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Battle of the Bands is a pleasing change from the norm and most rhythm fans will want to play through it at least once. Unfortunately, there's not much reason to come back to it after that.
With Battle of the Bands, Planet Moon Studios has essentially developed an introductory music simulation game. It may be a good title to tide over rhythm gaming fanatics until Rock Band comes out for the Wii or Guitar Hero IV hits later this year. It's cheaper than either Guitar Hero or Rock Band, since it relies on the Wiimote and doesn't require additional peripherals. It's simple enough that it can serve as a good "gateway game" for those who have been too intimidated by the prices or commitment required by other rhythm titles. Much of the music and gameplay in Battle of the Bands is pleasant enough, but don't expect to find the next truly revolutionary rhythm gaming experience.
Battle of the Bands has a fantastic concept that is lost in some overly simplistic gameplay that just fails to grab the gamer and keep them interested for any length of time. You never feel like you are actually “playing” an instrument, partly due to the Wii remote waving, but mostly due to limited interaction with the music.
Game Informer Magazine
I haven’t laughed this much while playing a game since I was making fun of Donkey Kong Barrel Blast, but Battle of the Bands’ one great idea would have benefited from some more robust gameplay. As it stands, it’s little more than an amusing party game that you’ll pop in only when you and your friends are between sets of Rock Band.
2404.org PC Gaming
The single-player mode won’t last a very long time. In fact, it’s possible to blast through it in half a day, if your wrist is up to it. The multi-player mode can be fun if the game works correctly, but it might end up being another frustrating experience, except now you can share the frustration with your friends. Battle of the Bands is a neat concept and as great as its competition is, Battle of the Bands fizzles and won’t do much to make a nice little spot for itself in the rhythm market.
Battle of the Bands is disappointing in many respects despite the promise held by its central premise. The fact that Play.com had the price slashed right down to £13 before it was even released serves to make it more of a cheap and cheerful curio than an abject disaster, and actually stands up rather well as a low budget alternative to the silly money being demanded for its competitors. Like its competitors though, it’s only really worth considering if you’re planning to play with someone else.
Battle of the Bands is a missed opportunity. The idea of pitting bands against each other and recording zany versions of popular tunes is a good one, but it's poorly executed. Waving a Wii Remote back and forth through each of the game's 30 songs simply isn't engaging, especially when compared with other, more immersive music games. If the soundtrack is ever released on its own, it's worth a listen, but don't spend $50 just to hear a marching band play "Mama Said Knock You Out."
Armchair Empire, The
If the Wii is what you bring out for parties, Battle of the Bands gets a rental recommendation. Otherwise there's not enough variety in the gameplay department to hold a solo player's interest.
Battle of the Bands is a one-hit Wii wonder because is cleverly takes 30 well-known songs and remixes them in five different styles and does little else. As interesting as it is to see the music evolve when switching between bands, the gameplay doesn’t evolve after you play the first song. Making matters worse, as soon as you and a friend cramp up from battling it out in versus mode, you’ll want to break up both of your bands and never have a reunion tour with this surprisingly non-budget priced Wii game.
There’s not really much to Battle of the Bands. Being able only to go through Adventure Mode, multiplayer mode, or hear the music and each style in a jukebox mode, the game feels pretty thin. Without any unlockables or the like, it doesn’t really have any replay value either, which is unfortunate. The addition of weapons adds to the whole ‘battle’ aspect, but they’re just not enough. There are better rhythm games out there, and without any real meat to it, Battle of the Bands feels like it has lost this one
I applaud developer Planet Moon for trying something fresh and original in the music game genre. But I have to give them a wag of the finger for treating the player like a child. Really, we can handle more than a few swings of the Wiimote. You'll only find it difficult if you don't know what the game's about -- because it won't explain things to you. Once you get past the novelty of hearing the classic funk song "Brick House" played by a country band, the game offers nothing else. At the end of your first song, you've experienced everything the game has to offer. Playing along with the songs isn't fun, there isn't any challenge, and there are barely any modes or options to speak of. Even as a casual game, Battle of the Bands fails to engage the player. The fun music player is the only thing saving this one from the scrap heap.
Video Game Generation
Battle of the Bands seems more like a WiiWare title than a full-fledged purchase, and for $39.99 I expect more. It can be fully completed in a matter of hours. The covers of some really great songs are chopped to pieces and thrown out the window. What's more, you can't even unlock any new aspects that might make this game a good reason to turn on your Wii. Unless you have friends or family members who want to get in on the music and rhythm game action genre without exerting too much effort, this is a pass. I'd recommend it as a good starting point for younger gamers to break into the better titles, but I can't really do that because of the song content and violence. If you have a younger gamer in mind, skip the middle man and buy Guitar Hero or Rock Band for the Wii. In the end you'll all have much more fun.
PAL Gaming Network (PALGN)
Battle of the Bands has its moments. Hearing odd covers of songs you know, along with the game’s accessibility work in its favor. Unfortunately though this rhythmic outing falls down once you’ve played more than a couple of songs and the previously fun elements are muddied by a slightly sloppy and less than engaging interface.
This is a decent game idea that fails on several fronts. The gameplay is reflexive but the window to hit the notes is small and the frame rate stutters compound the difficulty of nailing the action. Couple that with the rapid attack/defend mechanics and you have a game that may lose more than a few interests before the first couple of songs play out. This was a nice try, but it just misses.
The developers at Planet Moon deserve some props. They have created a somewhat original concept, but just failed on the execution side of the gameplay. Using only a few different motions with the Wii-mote is very restricting and actually makes gameplay feel child-like. Guitar Hero and Rock Band are leaps and bounds better than this title, but you still can impress your friends by switching the genres of each song. This game is a worthy of a 2-day rental at best.
Battle of the Bands is lazy game-making based around a briefly amusing idea. The producers seemed to have a general concept and a few character designs lying around, but no idea whatsoever how to implement them, until they figured that the motion controls of the Wii remote could shore up the gaping holes in development. Waving our arms around isn't actually intrinsically much fun. A fair few Wii developers would benefit from grasping that we don't just want to wave our arms to enjoy a good Wii game - and we don't pay for Wii games just as an excuse to flail about like a merman asphyxiating on the shore.
When you see yourself carrying Battle of the Bands to the checkout counter, remind yourself that you can achieve the same amount of enjoyment running through the garden sprinklers. Trust me, playing the game on the sample Wii at GameStop will adequately quench any Battle of the Bands thirst you have without any of the boredom.
Entertainment Depot, The
Rhythm games have come a long way since Amplitude, and they will continue to evolve, plastic instruments included or not. Battle of the Bands, unfortunately, is not going to be one of those games that push the genre forward. The novelty of mixing a Ramon’s track with a hip-hop group and a marching band doesn’t last long, though it is pretty rad while it does, and the feature that allows you to manipulate the tracks without having to play quickly overshadows the story component. The ideas are interesting, but I can only waggle aimlessly for so long before I need something more.
If the controls had been tested and refined more, Battle Of The Bands could easily have hopped up a couple of points. The concept of genre-mixing is an exciting one that leads to great moments, but getting through the game wholly satisfied can be arduous due to the forceful nature in which you must use the Wii remote. It’s definitely not on the level of the ‘big boys’ of music games, but with a better budget, more time and more effort, there’s something lurking under there that has potential.
This isn't Guitar Hero, but our middling appraisal doesn't need another standard to judge Battle's shallow, safe and unsexy design. When it's all sung and done, the mediocrity stems from shallow motion controls. A wrist-flicking rhythm game already has something stacked against it in keeping players engaged, but a bare bones gesture set doesn't give the gameplay much spark.
Battle of the Bands is certainly a different take on the music game genre, but unfortunately it doesn't seem to have all the kinks worked out yet. The novelty of the different musical styles just doesn't make up for the highly repetitive gameplay.
As such, Battle of the Bands is a decent party game and worth a rental. However, a replacement to Guitar Hero it is notn't. The gameplay is too one-note for its own good and the lacking presentation fails to impress, despite the wacky covers of classic favorites. It's strictly an opening act to next month's release of Rock Band. Not horrendous by any means, but easily forgettable once the real show starts.
Official Nintendo Magazine
Battle Of The Bands is not worth the money, plain and simple. It's enjoyable for a while but its simplistic gameplay is more suited to WiiWare. Disappointing.
G4 TV: X-Play
That’s nearly it for Battle of the Bands. It might be fun to occasionally pull it out at parties because the song stylings are genuinely clever and entertaining. The gameplay just doesn’t hold up to repeated exposure. It’s a good deal better than the disastrous Boogie, but it’s still a pretty shallow game. Die hard rhythm game aficionados might consider picking this up to get their fix. Everyone else ought to steer clear.
BotB makes an attempt at becoming an easily accessible rhythm action game for those who can’t afford the hefty price tags of others in the genre. In some ways it succeeds in that respect, but I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone. Battle of the Bands fails because it misses out on key fundamental in the most successful in the genre – it has to be fun.