Joystiq impressions: Battle of the Bands (Wii)

Zack Stern
Z. Stern|04.05.08

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Joystiq impressions: Battle of the Bands (Wii)
THQ's under-the-radar Wii game, Battle of the Bands is coming out this month. I recently saw the game in action, and I finally have a grasp on its concept. Thankfully renamed from Band Mashups, Battle of the Bands pits two gamers against each other in a Wiimote-only rhythm competition. As Guitar Hero-style commands float by, players flick the controller down, left, right, or shake it with the beat.

A successful string of hits activates the "battle," firing shots at the enemy band. An aptly timed B-button blocks those volleys. This attack-and-defend mechanic controls the tug-of-war between the two players; when one is leading, the shared song plays in their chosen genre, flipping between hip-hop/funk, rock, country, marching band, and latin. The game's 30 different songs all have these versions, so you could hear "Whoomp! (There it is)" as country or "Man of Constant Sorrow" in hip-hop.

The game is heavily tuned for two players, although single-player options are included. I think it'll make a good party game in limited doses, and unfortunately, it's another Wii game that should be online but isn't.

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