Guitar Hero 5

What It Is

The insanely successful rock video game is back with 85 master tracks featuring some of today’s most popular artists and classic rock legends. All 85 tracks are available from the beginning of the game and include songs from such artists as David Bowie, Coldplay, Tom Petty, blink-182, Billy Idol, Kings of Leon, The White Stripes, Nirvana, Santana, Motley Crue, Johnny Cash, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and many more.

For anyone unfamiliar with Guitar Hero, if such a person reading this column exists; the game is a collection of rock songs from various artists and the player at home is asked to “play” along with these songs using instrument controllers rather than the game system’s standard controller. You play along by hitting the correct beat (button on the controller) at the correct time as denoted by the song’s rhythm and a music bar visualizer on the TV screen.

Why It’s Fun

Guitar Hero 5 is more than just a collection of new songs on a now-classic game. Several improvements have been made to the game’s core play-pattern that increases the fun of the game while allowing for players of varying skill levels to play together. One improvement is the new Party Play mode, which allows players to jump in or drop out of the game whenever they want, without interrupting the jam session.

Another improvement gives players more freedom to jam with friends on their favorite instruments by customizing the make-up of their band. Now a group can play together using any combination of the four instruments such as three guitars and a microphone or two guitars and two drums.

Finally, GH5 introduces a competitive RockFest Mode, in which players can test their skills against one another in several challenge games. The RockFest challenges can be played locally, among four people together in a room, as well as Online, where up to eight people can play over the Internet.

Who’s Going To Love It

We have seen players of all ages and both genders loving the Guitar Hero games and GH5 promises to be even broader based in its appeal. The new game features mentioned above allow people of varying skill sets, from beginner to pro, to play together without anyone getting frustrated. Similarly, Guitar Hero 5 also introduces the ability for players to change the game’s difficulty level during a song, which should create a more enjoyable experience for beginners.

What To Be Aware Of

Guitar Hero 5 is sold as a standalone game ($60) or bundled with the new and improved guitar controller ($100). The game will work with the previously released Guitar Hero World Tour drum set and microphone.

Guitar Hero 5 is rated Teen because of “Mild Lyrics and Mild Suggestive Themes.” This is the same rating as the last Guitar Hero game, which also featured mostly cartoonish exaggerations of real rockers.

Fun Scale

0 out of 5

It has to be fun or it wouldn’t be on Time to Play. But some games are more fun than others so here’s our scale: 1 is fun, 2 is a lot of fun, 3 is great, 4 is awesome and 5 is out-of-this-world!

Video Game Information

Guitar Hero 5
Publisher: Activision
Rated: Teen

System: PS2, PS3, Xbox360, Wii
Genre: Music
Players: 1 -4 plus Online Multiplayer options

SRP: $59.99 (game), $99.99 (game w/ guitar controller)
Available: Now, at most major retail and toy stores as well as electronic gaming specialty shops and many online e-commerce sites.
Launch Date: September 1, 2009
Date of Review: September 1, 2009

*Rating determined by the ESRB


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