I named "Rock Band 2" — by Harmonix and MTV Games — one of my top games of 2008, but that was based on playing the game on the Xbox 360 console. Wii fans might wonder how well the game holds up on their favorite console, which offers less power and less storage space.

The verdict: Although there are several noticeable differences, the game rocks.

First, the drawbacks. Load times seem to be quite a bit longer. The on-screen depictions of the musicians, instruments and venues aren’t as refined. The downloadable song catalog is far behind that offered on the more robust system — 50 vs. 500. However, Harmonix is playing catch-up in that area and hopes to eventually offer them all. Of course, when it does catch up, there’s no hope of packing more than a fraction of them into the Wii’s small hard drive. Downloading one song filled a quarter of my available space.

Happily, these issues — aside from limited song selection — don’t really affect game play. The basic game remains the same, offering more than 80 songs on the disc and boasting solo, band and online modes. The drums, mic and guitar are very responsive and easy to use, living up to the standard set by the peripherals for the Xbox 360 version.

I also was very pleased that my "Guitar Hero" peripherals were compatible – even though the controller setups are different. [For "GH," players must insert a Wii remote into the guitar, but "RB" peripherals are self-contained.] However, "GH" guitars don’t offer the effects switch and extra fret keys that are available on "RB2" guitars. On the other hand, "RB2" peripherals didn’t work with my "Guitar Hero World Tour" software.

"Guitar Hero III" was a huge seller among Wii fans. Those folks might want to give their guitars some extra work by crossing over to "Rock Band 2."

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive a daily email of today's top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign Up Now