http://xbox360.ign.com/articles/102/1020394p1.htmlIGN Ratings for Guitar Hero 5 (X360)
out of 10 click here for ratings guide9.0 Presentation
Neversoft stripped away a layer of annoyance in just about every area of the game.8.0 Graphics
The animations are starting to show some life even if the art style still leaves room for improvement.8.5 Sound
Better sound samples and good mixing. The track list is all over the place.9.0 Gameplay
A few tweaks to the band play improve on the winning formula. Rock on.9.0 Lasting Appeal
Challenges and new modes will keep you rocking. Importing tracks gives it even more value.8.9
(out of 10 / not an average
Guitar Hero 5 Review
Don't hang up your plastic axe just yet.
by Erik Brudvig
September 1, 2009 - Activision and Neversoft have been running the Guitar Hero show for some time now. The group took hold of the franchise with Guitar Hero 3, expanded the game series to a full band with Guitar Hero World Tour and offered up a handful of spin-offs along the way. With that much experience, you'd think the mega-publisher would learn how to put together a winning product. And you'd be right. Guitar Hero 5 is the best addition to the franchise in a long time.
It shouldn't come as any surprise that Guitar Hero 5 doesn't stray much from the same tried-and-true gameplay formula that has been the focus of over a dozen games in the past few years alone. The notes still come scrolling down the screen and the would-be rock stars around the world sill click those plastic guitars, bang the drums, and do their best to stay on key and in rhythm. Guitar, bass, drums and vocals are the four parts that make up the band. So what makes this one different from the other handful of Guitar Hero games that have come out over the last year? Quite a bit actually.
Check out Guitar Hero 5 video review.One of the best things that Neversoft has done with Guitar Hero 5 is to make it just as easy to navigate the menus as it is to enjoy the game itself. This may not seem like such a big deal, but in practice it makes everything about the game more enjoyable. A layer of frustration has been stripped away from nearly every aspect of this game. Not only will your parents be able to understand how to play the game, now they'll be figure out how to get into the game, too.
This is most noticeable in the all-new Party Play mode. Everyone who has thrown a party with Rock Band or Guitar Hero World Tour has at least one memory of new players having trouble logging in, choosing instruments, and making sure they've selected the right difficulty for their skill level. We've all been there and it isn't any fun. Party Play does away with this in a most agreeable way. As soon as you turn Guitar Hero 5 on, the game simply starts playing through your library of tunes. It acts like a jukebox of sorts. If any song catches your ear, all you have to do is pick up an instrument and hit a button to start playing. You can change difficulties, drop in or out, add other players, or even skip to another song without the music ever stopping.
If somebody is already playing guitar and you don't want to be stuck with bass, no worries. Any combination of instruments can be used. Set up your own guitar army or get everyone in the room singing harmonies -- it's your call. Party Play and letting people use what instrument they want sound like such simple concepts you'll start wondering why it took this long to get these features in. But hey, they're here now and they really do add a lot to the fun.
Kurt Cobain, and other stars, make an appearance.The Career mode has received a similar makeover in the name of accessibility. It's hardly even a career anymore. There's no more money to earn or tour to take part in and there isn't any story to speak of. Instead, you'll simply work your way through a few lists of songs, unlocking new gigs and other goodies along the way. There are no separate careers for each instrument or difficulty. It's all in one place and it's based around earning stars. To add a bit more depth, every gig has its own bonus challenge that enables you to earn a few extra stars.
This layout does several good things. Most importantly, it allows you to switch difficulty settings, instruments or band members without restarting your career. You won't reach the end of the Career on Expert, realize you simply can't beat it, and then have to go back and replay through the whole shebang again on Hard. The challenges also give you reason to go back and replay an old song to complete various objectives. Challenges include things like strumming up as many times as you can, using the whammy bar as much as possible, or hitting a certain score with a full band. Each song has one, and you'll earn the stars and unlock the bonus associated with it if anybody in your group meets the requirements -- so you can work through the game with an online band playing only guitar and still get everything.
This new Career mode also allows you to "beat" the game without playing every song. If you hate a particular track (or can't complete one), you can simply go back and replay older tunes to earn more stars and progress that way.
Perhaps the slickest part of the Career is that you don't have to exit out of it entirely to switch to another game mode. Guitar Hero 5's log-in screen -- where players choose their avatars, instruments, and difficulty level -- acts as a hub for the rest of the game. You can switch from the career to a competitive mode or even find other players to join your game without quitting back to the main menu
There are a handful of new competitive multiplayer modes that join the standard Face Off and Pro Face Off. My favorite of the bunch is called Momentum. Here, everyone starts on Medium difficulty and then moves up or down based on how well they play. On the flip side, modes like Do or Die aren't as successful. In that one, players get knocked out of the game for a while if they miss three notes in a given section. It sounds good on paper, but the reality is that mid-tier or intro players will find themselves just standing around more often than not. And if everyone gets knocked out, all you can do is sit around and look at each other awkwardly.
Neversoft really did go all out making sure that the presentation for Guitar Hero 5 is top notch. It's received such an upgrade that it's easy to overlook the small gameplay tweaks. The developers have made little changes here and there that come together and make the final game that much better. For example, if single band members fail and drop out, the entire band won't get booed off stage. The surviving crew instead has the opportunity to play well and bring them back (thanks, Rock Band). Band Moments have been added, which are small sections of the song that everyone in the band has to nail to activate a bonus multiplier. Even Star Power has seen an improvement. For starters, everyone has their own meter now. If yours is full and you earn more Star Power, the extra will overflow into the other band members' gauges to give them a boost.
Party Play is perfect for a party. Go figure.My only real gripe with Guitar Hero 5 is that the track list is a bit too broad. It seems like the goal was to include a bit of everything, but all that really does is ensure that nobody will like everything on the disc. Please find me a person who is a fan of Megadeth, Blink-182, Coldplay, and Peter Frampton. There's an eclectic mix of songs on here and you're sure to find something you like, but be prepared to have just as many that you skip entirely.
Even if you don't like some of the tracks, Neversoft did a good job making sure that the songs are fun to play. The note charts are solid and nearly all of the songs have at least one interesting part. The drums and bass on "Sympathy for the Devil" and "Lust for Life" are great. The vocals on Johnny Cash's Ring of Fire will test just how low your vocal range goes. And if you're one of those looking for a challenge on guitar, you'll find it in Jeff Beck's "Scatterbrain" and King Crimson's "21st Century Schizoid Man".
If you find yourself feeling down on the track list, there is still plenty of reason to give Guitar Hero 5 a look. Apart from the top-notch feature set, there's also the bonus of being able to import songs from other Guitar Hero games to use with all of those great features. A free download allows you to play any downloadable tracks from Guitar Hero World Tour for free. For 280 Microsoft points (US $3.50), you can also import a chunk of Guitar Hero World Tour's on-disk track list. They all work in the Career and competitive modes with all of the new gameplay features, too. Just by downloading the free World Tour tracks and importing that disc, I've already got about 130 songs on my Party Play rotation. Not bad at all.
Xbox 360 players can use their avatars in the game.A few features sit at the periphery of Guitar Hero 5 that various people will appreciate. In addition to being able to customize their characters via the Rock Star Creator, Xbox 360 players can now also import their Avatars to use in the game. It looks a bit weird to have an Xbox Avatar on stage with the other Guitar Hero characters, but it's a fun little option.
Then there's the GHStudio -- the mode in Guitar Hero where you can create your own songs using pre-recorded samples. This second version is leaps and bounds above where it was with World Tour. The sound samples are better, there are more of them, your songs can be longer, and the whole shebang is easier to navigate. That said, it's still a bit unwieldy and mostly accessible to the true hardcore. Unless you're extremely dedicated, you won't get much out of the studio.
There have been a lot of Guitar Hero games over the past few years. And there will be more yet before this year comes to a close. It's easy to get lost in the flood. But if you're going to grab one, Guitar Hero 5 is a good choice. The accessibility, streamlined presentation, solid note charts, and welcome gameplay improvements make this the best Guitar Hero game in recent memory.
IGN Ratings for Guitar Hero 5 (X360)
out of 10 click here for ratings guide
Neversoft stripped away a layer of annoyance in just about every area of the game.
The animations are starting to show some life even if the art style still leaves room for improvement.
Better sound samples and good mixing. The track list is all over the place.
A few tweaks to the band play improve on the winning formula. Rock on.
9.0 Lasting Appeal
Challenges and new modes will keep you rocking. Importing tracks gives it even more value.
(out of 10 / not an average