Guitar Hero World Tour vs Rock Band 2 Wii Decision Guide
by: John Leonard
; edited by: Michael Hartman
; updated: 5/25/2012
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A decline in the music game trend has resulted in great deals on music game band packs for the Nintendo Wii. Let our guide help you decide who comes out on top in the battle of Guitar Hero World Tour vs Rock Band 2 Wii.
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Guitar Hero World Tour vs Rock Band 2 Wii
In the 90's gamers had it pretty simple: if you liked platforming and power-ups, you bought a Super Nintendo and played Super Mario World. If you preferred breakneck speeds and goofy robot enemies, you favored Sonic the Hedgehog.
The battle of Guitar Hero World Tour vs Rock Band 2 Wii isn't nearly as clean cut. Both Guitar Hero World Tour Wii and Rock Band 2 Wii provide you with four instruments, dozens of popular songs, online multiplayer and fully customizable bands, so it's easy to see where the discerning gamer might get confused. Let our guide to Guitar Hero World Tour vs Rock Band 2 for Wii make things simpler for you.
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If you're a drum enthusiast, you'll almost certainly want to go with the Guitar Hero World Tour Wii drum kit controller. It features three drum pads and two raised cymbal pads, plus a highly-responsive kick drum pedal with nice spring action.
The Rock Band 2 Wii controller only offers four basic drum pads and its kick drum pedal leaves much to be desired compared to the Guitar Hero World Tour Wii kick drum pedal.
The Guitar Hero World Tour Wii guitar controller features five large, tactilely-pleasing fret buttons at the top of its neck while the Rock Band 2 Wii guitar controller goes for a more subdued look: there's still five fret buttons, but they aren't raised or colored. Both guitars feature an interface on the lower half of the fretboard, intended to make solos easier. Guitar Hero World Tour Wii has a slidebar while Rock Band 2 Wii has five additional fret buttons.
Both games use basic USB microphones, basically identical in design and function.
The verdict: Draw. Guitar Hero World Tour Wii is the clear victor in the drums category. Guitar depends on whether you're looking for realism, where Rock Band 2 Wii takes the lead, or newbie-friendliness, where Guitar Hero World Tour Wii wins for its large colored buttons.
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Woe be upon the player who gets stuck with the bass in Rock Band 2 Wii. You'll be lucky to stay awake through a full song, let alone a full setlist, due to the game's dumbed-down tracking. Drummers will also find Rock Band 2 Wii lacking in the difficulty department, thanks to the rainbow-colored "freestyle" segments that let you smack at your drum set randomly without penalty. Maybe we could forgive Harmonix for this if the freestyle moments came in logically--say, during a song's drumfill or transition--but they don't: they're random and throw off the song's rhythm.
Guitar Hero World Tour Wii really shows off its strength when you're playing as a guitarist. The Guitar Hero franchise is infamous for its riveting guitar solos. While expert difficulty is fairly similar in both games, you'll find that Guitar Hero World Tour Wii clearly dominates on every other setting, from easy to hard.
The verdict: Guitar Hero World Tour Wii wins. Difficulty is especially important in music rhythm games; if a song's too easy, it's boring to play.
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Both Guitar Hero World Tour Wii and Rock Band 2 Wii offer a selection of gameplay modes. You can choose from a campaign career mode, multiplayer face-offs or quickplay. Guitar Hero World Tour Wii also offers a music studio where you can create your own custom tracks or download the tracks created by other players over the Internet, as well as a Mii FreeStyle Mode in the vein of Wii Music.
For most gamers, the campaign mode will be fairly important. Even if you only care about partying with your friends in quickplay, you'll need to play through the campaign to unlock all the songs. In this department, Guitar Hero World Tour Wii offers "Career" and Rock Band 2 Wii features "World Tour" (yes, you read that correctly). Both games offer start customization modes where you can choose from all manner of costumes and instruments for your various rockers. The two games split in quality when it comes time to actually start your campaign.
Guitar Hero World Tour Wii features a linear progression of unlocking a new venue, playing a few songs, and then moving on to the next venue. Rinse and repeat until you reach the end. Rock Band 2 Wii gives you more freedom to pick and choose your venues, occasionally offers custom set lists, and gives you the chance to purchase power-ups to increase your band's popularity and revenue.
The verdict: Rock Band 2 Wii wins. Campaign mode is a huge part of the gameplay, and Guitar Hero World Tour Wii still forces you to play through too many stupid songs and doesn't offer the same level of freedom. Unless the music studio element is really important to you, go with Rock Band 2 Wii.
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Guitar Hero World Tour vs Rock Band 2 Wii: Final Verdict
Looking back, we're left with one clear win for Guitar Hero World Tour Wii, one clear win for Rock Band 2 Wii and a draw. So how is the debate of Guitar Hero World Tour vs Rock Band 2 Wii resolved? It all depends on what you're looking for in a music game. If you want to rock out on a realistic drum set with challenging difficulty or you want to burn out your fingers flying through intense guitar solos, Guitar Hero World Tour Wii is your clear choice. If you'd rather play a robust campaign mode that lets you take command of every aspect of your band's careers, from hiring roadies to choosing gigs, go with Rock Band 2 Wii. Bear in mind that while there's some overlap, each game offers a unique selection of songs--both included and downloadable--so your personal preferences will play a role there as well. Either way, welcome to the addicting world of music rhythm games.