There is a huge preconception that must immediately be handled if you're going to ever put your hands on Band Hero. Just because a game has been given a number of songs that would theoretically appeal to a different set of gamers doesn't devalue it for everyone else. Band Hero might be a fairly terrible idea, trying to appeal to younger gamers, seemingly of the female persuasion with songs by Hillary Duff and Aly & AJ, but there are more than just those few songs to the game.
There are sixty-five songs in Band Hero and there's a lot more variety in these songs. It runs the gamut from the aforementioned pop princesses to Marvin Gaye, Maroon 5 and even the Village People. There's something fun about having a number of silly looking characters up on stage performing "Y.M.C.A." followed up by "Happy Together" and then going down into "Paralyzer" by Finger Eleven. It's all surprisingly eclectic, more than you would expect from a pop oriented game.
However the value of this game is, as usual, directly proportional to the amount of songs that you actually enjoy. If you're a younger sort who has never heard of many of these songs then you might not be interested in buying this. However it does make for a good family get together since you can do things like have every family member pick a song for a set list.
Beyond that one idle thought though this game seems to have almost no solid target demographic. It seems targeted at young girls with some of the songs but then other ones are seemingly aimed at a slightly older audience. Then throw on some recent top 40 brand songs and you've got a bizarre mix that seemingly works despite feeling entirely random.
Also muddling the demographic issue is the presentation. Every part of it, from the forced "text shorthand" uses to the general uber-pop presentation the whole game oozes this somewhat creepy "40-year old men trying to appeal to 12-year old girls" thing that never really settles in. It all feels vaguely off for some reason.
One part of this game that really rubs the wrong way is that of the absolutely bizarre censorship that they struck the songs with. The part that immediately sticks out is the way they censored "American Pie." For some, incredibly nonsensical, reason they chose to censor the word whiskey in the line "Drinking whiskey and rye." What makes this so aggravating is that they censor whiskey likely because its liquor… but so is rye! Did they think they were talking about drinking rye bread? Why put a song in the game only to censor a lyric that is repeated numerous times when they could have just put it in Guitar Hero 5 instead?!
Luckily there are a number of improvements to the general feel of the game that help make it a bit more accessible. Beyond the previously mentioned drop in difficulty the controls have been tightened up and the song charts fit the music a lot better, marking a huge step up from even Guitar Hero: World Tour.
The Create-a-Character mode has been improved as well, giving you more options than ever before. If you don't feel like using this then you can just use their premade characters, featuring the return of Pandora, all done up in more normal, family friendly outfits as well as the outfits they have accessible in Guitar Hero 5. All of the animations and band interactions are much more interesting to watch although the canned moments can get a bit repetitive.
However when it comes down to it the value of this expansion is going to be directly proportional to your interest in the tracks contained within. If you're not exactly keen on the songs contained within then there's no reason to own this. But if there are enough songs that you like on the disc then there's no harm in picking it up. Even if you can't bear to have a "girly" game in your library you can export the songs to Guitar Hero 5, deleting the main offenders from the set list.