Guitar Hero: World Tour vs Rock Band 2

Eight side-by-side drum comparisons for your musically discerning eyes

But that’s old news. This year we’ve pitted Rock Band 2’s year-old drum tech against Guitar Hero: World Tour’s brand new drum section. The two games share 14 songs on the disc (by our count), even more via DLC, but we decided to pick the eight that you actually might want to play.

Before the vids, our quick consensus: World Tour’s drum set is more satisfying to play, mainly due to the deep “thunk” of the big pads and the higher “tink” of the fake cymbals. Rock Band still feels like a big chunk of plastic, and the $40 add-on cymbals tend to glitch up and miss notes. Looks like Neversoft spent their year well, making a drum kit that, for the time being, outperforms Harmonix’s offering.

But hell, we still prefer Rock Band’s presentation, setlist and community to Guitar Hero’s KFC-themedfailure pile.

Note: All songs are played on Hard.

“Everlong” by Foo Fighters

Strange, this. Guitar Hero III was known for being a helluva lot harder than Rock Band, but from the looks of it Everlong on Hard is far harder on Rock Band 2. World Tour leaves out a lot of the foot pedals seen on the right. Thus, we’re going with Rock Band on this one.

“Today” by Smashing Pumpkins

Almost identical structure, but World Tour’s extra input (the second cymbal, colored orange on the bar) makes you feel a bit more like a drummer than Rock Band’s always-ambiguous blue note that tends to change into whatever the song requires. World Tour gets a point.

“One Way or Another” by Blondie

Total opposite of Everlong – now World Tour is harder with more yellow notes and variation than Rock Band. Both are challenging sets, but again the new drum kit offers a better illusion of real drumming. Another for World Tour.

“Our Truth” by Lacuna Coil

Great example of two very different ways to lay out the same song. World Tour is a bit harder in our opinion, but it’s a tough section on either game. Uh, let’s go with a tie.

“Float On” by Modest Mouse

Extremely similar with one small (but crucial) difference – Rock Band adds the blue note while World Tour keeps you on red and yellow the whole time. Realistic setup or not, we want to use the kit we paid for, so this one goes to Rock Band.

“Livin’ on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi

Looks like 95% the same to us. In this case World Tour uses yellow where Rock Band 2 uses green, and the latter throws in a few more notes in the fill section. Either way it’s a slow-ish song not really meant for an awesome drum experience. Another tie.

“The Middle” by Jimmy Eat World

Lots of give and take here. Where one leaves something out, it makes up for later with something else. A missing pedal note here, an added red note there, etc. Can’t say one is stronger or better than the other, so let’s call it a tie.

“Lazy Eye” by Silversun Pickups

Both have the same feel, but Rock Band moves the right hand to blue instead of staying on yellow, providing much-appreciated variation in a hugely long song. Rock Band it is. That makes it 3-2 in Rock Band’s favor – winner!

That’s our take – what’s yours? Sound off in the comments below, let’s see what YOU think of this soon-to-be massive rivalry between Guitar Hero: World Tour and Rock Band 2!

Oct 31, 2008

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