Everything you want out of Guitar Hero, but it needs a little less pop and a little more difficulty.

User Rating: 5 | Band Hero X360

The Intro:

2009 was the, "Year of Guitar Hero." New Guitar Hero games came out seemingly every minute, with titles like, "Guitar Hero: Metallica," "Guitar Hero: Smash Hits," "Guitar Hero 5," "DJ Hero," and, "Guitar Hero: Van Halen." Lost in all of these titles was, "Band Hero," which was, to me, probably my least favorite of the Guitar Hero games released in 2009, and honestly my least favorite of the Guitar Hero games (Van Halen can be debated, but I enjoyed that one).

The Substance (story and characters):

"Band Hero," features no story mode or character development whatsoever, so let's skip ahead to the spectacle!

The Spectacle (Graphics and sound):

Off the bat, "Band Hero," has the same visual aesthetic of, "Guitar Hero 5." That's always welcome. Guitar Hero 5 had some great visuals. The only change with this game was that the color scheme was different. Given that the game revolves more around pop songs as opposed to rock songs, the visuals should show that off, and the venues in the game feature more bright colors than those shown off in, "Guitar Hero 5."

Now, this is where I explain why I gave a lower rating. The game features 65 songs. A big setlist, sure. The problem? Guitar Hero is known for rock songs. Why they decided to transition to pop music is beyond me. Not that all of the songs are bad, but not all of them are great either.

The Gameplay:

"Band Hero," features the same new features that were in, "Guitar Hero 5," such as Party Play, improved GHTunes, and much more. This at least makes the game a little bit better.

The Guitar featured in the band bundle is the same as the, "Guitar Hero 5," guitar, which is well-designed and plays well, but mine had some durability issues. The drum set is also the same one as the, "Guitar Hero: World Tour," drum set, although the Wii drum set is different. This drum set was later featured in the, "Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock," bundle. I haven't tried the new drums, but I know that the pads look different, the cymbals are now circular shaped, the pedal feels less stiff (if I'm using the correct term), the drum brain can be removed to make it easier for MIDI drums, the drum sticks are stored inside the drum set, and the brain now has two separate plugs for kick pedals.

Now, it's time for another flaw. As I mentioned, the setlist is composed of pop music. Do you know what that means? The songs are a lot less fun and the difficulty is a lot lower than that of previous Guitar Hero games, making it less fun for guys like me, who are used to the more fun and difficult Guitar Hero songs.

The Verdict:

"Band Hero," is what I consider to be the, "black sheep," of the Guitar Hero franchise. Sure, it's visual aesthetic is nice, and the addition of new features from, "Guitar Hero 5," is welcome, but the addition of pop music and the lack of difficulty really hurts the game. That said, it's not a horrible game, it's just a bit less fun that previous Guitar Hero games. Being a hardcore Guitar Hero fan won't be enough to give the game a look (I'm a diehard and I'm not into the game). If you enjoy Guitar Hero enough, have enough of an interest in pop music, and are looking for a good party game, this should be good enough. If not, try searching your bargain bin for another Guitar Hero game.

Final rating: 5/10 "Ok"