How ‘Rock Band’ Drums Feel In ‘Guitar Hero’

You know how “Guitar Hero: World Tour”’s drum kit works in “Rock Band,” but a reader asked a good question: what about the other way around?

The drums work just fine in the Xbox 360 version of “Guitar Hero” that’s in my possession.

Making the “Rock Band” drums work is as easy as turning them on; in my experience, there were no compatibility issues whatsoever.

But just because they work doesn’t mean they will feel good in the game. I had to test them out:

When playing the “Guitar Hero” drums in “Rock Band,” one of the cymbals becomes deadweight. It can’t be used as an extra button and doesn’t take on duplicated functionality of another button. It’s just sits there and can’t be used. Without cymbals to worry about — yet, at least — “Rock Band”’s buttons transfer over completely. Every button on the “Rock Band” drum works as it did before.

“Guitar Hero” accommodates the “Rock Band” setup with a different note chart. Instead of five lanes of input traffic (plus the foot pedal) to worry about on the screen, there are only four. It’s as though you’re playing a “Rock Band” expansion pack, not unlike the recently released “AC/DC Live: Rock Band Track Pack.” There are new songs to play with almost the exact same mechanics that you’re used to — there’s just new art.

The only change is the way “Guitar Hero” handles star power. There are no in-song drum fill sections in “Guitar Hero.” You accumulate star power the same in both games but in “Guitar Hero,” star power is executed but hitting the yellow and blue pads simultaneously. I found that easier to pull off with the “Rock Band” drums than with the “Guitar Hero” ones, but that could be either from my familiarity with the “Rock Band” drums or because that game’s kit doesn’t have elevated cymbals.

Playing through three songs on the hard difficulty setting, I felt like there was less use of the right-hand-side green button with the “Rock Band” note charts. But since “Guitar Hero” and “Rock Band” handle the scaling of challenge across their settings in different fashions, that could simply be how “Guitar Hero” ushers you into expert. If any readers are able to provide any insight on this observation, please let me know!

I’ve played “Rock Band” drums in “Guitar Hero” and “Guitar Hero” drums in “Rock Band.” Both of them have worked just fine with one another. There are going to be people who prefer one set to the other, just like anything else.

But both peripherals happily work on either game, which should make organizing music game parties a heck of a lot easier. Time to load up Evite.

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