Guitar Hero vs. RockBand

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For the first time in the Guitar Hero series they have released a full band version that allows players to use either the guitar, drums, or microphone to sing. Guitar Hero: World Tour has a great song list that allowed me to recognize at least every other song if not at least 80% of them. Some of our favorite songs are Crazy Train by Ozzy, Hotel California by the Eagles, Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynryd, and Livin’ on a Prayer by Bon Jovi. You can even download songs right through the game, there is no exiting out of the system to download these new additions to your set list. It’s all within the game.  In Quick Play mode you can choose up to six songs to include in your play list. This allows you to have more of a continuous play.

As for the instruments, the drum kit on Guitar Hero was more preferred in our household. It is more realistic and is certainly more difficult to play. We like the challenge of it. On it there are 6 different areas to engage with. On beginner mode, though, you can still play the drums by just keeping a simple tempo on one drum with the game.  The guitar is a great instrument that anyone can play. On beginner mode my daughter can use the guitar easily and usually gets 85% or higher. Both my children are very musically inclined so they love interacting with the game. By far my favorite instrument to use is the microphone. The wording on the screen is rather tiny, but after one or two tries you can really master a song.

We have spent many evenings as a family playing Guitar Hero: World Tour in band mode. We enjoy the thrill, the silliness, and the well thought out game.

About the Momma:

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Andrea is a 26 year old work at home professional and mother to two beautiful little girls, Cayleigh (7) and Gabrielle (2). She is married to her one and only love Marc. Andrea currently runs Mommas Review and handles the marketing and publicity for it. She is addicted to reading, social networking, and reality television.

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Rock Band 2 was my first experience with a band-style music game. I’ve never played Guitar Hero or the original Rock Band but I’ve been eager to try one so the opportunity to review the new Rock Band 2 which just came out in December 2008 was very exciting! The games uses a wireless drum set, wireless Fender Stratocaster guitar and microphone allowing you to transform your living room group, be it family or friends, into your very own Rock Band.

It seems each member of my family is naturally drawn to one of the instruments. My husband loves rocking out on the Rock Band guitar and quickly figured out all the ins and outs of playing it. With the help of Rock Band’s tutorials it is easy to become masterful at the instrument of your choice. My three year old son thinks the drum set is his own personal drum set and when we play during the day he has command over it. I love that we can set the drum set up and even turn it on so he sees the blinking lights, but simply leave it disconnected from the Wii which lets him rock out along with us, but doesn’t interfere with the game play – which is oh so crucial when each instrument has the ability to control the game. I love that he can be involved with our fun without being a complete pain. He rocks out on the drums and sings along to the songs with us while we play.

I love the microphone on this game, perhaps because singing comes more naturally to me than instruments (the only real instrument I’ve ever played was the dreaded recorder in middle school). On a song that I already know and love, I can score high even on the hardest of settings, but it’s fun to pick out a random song I’ve never heard, throw it back to Easy Mode and give it a go. We did that for awhile in the beginning after I realized that my knowledge of the initial songs unlocked in the game was pretty much limited to one or two songs. Then a friend tipped us off on a way to unlock the rest of the songs in the game – and oh my goodness there are some good ones. I now probably know at least 75% of the songs with artists like Alanis Morissette, Fleetwood Mac, Smashing Pumpkins and many, many more. Rock Band 2 offers 84 songs on the game’s disc with 20 additional songs available FREE for download. Plus you can always buy more in the Rock Band Music Store. You can use your SD memory card to store your additional songs, with seamless management of your Rock Band library. No need to move content back and forth!

My only real complaint with Rock Band is that the instruments don’t make noise themselves. All the sound comes out of the game itself. This doesn’t bother anyone else in my family but me, but I think that if the instruments could somehow make noise in addition to the game or alongside it, that it would be a big improvement. One thing I loved is that while navigating the song list, I was able to sort by level of difficulty, band, song and a few other options I think, too. I also enjoyed being able to choose from a long list of “characters” to represent me when I play. My husband loves to let it choose at random and laugh over the often humorous results. I’ve gotten very comfortable with the character Grace Williams, one of the few  girls who looks mostly normal, doesn’t wear a bikini or have a million piercings and tattoos. Can’t help it, the mom in me respects that.

Overall we are absolutely thrilled with Rock Band 2 and look forward to playing it as a family together frequently.

About the Momma:

Jen is a Stay at Home Mom and Loving Wife. She spends her time online reading RSS feeds and posting in her blog. If you haven’t heard from her in awhile, she’s likely lost in a good book, sleeping or watching Grey’s Anatomy.

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