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Rock Band vs. Guitar Hero III

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December 17, 2007 12:24:33 PM

Article written by Travis Meacham.

Both Guitar Hero III and Rock Band are hot Christmas items this season but if you've only got room for one under the tree which should you pick? We break them down over eleven categories to see which rocks the hardest.

http://www.tomsgames.com/us/2007/12/17/rockband_vs_guitarheroiii/
December 17, 2007 7:32:53 PM

"This same ridiculous argument could be applied to every sports game and driving game ever released, yet we've been spared such a stupid criticism until now"
You have been spared that "stupid criticism" until now because no one can afford a high end race car AND the track fees, or play in the NFL, NBA, MLB, but anyone can go buy a guitar.
December 17, 2007 8:16:41 PM

On a side note, Konami's Guitar Freaks/ Drummania has just released another solid version, but almost nobody in the US will get to play it.

On another side note, There's no reason why an enterprising company couldn't use a real guitar for the controller, other than that the game would be too hard for most people.

Also, for those of you wanting to get BOTH versions. Activision has made the Guitar hero format as proprietary as possible. Don't expect guitar compatibility.

http://community.rockband.com/vbforum/showthread.php?t=...
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December 17, 2007 8:59:05 PM

netsez said:
You have been spared that "stupid criticism" until now because no one can afford a high end race car AND the track fees, or play in the NFL, NBA, MLB, but anyone can go buy a guitar.


Anyone can go buy a football.
Anyone can go drive a car.
Or if you prefer - No one can afford to buy a guitar with a wall of amplifiers, rent a stadium, fill it with an audience, hire three other band members and play a full concert.

One activity is a video game. One is real. Neither is a substitute for the other.

The problem is that people equate "playing a guitar" with playing these games when the two experiences are quite different.

The other complaints I see are people saying, "For all the time you spent playing the game you could have learned how to play the real instrument". Is this not the same for all videogames? Any time spent playing any video game is time you could spend learning a language, painting a mural, reading to the blind, getting a degree, learning to sculpt, exercising, etc., etc., etc. Yet somehow only the time spent playing Rock Band and Guitar Hero is "wasted." Really?
December 17, 2007 9:40:29 PM

OK, won't comment on the literary skills of the author but gonna flunk Travis in math. With 10 categories and 1 of them being tied, seems to me count shuda been 5-4 or, if counting the tie for both, 6-5

Single-Player Career Winner - Guitar Hero III
Song List Winner - Guitar Hero III
Gameplay Winner - Guitar Hero III
Cost Winner - Guitar Hero III

I count 4 wins

Multiplayer Winner - Rock Band
Sound Winner - Rock Band
Downloadable Content Winner - Rock Band
Customization Winner - Rock Band
Visuals Winner - Rock Band

I count 5 wins

Peripherals - TIED

I count 1 tie.

Give half point for the tie and it's 5.5 to 4.5
December 17, 2007 11:29:13 PM

JackNaylorPE said:
OK, won't comment on the literary skills of the author but gonna flunk Travis in math. With 10 categories and 1 of them being tied, seems to me count shuda been 5-4 or, if counting the tie for both, 6-5

Single-Player Career Winner - Guitar Hero III
Song List Winner - Guitar Hero III
Gameplay Winner - Guitar Hero III
Cost Winner - Guitar Hero III

I count 4 wins

Multiplayer Winner - Rock Band
Sound Winner - Rock Band
Downloadable Content Winner - Rock Band
Customization Winner - Rock Band
Visuals Winner - Rock Band

I count 5 wins

Peripherals - TIED

I count 1 tie.

Give half point for the tie and it's 5.5 to 4.5


I see what happened. In the Final Score Tally I left out the Replayability category which went to Rock Band. I'll update it. It's listed and discussed in the body of the article but it got missed in the final scoring.

It should read like this.

Single-Player Career Winner - Guitar Hero III
Multiplayer Winner - Rock Band
Song List Winner - Guitar Hero III
Sound Winner - Rock Band
Gameplay Winner - Guitar Hero III
Peripherals - TIED
Downloadable Content Winner - Rock Band
Customization Winner - Rock Band
Replayability - Rock Band
Cost Winner - Guitar Hero III
Visuals Winner - Rock Band
December 18, 2007 12:00:41 AM

Well I enjoy playing GH2 & 3, and I got Rock Band for my kids for Christmas (and I'll certainly put a lot of time into that too). While you're never too old to learn an instrument... I AM to old to ever be good at one. These games let me live out my rock star fantasy even though I could never dedicate the time required to become one for real.
December 18, 2007 4:00:54 AM

I love how the reviewer calls people haters because they suggrest to people they should play a real instrument. Now I acually think the game (rockband) is fun. And is in my opion the most lifelike game out on the market. That being said, there is nothing more fun than doing it in real life, (kicks the crap out of the feeling the game gives you) on a real drumset with real quitars. So... no hate, just...A question... Why don't you play a real instument? Very simple question. Everyone can learn an instrument, not everyone can take 40 different 500,000 dollar cars and crash them without getting killed, or go around shooting stuff, or slash goblins with a sword, or yes even play as Tom Brady of the New England Patriots, (Sorry NE fan), Keven Garnett, you get the point. The things I just rambled about are not obtainable in real life and really shouldn't be used in comparison to guitar hero or rock band. People I'm 36, not some disgruntle old fart. I started playing the drums years ago because I wanted to be a rock star. If this game existed when I was a kid, I probably would have never played. To me it is painfull to see a perfectly able body playing a real song with a fake instrument. I see it as a form of Sacrilege. If the editor was a real quitarist, he would agree, as music has never been a game. Please note the lack of insults I decided not to sling back at him. Thanks for reading everyone.
December 18, 2007 4:24:56 AM

I felt the need to register just to reply to deranged.
First point:
"That being said, there is nothing more fun than doing it in real life, (kicks the crap out of the feeling the game gives you) on a real drumset with real quitars."

That is completely 100% subjective. That may be your opinion but who makes you the judge of what other people enjoy? Not to mention the game provides an atmosphere that the real world does not. It adds the other instruments, music, and a variation of difficulties for people on different learning curves. People need to stop assuming that these ideas are parallel, playing guitar and playing guitar hero are not meant to be equal. Guitar hero/Rock Band like any other games offer a fantasy/fictional/entertainment world for people to enjoy. Like the author mentioned above, maybe you can afford to go buy a guitar, and an amp, and anything else you need.(or drums) But does that mean Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughn or Tom Morello are going to show up at my house to play with me? Does buying a guitar put me on tour with these people? Until it does, you cannot say buying real life "guitar hero" status is easier to attain than real life racing, or football, or baseball etc. I can go out and play football with my friends, but is that the same as playing with manning, brady or favre? You say playing with pros is impossible, how is that so different from playing with some of the most famous rock stars (especially when some may be dead).

This isn't path A: Guitar Hero/Rock band = Lazy + Worse
Path B: Real instrument = Hard + Better

They are completely different passtimes. Maybe you aren't hating on the game, but you are making some huge assumptions based on your own personal preferences and opinions. I suggest you consider that before making the generalization that a real guitar is superior to playing these games. Like the author did, compare video games to other video games, not to completely different activities. And before you start attacking me like you did the author about being a real musician. I've played the violin and piano for 15 years, I still dont consider myself a real musician. I doubt you even consider these things before making your arguments though....
December 18, 2007 5:07:53 AM

RE: netsez and deranged

See what I mean? I've never seen any game get this kind of response from people. It's OK to spend countless hours playing any other kind of game but as soon as the controller resembles a musical instrument there's a problem. I don't recommend doing it but hypothetically speaking what if I play Guitar Hero with the game pad? Is there still a problem?
December 18, 2007 11:36:38 AM

johanasu I said it (kicks the crap out of the feeling the game gives you) because it is true. Anyone with common sense should be able to see that, as after all the game emulates a real rock band right? You should try the real rock band some time you may like it. Further, I never said One is a replacement for the other. I also said the game is fun. My point was, and apparently you missed it is that the real thing is better and very obtainable. If you could act like the driver for need for speed in real life would it not be better? The same goes for all games if they could bring it to life. Music just happens to be a realistic thing to do in real life, so I said why not play a real instrument, then tried to answer the question. Further, playing a violin in real life, even at an advanced level is not going to get you a loud crowd with crazy people about. Not a good example. Additionaly, I'm not trying to sound better than you or anyone else, rather my drums are better than the fake ones on the game.
December 18, 2007 11:50:56 AM

Sorry I forgot, Last year I bought my nephew a full (real) set of drums make by pearl, with cybols, stands, throne, sticks, brushes, everthing for $200.00. Not much more than the game cost, so money isn't an excuse. I also need to add that the atmosphere in the game is not the civic center or a large venue, It is a room. I have played a room that size for friends/with friends that may have totalled 40 people, after only playing for 3 years. It's called a house party, and there were lights and people that were enjoying the sound. I would also like to add that everone here is making their own opinions, so to trash me for mine is childish. The reason for my post is because the editor called asking this question stupid/ridiculous. It is a simple question that should not have haters attached to it. Asking that question doesn't make me hate anyone or the game.
December 18, 2007 11:57:32 AM

How is the atmosphere in the game (IN THE GAME) a room? Thats like saying a racing game's atmosphere is in a room? The fantasy/fiction is that you are on stage at a huge venue, on a real race track or on a pro field. I can't believe you are comparing a house party to playing with the rolling stones. So if I join a local baseball league and my friends and family watch me its the same as playing for the yankees? Cmon now, its just silly.
December 18, 2007 12:02:51 PM

One last point. If playing the "real thing" is so much better than the game why would real musicians enjoy the game at all if they can just pick up the real world instruments? Obviously they are different things and people enjoy them for different reasons. As for your house party, I've played in symphonies in front of a thousand people, if they came out with a "violin hero" I would still play it and enjoy it. They shouldn't be compared because one is a game and one is not.
December 18, 2007 12:22:45 PM

You have no ability to read between the lines do you? The fact that I was able to obtain a much greater sense of, lets say "godlyhood" by playing for my little house party when I was 15, was far greater than the feeling any 15 or 40 year old will get from the game. That is the point, the real thing is better! This thought process scales to the level your at. You will never get the same rush playing a music game that you will from, yes playing a tinnie weenie room with real people and real instuments. No frigging comparison. If I played a real large venue, I would feel like a god, so I guess I reached semigod, my mistake. Lets see, next you will tell me that a porn game can be better or as good as real sex right? Further, in my first post a made quite a few exeptions to what I'm talking about, in the hope people will understand add similar games to it. Let me explain again.. You will never unless you are 1 in 10 million play as a pro athlete. Or go kill things, unless your truely are deranged. The fantasy of games can be great for things that are unrealistic or unobtainable. Acting like a drummer on a fake set when you could go through THE EXACT SAME MOVMENTS ON A REAL ONE!! To me is silly and a waste of time. Try the exact same movement on any other game and see where that lands you. Jail or the loony bin. Ok so the original question: Why not play a real instument? At least i'm trying to answer the question
December 18, 2007 12:44:14 PM

sorry I missed your second post somehow... I think the difference is, with the strings on rock band it is buttons, not even close to how a real guitar feels. So it acually still plays like a game. The drums section(unless you all havn't noticed, I'm singling out the drums and pretty much have been from the begining) however plays like real drums. If they came out with a real to life violin game, people wouldn't play it because it would be too hard. The drums have large pads to hit that makes the learning curve for beginers smaller. So you can play the drums right out of the box and enjoy. The same goes for a real drumset, and that has been my point to the question all along. And the reason musicians or others like the game is because it is fun. I have admitted this from the beginning. I also have not said that musicians or others should not play these games or other games.
December 18, 2007 1:45:17 PM

I have to admit the drums in Rock Band are pretty close to drumming in real life so I can kind of see what deranged is getting at. The hand positions are a little different - I always had my right hand tapping the high-hat sort of crossed with my left-hand on the snare when on a real drum set - but the pads on the Rock Band set are actually configured so you play the high-hat notes with your right and the snare ones with your left although not crossed.

I think Rock Band and Guitar Hero are excellent gateways to a real instrument. It wouldn't surprise me in the least if a kid who got either of these games for Christmas asked for a real guitar or drum set shortly thereafter.
December 18, 2007 2:42:16 PM

Left handed drummers play that way and right handed drumers cross hands, just the way it is. I hope your correct about the gateway to real instruments, you probably are. We live in a world in which,(no offense to rappers or like, and I acually like rap and r&b,I just enjoy playing rock and heavier) fewer and fewer kids and adults are playing an instument. This doesn't help the diversity of music and in fact lowers the options and overall creativity that is availible today to enjoy.
I'm more concered with music as a whole than myself or the "1" person playing the game, I'm thinking of the large picture I guess.
December 18, 2007 3:56:52 PM

Drummania takes the Yamaha DTX series of digital drum kits as a controller. Yes, there are people willing to pay $700+ dollars for a game controller, that double as a digital drum set.

The professional drummers I know say it's accurate, except for attack, stroke style, and location, and that there's no hi-hat pedal.

Maybe we should load up the video crew and show what it's like in action.
December 18, 2007 4:11:59 PM

Yes the only digital drums that I know of that do a good job as far as feeling real are the roland v-drums. They cost thousands of dollars though. but I would say that is close or maybe just as good as a acoustical drum kit. A good alternative for people that can't be loud.
December 18, 2007 10:44:33 PM

The sports analogy is better, but the racing analogy is absurd. Buying a 'car' is not the same as buying a racing car and track.

Sure playing video games waste the time that could be used for other things, but of all the video games Guitar Hero is the easiest fantasy to fulfill and the closest to reality. Becoming a pro racer, or pro sports figure is very difficult, and when playing you don't throw a football or drive race a car. If you take all the time spent on the fake guitar and put it on a real guitar (just a small step up) you might be able to get into a band and live your fantasy.
December 18, 2007 10:48:11 PM

"See what I mean? I've never seen any game get this kind of response from people. It's OK to spend countless hours playing any other kind of game but as soon as the controller resembles a musical instrument there's a problem. I don't recommend doing it but hypothetically speaking what if I play Guitar Hero with the game pad? Is there still a problem? "

No. Because if you are so close to doing the real thing why not do the real thing?
December 18, 2007 10:54:09 PM

BTW Spending too many hours on ANY video game is a waste. People - go out and DO something! ;) 
December 19, 2007 1:53:12 AM

Bah! There's nothing outside but terrorism and poisonous air! Play more games!! :) 
December 19, 2007 7:21:26 PM

Quote:
Sure playing video games waste the time that could be used for other things


Glad to see that nutsez is the OFFICIAL authority on what is time wasted and what isn't. I play the games I enjoy for my own reasons, and while those reasons may not be sensible to others, they are entirely rational to ME, and isn't that the point? Those of you trying to make the "go play the real thing and quit wasting time" point, PLEASE stop "wasting" so much time arguing about something you don't like in a thread obviously targeted at those who enjoy the game. Lots of people like to play guitar, and lots of people like to play GH or RockBand, and I bet a whole lot of people like to do both, and who the :fou:  are you to tell any of them what they should or should not do with their time? Quit being elitist and enjoy the fact that in a time when many schools are cutting music programs (at least in the US), there is something out there that can keep kids involved with music.

I also agree wholeheartedly with Travis that these can easily become gateways to real instruments, and are very cost-effective at that. The real things are a LOT more expensive, especially if you take lessons, and the fact that they are somewhat simplified compared to an actual instrument is thus a benefit. Developing faster fingers and coordination between the hands in the game can surely help when faced with a real instrument. Why argue against anything that allows kids to enjoy music in an interactive way?
December 19, 2007 11:33:36 PM

I think these games can definitely be the gateway to real instruments. My kids both wanted guitars for christmas (even though one is already a drummer) based solely on GH2/GH3. Another really cool thing these games do is expose kids to a wider musical range then they might normally hear.
December 19, 2007 11:54:59 PM

[quoteAnother really cool thing these games do is expose kids to a wider musical range then they might normally hear.
][/quote]

How? Basically everthing you play on those games you can hear on the radio. I am a guitarist myself and personally I don't like these games. No offense meant to anyone but I think these games show the guitar as just some noisy instument to beat up on. And when you use distortion on your guitar to play rock n roll you can cover a lot of mistakes. I personally favour classical guitar over all other styles. This starts a flame war most of the time but classical is harder than all other styles. But don't get me wrong, I play all styles and enjoy em all too. If I just played classical everyone I played for would fall asleep :sleep:  Like take the difference between these 2 guitarist: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQJ1k2HMoRU

Vs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RhZGxSSHRG4


Who would you rather listen too?
December 20, 2007 1:52:59 AM

How many kids regularly listen to Rock from the 60's through 80's... not many. My kids have a pretty wide range by teen standards these days... but even they got into a number of artists that they hadn't really given much thought to before GH.

Classical guitar is great, but it doesn't have the market cornered on skill. To limit one's musical interest to such a small category makes me feel claustrophobic just thinking about.

Classical Guitar is definitely less forgiving... but there's talented artists in every genre, and the not so talented ones. The only difference is that in Rock... good looks and mediocre play sometimes works - because you can hide a lot of mistakes.

But true skill typically stands the test of time... most noise makers don't have the longevity.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36y3e0c341A

Personally, I'd like to see more Jazz, Blues, and Punk pieces in these games... and I'm starting to see Punk sneak in which is cool. Jazz and Blues I'll have to keep hoping for.

December 20, 2007 7:20:06 PM

My first guitar (Charvel Model 6) cost well over $1400, not counting the amps, pedals, cords, strings, electric bill, picks and batteries. I couldn't use a pick properly on a Gibson Les Paul for the life of me, but liked and had no problem with the Fender Stratocaster. But IMO the Gibson has always had the best sound. Thus, my solution was the Charvel with modded pickups for the best of both worlds.

Unfortunately, that was the easy part.

I have a great ear for music and played a couple instruments in band in grade school. I can hear a song and know it, know what notes to hit and when. So reading guitar music was never necessary for me. But physically hitting those notes is a completely different story. I spent 6-10 hours per day playing with many different guitar players (all very good and some in popular rock bands at the time) for over 5 years. I got all kinds of advice and encouragement. As much as I wanted to be the next Randy Rhoads, it was never going to happen. I still absolutely suck at guitar and now have a nice case of carpeltunnel in my left wrist. Bar chords will kill ya. Not everyone can learn to play guitar, period.

I saw GH come out in '05 and thought it would be a great alternative to making music and living out my fantasy, but couldn't justify the $1000 price tag at the time. And my concern is that if it's too realistic, my carpeltunnel will be an extremely painful and limiting factor.

So now that prices are more in line with reality (GH III is $169 in AU), what do you GH and Rock Band players say about the actual game controllers being useable for a half crippled old man such as myself?

Rock Band won't be available in Australia until sometime in '08. But GH III is available now, although it's with the Gibson body, yuck.
December 20, 2007 8:51:04 PM

Quote:
have a nice case of carpeltunnel in my left wrist


Aww man I feel for you :ouch: 

Quote:
Classical guitar is great, but it doesn't have the market cornered on skill. To limit one's musical interest to such a small category makes me feel claustrophobic just thinking about.

Classical Guitar is definitely less forgiving... but there's talented artists in every genre, and the not so talented ones. The only difference is that in Rock... good looks and mediocre play sometimes works - because you can hide a lot of mistakes.


Very true.
December 20, 2007 9:36:23 PM

dark41 said:
So now that prices are more in line with reality (GH III is $169 in AU), what do you GH and Rock Band players say about the actual game controllers being useable for a half crippled old man such as myself?


I will say that on the Easy and Medium difficulty levels you'd probably have no problem at all playing. If you decide to get into the Hard and Expert areas you may find yourself aggravating your condition. Honestly, though...there is such a small percentage of players who can get far on Expert and even then it stops being fun and becomes work.

Most of the chords are two button chords that are either right next to each other or seperated by one button. In the higher difficulty levels you'll get some three-button chords and chords that use buttons spaced further apart.
December 21, 2007 1:25:11 AM

I agree... medium is very enjoyable and not a serious amount of work... hard is work but may also be approachable.

You might find that Rock Band works better for you - fewer notes but tighter timing requirement means it's challenging but taxes your accuracy more than your dexterity.

December 21, 2007 8:02:48 PM

Woah, guruofchem, relax, you will live longer! Yeah if you and others want to play a guitar game on a toy guitar go ahead. I just don't get it that's all. Of course I didn't understand how people came home from a tough day at the office and rush to play The Sims and send their Sim to a tough day at the office ;) 

Peace to you and tmeacham
!