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Guitar Hero Wii - Best Edition?

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03 Oct 2016 13:45 #235408 by Mr. White
I skipped the last generation of consoles, so only experienced Guitar Hero/Rock Band very casually at friends' houses.

I'm thinking one of these may be good for the kids this holiday. We have a Wii U, and i see there's some 'Live' version, but I don't want that. I want the older cartoony-avatar ones.

Should we consider Rock Band or Guitar Hero?
Which edition of either ended up the best? Best songs and play?

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03 Oct 2016 14:52 #235411 by bendgar
I was just looking at Guitar Hero for Wii U at Toys R Us last night. I am also interested in the responses you get to this topic.

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03 Oct 2016 16:00 #235414 by Not Sure
We still play Rock Band 3 for the Wii on our Wii U sometimes.

I think it was the better series of games, but you can pry my Guitar Hero guitar out of my dead hands. I'm significantly better on the GH guitars. Aside from some drum oddities, the instruments are mix-n-match.

Also, the Beatles Rock Band was awesome and must be played. It's a shame that they never updated the tracks to support the keyboard that was released in RB3.

That's actually one knock against RB3, that the inclusion of the keys skewed the song mix to include a lot of keys/piano songs, which may not be fun unless that's your thing. We picked up the keyboard on a blowout at some point. My son is becoming an awesome (real) piano player, so the game also found some new life with Pro Keys turned on.

I dumped the RB2 songs into 3, and don't notice the keyboard skew as much. If you do buy in, get the disc-only versions of other releases, they should be cheap and have tons of extra songs.

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03 Oct 2016 16:50 - 03 Oct 2016 16:52 #235415 by Mr. White
My son plays piano and I did not know that a keyboard was ever part of any of these games.

So, if I want keys I need to get RB3? But I can play earlier RB games...they just wouldn't have the keyboard component?

Wait! These RB games bundled with the necessary instruments run multiple hundreds. Uh....maybe guitar hero?
Last edit: 03 Oct 2016 16:52 by Mr. White.

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03 Oct 2016 16:55 #235416 by Chaz

Not Sure wrote: We still play Rock Band 3 for the Wii on our Wii U sometimes.

I think it was the better series of games, but you can pry my Guitar Hero guitar out of my dead hands. I'm significantly better on the GH guitars. Aside from some drum oddities, the instruments are mix-n-match.

Also, the Beatles Rock Band was awesome and must be played. It's a shame that they never updated the tracks to support the keyboard that was released in RB3.

That's actually one knock against RB3, that the inclusion of the keys skewed the song mix to include a lot of keys/piano songs, which may not be fun unless that's your thing. We picked up the keyboard on a blowout at some point. My son is becoming an awesome (real) piano player, so the game also found some new life with Pro Keys turned on.

I dumped the RB2 songs into 3, and don't notice the keyboard skew as much. If you do buy in, get the disc-only versions of other releases, they should be cheap and have tons of extra songs.


Holy shit, someone played RB3 on the Wii?! Thank god! Working on that was traumatizing, and I thought nobody played it. My psychological turmoil was not for nothing! :D
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03 Oct 2016 17:15 - 03 Oct 2016 17:19 #235420 by dontbecruel
Worry not, we also played the living fuck out of RB3 on the Wii, until the keyboard bit the dust in fact

Thank you for your work on that!

I also second the recommendation for the Beatles Rockband, maybe the most pure fun overall. One of my best memories of the last ten years was playing this with friends til drunk o'clock, not realising how loud we had gradually turned the TV up, until one of our kids (then aged about 6) appeared at the living room door crying and asking us to be quiet. It was 4 in the morning. Beautiful mixture of hilarity and parenting shame.
Last edit: 03 Oct 2016 17:19 by dontbecruel.
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03 Oct 2016 18:47 #235432 by Michael Barnes
Guitar Hero sucks except for the fact that they had Samhain's "Mother of Mercy" on one of their releases, I think the Metallica thing. Rock Band is FAR better on every level.

I played TONS of Rock Band 2 and 3. That was back when we had a regular group going to Frank Branham's Original Swamp Castle...he had the whole set up- lights and smoke included. Sandi, his wife, was a RIDICULOUS drummer on the ION kit. I usually played bass using this lovely full-scale P-Bass and sang. Frank would delight us all with his sweet, soulful southern rock vocals. Occasionally, Mark Zoghby would sit in to sing a Fleetwood Mac number. I once heard Ameritrash icon Robert Martin perform "Brass in Pocket". One of the best times we had was doing ALL of "London Calling" in order, that was awesome. One night we had this girl and her husband over and she was freakin' awesome on the vocals. We duetted on "Under Pressure" (I Bowie, she Mercury) and Meat Loaf's "Paradise By the Dashboard Light". So many fun times with those. We never really used the keyboard much, I thought it was kind of disappointing.

We did the Beatles thing one night - eschewed the board gaming prelude altogether and just did the WHOLE THING. It was amazing, one of the best video game experiences of my life. We traded off instruments, tried to sing the harmonies...by the time you get to "Hey Jude" and the later tracks you really get a sense for how they developed over the course of their time. And you are tired/coming down from being drunkest around Sgt. Pepper.

You learn a lot about music playing Rock Band. Like, stuff like Chicago and Molly Hatchet is actually pretty good. And that white people should never, ever attempt to play or sing classic soul and R&B music unless you are the Blues Brothers. You also realize that thrash is probably more fun to play than it is to pretend to play.

Now, Rock Band 4 is something I do with my kids. It's pretty awesome hearing my daughter sing Thin Lizzy or "Rockaway Beach". My son knows all the words to Hag's "Mama Tried". The day Bowie died we had a tribute session and played all the Bowie tracks we had.

So bottom line- get Rock Band 4. You've already missed the cutoff to transfer the old games, which stinks, but there are still a ton of downloadable songs. I'm not sure if the libraries match up 1:1 with the Wii U edition, we have the PS4 one. Be advised too that there is a new expansion thing called Rock Band Rivals coming out like, next month. The track list is pretty weak though
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03 Oct 2016 19:00 #235434 by Mr. White
what do you mean missed the transfer? can't I just throw the wii u I to wii mode and play all the old wii games?

looks like the bigger issue is going to be cost. rock band isn't cheap...

again. it looking at the need 'live' one as I think the older videogamey characters would appeal a lot more unless someone can advise.

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03 Oct 2016 19:03 #235435 by Michael Barnes
Well, you can't play Rock Band 3 with Rock Band 4 instruments. So they had a "transfer window" where you had to have the old disc and install it to do a transfer of all the stuff into Rock Band 4. I missed 1 and 2 (ARGH) but I got 3 which has a TON Of great stuff on it. You can, however, still buy Rock Band 3 instruments (needed if you want to play The Beatles!) and play the old games. And I _think_ they actually matriculate into 4.

RB4's characters are pretty cartoony. Not like Guitar Hero though.
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03 Oct 2016 19:39 #235437 by Mr. White
So, how exactly is RB4 better than RB3?

And how can I get either under a hundo?

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03 Oct 2016 22:00 #235445 by Mr. White
Ok it looks like I can get into rock band for around $100...if I go piecemeal surprisingly. Looks like I can get new...

Drums for $60
Guitar for $40
Keyboard with rb3 $30

So over $100 but not bad.

Thing I don't know is...are these legit? Seems there are a ton of manufacturers on the instruments. That and I want to get stuff that's compatible across rock band editions.

Ugh, need a buyers guide.

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04 Oct 2016 10:12 #235474 by Columbob

Mr. White wrote: So, how exactly is RB4 better than RB3?


It's really not, just more of the same. Older instruments still work, you might need a converter though. I'm still using my RB2 kit with 4, but needed to upload some patch to it or something.

We played a few weeks back, still lots of fun. Been playing (mostly RB, not Guitar Hero much though we did play Metallica and Green Day and GH4) since RB hit in early 2008, back then it was a biweekly thing and our skillz were developing neatly. Nowadays we're not playing on Expert as much and need to warm up a little bit, and sometimes I'm just simply too drunk to follow any kind of complicated beat.

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04 Oct 2016 14:25 #235485 by RobertB
I'd almost try to get a used RB3 + instruments before RB4. The RB4 tracklist was very underwhelming compared to the previous three games. YMMV of course.

Like Columbob describes above, my brother and s-i-l would come over every couple of weeks, and we'd play for a few hours, switching around instruments. I wouldn't call us good, but we did alright and had fun. In the end, I think it's the tracks that make the game fun, more than the game engine.

And I'm kind of jealous of Mr. Barnes - I couldn't quite pull the trigger on those Ion drums. I seem to recall them being a little harder to find for PS3, which was probably a good thing for my wallet. We were already blowing too much money on DLC.

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05 Oct 2016 13:01 #235559 by Not Sure

Columbob wrote: Nowadays we're not playing on Expert as much and need to warm up a little bit, and sometimes I'm just simply too drunk to follow any kind of complicated beat.


The condensed story of Rock and Roll.
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05 Oct 2016 16:07 #235576 by Mr. White
I keep checking in for the post that says...

"Hey, Mr. White, Rock Band was so 2008. We're done with ours and would love to give children the gift of music. Here's a deal..."

But alas...

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