There is one thing that saves Band Hero from being a glorified track pack for Guitar Hero 5, and that is the import and export features. You can import songs from Guitar Hero 5 (and World Tour, as well) into Band Hero, and vice versa. You can have access to all the same music between the two games, for a small fee. The only difference between them, really, is the way the game looks. GH5 has the likenesses of Kurt Cobain and Johnny Cash, Band Hero has Maroon 5 and No Doubt. Band Hero doesn't have it's own downloadable content, but if you want to add to your collection, simply choose from the Guitar Hero 5 content, which is fully compatible. Band Hero is equally as valid a platform for further content as GH5.
Inevitably, we must compare Band Hero to another recent kid-friendly music game, LEGO Rock Band. In many ways, they are similar: each fully supports downloads for the "parent" game, and each features pop songs instead of more traditional rock. But Band Hero lacks the funny, tongue-in-cheek story mode, the amazing customization options, and the overall charm of the LEGO game. Apart from looks, Band Hero is the same game you've been playing for several years now. LEGO Rock Band feels quite a bit different, and is far more than just a reskin of Rock Band. While LEGO Rock Band is a better, more innovative game, that doesn't mean Band Hero is a bad game by any means.
In the end, it all comes down to preference. Band Hero has a lot going for it, particularly for those who play music games in a party setting. The drop in/drop out is a must for such gatherings, and the freedom to match two singers with two drummers is fun, too. The song list isn't particularly appealing to me, but might be for others. Still, there are quite a few less songs in Band Hero than Guitar Hero 5, which is perplexing as far as value is concerned. I can't recommend Band Hero over any of the other recent big music game releases, but it is certainly far better than the mess that was Guitar Hero Van Halen.
The Co-Op Experience: Up to four players can sing, strum, and smack their way to stardom.
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.