Separate from Activision's Guitar Hero franchise but very similar, Band Hero is a family friendly spin-off of the Guitar Hero games. Much like Lego Rock Band is to the Rock Band franchise, The soundtrack is slated to contain more "family friendly" and more widely known tracks, in order to bring a more accessible experience to the games.
A demo for the game has been released on Xbox Live and PSN starting October 15th, 2009. This demo features Finger Eleven “Paralyzer”, Katrina & The Waves “Walking on Sunshine" and Taylor Swift “Picture to Burn”. Includes Party Play and the all-new Sing-Along mode (which is a mode that is basically like karaoke).
There are two different setlists one for the console version (Wii, PS3, XB360) & one for the DS version. The console version has 65 songs from 63 artists/bands & is as follows:
- 3 Doors Down - 'When I'm Gone'
- All-American Rejects - "Dirty Little Secret" ******
- The Airborne Toxic Event - "Gasoline"
- Alphabeat - "Fascination"
- Aly and AJ - "Like Whoa"
- Angels & Airwaves - 'The Adventure'
- Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals - 'Steal My Kisses'
- Big Country - "In a Big Country"
- The Bravery - "Believe"
- Carl Douglas - "Kung Fu Fighting"
- Cheap Trick - "I Want You To Want Me" (Live)
- Cold War Kids - "Hang Me Up To Dry"
- Corinne Bailey Rae - 'Put Your Records On'
- Counting Crows - "Angels of the Silences"
- Culture Club - 'Do You Really Want to Hurt Me'
- Dashboard Confessional - "Hands Down"
- Duran Duran - "Rio"
- David Bowie - "Let's Dance"
- Devo - "Whip It"
- Don McLean - "American Pie"
- Evanescence - "Bring Me To Life"
- Everclear - 'Santa Monica (Watch the World Die)'
- Fall Out Boy - "Sugar We're Going Down"
- Filter - 'Take a Picture'
- Finger Eleven - “Paralyzer”
- The Go-Go's - "Our Lips Are Sealed"
- Hilary Duff - "So Yesterday"
- Hinder - 'Lips Of An Angel'
- The Jackson 5 - "ABC"
- Janet Jackson - "Black Cat"
- Jesse McCartney - "Beautiful Soul"
- Joan Jett - 'Bad Reputation'
- Joss Stone - 'You Had Me'
- Katrina and The Waves - "Walking On Sunshine"
- KT Tunstall - "Black Horses & The Cherry Tree"
- The Kooks - "Naïve"
- The Last Goodnight - 'Pictures of You'
- Lily Allen - "Take What You Take"
- Maroon 5 - "She Will Be Loved"
- Marvin Gaye - "I Heard It Through The Grapevine"
- Mighty Mighty Bosstones - "Impression That I Get"
- Nelly Furtado - "Turn Off The Light"
- N.E.R.D. - 'Rockstar'
- No Doubt - 'Don't Speak", "Just a Girl"***
- OK Go - "A Million Ways"
- Papa Roach - 'Lifeline'
- Parachute - 'Back Again'
- Pat Benatar - "Love Is A Battlefield"
- Poison - "Every Rose has its Thorn"
- Robbie Williams and Kylie Minogue - "Kids"
- The Rolling Stones - 'Honky Tonk Women'
- Roy Orbison - "Oh Pretty Woman"
- Santigold - 'L.E.S. Artistes'
- Snow Patrol - "Take Back the City"
- Spice Girls - 'Wannabe'
- Styx - "Mr. Roboto"
- Taylor Swift - "Love Story", "Picture to Burn", "You Belong with Me"
- Tonic - "If You Could Only See"
- The Turtles - 'Happy Together'
- Village People - "YMCA"
- Yellowcard - "Ocean Avenue"
DS Set List
- Like the setlists for the Guitar Hero: On Tour games the DS set list is localized for the UK,EU and US:
- The All-American Rejects - "Believe" (US Exclusive)
- Alphabeat - "Fascination" (UK/EU Exclusive)
- Avril Lavigne - "Girlfriend"
- Black Eyed Peas - "Let's Get It Started"
- Blink-182 - "First Date"
- Boys Like Girls - "The Great Escape" (US Exclusive)
- The Cardigains - "My Favourite Game" (UK/EU Exclusive)
- Duran Duran - "Hungry Like The Wolf" (US Exclusive)*
- Eagles of Death Metal - "Wannabe In L.A."(US Exclusive)*
- The Editors - "Munich" (UK/EU Exclusive)
- Evanescence - "Call Me When You're Sober"
- Fall Out Boy - "Thnks Fr Th Mmrs"
- Foo Fighters - "Monkey Wrench" **
- Gorillaz - "Feel Good Inc." (UK/EU Exclusive)
- Kasabian - "Club Foot" (UK/EU Exclusive)
- Kaiser Chiefs - "I Predict A Riot" ***
- The Killers - "Spaceman"
- Kings of Leon - "Manhattan"
- KT Tunstall - "Suddenly I See"
- Lacuna Coil - "Our Truth" (US Exclusive) ******
- The Last Shadow Puppets - "The Age of the Understatement"(UK/EU Exclusive)
- Lenny Kravitz - "Fly Away" (UK/EU Exclusive)
- Lilly Allen - "Take What You Take" (UK/EU Exclusive)
- Mika - "Grace Kelly" (UK/EU Exclusive)
- No Doubt - "Excuse Me Mr."
- Pink - "So What" ****
- The Presidents of the United States of America - "Lump" (US Exclusive)
- The Pretenders - "Boots of Chinese Plastic" (US Exclusive)
- Queen - "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" (US Exclusive)
- Queens of the Stone Age - "No One Knows" *****
- Razorlight - "Golden Touch" (UK/EU Exclusive)
- The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus - "You Better Pray" (US Exclusive)
- Robbie Willams - "Tripping" (UK/EU Exclusive)
- The Rolling Stones - "Under My Thumb (live)"
- Sum 41 - "In Too Deep" (US Exclusive)
- Sublime - "All I Need" (US Exclusive)
- Ugly Kid Joe - "Everything About You"
- The Vines - "Get Free" (US Exclusive)
- Weezer - "Troublemaker" (US Exclusive)
* Appeared in the setlist of Guitar Hero 5
** Appeared In setlist of Guitar Hero 2 & Guitar Hero Smash/Greatest Hits
*** Appears as DLC for Guitar Hero 3: Legends Of Rock
**** Appears as DLC for Guitar Hero World Tour
***** Appeared in the setlist of the original Guitar Hero game.
****** Appeared in the US version of Guitar Hero: On Tour Decades
******* Appeared in the setlist of Guitar Hero World Tour
Song Importing All DLC for Guitar Hero: World Tour (except for Jimi Hendrix tracks) is playable in Band Hero.
69 tracks from Guitar Hero 5 can be imported into Band Hero (Console Version) for 480 / $5.99 / 600 Wii Points (Xbox 360 / PS3 / Wii). In addition, 61 tracks from Band Hero (Console Version) an be imported into Guitar Hero 5 for 420 / $4.99 / 500 Wii Points.
All of the previously announced forward-compatible tracks from Guitar Hero: World Tour and Guitar Hero: Smash Hits will also be available for Band Hero for 280 / $3.49 / 350 Wii Points. For more on how importing works, read the Guitar Hero Song Importing FAQ sheet.
All but 4 tracks are exportable to Guitar Hero 5 ( those tracks are "Beautiful Soul", "Like Whoa", "Mr.Roboto" & "So Yesterday"
Importable tracks from Guiar Hero: World Tour
Importable tracks from Guitar Hero: Smash Hits
- "No Sleep Till Brooklyn" – Beastie Boys
- "Dammit" – Blink-182
- "Livin' on a Prayer" – Bon Jovi
- "Sweet Home Alabama (Live)" Lynyrd Skynyrd
- "L'Via L'Viaquez" – The Mars Volta
- "About a Girl (Unplugged)" – Nirvana
- "Spiderwebs" – No Doubt
- "Re-Education (Through Labor)" – Rise Against
- "Do It Again" – Steely Dan
- "Demolition Man" – Sting
- "Love Spreads" – The Stone Roses
- "Santeria" – Sublime
- "Are You Gonna Go My Way" – Lenny Kravitz
- "Band On The Run" – Wings
- "Heartbreaker" – Pat Benatar
- "Hollywood Nights" - Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band
- "Lazy Eye" - Silversun Pickups
- "Never Too Late" – The Answer
- "Obstacle 1" – Interpol
- "One Armed Scissor" – At the Drive-In
- "One Way or Another" – Blondie
- "Our Truth" – Lacuna Coil
- "Overkill" – Motorhead
- "Shiver" – Coldplay
- "Soul Doubt" – NOFX
- "Stranglehold" – Ted Nugent
- "The Joker" – The Steve Miller Band
- "The Kill" – 30 Seconds To Mars
- "Up Around The Bend" – Creedence Clearwater Revival
- "Everlong" – Foo Fighters
- "The Middle" – Jimmy Eat World
- "Today" – Smashing Pumpkins
- "Toy Boy" – Stuck in the Sound
- "You're Gonna Say Yeah!" – Hushpuppies
- "Stillborn" – Black Label Society
- "Caught In A Mosh" by Anthrax
- "Cult Of Personality" by Living Colour
- "Free Bird" – Lynyrd Skynyrd
- "Freya" – The Sword
- "Heart-Shaped Box" – Nirvana
- "Hey You" – The Exies
- "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" – Pat Benatar
- "I Love Rock 'N Roll" – Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
- "I Wanna Rock" – Twisted Sister
- "Message In A Bottle" – The Police
- "Miss Murder" – AFI
- "Monkey Wrench" – Foo Fighters
- "No One Knows" – Queens Of The Stone Age
- "Nothin' But A Good Time" – Poison
- "Play With Me" – Extreme
- "Psychobilly Freakout" – Reverend Horton Heat
- "Rock And Roll All Nite" – Kiss
- "Shout At The Devil" – Mötley Crüe
- "The Trooper" – Iron Maiden
- "Woman" – Wolfmother
- "YYZ" – Rush
All DLC that is compatible with Guitar Hero 5 is compatible with Band Hero, there has also been two track pack themed around Band hero called "Celibraty New Years" which featured songs from Maroon 5,Taylior swift, and no doubt. The other pack is called "Band Hero/Disney pop rock pack" which features artist from under the Disney records umbrella such as Miley Cirus & Selena Gomnez.
Like Following its predecessors, Band Hero will feature new celebrity musicians joining the cast of characters for players to rock out as.
- Taylor Swift
- Adam Levine
- No Doubt (the whole band appears in the game and not just one member of No Doubt)
The No Doubt Controversy
On November 4th, 2009, No Doubt
filed a lawsuit against Activision claiming that it's likeness had been used as a "virtual karaoke circus act" for all 60 songs released in Band Hero
. The band maintains that their likeness was only to be used for its own tracks. This is not the case as you can use the band through the entire setlist. Gwen Stefani has voiced particular displeasure over her likeness being used to sing "Honky Tonk Woman" by the Rolling Stones (a song celebrating prostitution from a male perspective). No Doubt will be seeking an injunction to halt the unauthorized use of their likeness as well as damages. Update:
Activision has responded with the following statement:
"Some of the world's most popular and iconic artists have been featured in Guitar Hero as playable characters, and we are proud to count No Doubt among them. Activision has a written agreement to use No Doubt in Band Hero – an agreement signed by No Doubt after extensive negotiations with its representatives, who collectively have decades of experience in the entertainment industry. Pursuant to that agreement, Activision worked with No Doubt and the band's management in developing Band Hero. As a result, Activision believes it is within its legal rights with respect to the use and portrayal of the band members in the game and that this lawsuit is without merit. Activision is exploring its own legal options with respect to No Doubt's obligations under the agreement."
Update: Activision Blizzard is now suing No Doubt as they said in the tolling statement:
"failing to do its due diligence on the videogame before signing away its digital likeness, breaching a contract to provide marketing and promotion to the game, and being unjustly enriched by their inclusion in the game."
The Reception Of Band Hero From The Critics
Band Hero received mixed reviews from gaming critics. Most recognized the game as having the same feature sets as Guitar Hero 5, including any benefits or flaws that may come from that. Reviewers praised the reuse of the Guitar Hero 5 features such as the Party Play mode that allows for players to jump in and out, the improved Career mode, and the improved GHTunes. Some identified that the target market of the game appears to be towards teenage girls, such as the featuring of Taylor Swift, the color schemes used in the game (Purple, Pink & Light Blue) and other parts of the song selection. Reviews noted that setlist would be the strongest measure of whether players should purchase the game, as it contains a diverse list of songs including some that, for anyone outside of the teenage girl set, would be difficult to appreciate. The reviewers also commented on the smaller setlist, containing only 65 songs compared to Guitar Hero 5's 85.
Review did note that the "Top 40" songs do not always make for challenging songs, as many featured simple chord repetition throughout the song or simply following pre-programmed electronic keyboard or drum beats. However, most songs were found to feature at least one difficult instrument portion that would be fun to play. Reviews also noted that the censoring of songs in order to affirm a family-friendly rating is awkward, such as removing the word "whiskey" from one line in "American Pie", and can ruin the enjoyment of some songs. Some reviews saw Band Hero as a good addition to the Guitar Hero franchise, and pointed out the strength of the game is improved in part due to the ability to import and export songs between Band Hero, Guitar Hero 5, and content. One critic in consideration of the equivalent nature of featured, considered that players now had a choice of "'Top 40' Band Hero or 'Hard Rock' [Guitar Hero 5]" skins to select for playing the music on, and positive direction for the series. However, others saw the simple rebranding of the game, and that some may see the product as little more than a "full-price track pack" .
The Censoring Issue
A lot of critics as well as fans of the game have stated that the censoring in the game is at a ridiculous level, such as "You Had Me" by Joss Stone is heavily censored because of its references to legal drugs such as alcohol and tobacco. other censoring does not make sense such as the song "Sugar, We're Going Down" by Fall Out Boy, the word "bedpost" & "friction" are censored which in the context of the lines they are sung, there is no sexual connotations connected to those words.
The Family-Friendly Ethic Is Questionable
The family-friendly ethic of the game has been questioned by some in that at least a few of the songs in the setlist are about adult subjects, "Honky Tonk Woman" is about the celebration of prostitution from a male perspective, "Gasoline" is about underage sex & the line "a zig a zig arr" from "Wannabe" is about sex as well. all of those songs are about sex and adult situations, so you can see why some people are questioning how family friendly the game really is.
The guitar the is available with Band Hero is improved & the improvements made are a quitter strum bar that is coated in rubber to give it more grip, the slider bar using digital signals instead of analogue (it is also placed further up the guitars neck). the guitar is also compatible with all Guitar Hero & Rock Band games.
The drum kit has received a handful of improvements from the previous version found in World Tour, such as rounded cymbal pads and the ability to attach the bass drum kick pedal to the actual drum kit frame. However in North America the updated drums are currently only sold with the Wii version. For the Xbox 360 and PS3 Band Hero Band Kit comes with the World Tour drum kit as seen on GuitarHeroStore.com. It is currently not known when the newer drum kit will be available for the other consoles in North America.