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Friday | September 21, 2018
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Band Hero (PS3 Preview)

Band Hero (PS3 Preview)

Music games have taken the gaming world by storm, with Rock Band and Guitar Hero spawning a whole community of wannabee musicians. Searching Youtube, you can find videos of grandmothers and babies playing air guitar along to many a classic rock track. Activision, the guys behind a huge percentage of these music based titles are due to release another title for your pleasure, entitled Band Hero.

Band Hero has a slightly more mainstream market appeal than some of the other titles in this genre and this is a version of Guitar Hero with an emphasis on making it as user friendly as possible – imagine a version of Guitar Hero for the whole family who want to play along to Top 40 hits and you pretty much nail the concept.

The track list comprises less guitar oriented music and delves more into the pop mainstream culture with artists such as the Jackson 5 and Maroon 5 as well as Taylor Swift making an appearance. This is a very specific track list configuration that is going to appeal to a significantly younger audience.

As with all these games you get to select an instrument of your choice and you then play along to the corresponding notes on a vertical scrolling ‘fretboard’. This applies to all the instruments, whether it is guitar or the drum set. For the singers among you, the words are on top of the screen and they can be Karaoke style, scrolling or even static depending on your tastes. The mechanics are nothing new. it is all about the timing, or in the case of the vocals, the pitching.

As well as the usual Career Mode, the game brings a new ‘rockfest’ mode which is a multiple competition based mode. Elimination breaks the song into sections and the player with the lowest score at the end of each section gets kicked out. Perfectionist is another section style competition mode and this one only gives points to players who get perfect scores. Pro Face off pits the opponents against each other in the same song with the same instrument. Do or Die stuns you if you miss three notes in a section so you are not scoring but your opponents will be. Momentum changes the difficulty of the track on the fly as you play and Streakers is a scoring based system which only gives points if you have a note streak is a multiple of 10. All in all this is a fantastic series of modes which will appeal to party style gamers and was always something I found lacking in other games in this genre – a little variety.

The graphic style is very Miami Vice, with bright, gaudy colours taking centerstage – disco lights glare behind the singers, and colorful outfits and bright hair really set the mood.

Going back to the tried and test Career mode, there is nothing out of the ordinary with the design and this is understandable as it has been refined and tuned over the years with each subsequent release. You choose a band name, a logo and then go about working your way through the songs and instead of the usual dark and messy pub and club environments, this time you are placed into situations such as Mall competitions involving kids.

Every song also has a Bonus Challenge, so for instance it may ask you to hold a specific multiplier as a vocalist for as long as possible to earn new outfits or band goals. The system also gives information on the bands and other miscellaneous detail. The game mechanics are also pretty much as they have been for a while such as the tried and tested method of working to get Star Power.

Band Hero is set to flesh out the music, band based genre when it hits the stores in November – it will appeal to a more mainstream audience and possibly younger teenagers who found the other games a little over their head. We are sure it will be a big seller and we will have a full review on Gamingheaven nearer the time.

About Author

Stuart Davidson

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