You don't need to know how to use a plastic instrument to participate; anyone with a DS can join in on the fun in Activision's upcoming Band Hero.
A spin-off of the popular Guitar Hero series, Band Hero aims to bring the joy of jamming with plastic instruments to a broader audience. Instead of a set list that is composed mainly of classic rock, Band Hero will have a variety of pop music straight from top-40 lists and Billboard top-10 lists. More than half of the songs included have been in the Billboard top 10 at some point, and 20 of them have even been number one hits. The list will span through the decades as well, so there's a little something for everyone. If that isn't tempting enough, you'll even be able to play as Taylor Swift or Adam Levine from Maroon 5. Many modes and features that you're used to from Guitar Hero 5 are included in this game, but Band Hero takes it another step further. Representatives from Vicarious Visions stopped by to give us an overview of the Wii-exclusive features of Band Hero, which primarily focus on the connectivity with the Nintendo DS.
For those who have played Guitar Hero 5 on the Wii, you'll notice that several of the features that we'll cover were included in that game and have been carried over with upgrades. The feature that is brand new to Band Hero on the Wii, though, is the DS Party Play mode, in which one person can use a DS to download the entire set list from the Wii and use Nintendo's handheld to add songs to the queue during play. We were told that this feature was added to let people who don't play the rhythm game (for whatever reason) still be involved and have a chance to participate. It's great for parties and acts like a mini remote so that people can queue up their song and jump in when it comes up next. The interface is incredibly easy to use, because it's all drag-and-drop with the stylus. There are multiple ways to filter the songs, including by instrumental intensity, so you can find some of the toughest songs to belt to and make your friends sing them.
One of the best features that has been passed down from Guitar Hero 5 is Roadie Battle, in which two extra players with a DS can join in with a couple of guitarists to act as their roadies. As a roadie, you're paired up with a guitarist, and while the guitarists are playing their song, you can play multiple minigames on the DS to sabotage your opponent. On the touch screen of the DS, you can choose to wander off to the other side of the stage and use the stylus to break speakers, mess up your opponent's soundboard, and swap guitar strings. By doing these malicious acts, you'll make it that much harder for your opponent to hit the right notes. It's the opposing roadie's job to fix all the damage you've done, via more minigames, such as blowing out the fire on a guitar or realigning all the switches. There's some strategy involved, because once you're committed to breaking something, you leave your own guitarist vulnerable to attack, because you have to finish what you've done before you can run back and fix the mess that the opposing roadie has created. It's important as a guitarist to communicate with your roadie partner, because if you're the one performing the song, it can be quite a challenge when you can't see your notes because of a smoke screen, or when the notes are missing, or when your buttons get reversed. This mode is incredibly fun (and mildly stressful) if you're looking for something different than just playing a song to hit all the notes. You also get a chance to yell at people and work cooperatively as a team.
Mii Freestyle is back with some additional touches. In this mode you can pretend you're playing a real instrument with prerecorded sounds, as well as improvise, like you would in Wii Music. There used to be three musical styles to play--classic rock, metal, and blues--but now there's also funk and rock and roll. With a DS, you can control the lighting, camera angles, and special effects, letting you customize your own little music video. When you're done, it's all recorded, and you can share it via WiiConnect24. Three people can play at the same time now, and the drummer can choose to play air drums with the remote and nunchuk if he or she doesn't want to use the drum kit. For those who haven't invested in equipment yet or who don't like the last piece they bought, a new drum kit has been designed only for the Wii version of Band Hero, with a stowaway section for the drumsticks and some extra padding for the drum pads.
The last Wii-DS connectivity feature that we covered involved Band Hero for the DS. Everything else that we've mentioned requires only a DS, but this last feature involves the DS game as well, because you can earn bonuses in each version of the game by completing fan requests. Fan requests are a series of challenges on the Wii and DS, and you can beam them to one another and complete them for unlockable goodies. For example, if you snag a fan request from the Wii and complete it on the DS, you can earn new rocker parts to customize your avatar. When you complete the challenge and connect with the Wii game again, the Wii version will gain fans as well as new clothing. We got a chance to play with the silicon overlap that acts as the drum grip for the DS Lite, and we liked how it felt--not to mention that it is much easier to play than actual drums.
The DS game will have vocal support through the microphone, and you can play with up to four players locally with any kind of band configuration that you like. With 30 songs available from the start, you can jump right in, create your own zombie/pirate/robot rocker, and start pushing buttons to the beat. The DS version looks great from what we've seen, with motion-captured data for the animations and funny stage stunts you can do while you're playing. When the metal horn icon lights up on the touch screen, you can hit it and do random things like dive into the crowd, rescue your roadie from the rabid fans, toss out schwag, and high-five people (just avoid slapping a baby in the face) to boost your rock meter.
Band Hero for the Wii will retain all the features of its Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 counterparts as well as all the additional functionality that we've covered. Because many Wii owners out there own a DS, it shouldn't be a problem to get other people involved in the game, even if they don't want to be frantically pushing colored buttons or singing. Like Guitar Hero 5, Band Hero can support high-capacity SD cards (up to 32 gigs), and importing friends doesn't involve manually putting in game-specific friend codes; instead, the game uses the global Wii address book to track down your friends. For more information on Band Hero, please check out our Xbox 360 preview here. The party starts on November 3 when Band Hero is released on the Wii, DS, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3.
im not sick of them they just need to make one game and just add songs like rockband there really is no need to make one come out every year
Is anyone else sick of music based video games? I know I am, most of them are the same basic concept, it's old.
@riariases All of the expansions you listed were for Gutiar Hero. Activision, however, is targeting the same audience as all of those Gutiar Hero expansions that have already been realeased. All we know is that we get Taylor Swift, whom my 13 year old sister listens to, so we can expect stuff in that genre/style. The article mentioned songs over several decades, which I'm sure is true, but when you honestly think about it, Gutiar Hero covered most of the good songs. Unless this game is Gutiar Hero drums compatable, sells will be miniamal. Finally, Kanye West is a genius, who else would be able to deduce that he actually is a gay fish.
@Reiken37 Obviously people are gonna buy this. Seriously, they'll buy it for the same reason they bought GH2, 3, World Tour, 5, Encore: Rocks the 80's, Aerosmith, Metallica, Smash Hits, On Tour, On Tour: Decades and On Tour Modern Hits when they already bought the original Guitar Hero. Its boring and an old formula but its interactive and co-operative and all those talentless oafs feel like they've musically accomplished something by playing it. I sure did atleast.
Sorry Activision, as much as you guys think you're smart, all you really know how to do is make spin-offs. It's sad to see every corner of the gaming market controlled by these guys, at least no one will buy this, I mean why buy this when you could get Gutiar Hero 5 or Beatles Rock Band. It's a simple decision.
Why would they include metal horns in a casual pop-rock game? Talk about a way to devoid a symbol of its original meaning...
IXIWhistIXI Posted Oct 17, 2009 5:55 pm GMT -4 How is this any more dumb than the guitar hero/rock band franchise? It's not like those aren't made for a insanely broad audience anyways ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ WELCOME TO EARTH !!!!! this is part of the guitar hero franchise !!!!!!!!!!!
How is this any more dumb than the guitar hero/rock band franchise? It's not like those aren't made for a insanely broad audience anyways.
It's only good for the people with a Wii, PS3/360 owners shouldn't get this, unless you like kiddy music... Taylor Swift's hot, though...
- Release Date: Nov 3, 2009 (US)