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Guitar Hero 5 Review
|ESRB rating: T
release date: Sep 01, 09 (released)
|» All About Guitar Hero 5 on ActionTrip|
Publisher Activison / Red Octane and developer Neversoft have released the latest in the Guitar Hero series - Guitar Hero 5. While it seems like the 13th release in the Guitar Hero series, the first question that come to mind is: is Guitar Hero 5 just another release with a mix of new and previously released songs or does it actually bring new features to the now, very familiar rhythm game genre?
I owe a special 'Thank you' to Guitar Hero 5. When I received my review copy a couple weeks back, I popped the disc into my 360 and found out my off brand, 720p TV had lost the audio from its HDMI port. Now, I understand that this was not caused by the game; rather, I just happened to notice the hardware failure when I wanted to play this new game. So, of course, I had no choice but to go get a new TV in order to complete the review (Quiet now! It was a good enough excuse to convince the wife, so don't ruin this for me!).
Holy crap, I rock!
No, Vince, you suck and I child could beat you.
Anyway, when I got the new TV setup and fired up Guitar Hero 5, the first thing we were greeted with was a menu that seems much easier to navigate. The menus look cleaner and it seems easier to get through and select the menu items using the instruments, which has always been an issue for me for some reason. This cleaner, sharper, look is not limited to the selection screens. When you are playing the familiar field of scrolling notes is still the same, but the star power meter, multiplier indicator and score all take up less on screen real estate though they are still easy to read.
Guitar Hero 5 allows you to follow the standard Career Mode where you create a rocker, form a band and then start playing through songs unlocking new venues and challenges based on how well you perform. This time around you earn stars based on how well you do and after reaching a certain number of stars, new venues and songs are unlocked. Guitar Hero World Tour expanded the instrument list to include drums and vocals and this time around each song has an optional challenge that targets a specific instrument which if completed, rewards you with more stars. Challenges include things like having the band hit a certain number of points, having an instrument strum as many times as possible during a song or use the whammy bar as much as possible. These challenges add some variety when you are farming songs for stars to unlock the next venue.
If Career mode is not your thing then you might want to jump into the Quickplay feature where every song is unlocked and you can build your own play list and start shredding. Alternatively, try Party Play where players can drop in and out of the song at any time. You can also adjust the difficulty setting midstream without making everyone stop and wait. Also, if you hate being stuck playing a certain instrument you can create a band composed entirely of drums or bass guitars or mix and match anyway you like. This is a feature that is a great new addition to the series and is a boon for party settings or when playing with younger kids.
New head to head challenges have been added to the Competitive Play menu. Some like 'Perfectionist' (Play the most notes perfectly), 'Streakers' (Maintain the most steaks of notes) and 'Do or Die' (Miss a note, get a strike). Three strikes and you sit out 'til the next song) offer variations on the head to head challenge with the player with highest score taking the win. 'Momentum' appeals to me because I typically play against a 10 year old that has the manual dexterity of a spider monkey on crack and I find it difficult to keep up with him. In this mode all players start on 'Medium' difficulty and as you play better or worse, the song difficultly rises and falls and the player with the highest score wins. This mode creates and even playing field for players of all skills levels. RockFest has players competing in a series of songs that players vote on which rules to use. There is enough variety here to keep head to head challenges fun and interesting.
Co-op has new features like Band Multipliers that increases your score based on how many people are playing and how well everyone is doing when you are on streaks and Band Moments with animated flaming notes that each player must hit perfectly in order to claim the multiplier payoff. In another nod to help new and veterans play together, Revival allows you bring back a player that has failed out of a song without dragging the band down with them. Also, once you have maxed out your star power, any other star notes you claim get equally divided amongst the other players. Again, features like these help take the sting out of playing with someone who does not have as much experience with rhythm games.
8.7 Very Good
New features allow for better game experience, care Mode challenges help when playing the same songs over again, veterans and newbies can play together without alienating either group;
Wide variety of artists can be disjointing, avatar rockers are creepy.