‘Guitar Hero 5’ updates speed up the tempo

September 23, 2009

by Taylor Aswell

Activision recently struck a chord with gamers everywhere as the release of yet another Guitar Hero happened Sept. 1, causing multitudes of plastic guitar-shredders everywhere to salivate over the possibility of wasting countless hours playing 85 new songs that will either leave them tapping their toes or scratching their head.

“Guitar Hero 5” is just what you expect it to be. Up to four people can strum, hit or sing their way through progressively difficult tiers of songs until they reach the last group of songs.

The visuals of the game are a step better than all previous counterparts. Facial expressions actually match the mood of the song, and surprisingly enough the characters’ mouths actually go along with the song.

Xbox 360 users are even given the ability to use their avatars as an on-stage performer, which can be a nice touch or a tad bit creepy, depending on how your avatar looks.

The game’s presentation is a step better than its previous counterparts. Almost every single hindrance from earlier titles receive a tweak in this game.

Gamers can now change the difficulty of the song without having to spend 20 minutes flipping through the menus after they accidentally hit easy instead of expert.
The incredibly confusing GHStudio is back, but improvements are clearly presented. The program, which allows gamers to use their “instruments” to make songs in the game, is a whole lot easier to use and the sound samples are a lot crisper.

After 30 minutes of messing around with the guitar, I still had no idea what I was doing. With that being said, only true fans who are extremely dedicated will get something out of the experience.

PartyPlay mode is by far the most impressive and useful new addition to the Guitar Hero series. If you don’t feel like fighting over what song to play, or even what instruments to use, well, PartyPlay mode is for you.

From the start menu all you have to do is hook up an instrument, and you can play right from the title screen.

Any combination of instruments may also be used in the game. Don’t own a drum set? No worries, just hook up four guitars and everyone play the same part.

The sound quality of the game surpasses all other Guitar Hero titles, and the track list is by far the most expansive and creative of the series. Variety is the name of the game for Activision, as artists from Vampire Weekend to Johnny Cash are present in the game.

The problem with the song selections for the game lies in the variety of the soundtrack. There are so many different types of music that people are bound to find numerous songs they do not like.
Do not expect anything new from the gameplay in the series as you are still required to strum or hit as the notes go across the screen.

One nice improvement to the game is the addition of challenges to every song. Each song has a unique challenge to it. While one song may have a vocal challenge ,the next may have one on guitar.

New game types are present, and many needed upgrades are there, but at the end of the day, I was left feeling like I had already bought this game multiple times in the form of Rock Band and other Guitar Hero titles. Maybe I am just getting too tired of playing games along these lines, or maybe I am just waiting for something truly innovational to happen; regardless, if you have played one of these types of games before, and you enjoyed it, then this game is for you. If you already own any Guitar Hero or Rock Band and you are satisfied, do not waste your money on an overhyped expansion pack that does not add any real value to the game.