs) are listed at the bottom right of the box.
North American boxart
Developer(s) Neversoft (Xbox 360/PS3)
Vicarious Visions (Wii/DS)
Budcat Creations (PS2)
Publisher(s) RedOctane
Distributor(s) Activision
Series Guitar Hero
Platform(s) PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Wii, Xbox 360, Nintendo DS
Release date(s) NA November 3, 2009
EU November 6, 2009
AUS November 25, 2009
Genre(s) Music
Rating(s) ESRB: E10+
Media DVD, Wii Optical Disc, Blu-ray Disc

Band Hero is a spinoff video game as part of the Guitar Hero series of music video games, released by Activision on November 3, 2009 for the PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii and Nintendo DS consoles. The game is structurally similar to Guitar Hero 5, and supports full band play (lead and bass guitar, drums, and vocals) including the drop-in/drop-out and in-song instrument and difficulty change menus, and additional multiplayer modes as Guitar Hero 5. The console versions use instrument-shaped game controllers, while the DS version uses either the "Guitar Grip" introduced with the Guitar Hero On Tour series or a new Drum Skin that come with the game. Like previous games, virtual avatars of Taylor Swift, Adam Levine, and the band No Doubt are presented in the game.

Band Hero received mixed reviews from journalists. Some considered the game to be an appropriately flavored version of Guitar Hero 5 for the "Top 40" pop rock hits, while others felt the game was strictly aimed at teenagers. They also contested the cost of the full game, featuring only 65 songs compared with 85 songs in Guitar Hero 5, and considered if the content would have been better in downloadable form. A day after the game's release, the band No Doubt sued Activision, citing similar misuse of their avatars as the Kurt Cobain avatar in Guitar Hero 5.

Contents

Gameplay

Main version

The game is functionally similar to the features of Guitar Hero 5, including bands composed of any combination of four instruments, drop-in/drop-out play, in-song menus to change difficulty and instrument, and additional multiplayer modes compared to Guitar Hero 5's "Rockfest". Band Hero also retains the Band Moment and the Band Revival feature from Guitar Hero 5.[1] Taylor Swift, Adam Levine (of Maroon 5), and the band No Doubt have been confirmed to be playable avatars in the game.[2][3][4][5] Artists performed motion capture for their in-game avatars.

A new drum kit controller was introduced with the game. While it features the same five-pad design as the Guitar Hero World Tour drum controller, many changes were made to address weight and size concerns that made assembly difficult. The cymbal pads are more circular than the previous triangular shapes, and the stand's crossbar has been lowered to its base as to allow for the bass kick pedal to be supported by it. Some adjustment to drum head sensitivity has been made based on complaints from the World Tour set, and the game will include a sensitivity adjustment feature. In the United States the new controller will, for a limited time, remain exclusive for the Wii version of the game and will be packaged in the Band Hero game and instrument bundles. The Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of the controller will arrive later; Band Hero bundles for these platforms in the US will include the World Tour drum controller.[6] In Europe, Band Hero Band Kits will ship with new drums on all platforms.[7]

The Band Hero Drum Kit will be compatible with other Guitar Hero games.

DS version

A gaming device that folds in half with two screens on each half; the bottom half is fitted with a black skin with thumb-tip side round pads that sit over the units controls. The screens show a virtual drum kit on the bottom and a note highway on the top screen.
The "drum skin" for the Nintendo DS Lite will be used to allow Band Hero players to simulate the console-based version of drumming.

Band Hero for the Nintendo DS will feature the ability to play the same instruments as the console-based versions. Though the game is compatible with the DS, DS Lite, and DSi, only players on the DS Lite will receive the "full band" experience due to the nature of the hardware extensions for the unit.

Guitar and bass parts will be played with the same "Guitar Grip" previously created for the Guitar Hero On Tour series, though this unit will not work on the Nintendo DSi due to lack of a GBA slot. The gameplay for guitar and bass is considered to be the fourth iteration of the Guitar Hero On Tour design by developers Vicarious Visions, and have further improvements to meet with different strumming styles.[8]

A new "drum skin" that fits over the bottom half of the DS unit will provide four "pads" for drumming that map to the unit's directional pad and face buttons; this design was selected over use of the touch screen due to the inability of the touch screen to recognize near-simultaneous taps, a factor that would have interfered with the drumming experience.[8] The drum skin is limited to the Nintendo DS Lite due to the skin's form factor. The decision to design towards the DS Lite rather than the newer DSi was due to the much larger volume of DS Lite units that have been sold relative to the DSi.[9]

The DS microphone will be used for vocal parts. The DS will have 30 of the songs from console versions. The game also supports up to four player multiplayer in a similar manner as Guitar Hero 5 using the DS's local wireless connections, allowing any combination of instruments.[10] However, there is no support for the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection nor plans for additional downloadable content for the DS game.[8]

Venues

  • Hourglass Tower
  • Ruins of Rock
  • Parade of the East
  • City of Water
  • Pitch Peak
  • Rock-quarium
  • B-Movie
  • Music Awards

Development

A television advertisement, featuring Taylor Swift, Pete Wentz (Fall Out Boy), Travis Barker (Blink-182), and Rivers Cuomo (Weezer), was created for the game by director Brett Ratner in the same manner as previous ads for other recent Guitar Hero games, initially paying tribute to the scene in Risky Business with Tom Cruise dancing in his underwear to the song "Old Time Rock and Roll". Though it appears as if all four performed together, Wentz stated that Swift performed her parts separately using a green screen to impose her into the footage of the other musicians.[11]

A three-song demo was made available on Xbox Live on October 15, 2009, and included "Paralyzer" by Finger Eleven, "Picture to Burn" by Taylor Swift and "Walking on Sunshine" by Katrina and the Waves. The demo was solely the Party Mode, with the three songs playable in random order.[12]

Soundtrack

Console soundtrack

Band Hero for consoles features 65 songs from "mainstream acts".[13][14] The game also allows Guitar Hero World Tour’s downloadable content to be used within Band Hero, and is expected to also use similar content for Guitar Hero 5.[1] In addition, some on-disc songs from Guitar Hero World Tour and Guitar Hero Smash Hits will be importable into Band Hero and Guitar Hero 5 for an undetermined fee, with music licensing limiting those that can be transferred.[15] Furthermore, 69 of the 85 on-disc songs from Guitar Hero 5 can be imported into Band Hero; similarly, 61 of the 65 songs from Band Hero can be exported for use in Guitar Hero 5.[16][17]

Year Song Title Artist Venue Order Exportable
2005 "A Million Ways" OK Go 01. Mall Of Fame Tour 4 Yes
1970 "ABC" The Jackson 5 02. Smoke & Water Festival 14 Yes
1971 "American Pie" Don McLean 11. Hyperspace 65 Yes
1996 "Angels of the Silences" Counting Crows 07. Everpop Awards 43 Yes
1981 "Bad Reputation" Joan Jett 03. Club La Noza 21 Yes
2009 "Back Again" Parachute 09. Paris 58 Yes
2004 "Beautiful Soul" Jesse McCartney 07. Everpop Awards 44 No
2007 "Believe" The Bravery 02. Smoke & Water Festival 9 Yes
1990 "Black Cat" Janet Jackson 05. Harajuku 34 Yes
2005 "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree" KT Tunstall 09. Paris 56 Yes
2003 "Bring Me to Life" Evanescence 01. Mall Of Fame Tour 5 Yes
2005 "Dirty Little Secret" The All-American Rejects 03. Club La Noza 15 Yes
1982 "Do You Really Want To Hurt Me" Culture Club 01. Mall Of Fame Tour 2 Yes
1995 "Don't Speak" No Doubt 07. Everpop Awards 47 Yes
1988 "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" Poison 05. Harajuku 29 Yes
2008 "Fascination" Alphabeat 07. Everpop Awards 45 Yes
2008 "Gasoline" The Airborne Toxic Event 10. Amp Orbiter 61 Yes
2003 "Hands Down" Dashboard Confessional 08. Red River Canyon 50 Yes
2007 "Hang Me Up to Dry" Cold War Kids 01. Mall Of Fame Tour 1 Yes
1967 "Happy Together" The Turtles 01. Mall Of Fame Tour 3 Yes
1969 "Honky Tonk Women" The Rolling Stones 04. Summer Park Festival 27 Yes
1968 "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" Marvin Gaye 02. Smoke & Water Festival 13 Yes
1979 "I Want You to Want Me" (Live) Cheap Trick 06. La Luz De Madrid 40 Yes
1996 "If You Could Only See" Tonic 03. Club La Noza 18 Yes
1983 "In a Big Country" Big Country 06. La Luz De Madrid 38 Yes
1995 "Just a Girl" No Doubt 09. Paris 59 Yes
2000 "Kids" Robbie Williams and Kylie Minogue 09. Paris 57 Yes
1974 "Kung Fu Fighting" Carl Douglas 08. Red River Canyon 51 Yes
2008 "L.E.S. Artistes" Santigold 03. Club La Noza 16 Yes
1983 "Let's Dance" David Bowie 01. Mall Of Fame Tour 6 Yes
2009 "Lifeline" Papa Roach 09. Paris 60 Yes
2007 "Like Whoa" Aly & AJ 08. Red River Canyon 52 No
2006 "Lips of an Angel" Hinder 02. Smoke & Water Festival 10 Yes
1983 "Love is a Battlefield" Pat Benatar 05. Harajuku 31 Yes
2008 "Love Story" Taylor Swift 04. Summer Park Festival 26 Yes
1983 "Mr. Roboto" Styx 04. Summer Park Festival 28 No
2006 "Naïve" The Kooks 10. Amp Orbiter 62 Yes
2003 "Ocean Avenue" Yellowcard 05. Harajuku 30 Yes
1964 "Oh, Pretty Woman" Roy Orbison 01. Mall Of Fame Tour 7 Yes
1981 "Our Lips Are Sealed" The Go-Go's 02. Smoke & Water Festival 12 Yes
2007 "Paralyzer" Finger Eleven 06. La Luz De Madrid 39 Yes
2006 "Picture to Burn" Taylor Swift 08. Red River Canyon 53 Yes
2007 "Pictures of You" The Last Goodnight 04. Summer Park Festival 23 Yes
2006 "Put Your Records On" Corinne Bailey Rae 05. Harajuku 32 Yes
1982 "Rio" Duran Duran 08. Red River Canyon 55 Yes
2002 "Rock Star" N.E.R.D. 02. Smoke & Water Festival 11 Yes
1995 "Santa Monica (Watch the World Die)" Everclear 03. Club La Noza 19 Yes
2004 "She Will Be Loved" Maroon 5 05. Harajuku 33 Yes
2003 "So Yesterday" Hilary Duff 02. Smoke & Water Festival 8 No
1999 "Steal My Kisses" Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals 04. Summer Park Festival 25 Yes
2005 "Sugar, We're Goin Down" Fall Out Boy 05. Harajuku 35 Yes
1999 "Take a Picture" Filter 07. Everpop Awards 46 Yes
2008 "Take Back the City" Snow Patrol 04. Summer Park Festival 24 Yes
2006 "Take What You Take" Lily Allen 03. Club La Noza 20 Yes
2006 "The Adventure" Angels & Airwaves 06. La Luz De Madrid 42 Yes
1997 "The Impression That I Get" The Mighty Mighty Bosstones 10. Amp Orbiter 64 Yes
2001 "Turn Off the Light" Nelly Furtado 07. Everpop Awards 48 Yes
1985 "Walking on Sunshine" Katrina and the Waves 06. La Luz De Madrid 41 Yes
1996 "Wannabe" Spice Girls 03. Club La Noza 17 Yes
2008 "Warwick Avenue" Duffy 06. La Luz De Madrid 37 Yes
2002 "When I'm Gone" 3 Doors Down 06. La Luz De Madrid 36 Yes
1980 "Whip It" Devo 04. Summer Park Festival 22 Yes
1978 "Y.M.C.A." Village People 07. Everpop Awards 49 Yes
2008 "You Belong With Me" Taylor Swift 08. Red River Canyon 54 Yes
2004 "You Had Me" Joss Stone 10. Amp Orbiter 63 Yes

Nintendo DS soundtrack

The Nintendo DS version of Band Hero features thirty songs of the same genre as the console-based soundtrack. Although they feature some of the same artists from the console version, the tracks themselves are different.[14][18][19]

Song Title Artist North American
version
European
version
"All You Need" Sublime Yes No
"A-Punk" Vampire Weekend Yes No
"Believe" The All-American Rejects Yes No
"Boots of Chinese Plastic" The Pretenders Yes No
"Call Me When You're Sober" Evanescence Yes Yes
"Club Foot" Kasabian No Yes
"Crazy Little Thing Called Love" Queen Yes No
"Everything About You" Ugly Kid Joe Yes Yes
"Excuse Me Mr." No Doubt Yes Yes
"Fascination" Alphabeat No Yes
"Feel Good Inc." Gorillaz No Yes
"First Date" Blink-182 Yes Yes
"Fly Away" Lenny Kravitz No Yes
"Get Free" The Vines Yes No
"Girlfriend" Avril Lavigne Yes Yes
"Golden Touch" Razorlight No Yes
"Grace Kelly" Mika No Yes
"Hungry Like the Wolf" Duran Duran Yes No
"I Predict a Riot" Kaiser Chiefs Yes Yes
"In Too Deep" Sum 41 Yes No
"Let's Get It Started" The Black Eyed Peas Yes Yes
"Lump" The Presidents of the United States of America Yes No
"Manhattan" Kings of Leon Yes Yes
"Monkey Wrench" Foo Fighters Yes Yes
"Munich" Editors No Yes
"My Favourite Game" The Cardigans No Yes
"No One Knows" Queens of the Stone Age Yes Yes
"Our Truth" Lacuna Coil Yes No
"She Will Be Loved" Maroon 5 No Yes
"So What" Pink Yes Yes
"Song 2" Blur No Yes
"Spaceman" The Killers Yes Yes
"Suddenly I See" KT Tunstall Yes Yes
"Take What You Take" Lily Allen No Yes
"The Age of the Understatement" The Last Shadow Puppets No Yes
"The Great Escape" Boys Like Girls Yes No
"Thnks fr th Mmrs" Fall Out Boy Yes Yes
"Tripping" Robbie Williams No Yes
"Troublemaker" Weezer Yes No
"Two Princes" Spin Doctors Yes No
"Under My Thumb" (Live) The Rolling Stones Yes Yes
"Wannabe in L.A." Eagles of Death Metal Yes No
"Windows" N.E.R.D No Yes
"Yellow" Coldplay No Yes
"You Better Pray" The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus Yes No

Importable content

On release of Band Hero, 35 of the songs from World Tour and 21 from Smash Hits are importable into Band Hero for a small fee (approximately $0.10 per song), and are treated as downloadable content for the game playable in all game modes. Furthermore, 69 of the 85 tracks from Guitar Hero 5 will be importable into Band Hero. All transferred songs will also be playable in the Guitar Hero 5 and will be free if downloaded in either games. However, Guitar Hero 5 or Band Hero is not backwards-compatible with World Tour nor any other Guitar Hero game. The transfer process requires the player to enter a unique code from the World Tour or Smash Hits manual to be able to redownload available songs in a pack (on the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3) or individual songs (on the Wii) that have been updated to include the new features. Players on the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 can delete individual songs after downloading the pack. Some songs are not transferable because of licensing issues—not technical issues—according to Bright. Tim Riley, the head of music licensing at Activision, stated that the company will continue to seek licenses for more songs from previous games and downloadable content to be exported into Band Hero, but cannot guarantee that these songs will be licensed for future Guitar Hero games.

Downloadable content

While Band Hero does not have its own separate library of downloadable content, it supports downloadable content from the Guitar Hero 5 DLC library. In addition, 152 of the 158 available downloadable songs for Guitar Hero World Tour are forward-compatible with Guitar Hero 5 and Band Hero; the existing content is automatically upgraded to include all features new to these games and was immediately available to players upon release of Band Hero.[15][20][21] Downloaded songs can be used in all game modes, provided all participating players have the song, including in the game's Career mode when players are given the option to select any song to play. The entire Band Hero DLC library is also available in Guitar Hero 5, and vice versa, so both games embrace the same DLC library. But, some download songs have specific focus on Band Hero, like the "Celebrity New Years Track Pack" which includes Taylor Swift, Maroon 5 and No Doubt songs.

Reception

 Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 81%[22]
Metacritic 78/100[23]
Review scores
Publication Score
1UP.com A-[24]
Game Informer 7.8/10[25]
GameSpot 8.0/10[26]
GameSpy 4.5/5[27]
IGN 7.9/10[28]
Giant Bomb 3/5[29]

Band Hero has received mixed to positive reviews from gaming critics. Most recognized the game as having the same feature sets as Guitar Hero 5, including any benefits or flaws that may come from that. Reviewers praised the reuse of the Guitar Hero 5 features such as the Party Play mode that allows for players to jump in and out, the improved Career mode, and the improved GHTunes.[24][26][28] Some identified that the target market of the game appears to be towards teenage girls, such as the featuring of Taylor Swift, the color schemes used in the game, and other parts of the song selection.[27][29] Reviewers noted that setlist would be the strongest measure of whether players should purchase the game. It contains a diverse mix of songs, including some that reviewers think only teenage girls would appreciate.[27][25][29] The reviewers also commented on the smaller setlist, which contains only 65 songs compared to Guitar Hero 5's 85.[26][28]

Review did note that the "Top 40" songs do not always make for challenging songs, as many featured simple chord repetition throughout the song or simply following pre-programmed electronic keyboard or drum beats.[27][25][29] However, most songs were found to feature at least one difficult instrument portion that would be fun to play.[27][25] Reviews also noted that the censoring of songs in order to affirm a family-friendly rating is awkward, such as censoring the word "whiskey" from Don McLean's "American Pie" (8 times), and can ruin the enjoyment of some songs.[26] Greg Miller of IGN further noted that these censoring are at odds with the straight-up inclusion of other songs such as "Gasoline" by The Airborne Toxic Event which, Miller claims, is about sex.[28]

Some reviews saw Band Hero as a good addition to the Guitar Hero franchise, and pointed out the strength of the game is improved in part due to the ability to import and export songs between Band Hero, Guitar Hero 5, and content. Justin Haywald of 1UP.com, in consideration of the equivalent nature of featured, considered that players now had a choice of "'Top 40' Band Hero or 'Hard Rock' [Guitar Hero 5]" skins to select for playing the music on, and positive direction for the series.[24] However, others saw the simple rebranding of the game, and that some may see the product as little more than a "full-price track pack".[26][29]

The game has sold 596,000 units in North America through January 2010, according to data from NPD Group.[30] Prior to the end of 2009, Activision had expressed plans to publish a sequel to Band Hero in 2010.[31] However, as a result of overall decline in music game sales, in part due to the large number of SKUs released by Activision during 2009, such plans have been shelved, as Activision only plans to release continuing sequels to Guitar Hero and DJ Hero in 2010.[32]

Lawsuit by No Doubt

A day following Band Hero's release, the band No Doubt filed a lawsuit against Activision. In a similar manner as Guitar Hero 5, where the avatar of Kurt Cobain could be used to play any of the songs in the game and leading to questionable virtual performances, the same was found to be true for the No Doubt avatars in Band Hero. No Doubt's lawsuit claims their contract limited their performance to the three songs within the game, and were never told their avatars would be used in that manner. Activision has stated they believe that the manner of use of the band's avatars in the game is within the bounds of their contract.[33][34] The publisher has since filed a counter-suit against the band, alleging contract breaches; Activision claims that it was "publicly known" that in-game characters in the Guitar Hero series, once unlocked, could be used for all game modes, and that No Doubt's request came well after the game's code was finalized.[35] Courtney Love, who has expressed to follow legal action for Cobain's appearance in Guitar Hero 5, said to NME that she will join No Doubt in their lawsuit against Activision.[36]

References

  1. ^ a b Gerstmann, Jeff (2009-07-21). "Band Hero To Bring Pop Music To Your Plastic This November". Giant Bomb. http://www.giantbomb.com/news/band-hero-to-bring-pop-music-to-your-plastic-this-november/1573/. Retrieved 2009-07-22. 
  2. ^ Snider, Mike (2009-08-04). "Taylor Swift: Band Heroine". USA Today. http://content.usatoday.com/communities/gamehunters/post/2009/08/taylor-swift-/1. Retrieved 2009-08-04. 
  3. ^ "Taylor Swift: What a character!". People Magazine. 2009-08-04. http://www.people.com/people/videos/0,,20295260,00.html. Retrieved 2009-08-04. 
  4. ^ Pastorek, Whitney (2009-08-18). "An EW Exclusive: Maroon 5's Adam Levine goes digital in 'Band Hero'". Entertainment Weekly. http://music-mix.ew.com/2009/08/18/adam-levine-maroon-5-band-hero/. Retrieved 2009-08-18. 
  5. ^ Halperin, Shirley (2009-08-27). "Kurt Cobain Joins “Guitar Hero 5″: How Nirvana Came to the Game". Rolling Stone. http://www.rollingstone.com/rockdaily/index.php/2009/08/27/kurt-cobain-joins-guitar-hero-5-how-nirvana-came-to-the-game/. Retrieved 2009-08-27. 
  6. ^ Lowe, Scott (2009-09-29). "Band Hero Drum Set Hands-On". IGN. http://gear.ign.com/articles/102/1029743p1.html. Retrieved 2009-09-30. 
  7. ^ Rybicki, Joe (2009-10-09). "Those New Band Hero Drums hi". http://www.plasticaxe.com/2009/10/09/those-new-band-hero-drums/. Retrieved 2009-11-02. 
  8. ^ a b c Tolito, Stephan (2009-07-23). "Band Hero DS Braces For The Skeptics, Offers A Lot". Kotaku. http://kotaku.com/5320413/band-hero-ds-braces-for-the-skeptics-offers-a-lot. Retrieved 2009-07-25. 
  9. ^ "Activison: Nintendo DSi hasn't Sold Enough". Spong. 2009-07-24. http://news.spong.com/article/18717/Activison_Nintendo_DSi_hasnt_Sold_Enough. Retrieved 2009-07-25. 
  10. ^ Faylor, Chris (2009-07-23). "Band Hero Brings Portable Drum Action to DS Lite". Shacknews. http://www.shacknews.com/onearticle.x/59672. Retrieved 2009-07-23. 
  11. ^ Lynch, Joseph Brannigan (2009-11-03). "Pete Wentz: A Music Mix Q&A on 'Band Hero,' lost-bet tattoos and why Fall Out Boy isn't breaking up". Entertainment Weekly. http://music-mix.ew.com/2009/11/03/pete-wentz-band-hero-tattoo-bronx-ashlee-simpson/. Retrieved 2009-11-03. 
  12. ^ Faylor, Chris (2009-10-15). "Band Hero Demo Arrives on Xbox 360, Has You 'Walking on Sunshine'". Shacknews. http://www.shacknews.com/onearticle.x/60876. Retrieved 2009-10-15. 
  13. ^ "Sneak Peek: 'Band Hero' Tunes Up". MSNBC. 2009-07-21. http://paralleluniverse.msn.com/features/music/band-hero-trailer/. Retrieved 2009-07-22. 
  14. ^ a b Reilly, Dan (2009-10-16). "'Band Hero' Tracklist Revealed – Exclusive". Spinner. http://www.spinner.com/2009/10/16/band-hero-tracklist-revealed/. Retrieved 2009-10-16. 
  15. ^ a b Brudvig, Erik (2009-08-07). "Guitar Hero 5 Hands-on". IGN. http://xbox360.ign.com/articles/101/1011988p1.html. Retrieved 2009-08-07. 
  16. ^ "Song Import Information". Activision. 2009-10-19. http://hub.guitarhero.com/support/faq/song-import-information. Retrieved 2009-10-19. 
  17. ^ Faylor, Chris (2009-10-19). "Band Hero Gets Full Tracklist, Song Export Details". Shacknews. http://www.shacknews.com/onearticle.x/60913. Retrieved 2009-10-19. 
  18. ^ "'Band Hero' (ALL) Preliminary Tracklist Revealed". Worth Playing. 2009-09-28. http://worthplaying.com/article/2009/9/28/news/68847/. Retrieved 2009-09-28. 
  19. ^ Nintendo DS European Tracklist Retrieved 2009-11-13.
  20. ^ "Guitar Hero 5 Official Press Release!". Neversoft. 2009-05-18. http://community.guitarhero.com/news_posts/214. Retrieved 2009-05-18. 
  21. ^ Faylor, Chris (2009-05-15). "First Guitar Hero 5 Songs Include Johnny Cash; Compatibility with GH World Tour DLC Confirmed". Shacknews. http://www.shacknews.com/onearticle.x/58645. Retrieved 2009-05-15. 
  22. ^ "Band Hero for Xbox 360". Game Rankings. http://www.gamerankings.com/xbox360/960601-band-hero/index.html. Retrieved 2009-11-09. 
  23. ^ "Band Hero (xbox360)". Metacritic. http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/xbox360/bandhero. Retrieved 2009-11-09. 
  24. ^ a b c Haywald, Justin (2009-11-05). "Band Hero Review". 1UP.com. http://www.1up.com/do/reviewPage?cId=3176795&p=4. Retrieved 2009-11-09. 
  25. ^ a b c d Miller, Matt (2009-11-04). "Band Hero". Game Informer. http://gameinformer.com/games/band_hero/b/xbox360/archive/2009/11/04/review.aspx. Retrieved 2009-11-09. 
  26. ^ a b c d e Watters, Chris (2009-11-04). "Band Hero Review". Gamespot. http://www.gamespot.com/xbox360/puzzle/bandhero/review.html. Retrieved 2009-11-09. 
  27. ^ a b c d e Rybicki, Joe (2009-11-06). "The Consensus: Band Hero Review". Gamespy. http://xbox360.gamespy.com/xbox-360/band-hero/1043107p1.html. Retrieved 2009-11-09. 
  28. ^ a b c d Miller, Greg (2009-11-03). "Band Hero Review". IGN. http://xbox360.ign.com/articles/104/1041639p1.html. Retrieved 2009-11-09. 
  29. ^ a b c d e Gerstmann, Jeff (2009-11-04). "Band Hero". Giant Bomb. http://www.giantbomb.com/band-hero/61-26367/reviews/. Retrieved 2009-11-09. 
  30. ^ Fritz, Ben (2010-02-02). "Activision's Guitar Hero chief exits after less than a year". Los Angeles Times. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/entertainmentnewsbuzz/2010/02/activisions-guitar-hero-chief-exits-after-less-than-a-year.html. Retrieved 2010-02-02. 
  31. ^ French, Michael (2009-11-13). "Heroic Deeds". MCVUK. http://www.mcvuk.com/features/584/Heroic-Deeds. Retrieved 2009-11-17. 
  32. ^ Nunneley, Stephany (2010-02-10). "Acti Bliz slashes music SKUs, 60 million Guitar Hero songs downloaded". VG247. http://www.vg247.com/2010/02/10/actibliz-full-year-financials-2009-60-million-guitar-hero-songs-download/. Retrieved 2010-02-10. 
  33. ^ Lewis, Randy (2009-11-04). "No Doubt sues Activision over Band Hero [Updated"]. Los Angeles Times. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/music_blog/2009/11/no-doubt-sues-activision-over-band-hero.html. Retrieved 2009-11-04. 
  34. ^ Kreps, Daniel (2009-11-04). "No Doubt Sue Activision Over Use of “Band Hero” Avatars". Rolling Stone. http://www.rollingstone.com/rockdaily/index.php/2009/11/04/no-doubt-sue-activision-over-use-of-band-hero-avatars/. Retrieved 2009-11-04. 
  35. ^ Mattas, Jeff (2009-12-09). "Activision Countersues No Doubt in Band Hero Spat". Activision. http://www.shacknews.com/onearticle.x/61544. Retrieved 2009-12-09. 
  36. ^ Good, Owen (2010-01-30). "Courtney Love Now Says Cobain Would've Been Cool With Guitar Hero 5". Kotaku. http://kotaku.com/5460325/courtney-love-now-says-cobain-wouldve-been-cool-with-guitar-hero-5. Retrieved 2010-01-30. 

External links


Gaming

Up to date as of January 31, 2010

From Wikia Gaming, your source for walkthroughs, games, guides, and more!

Band Hero

Developer(s) Neversoft (Xbox 360/PS3)

Vicarious Visions (Wii/DS) Budcat Creations (PS2)

Publisher(s) RedOctane
Release date NA November 3, 2009

EU November 6, 2009

AUS November 25, 2009

Genre Music
Mode(s) Game Mode(s) Missing
Age rating(s) ESRB: E10+
Platform(s) PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Wii, Xbox 360, Nintendo DS
Media DVD, Wii Optical Disc, Blu-ray Disc
Credits | Soundtrack | Codes | Walkthrough


Band Hero is a spin-off game to the Guitar Hero series of music video games, released by Activision on November 3, 2009 for the PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii and Nintendo DS consoles. The game is structurally similar to Guitar Hero 5, and supports full band play (lead and bass guitar, drums, and vocals) including the drop-in/drop-out and in-song instrument and difficulty change menus, and additional multiplayer modes as Guitar Hero 5. The console versions use instrument-shaped game controllers, while the DS version uses either the "Guitar Grip" introduced with the Guitar Hero On Tour series or a new Drum Skin that come with the game. Like previous games, virtual avatars of Taylor Swift, Adam Levine, and the band No Doubt are presented in the game.

Band Hero received mixed reviews from journalists. Some considered the game to be an appropriately flavored version of Guitar Hero 5 for the "Top 40" pop rock hits, while others felt the game was strictly aimed at teenage girls. They also contested the cost of the full game, featuring only 65 songs compared with 85 songs in Guitar Hero 5, and considered if the content would have been better in downloadable form. A day after the game's release, the band No Doubt sued Activision, citing similar misuse of their avatars as the Kurt Cobain avatar in Guitar Hero 5.

Contents

Gameplay

Main Version

The game is functionally similar to the features of Guitar Hero 5, including bands composed of any combination of four instruments, drop-in/drop-out play, in-song menus to change difficulty and instrument, and additional multiplayer modes compared to Guitar Hero 5's "Rockfest". Taylor Swift, Adam Levine (of Maroon 5), and the band No Doubt have been confirmed to be playable avatars in the game. Artists performed motion capture for their in-game avatars.

A new drum kit controller will be introduced with the game. While it features the same five-pad design as the Guitar Hero World Tour drum controller, many changes were made to address weight and size concerns that made assembly difficult. The cymbal pads are more circular than the previous triangular shapes, and the stand's crossbar has been lowered to its base as to allow for the bass kick pedal to be supported by it. Some adjustment to drum head sensitivity has been made based on complaints from the World Tour set, and the game will include a sensitivity adjustment feature. In the United States the new controller will, for a limited time, remain exclusive for the Wii version of the game and will be packaged in the Band Hero game and instrument bundles. The Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of the controller will arrive later; Band Hero bundles for these platforms in the US will include the World Tour drum controller. In Europe, Band Hero Band Kits will ship with new drums on all platforms.

The Band Hero Drum Kit will be compatible with other guitar hero games.

DS Version

Band Hero for the Nintendo DS will feature the ability to play the same instruments as the console-based versions. Though the game is compatible with the DS, DS Lite, and DSi, only players on the DS Lite will receive the "full band" experience due to the nature of the hardware extensions for the unit. Guitar and bass parts will be played with the same "Guitar Grip" previously created for the Guitar Hero On Tour series, though this unit will not work on the Nintendo DSi due to lack of a GBA slot. The gameplay for guitar and bass is considered to be the fourth iteration of the Guitar Hero On Tour design by developers Vicarious Visions, and have further improvements to meet with different strumming styles. A new "drum skin" that fits over the bottom half of the DS unit will provide four "pads" for drumming that map to the unit's directional pad and face buttons; this design was selected over use of the touch screen due to the inability of the touch screen to recognize near-simultaneous taps, a factor that would have interfered with the drumming experience. The drum skin is limited to the Nintendo DS Lite due to the skin's form factor. The decision to design towards the DS Lite rather than the newer DSi was due to the much larger volume of DS Lite units that have been sold relative to the DSi. The DS microphone will be used for vocal parts. The DS will have 30 of the songs from console versions. The game also supports up to four player multiplayer in a similar manner as Guitar Hero 5 using the DS's local wireless connections, allowing any combination of instruments. However, there is no support for the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection nor plans for additional downloadable content for the DS game.

Development

A television advertisement, featuring Taylor Swift, Pete Wentz (Fall Out Boy), Travis Barker (Blink-182), and Rivers Cuomo (Weezer), was created for the game by director Brett Ratner in the same manner as previous ads for other recent Guitar Hero games, initially paying tribute to the scene in Risky Business with Tom Cruise dancing in his underwear to the song "Old Time Rock and Roll". Though it appears as if all four performed together, Wentz stated that Swift performed her parts separately using a green screen to impose her into the footage of the other musicians.

A three-song demo was made available on Xbox Live on October 15, 2009, and included "Paralyzer" by Finger Eleven, "Picture to Burn" by Taylor Swift and "Walking on Sunshine" by Katrina and the Waves. The demo was solely the Party Mode, with the three songs playable in random order.

Importable Content

On release of Band Hero, 35 of the songs from World Tour and 21 from Smash Hits are importable into Band Hero for a small fee (approximately $0.10 per song), and are treated as downloadable content for the game playable in all game modes. Furthermore, 69 of the 85 tracks from Guitar Hero 5 will be importable into Band Hero. All transferred songs will also be playable in the Guitar Hero 5 and will be free if downloaded in either games. However, Guitar Hero 5 or Band Hero is not backwards-compatible with World Tour nor any other Guitar Hero game. The transfer process requires the player to enter a unique code from the World Tour or Smash Hits manual to be able to redownload available songs in a pack (on the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3) or individual songs (on the Wii) that have been updated to include the new features. Players on the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 can delete individual songs after downloading the pack. Some songs are not transferable because of licensing issues—not technical issues—according to Bright. Tim Riley, the head of music licensing at Activision, stated that the company will continue to seek licenses for more songs from previous games and downloadable content to be exported into Band Hero, but cannot guarantee that these songs will be licensed for future Guitar Hero games.

Downloadable Content

While Band Hero does not have its own separate library of downloadable content, it supports downloadable content from the Guitar Hero 5 DLC library. In addition, 152 of the 158 available downloadable songs for Guitar Hero World Tour are forward-compatible with Guitar Hero 5 and Band Hero; the existing content is automatically upgraded to include all features new to these games and was immediately available to players upon release of Band Hero. Downloaded songs can be used in all game modes, provided all participating players have the song, including in the game's Career mode when players are given the option to select any song to play. The entire Band Hero DLC library is also available in Guitar Hero 5, and vice versa, so both games embrace the same DLC library. But, some download songs have specific focus on Band Hero, like the "Celebrity New Years Track Pack" which includes Taylor Swift, Maroon 5 and No Doubt songs.

Reception

Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 81%
Metacritic 78/100
Review scores
Publication Score
1UP.com A-
Game Informer 7.8/10
GameSpot 8.0/10
GameSpy 4.5/5
IGN 7.9/10
Giant Bomb 3/5

Band Hero has received mixed reviews from gaming critics. Most recognized the game as having the same feature sets as Guitar Hero 5, including any benefits or flaws that may come from that. Reviewers praised the reuse of the Guitar Hero 5 features such as the Party Play mode that allows for players to jump in and out, the improved Career mode, and the improved GHTunes. Some identified that the target market of the game appears to be towards teenage girls, such as the featuring of Taylor Swift, the color schemes used in the game, and other parts of the song selection. Reviewers noted that setlist would be the strongest measure of whether players should purchase the game. It contains a diverse mix of songs, including some that reviewers think only teenage girls would appreciate. The reviewers also commented on the smaller setlist, which contains only 65 songs compared to Guitar Hero 5's 85.

Review did note that the "Top 40" songs do not always make for challenging songs, as many featured simple chord repetition throughout the song or simply following pre-programmed electronic keyboard or drum beats. However, most songs were found to feature at least one difficult instrument portion that would be fun to play. Reviews also noted that the censoring of songs in order to affirm a family-friendly rating is awkward, such as censoring the word "whiskey" from Don McLean's "American Pie" (8 times), and can ruin the enjoyment of some songs. Greg Miller of IGN further noted that these censoring are at odds with the straight-up inclusion of other songs such as "Gasoline" by The Airborne Toxic Event which, Miller claims, is about sex.

Some reviews saw Band Hero as a good addition to the Guitar Hero franchise, and pointed out the strength of the game is improved in part due to the ability to import and export songs between Band Hero, Guitar Hero 5, and content. Justin Haywald of 1UP.com, in consideration of the equivalent nature of featured, considered that players now had a choice of "'Top 40' Band Hero or 'Hard Rock' [Guitar Hero 5]" skins to select for playing the music on, and positive direction for the series. However, others saw the simple rebranding of the game, and that some may see the product as little more than a "full-price track pack".

Lawsuit by No Doubt

A day following Band Heros release, the band No Doubt filed a lawsuit against Activision. In a similar manner as Guitar Hero 5, where the avatar of Kurt Cobain could be used to play any of the songs in the game and leading to questionable virtual performances, the same was found to be true for the No Doubt avatars in Band Hero. No Doubt's lawsuit claims their contract limited their performance to the three songs within the game, and were never told their avatars would be used in that manner. Activision has stated they believe that the manner of use of the band's avatars in the game is within the bounds of their contract. The publisher has since filed a counter-suit against the band, alleging contract breaches; Activision claims that it was "publicly known" that in-game characters in the Guitar Hero series, once unlocked, could be used for all game modes, and that No Doubt's request came well after the game's code was finalized.

External links

  • Official Band Hero site
  • Activision
  • RedOctane
















This article uses material from the "Band Hero" article on the Gaming wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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