Slideshow

Ultimate battle of the bands: Guitar Hero World Tour vs. Rock Band

A full year after its release in the US, Rock Band is finally on its way to Australian shores. But it’s not alone.

  • Player Interface: Given the two games features nearly identical interfaces, it's hard to decide which one is best. It is clear that Harmonix and Activision have done some borrowing of ideas from each other over the past year or so.
  • Rock Band Peripherals: A closer look at Rock Band’s instruments. A comparison of the two games shows Guitar Hero to be a winner in regards to the drum setup, both in build quality and features. Guitar Hero provides velocity-sensitive pads for altering volume, while Rock Band’s drums are fairly restrictive.
  • A full year after its release in the US, Rock Band is finally on its way to Australian shores. But it’s not alone. In the same week Activision is launching the next instalment in the popular instrument simulation series Guitar Hero — the band-based Guitar Hero: World Tour. With the two games clearly competing for market space, Australian gamers now have the difficult task of choosing which will suit their needs. Is cost the biggest factor or do you need your favourite Tool song for a game to be the winner? We’ve gone ahead and put together some comparisons of the two games for you.

  • Instruments: Of course, the instruments are one of the most important aspects of the games. The two games don’t differ too heavily when it comes to choice — you have your standard microphone, drum kits and guitar — but build quality and configuration are of key concern. Judging by reports from current Rock Band owners it sounds like the build quality of the game’s peripherals is definitely questionable. Although Harmonix has undoubtedly solved many of the problems in this regard, Guitar Hero: World Tour may be a safer bet.
  • Set List: What is a music game without an awesome track list? Guitar Hero: World Tour has the upper hand when it comes to the number of songs in the retail package, with 86 songs compared to Rock Band’s 58. Of course, that isn’t the end of the story, with each game offering additional downloadable tracks either through in-game stores or through consoles’ online repositories. When Rock Band is released in Australia, players will have access to a whopping 247 additional songs through the in-game store, causing Guitar Hero to pale somewhat in comparison with 17 additional downloadable songs available at release. Of course, extra costs are involved and music purists are sure to be turned off by the fact that not all of Rock Band’s songs are in fact masters. Still, that’s a lot of songs.
  • Extras: Having a year on its rival, Guitar Hero: World Tour has the upper hand when it comes to extra features. Apart from character and instrument customisation, players can also create their own original tracks using the game’s “Advanced Studio” mode. Once created, players can upload and share their tracks with the rest of the Guitar Hero community.
  • Graphics: Rock Band may have been out for a year now, but it still manages to hold its own graphically. Of course, the graphics don’t matter too much when you’re looking at the fret board, but it’s nice to know that even when all is said and done there are some nicely rendered characters and stages to accompany the game.
  • Price: If there’s one thing that will cause the scales to tip towards Rock Band when the games go head-to-head next month, it could be price. The full Rock Band pack will be available at a retail price of $250, with the game by itself costing $100 and an extra guitar costing $90. Guitar Hero: World Tour will retail for $329 for the full pack, with the game itself costing $89.
  • Guitar Hero Peripherals: Drum pads aside, there are a few other surprises hidden in store for Guitar Hero: World Tour buyers. Current Guitar Hero players will find a redesigned, larger guitar accompanying World Tour, with a new option of using the traditional fret buttons or a new touch-sensitive pad that allows players to strum without hitting the strum bar.
  • Character Customisation: A first for the Guitar Hero series but one of Rock Band’s staples, players will be able to create and customise their own characters. Create a rocker in your own likeness or create the rockstar you always wanted to be. Guitar Hero goes a couple of steps further, allowing players to assume the roles of established rockers and customise their own drums, guitars and even microphones.
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