And a Bit More Rock Band 2From wonderpug:
I'm sure a dozen people have probably beaten me to the punch, but I wanted to let you know that the old fashioned linear tiers are still in Rock Band 2. Right below the "Continue Tour" button there are buttons for "Challenges" and "Battle of the Bands." In the Challenges section there are a sequence of "Marathon Challenges," beginning with "Warmup Marathon 1." Beating that will unlock the next marathon challenge, which will unlock the next, and so forth. They'll take you linearly through every new song in the game, tier by tier, from easiest to most difficult.
I hadn't even looked at Challenge Mode (all my time has been spent on tour), so I just went in and checked it out for a few minutes. It's similar to the old tour mode in that you progressively unlock tiers of songs. There are also a few differences. I played the first challenge, which consisted of a three-song set. I passed the first two songs, then purposely failed the third to see what would happen. I was given the option to try again, practice, or exit, and I was warned that any progress wouldn't be saved if I exited. This was a bit misleading, though, because when I went back into the challenge, the first two songs were marked as completed, and I only had to play the third song. After passing it, new challenges were unlocked.
It's different from the old tour mode in that you have to pass the songs inside the challenge in order, because you're playing a set. In RB 1, you could pass the songs in a single tier in any order you wanted, because you were only playing single songs. Plus, it's also different in that there appear to be multiple ways to progress after you complete the first challenge, because multiple challenges open up. However, it does give someone the option to unlock songs in a much more linear fashion than tour mode.
I actually think Challenge mode is better than solo tour while retaining much of its structure. Again, Harmonix with a direct connection to my brain.