Rock Band 2 vs Guitar Hero: World Tour

They look the same, sound the same, and even largely play the same. For those with a gaming console, and musical spirations, which the better bang for the buck?

For a while Rock Band wooed the party crowd with its multiplayer format in which up to 4 people could play together as a band. Guitar Hero, on the other hand, with its superior guitar instrument, was the obvious choice for the lone player.

Now the tables have turned. The makers of Guitar Hero no doubt noticed the financial success of its main competitor and also the resounding popularity of interactive party gaming (ie the overwhelming success of the Wii) and have now come out with Guitar Hero: World Tour.

Which game is better?

Rock Band 2 and Guitar Hero World Tour: Same Cost, Format

A sensible place to begin is with the similarities. Both games and complete instrument sets come with a guitar, set of drums, and a microphone. Other similarities:

  • Cost: around $180
  • Available Xbox 360, PS3, PS2, and Wii
  • Allow players to customize their band members, form a band, and play at gigs around the world for money
  • Downloadable song content for a comparable price
  • Backward compatible with previous gaming versions

Really, with basics like these, both Guitar Hero: World Tour and Rock Band 2 make great rhythm games, but there are some finer points, too.

Rock Band 2: More Songs, Smoother Play

Despite Guitar Hero: World Tour’s nifty touch-pad buttons on its wireless guitar, Rock Band 2’s guitar is still easier to play and its drum set is more intuitive and sensitive. It’s nice that Guitar Hero: World Tour has a wireless drum set but the drum pads are slightly off. This may be fixed with a firmware update at some point, but for now, Rock Band 2’s instruments win the playability contest. Here’s another review of Rock Band 2 and Guitar Hero World Tour drum sets.

Rock Band 2, however, comes pre-loaded with fewer songs, only about 45. Guitar Hero: World Tour comes with almost 90 songs. However Rock Band 2 already has an extensive list (500+) of downloadable content. All in all, Rock Band 2 wins the songs contest based on the sheer number and variety already available for download.

Judging the song list of each game is of course largely subjective, but it’s fair to say that both come with plenty of jammin’ crowd pleasers. Check out the Guitar Hero: World Tour complete song list and the Rock Band 2 complete song list.

Of course the best part about each’s song list is that players may end up loving songs they hated before and vice verse, just out of ease of playing.

Guitar Hero: World Tour: Better Instruments, Worse Game Play

While Rock Band 2 plays more smoothly with its instruments Guitar Hero: World Tour certainly has more potential with its more complicated drum set, guitar design, and game play. It’s just that these features don’t necessarily make Guitar Hero: World Tour that great for when players have non-gamer friends over and want to bust it out for a party.

Bottom Line: Serious gamers will enjoy the finer points of Guitar Hero: World Tour, but Rock Band 2 comes out on top as the best party game with its simpler instruments and gameplay, and a huge cache of songs.

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