SHOWDOWN: Rock Band vs Guitar Hero III

Blah blah blah it’s not a competition blah blah blah.

Hell yes it is.

Well, Rock Band is better because it’s actually innovative. And it probably won’t have the humongous design mistake that was “Boss Battles”. So if you must pick one or the toher, Rock Band is clearly the better game.

I can see where they thought battle mode was a good idea on paper. Heck, even I see it. And then… you battle the devil for rock supremacy! or other licensed rock figures!

But in practice… my god, battle mode is a fucking abortion. You can skip some of the battles-- that’s a huge red flag right there-- but then you can’t opt out of the battle against the devil. In a way, Neversoft managed to accomplish the impossible. They actually made playing Guitar Hero not fun for the first time EVER in the franchise. So, congratulations on that, you jackholes.

That said, purists will own both anyway. The core of GH3 is solid, minus boss battles and the first-day patch co-op snafu.

Rock Band has amazing four-player band and single-player drum modes; decent single-player guitar and multiplayer guitar face-off modes; and okay single-player singing.

Guitar Hero III has amazing guitar and multiplayer guitar face-off modes.

Both games win.

As a side note, I bet Neversoft/RedOctane/Activision must feel relieved that most reviews note that the guitar mode and actual guitar of GH III is better than Rock Band. Would have been bad if the game outclassed GHIII in guitars and added drums/band mode.

I love Rock Band but I had more than a little pang of jealousy when my friend came over and turned on his wireless Les.

With both games out, we’re all winners.


I think the winner here is Harmonix.

This game is going to destroy the Guitar Hero franchise. I already never want to play GH3 again.

Thats pretty much how I feel. GH3 has some good tracks that I might want to play again but RB has me at this point.

Yeah. Lets see, I can do band mode in RB, or maybe start drums & vocal careers in addition to a ton of great songs, or I could go to GH3 and fail against the final boss battle on Hard for the 50th time. Hm, I wonder which would be a better use of my time.


Boss battles is the worst design decision ever. I am convinced Harmonix would have tried battle mode and rejected it.

It’s not like the final boss being terrible is hurting anything other than the final boss. It’s not holding you back from anything except some achievement points. You can still play GH3 exactly like you play GH2 and 1. You pick it up and play some songs you enjoy, or you do some multiplayer. I don’t get how the boss battles are anything more than a failed experiment you can safely ignore; they’re not holding down the rest of the game in any way.

Closure, man, closure! I am denied it!

Yeah, it’s bullshit. I want to finish GH3, not play this final beatdown boss battle filled with capricious, random crushings. You can’t even PRACTICE to beat this!

My Rock Band is on the truck. I will withhold my vote on my own poll until I get it.

Gold rules of game design: Reversing a player’s controls is never, ever a good thing to do.


I mean, really. Ever.

This goes for everyone.

I mean it.


I voted Rock Band even though I haven’t played either game yet. That’s what fanboism’s all about, right?

You can. The boss battles songs are available as free downloads now.

European release of GH3 is this Friday. Rock Band is February 1st (pre-orders at $500 in Denmark currently, WTF).

Getting my daily dose of QT3 is torture these days.


Let’s hope it improves the Guitar Hero franchise, because if Guitar Hero isn’t around, who’s going to make non-shitty guitars?