Battle of the Bands

Battle of the Bands

Battle of the Bands

Wrist Hero.

To the tune of Blitzkrieg Bop, a gang of hillbillies bang double-barreled banjos against an undead Mexican trio known as "Scaryachi". Next, an edgy goth group trades the notes of Feel Good Inc. with a peppy, baton-twirling marching band. Bullet barrages, lightning bolts and grenades arc across either side of the stage, each products of timely Wiimote wagging on your end.

Battle of the Bands isn't meant as a serious competitor to rhythm gaming's recent heavyweights, but more a comic sidekick. A cartoony, casual approach to the floating note genre in place of plastic peripherals, players wave the Wii remote left, right and downward, with shakes and stab motions in between. Not just a showcase for your speedy joints, but a gesture palette tennis players should find comfortable.

For those not Wimbledon-bound, the setup will seem uninspired. Any gamer guitarist that's tasted the nuanced notes of Guitar Hero and Rock Band can breeze through anything Battle throws at them, and aside from erratic conducting, is wrist-shaking a proper or exciting analogue for actual music? Excluding Samba de Amigo advocates, nope. Thin motion template or not, we can say it handles relatively well, with little effort needed to pick up notes. Force feedback is integrated nicely, buzzing when you're tracing a jagged zigzag of shaky notes, and beeping through the built-in speaker when you block attacks.

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Shots and videos from THQ Gamers Day

Darksiders, de Blob, Red Faction, loads more.

THQ gathered the world's press in San Francisco this week to show off its line-up for the next year, announcing Dawn of War II just beforehand and a Saints Row 2 release date on the night before plying us all with alcohol and letting us loose on demo pods and developers.