BAND HERO (Xbox360,PS3,Wii) Rating: NNN The Guitar Hero.

BAND HERO (Xbox360,PS3,Wii) Rating: NNN

The Guitar Hero universe’s latest expansion is a big departure from its classic rock and metal foundations. This is a family-friendly, easy-on-the-ears attempt to bring music gaming to the masses. You might argue that Rock Band has already done this, but does it have the Spice Girls on its playlist?

Aside from the track list and more colourful cutscenes, Band Hero is a direct clone of Guitar Hero 5. Clearly, this edition is aimed at a preteen audience, but older gamers will get a kick of nostalgia from classics like Poison’s Every Rose Has Its Thorn. And then there’s Band Hero’s dirty little secret: you can create a four-piece band of Taylor Swift clones and play nothing but Nirvana tracks you’ve downloaded for previous GH editions. This is the ultimate platform for getting on Courtney Love’s bad list.

ASSASSIN’S CREED 2 (Xbox360, PS3, PC) Rating: NNNN

The original Assassin’s Creed turned out to be a major disappointment, but thankfully, Ubisoft’s new offering makes up for what it failed to deliver the first time around.

Players take on the role of Ezio, a strong-willed young Italian, as he discovers his destiny in the richly textured and incredibly vibrant cities of Italy. As a newly cloaked assassin, Ezio takes part in all the activities you’d expect: stealthy street exploration, daring free climbing, jumping along rooftops and, of course, epic combat with all kinds of enemies.

Assassin’s Creed 2’s main improvement is the presence of a real story and well-developed characters, allowing you to connect with Ezio and the world around him. Missions have meaningful challenges with consequences, unlike the original’s cookie-cutter sequences. Even if you hated the original, try Assassin’s Creed 2 – it’s an incredible adventure.

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