Having played both Rock Band 2 (RB2) and Guitar Hero World Tour (GHWT), I can now deliver my final opinion:Â Rock Band 2 is better. That’s a pretty broad statement, so let me break it down.
Music selection:Â GHWT has a diverse selection, but lends itself to heavier rock, metal, and punk music.Â RB2 is more of a pop-rock selection with a few fun metal songs thrown in.Â RB2 has the better selection, though, since it appeals to a full band more than GHWT.Â The songs in RB2 lend themselves to singing along more than GHWT does.
Tour mode:Â GHWT sorely lacks in the immersion of your band into a world tour.Â Sure, there are a number of countries and venues, but you pick them simply by pointing at posters on a wall.Â RB2 turns the tour mode into a sort of role-playing game, starting your band out at a local bar, earning a van so you can get out of town, hiring a street team or an intern, and slowly expanding your global domination.Â RB2 tends to have you play songs over again, though, in its “mystery set lists” which consist of random songs.Â You can skip those if you want, as they only serve to gain you more stars, money, and fans.
Graphics:Â Both games are fairly even here.Â RB2 has great stages and nice lighting effects, while GHWT’s characters have choreography that better matches the song you’re playing (e.g. lead singer moonwalking during Beat It).Â RB2 is also more realistic in its character development.Â You start off with a very basic set of clothes, which is very appropriate for a new band starting out.Â Unfortunately, you can’t make too many modifications to your character’s facial appearance other than choosing from a dozen different pre-designed faces.Â The interfaces for playing music are fairly similar, but GHWT is more stylized while RB2 is very streamlined and simplified.Â Due to the over-the-top amount of products placements in GHWT, it suffers quite a bit.
Online store:Â Since the RB2 store for Wii has yet to go online, I can only say that the GHWT store has an ugly interface, but works smoothly when downloading songs, saving them to SD card, and then loading the purchased songs into setlists.
Instruments: Rather than review the instruments themselves, I’ll rate the gameplay aspect of each one.
Guitar/Bass:Â RB2 gives you a neat percentage meter during solos, but otherwise plays very much like GHWT’s guitar.Â The bass in RB2 doesn’t have a solo meter, but instead has “bass grooves” which allow multiplier to go higher than the guitar player.Â GHWT has a new slider board on the guitar, which is fun for the flange effect it gives to notes, but using that section during songs for special notes really doesn’t work well at all.Â I played both games on Medium and found that RB2 was a little easier than GHWT and Easy mode on GHWT was way too simple.
Drums:Â Playing drums in both games is fairly equal.Â RB2 includes solo sections that trigger overdrive mode.Â I prefer the option of launching star power in GHWT with a dual-cymbal crash much more.
Vocals:Â Singing in GHWT is a tough chore.Â The meter showing you your pitch is overly accurate and doesn’t have the nice directional arrow that RB2 uses.Â If you’re looking for a challenge, GHWT might be better, but the song selection is no where as fun to sing as the tracks on RB2.Â Plus you can play cowbell in RB2.Â Winner:Â RB2
Extra modes:Â Both games include some drum training modes and free play sections.Â You can jam along with Mii characters in GHWT or play drums however you want to in RB2, but due to the lag of a Wii Remote communicating to your Wii and then the playback of the song through your TV or stereo, it’s really hard to get into a groove.Â I played RB2 with the GHWT drums, so I can’t say if the free play drums still suffer lag using the new RB2 wireless drums or not.Â A cool bonus with RB2 is the online website for the game.Â Your band stats are shown online (as they are for GHWT), but you also have the option of buying t-shirts, posters, pins, and other merchandise featuring your band’s name and characters.
Winner:Â Neither – the extra modes really don’t do much to enhance either game.
I highly suggest that the overall choice between the two games should be based on your music preferences.Â Check out the song lists for GHWT and RB2 for yourself.Â RB2 lends itself to a party atmosphere while GHWT still leans heavily on its hard rock roots.Â RB2’s tour mode is vastly superior to GHWT in every way, so if you’re looking for a game with a bit more of a story to it, RB2 is better.
So based on these categories and my personal preferences, Rock Band 2 is better than Guitar Hero World Tour.