Rock Band or Guitar Hero? Convince me which one to buy - High-Def Digest Forums
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Old 11-05-2008, 04:13 PM
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Default Rock Band or Guitar Hero? Convince me which one to buy

I'd like to get one of the full sets of either Rock Band 2 or whatever the newest Guitar Hero one is (World Tour? I'm not sure since they have so many new versions).

Basically, I want to know which game you guys prefer and why. I'm not opposed to getting both if the instruments work interchangeably (see below). But I obviously only want one set of instruments. So, are the instruments better for one game versus the other?

I have Guitar Hero 2 for the 360 but would like to get the new Rock Band/Guitar Hero for PS3. So, please limit your advice to the differences between the games, not the consoles. That said, do they both come with wireless instruments? Is there still a problem on the PS3 with Rock Band's guitars not working with Guitar Hero (or vice versa)? Or has that been fixed?

So, here is the Cliff's Notes version of my post:
  1. Which do you prefer and why?
  2. Are the instruments wireless?
  3. Are the instruments compatible with the other game?

Please help me out! I'd like to make this purchase on Friday!

Thanks!
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Old 11-05-2008, 04:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow1019 View Post
  1. Which do you prefer and why?
I generally prefer the Rock Band series to Guitar Hero nowadays and when asked personally, I usually recommend it to friends over Guitar Hero. But that's because of my general preferences in play style. I started on the original Guitar Hero series when Harmonix first created the franchise and I fell in love with their design philosophy which is still consistent in Rock Band to this day; fidelity to the music. Harmonix tends to create their games and game mechanics with the goal being to mimic as closely as possible (on fake plastic instruments) the sensation of playing the song itself. Neversoft took a more video-game-y approach to this, and introduced what some music game veterans refer to as "overcharting" or "phantom notes." What this means is that in order to make a song more challenging, (for greater bragging rights, I suspect) Neversoft will create notes in their song that correspond to nothing. If you hit them, they make no sound because there is NO NOTE in the song there, it's been deliberately done with the goal of just tripping up fingers to make the song more difficult. I personally don't like this and bugs me when a series of phantom notes come up that have no corresponding musical sound, and it always pulls me out of the song and makes me realize that Neversoft is just making things hard for its own sake, rather than realizing that some songs are easy and some songs are difficult. They don't ALL have to tax your skills as a virtual musician, sometimes you just want to enjoy the song and feel like you're playing it, a basic point that they've failed to grasp.

The other thing I don't like about the Guitar Hero series is their approach to DLC, which, up until recently has been fairly negligent. Initially, their DLC was sporadic at best, and you were forced to buy it in "track packs" without the option to buy only the individual song you were interested in. So "clever" marketing people would put highly desirable songs in with less popular songs in order to force people to buy the entire pack. Harmonix, on the other hand, has always had the option from the get-go to allow users to buy individual songs. Harmonix has also kept their promise of releasing new songs each and every week. By the end of this year, they will have a total of 500 songs (including RB1, RB2 and the AC/DC "album") available for people that have a ton of money to spend on songs. Neversoft, on the other hand, is only just now starting to get with the program on greater frequency of song releases, so their library is quite anemic compared to the current monster that is the Rock Band song collection.

Still another point, which is related to the first, is the fact that so far Harmonix is keeping their promise of making the series a "platform" rather than a series of individual games. If you go into your consoles virtual store, you can purchase a license key for about $5 that allows you to import all but 3 of the songs from Rock Band 1 into Rock Band 2, and all the DLC from RB 1 is fully compatible with RB2. Guitar Hero World Tour, on the other hand, can't even import songs from GH3 or most of its DLC, for the obvious reason that it's guitar only.

And finally there are the gameplay issues. Rock Band is a much faster, friendlier game to play in a group. It's been built from the ground up (particularly the latest version) to rule at parties with easy set up for bands, easy online play, and even a "no fail" mode for people that absolutely suck at the game, or have simply had one bottle of beer too many. Guitar Hero World Tour on the other hand, is absolutely brutal in multi-player (again, for added, video-game-y "challenge") in that, during group play, if one person is failing, EVERYBODY fails. The worst part is that, unlike Rock Band, which has indicators showing a player is failing (with the added ability to "rescue" them if they fail out completely) GHWT gives no clue who it is that is doing badly, with no option to rescue them, instead demanding the remaining players simply play much, MUCH, MUCH better to try and make up for the deficiencies of the failing player, who you can only find by taking your eyes off your own note chart and scrutinizing what other players are up to. Once again, this is fine for hardcore players that want bragging rights and an added challenge, but for everyone else, it's extremely discouraging, offputting, and kills the buzz at a party pretty fast.

Lastly, there is the mechanic of unlocking songs. In Rock Band, if one person plays through all the songs, those songs are unlocked for everyone else to play in band mode. In GHWT, unless you use a cheat code, songs are locked to a specific instrument, so if you want to play a song with your band, you'll have to go into band mode and unlock the songs previous to it to make it playable.

On the whole, I'd recommend Guitar Hero for people that are "serious" about their music game and are interested in the more competitive, leaderboardish aspect of it. For people interested in having fun, I'd recommend Rock Band, which is more concerned you having a good time than it is with patting you on the back about l33t a player you are.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow1019 View Post
  1. Are the instruments wireless?
Depending on which set you get, yes, instruments are wireless. On the PS3, the guitars have always been wireless, but on the 360, RB1 had wired guitars, while I believe the new RB2 guitars are not. The GH guitars I can't rightly remember, although I'm pretty sure they are wireless now. The same goes for the drums for both games. Microphones, however are still wired for both, I believe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow1019 View Post
  1. Are the instruments compatible with the other game?
They theoretically are supposed to be, although from what I've been hearing there have been some growing pains. Right now all the RB stuff (except for the super expensive Ion drums, and the cymbal expansion kits for the RB2 drum set) are compatible with Guitar Hero World Tour, but for some reason the GHWT drums aren't working with Rock Band 2 right now, although apparently a patch is in-bound. Guitars and microphones however are just fine.
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Old 11-05-2008, 05:58 PM
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Rock Band all the way...

Shoeless has summed it up...

I'll probably pick up a GHWT bundle eventually to get another wireless guitar...

One place GH rules is the guitars... they just feel better... red octane has made GH guitars since day one, so they have it down...

Do you still have a 360, because if so, I highly recommend rock band on the 360... same with GH... everyone I know that owns these games on PS3 says there are a lot of issues... GH3 supposedly is almost completely broken on the PS3, and RB1 and 2 have issues with not counting notes people are hitting... this will ruin a perfect score...

This isn't a gripe at the PS3, just the way the game works on it... most likely the developer's fault...

I've now played all of the GH and RB games (except aerosmith) and can honestly say Harmonix has it right... stick with Rock Band if you are going to buy one... then buy a wireless guitar hero guitar for your main guitar... the RB guitar will work fine for 95% of bass songs on expert, but isn't worth a flip for hard on guitar...
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Old 11-05-2008, 06:25 PM
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Rock Band. If you want a good guitar hero game get GHII. After that when Harmonix left they took the soul out of it and Activision made it easy proof. Luckily RB is made by Harmonix so it works out!...and MTV is behind it so it has the better song list.

Big Point: DLC - every week at least 3 tracks are released. Like quality stuff..Boston, Who, AC/DC, Weezer, Blink 182, and the list goes on. I garentee that alot of songs on the GHIV track list are going to be Rock Band DLC soon enough.

Pluss..well You have 2 games to use with the instruments compared to GHs 1 game compatible with drums.
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Old 11-05-2008, 07:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanzBorin View Post
Rock Band all the way...

Shoeless has summed it up...

I'll probably pick up a GHWT bundle eventually to get another wireless guitar...

One place GH rules is the guitars... they just feel better... red octane has made GH guitars since day one, so they have it down...

Do you still have a 360, because if so, I highly recommend rock band on the 360... same with GH... everyone I know that owns these games on PS3 says there are a lot of issues... GH3 supposedly is almost completely broken on the PS3, and RB1 and 2 have issues with not counting notes people are hitting... this will ruin a perfect score...

This isn't a gripe at the PS3, just the way the game works on it... most likely the developer's fault...

I've now played all of the GH and RB games (except aerosmith) and can honestly say Harmonix has it right... stick with Rock Band if you are going to buy one... then buy a wireless guitar hero guitar for your main guitar... the RB guitar will work fine for 95% of bass songs on expert, but isn't worth a flip for hard on guitar...
GH3 is not broken on PS3 and who ever told you that should not talk. I've had the PS3 version since release and it works just like the PS2 versions of GH(except with a wireless controller).
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Old 11-05-2008, 07:19 PM
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I would have to go with Rock Band as well. More DLC and its not "stupid" hard like GH can be. They seem to add notes to increase difficulty sometimes. Maybe its just me?? More of a friendly "party" game. I play both though.
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Old 11-05-2008, 07:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanzBorin View Post
One place GH rules is the guitars... they just feel better... red octane has made GH guitars since day one, so they have it down...
The situation here is actually changing. The new Rock Band 2 strats are better than the original model, a lot more reliable, with a tweaked strummer (though still "mushy" which is a preference thing) and has the ultimate calibration tool. It now comes with a sensor built on the face of the guitar, so if RB 2 detects that you have the newer strat and you want to calibrate it, it flashes a series of lights on screen that the sensor picks up for pitch perfect calibration. There are still preference issues for people that like the older "clicky" strum bar of the GH series compared to the looser feel of the RB strats, but build-wise, they're no longer breaking apart after a week of use compared to last year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanzBorin View Post
Do you still have a 360, because if so, I highly recommend rock band on the 360... same with GH... everyone I know that owns these games on PS3 says there are a lot of issues... GH3 supposedly is almost completely broken on the PS3, and RB1 and 2 have issues with not counting notes people are hitting... this will ruin a perfect score...
Rock Band on the PS3 does have issues, but they're relatively minor and it depends on which aspect of the game you're interested in. The most obvious flaw is the fact that the "Players Met" function is STILL disabled, same as it was in RB1, so if you randomly find a player you like that you want to play with regularly, you'd either better have a good memory, or a piece of paper and pencil handy to write their PSN ID down on. The other more serious flaw is what Rock Band PS3 vocalists refer to as "Shaky Arrow Syndrome," where singers can be holding a perfect note, and the arrow that indicates pitch starts wildly spasming all over the place. It only happens 3-5% of the time, but it's enough to shut out newbie singers on tougher songs, and ruin perfect streaks for more experienced singers.

As far as the notes not being hit goes... I only know of that really happening with regards to specific hardware peripheral defects. To the best of my knowledge there's no code defect that's allowing that to happen, it's the usual suspects of faulty guitar, or loose drum pad sensor that's either missing hits, or counting a single hit as a double.

On the topic of GH3, I don't really know. I didn't play in-depth enough to get the nuances of its bugginess on the PS3.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanzBorin View Post
stick with Rock Band if you are going to buy one... then buy a wireless guitar hero guitar for your main guitar... the RB guitar will work fine for 95% of bass songs on expert, but isn't worth a flip for hard on guitar...
Again, this is a matter of preference. My first generation RB strat crapped out on me after a few weeks of playing but my replacement has been just fine, aside from some wonkiness with detecting the tilt to kick in starpower/overdrive. The RB Strat is a serviceable guitar if it fits your playstyle. I've always HATED the loud, rigid clickiness of the Red Octane guitars, so I was pretty happy with the soft, looser feel of the RB guitars, and I'm an expert level guitar player who's finished the Endless Setlist on RB1. Having said that, I have to admit that I'm abandoning my old RB Strat and leaving it for guests to play with; I've got the new Starpex Sunburst guitar coming in at the end of the month when they're available, and with any luck that'll be the last guitar I ever buy. It better be at that crazy price...
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Old 11-05-2008, 08:11 PM
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I own both games and I would have to say ROCK BAND 2 all the way.

Both drums sets are wireless but I only have the rock band 2 drum set cuz it works with both games.
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Old 11-05-2008, 08:41 PM
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Wow. Thank you all for your thoughts and advice. A very special thanks to Shoeless for really going above and beyond what I had even hoped for. You really went into depth and I appreciate you taking the time to do that. It was extremely helpful and you answered all my questions (even the ones I didn't ask). I was particularly persuaded by your description of how GH makes the game artificially difficult and Rock Band is more for fun. That's what I'm going for.

Rock Band wins.
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Old 11-05-2008, 08:45 PM
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Basically if you bought GHWT, I would have to come hunt you down.
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