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Battle of the Bands Review

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Developer: Planet Moon Studios Publisher: THQ
Release Date: April 22, 2008 Also On: None

There’s no doubt that Guitar Hero has been a tremendous success. The now multi-billion dollar franchise has spawned several sequels from Activision, lining their coffers and propelling them to the top of sales charts. Its not a surprise that other publishers would attempt to cash-in on the idea. Electronic Arts released Rock Band, Disney has announced Ultimate Band and THQ is behind Battle of the Bands.

Unlike Guitar Hero and Rock Band, THQ’s Battle of the Bands does not require or come with (nor is it compatible with) any guitars, drums or microphones. Instead, you use your Wii Remote to motion notes as they pass across the screen like they would in the previously mentioned music games, except all you are doing is waving your hand instead of mimicking a guitar solo or drum beats. Talk about starting on a bad note.

On the plus side there are a good number of songs to choose from. THQ touts that Battle of the Bands features 30 hits, 5 music genres and 11 unique bands to choose from. The genres range from Rock, Hip Hop, Country, Marching Band and Latin. A number of good songs make the cut as well. Among them are Feel Good Inc., Black Betty, Blitzkrieg Bop, Photograph, and Spoonman. Unfortunately, none of them are master recordings, but instead recreated by no-names specifically for this game.

As I said earlier, you use hand motions to hit your notes. You do this by waving right, left and down, as well as a jab towards the screen. The gimmick of Battle of the Bands, as the name implies, is that they literally battle each other. This is quite similar to a battle in Guitar Hero where you would launch an attack on your opponent (i.e. flip their notes). You get a number of attacks that, if inflicted, will add to your point total. The goal of the game is to finish a battle with the most points from hitting the notes correctly and scoring off of attacks.

Like the rest of the game, the game modes are relatively limited. You get a short single-player campaign mode with a corny story and no customization. You pick from the 11 bands and go to battle against other bands across the game’s 30 songs. There are three difficulty levels and your experience changes slightly depending on the band you choose (such as your attacks, what you look like, etc.). One of the coolest things about Battle of the Bands is that each band has a unique sound to them. This means that when you play Miss Murder, one band might sing it to rock while another might to rap.

Battle of the Bands seems pointless for not having an actual musical instrument. The battle element of Battle of the Bands is hardly compensation for the lack of an instrument to play. The concept of multiple music genres and remixes of classic songs was a good one. Not having the original songs is a bummer and the fact that you are just moving your hand makes it about as entertaining as listening to your iPod and waving your hands around. Kids might like this, but for everyone else, stick to Guitar Hero and Rock Band.

Graphics: 6
Sound: 8
Gameplay: 5
Creativity: 4
Replay Value/Game Length: 6
Final: 5.8
Written by Kyle Review Guide