Battle of the Bands Review
The success of Guitar Hero and Rock Band was sure to spark a surge in music games, one of which is Battle of the Bands for the Wii. However, Battle of the Bands' style of play shares more in common with Dance Dance Revolution than it does with Guitar Hero.
Battle of the Bands features two tracks on either side of the screen that will be fairly familiar to anyone who's played Guitar Hero or Rock Band before, except that in this case the tracks scroll upwards instead of downwards. As a song plays icons scroll along the bar that correspond to different motions of the Wii Remote such as a flick to the right or a quick waggle. The better that you are at nailing each movement when its icon reaches the top of the screen, the better your band plays the current song and the higher your score.
Now here's where the 'battle' in Battle of the Bands comes in. Each band has a set of attacks that can be launched at the other band. Hit the required number of actions in a row and you'll be able to launch the selected attack, and the more powerful the attack the more successful consecutive attacks it will take to launch it. Each band also has a defensive force field at its disposal that can be engaged for a brief moment at a time with the B button. Time the force field right and you'll block your opponent's attack. Different attacks have different effects from reversing the controller motions to swinging the momentum to the attacker's side.
One of the coolest things about Battle of the Bands is that the bands are drawn from a variety of musical genres and subgenres. For example there are several rock bands including metal and goth, as well as hip-hop, country and even marching and mariachi bands to choose from. As the bands battle it out, the song will be played in the style of whichever band is currently leading. It's pretty cool to hear a song like Def Leppard's Photograph played back and forth between country and marching band renditions.
In single player mode you play through a series of matches against each of the other bands in the game. This mode is fun the first few times that you play through it and get the chance to try out a few of the bands. However, there's not enough variety to the gameplay to keep you interested in the long run. It just doesn't have that Guitar Hero 'hook' to it, probably because you are swinging the controller in response to DDR style prompts rather than actually playing the songs. There aren't that many motions to perform either, so things can feel repetitive and like they're under your control. The has longer term potential as a party game. It's easy enough for most people to get the hang of pretty quickly and quirky enough to appeal to a wide variety of people in the mood for some group fun. If you're looking to play the game alone, rent it for a weekend, have fun, and then return it before the novelty wears off. If you play games with friends or like to bring out your Wii at parties, then it's a fun addition to your collection of party games.
In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 70%. It's an interesting novelty of a game that is best enjoyed occasionally at parties rather than as a Guitar Hero alternative.