Help, why are games so complicated?!
May 13, 2010 3:57 PM   Subscribe

What do I need to set up Rock Band/GH3 from scratch?

I've been idly thinking about getting a Wii for my house, and would like to play Rock Band on it as well -- but I can't make head or tail of the giant world of accessories that you need to get a system up and running! I currently have, well, a VGA screen. Clearly I need a Wii but what else... extra remotes? Does it matter whether I get Rock Band or GH3? Is there a pack that comes with everything -- guitars, drums, mike?

I've searched around but the market seems to be flooded with third-party instruments which are remarkably overpriced -- or are there no stock ones?

(I'm techie but know nothing about consoles.)
posted by katrielalex to Technology (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I know for a fact that there's a pack that comes with everything for Guitar Hero. I'm pretty sure there's one for Rock Band like that as well. I just have Guitar Hero so that's what I pay attention to.
posted by theichibun at 4:03 PM on May 13, 2010

Rock Band for the Wii with the instrument bundle is hard to come by these days -- sold out all over the place. I wanted Beatles Rock Band for Christmas and no one could find it for me. I eventually discovered that the instruments for Band Hero (drums, guitar, mic) are compatible with the Rock Band games as well, so now I've got Band Hero with all the instruments, plus the stand-alone game of Beatles Rock Band. Works fine.

The guitars for GH and Band Hero and Rock Band are all compatible also. You may find this chart handy.
posted by stennieville at 4:09 PM on May 13, 2010

Oh - and the instrument controllers are powered by Wiimote, so you will need extras. I had one with a broken accelerometer (wouldn't pick up swinging motions for tennis, golf, etc.) which works great in the drumkit.
posted by stennieville at 4:12 PM on May 13, 2010

If you have the Rock Band (2) kit, you won't need extra wiimotes. I'm positive of this, just went to the living room to check. The GH3 guitar needs a wiimote, though.
Unsure beyond that.
posted by Lemurrhea at 4:36 PM on May 13, 2010

Does it matter whether I get Rock Band or GH3?

Both Rock Band and GH3 were a few iterations ago. The current titles are Rock Band 2 / Lego Rock Band (RB: Beatles is its own thing) and GH5 / Band Hero. IIRC, RB3 and GH6 are due before Christmas shopping hell.

Sure, which you get matters. Gameplay is nearly identical; each has their own gimmicky "extra" way to play solos if you use "their" guitar, and GH5 has a few competitive play modes that RB2 doesn't.

Otherwise, look at the track listings and go with the one you like better. There's downloadable content for both, so check out the listings of what's available for Wii there too. Overall, the RB series has rather more DLC than GHWT/GH5, but not all of either is available for the Wii.

If you haven't, you might try playing GH5 or RB2 on a Wii before you shell out for the kit. We rented GHWT for the Wii before we picked up the PS3, and thought that it looked highly optimized for HD (which the Wii can't do); gameplay was okay but the song titles and suchlike were hard to read.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:40 PM on May 13, 2010

Maybe it's just the Band Hero instruments that need the Wiimotes, then -- my bad.
posted by stennieville at 4:45 PM on May 13, 2010

Oh - and the instrument controllers are powered by Wiimote, so you will need extras.

This is not true across the board. Beatles rock band instruments don't require remotes (except for the mic, which always requires one, having no other way to control the cursor.)
The drums and bass have dongles that plug into the Wii and connect wirelessly.

You can probably get a pack that comes with:
-A mic which will plug into the Wii via usb.
- A guitar OR bass- the difference is purely cosmetic. You can use the "guitar" to play bass and vice versa.
-A drum kit.

You can also buy each of these things separately.

Depending on which kit you get, the guitar and drums may or may not require a remote.
You might be able to find a kit which has two guitars, but I've never seen one.
You will want a second guitar, if you want to play with four people.
I highly suggest Rock Band 2 instead of Guitar Hero. There's a much wider variety of music. And it's just... more fun.
I've seen kits with instruments recently at Costco and Target.
You can also buy used instruments at EB and Gamestop. I'd be sure and check which game they're from though- older controllers may not work with some games.
posted by Adridne at 4:50 PM on May 13, 2010

FWIW, if you aren't 100% set on a Wii, the Xbox 360 is a much cheaper complete RB/GH solution.

I have Guitar Hero 2 instruments and they are 100% compatible with the both series, vs on the Wii where you may need two sets depending on what game you want to play. Plus you'll need a Wiimote for each drum and guitar vs. a standalone controller for the 360 (I found my guitars on sale for $20 each).

Here is a good guide for controller compatibility - make sure you buy the proper controller for the games you want to play.
posted by wongcorgi at 1:36 AM on May 14, 2010

FWIW, if you aren't 100% set on a Wii, the Xbox 360 is a much cheaper complete RB/GH solution.

I have Wii and got the entire band kit (2 guitars, 1 mic, drum set) for well under $100, over a year ago. I bought the GH instruments (from the World Tour game) and Rock Band 2 because RB2 is much more loved around here. The game cost about $40. I'm not sure why Xbox would be much cheaper - especially if you just use your existing Wiimotes with the Wii instruments?
posted by getawaysticks at 6:18 PM on May 15, 2010

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