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Platform: Xbox 360Edition: Game onlyChange
Price:$45.94+ $4.54 shipping
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on September 19, 2009
Well I would just like to say, that the average rating of this game is 3 stars. I'm very stunned by that, because this is a good game. I'm going to do a list of pros and cons.

Pros:
+ Excellent graphics, the band on stage has never looked better, and some of the effects are awesome. You either hate them or love them.
+ The song selection is huge, the biggest out of all the guitar heroes, I was really surprised with all the venues they had in career.
+ Is the song selection good? Overall it's more good than bad which is nice, I wish there were some more songs that I knew on the game.
+ The game is fun to play, it's enjoyable, and not as frustrating as some of the other guitar heroes.
+ A lot of reviews, say playing your avatar in the game looks weird and just doesn't fit in. I disagree, it gave me a chance to really make my avatar look cool, sometimes I get sick of seeing the same game characters every guitar hero.
+ The Party Play is a nice feature, I know if I had party at my house, and tons of instruments I would definetely use this feature. It's also fun, if you're to lazy to find a song to play, or just want to relax.
+ Tons of replay value, going back to get the bonuses, or completed every song in career will take a while and keep you busy.

There's a few nuetral spots, that aren't bad at all, but annoy me in some way:
+/- Sympathy for the Devil is a fun song to play, but listening to "whoo, whoo," the whole song can get on your nerves.
+/- Making a logo, wasn't all that great, I found it to be more annoying than fun when making one, but I felt good when I got it done.
+/- I only knew about 3 of the songs when I played this, some of the other guitar heroes, atleast had 5-10 songs that I knew, but not a problem at all since most of the songs are quite enjoyable anyway.

And last but not least the negatives:
- This guitar hero didn't do much in progression, what I mean each guitar hero game has some significance in doing something new for the fans, this one didn't do that for me, still a fun game.
- The store is gone, instead of money you have to unlock the stuff, and some stuff you can't even unlcok on medium, which is the difficulty I play on, which in general sucks.

Well, Overall this is a really good game, and if you're a guitar hero fan this is a must buy, with great graphics, pretty good song selection, and lots of replay value. I actually mostly bought this so I could get Guitar Hero: Van Halen for free and actually I play guitar hero with the guitar, our family is poor, and I'm only 14 and don't make much money, but still even with this is an awesome game!! Recommeneded for Guitar Hero fans, and people who need to complete their collection.
33 comments31 of 31 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
We've owned all the Guitar Hero and Rock Band games, often for multiple systems, plus many other music games. We are both musicians. So we definitely were looking forward to Guitar Hero 5 to see what new features it would offer and how it would compare with the many other offerings that exist out there.

First, let me comment that it makes a HUGE difference what equipment you use for any of these games. If your drums suck, then it really doesn't matter what the game does or does not do. You're going to hate the experience because of lousy drum response. So we definitely recommend having wireless guitars, so there's no drag at all on your movements, and an Ion drum kit. Making these improvements in your set are going to give you a vastly superior experience whichever game you go with.

Guitar Hero 5 doesn't do anything groundbreakingly new. We were able to pop it in and start playing on Medium, whipping through songs at 5 stars without much problem. So the mechanics are sound. Hit colored notes with the matching button. Sing on key. The songs are all "real songs" by now which is great - no more fake-bands with not-right notes. You can import other songs from past games (in the same series) which is good too.

They've done some nice work with the interface. Each player gets their own view of the fail bar so you can see at a glance how well you're doing, and how you're earning star power. Activating star power implements it just for you, which I disagree with. I think a member should be able to help the entire band. That's always been a complaint of mine with this series though.

They are focusing now solely on stars. You earn up to five stars for performance, one for perfection, and then others through cool challenges. One song might be "hit lots of chords". Another song might be "hit lots of snares". It encourages you to go back and replay songs to get those challenge levels, and to try different instruments.

The overall interface for working with songs is less than stellar though. When you're in a given gig (location) you can't easily see all the songs. When you're on the overall list of gigs, you can't easily see which gigs still have songs to do. If you're poking into a given gig to look around, when you come back out it resets you back to your "current gig". The whole moving around the screens is a pain.

The character customization is lacking. I'm female and I found the outfits for women to be on the insulting side. In other games I can create PERFECT outfits that I adore. Here it seems I have to choose from leather bikinis, spiked bikinis or plastic bikinis. I was hard pressed to find something I even remotely liked.

The tutorials are also lacking. The drum star power for example says to use the orange cymbal - which we don't have on an ion drum kit. So we did the tutorial which properly showed us as not having an orange track - but then told us to hit the orange cymbal. We went through the tutorial and it said "good job" even though we'd never actually implemented star power!! What kind of a tutorial says you've succeeded when you've failed?

They did add some cool features to the locations. For example I was playing "Jailbreak" in the Grease drag-strip location. When the song gets to the parts with the sirens, blue and red lights started flashing - and then a burst of flame came out in perfect time to the main crescendo!! Someone did a lot of work with that sort of timing on songs. It really is quite fun if you look for it.

It's always hard to critique a song list. Some people will love these songs - other people will hate them. I do like that if you're reasonably good you can unlock new gigs VERY quickly so you can get to fresh songs. That way whichever ones you don't like, you can move past them and get some new ones. That being said, I found fewer songs I adored in this set than perhaps in any other similar game I've played. Maybe this particular one is skewed towards a musical type I'm just not fond of. Some classics are great fun - Sympathy for the Devil, Sultans of Swing - but many of them are not high on my list. I'm sure those exact same songs are high on other peoples' lists. Just be sure to look through the music list and see if it appeals to you.

I found the very obvious product placements - like GIANT T-Mobile billboards in the middle of a gig location - to be on the obnoxious side. Surely they could have been done more subtly.

In summary, we're certainly enjoying playing it. The tie-ins with the gig location reacting to a specific song is quite cool. The playing of the music is intuitive and fun. But for me, the characters being not ones I really connect with (due to clothing options) and the song list being weighted (for me) with songs I'm not really fond of gives this only 4 stars rather than 5.

Feel free to contact me with any questions. As mentioned, we play these games a LOT.

NOTE: One more thing to mention! This game was made on SHODDY GAME DISCS and will often give failure messages in older XBox systems. What you have to do is go into the XBox system console and copy the game onto your hard drive. It should run fine once you do that.
55 comments38 of 43 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on September 2, 2009
This game is one of the very best Hero games available.. Guitar Hero 2, then Guitar Hero 5.. and that's really impressive to me.

Here's a rundown of pros and cons for folks looking to maybe make the purchase.

Pros
1. Party Mode is a blast, you enter into it.. no failing, just jamming.. Songs come to you randomly and people can jump in and out as they please, any set up you want.. 4 singers, sure.. 3 guitarists and a drummer.. fine. The thing I maybe like best about it though, is if no one is playing at all.. it still cranks the music over your surround sound.. very nice touch.

2. The set list is great, very diverse and very fun. Importing your downloads from World tour is a bonus, downloading songs off of World Tours disk(and Smash Hits to come later) is even better. Some of my early favorite tracks or artists: Judith, Deadbolt, American Girl, Band of Horses, Children of Bodom, What I got, Spirit of the Radio and King Crimson.. plus many many more.

3. The career mode is better, yet a lot more simple.. no longer are you trying to collect money, there is a challenge for each and every song.. Hit 300 kicks on Blue Orchid, 250 snares on They Say, these types of challenges made me want to play these songs, even though they were easier drum songs.. and it was fun to achieve the challenge.. I even played guitar and bass, to get complete some of the challenges, which is something I haven't done for awhile now.. as I had become all about the drums, until now.

4. The little things, the change of the drum set up(if you're like me, and use the Rock Band 2 drums, you'll know what I mean) The cymbals are mapped to what they are supposed to be now.. and that adds a lot of fun to the drums.. The menus are easy to navigate through, everything seems very seamless, which is very welcome if you've ever played World Tour. Picking and sticking with your own band is also very cool in quickplay.. unlike Rock Band 2 where your characters always change at random(unless you're in the tour) here you can select your band.. and they stay.. very cool small touch.

5. Many more, but I'll just end this by saying.. for the first time in a long time, I didn't want to go right back to Rock Band 2.. which means this game certainly is worth a pick up. Even by those that are Rock Band 2(only) enthusiasts.

Cons

1. I noticed this quickly.. its not as easy to pick the song you want to select as it should be.. yes, there is a sort function, and a lot of nice ones(drum intensity, or guitar, vocalist or bass intensity. Along with the normal genre and by band sort) but the problem is.. you have to hold down yellow to quickly get down the page, and it just doesn't work.. there is no way to look at each genre and select from there, so that was a disappointment.. Also, say you are trying to test yourself.. so you play Demons on drums.. you pass it.. you want to try the next one in line.. well, you start all the way back at the top again, and have to go through all of the songs(145 on my game with all the imports), so that's a little discouraging. Not a deal breaker, but.. a small pain.

2. The avatar integration is a little silly.. they just don't blend on screen.. sore thumb is an understatement(unless you have your whole band as avatars, then I guess it could be cool)

Honestly, I can't think of any more cons.. I'm sure some will come with time, but I just wanted to give people that were on the fence a heads up.. this game is much, much better then World Tour.. and feels like it added a lot of things that should have been there all along. Highly recommend.
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VINE VOICEon September 1, 2009
Ah, the "Guitar Hero" franchise. Wonderfully simple and accessible, yet endlessly complex and challenging. I've played several different iterations, including this one, and of them, I gotta say this one is the best.

When you start up the game, it takes you to the title screen and, interestingly, gives you the choice of either going to the start menu or jumping right into a song. One of my friends chose the song option and spent the next few minutes playing some Nirvana and Garbage, having a great time with the game before even getting to the menu. Not too many games you can say that about.

Once in the game itself, you have all the usual options. New to the game is the ability for all players to chose their own instruments. If you really want to have a band that's nothing but bass and drums, now you can! If your dream is to sing "Under Pressure" with three of your friends, now you can do that!

Additionally the Xbox version gives you the chance to incorporate your avatar. This is a welcome addition, but unless you have a band of nothing but avatars, it looks a little strange. Seeing your small, super-deformed character standing there grooving out next to some other semi-real look people creates a bit of an eye-strain.

The song list is about what you've come to expect and happily it allows you to play songs you've downloaded for previous versions of the game. You say you really like the version of "We Are the Champions" that you downloaded for GH4? Never fear! You can play it in GH5 as well!

There's also several challenges to unlock new gear, new venues and the like, as well as all the usual achievements and extras that you'd expect with the game.

Overall this game does what all sequels should: it takes the best from the previous versions and adds new things. What more can you ask for?

Now excuse me while I kiss the sky... or floor. I'm not well coordinated. :(
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on July 30, 2010
For the nonband-specific GH titles (I think Metallica is the best yet), GH5 is the best. The new system is much more fun than any of the previous ones. In addition, the achievements are challenging but NOT IMPOSSIBLE as many players found previous ones. I love it when popular dead musicians come out on stage to play with you. It's awesome.
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on September 11, 2009
I'm new to the franchise, I don't even listen to a lot of rock & roll but I just haven't been able to put the guitar down. This is a great and interactive way to enjoy music that you normally might not listen to and put your concentration and dexterity through testing quite unlike any other video game experience.

Although I have never touched a guitar before I am accomplished pianist so I already had good finger discipline, however I definitely wasn't prepared for just how hard this could be. I had seen videos on Youtube published by thirteen year old kids with 100% accuracy on expert mode and thought 'How hard can this be?', well let me tell you, REALLY hard. I've just about got the hang of playing on Normal mode (>90% accuracy in most songs) and the fingertips of my left hand are currently tingling and slightly numb, and I haven't played for 12 hours now.

On the plus side the difficulty makes it extremely rewarding, when you pull of an unexpected flurry or climax to finale or hit a signature band moment in a song you love it's hard to resist the urge to get carried away in the moment and do something crazy like attempt to take a stage dive on your living room rug. This game rewards you for ramping up the difficulty not with additional score (although most bonuses do require you to play on the more difficult settings), but by simply making you feel really good about yourself for accomplishing it. I found having my wife nearby to witness my new found guitar hero brilliance helped with the good feeling of showing off, so I bought her a microphone so she could do the vocals and feel like she was part of the band.

On the negative side, there are some minor technical issues with the game. Sometimes the sound track will stutter and thus become out of sync with the highways which basically completely ruins the experience, forces you to pause and restart to get things back in sync. This only happened three times during the entire career though, so definitely not a show stopper. The learning curve is super-steep, and my wife had one go at the guitar and will not dare touch it again, the gap between the difficulty levels is extreme to say the least (you go from mastering one level to not being able to play a single song at the next level up), and there is also a lot of variance in difficulty between the songs themselves even at the same difficulty level. If you know the songs, great, if you don't you will struggle with the rhythm on the harder modes because you simply can't do it by reading the highway, the gems are too close together you have to just know the music.
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on November 2, 2009
I own about every Guitar Hero and Rock Band Game, and this one makes a huge leap forward. If you like playing these games in a party setting, or if you have kids who get frustrated by failing (or are constantly wanting to change instruments), then you are going to LOVE GH5's party play.

Essentially, the game starts up playing a random song from the game. Hit start for the main menu, or just hit the yellow button on your guitar or drum controller to just start playing that song. The game will randomly cycle through all the songs in the game (plus what you've downloaded and imported - more on importing songs later), and any player can join in at any time by hitting the yellow button. That person then selects their difficulty level and their note "highway" is added to the game (everyone already playing has their highway shift over to accomodate the newcomer). Also gone is the restriction on only one person playing "guitar" (in the past, only one guitar and one bass player allowed). Now you can have three guitarists, three bassists, three drummers, or any combination thereof (as well as multiple singers, too).

One of the best parts of party play is that when you hit pause on your controller, it only pauses YOUR higway (and the game picks up your music track and plays it while your game is paused). Everyone else keeps jamming while you get a drink, answer the phone, go to the bathroom, adjust your strap, pick up that dropped drumstick, etc. When you get back, you just hop back in. You can also change your difficulty mid-song, and you can select your own playlist in party play mode. If you have small kids or newbies who like to jam, but haven't mastered the game yet, party play is NO FAIL. Also returning from GH World Tour is the beginner difficulty level which, on guitar, has no colored notes, just the strum bar. Party Play is the new gold standard of music games.

The rest of the game plays just like World Tour or Smash Hits, and the included music is good, but that's up to your personal taste.

So why only four stars? While GH5 allows you to import songs from your previously purchased GH games like Metallica, World Tour, Smash Hits and Band Hero, unfortunately you can only import some (not even most) songs from these games (except Band Hero, where you get a majority of the songs). Worse, you don't get some of the best songs from WT and SH. The GH folks need to fix this right away. There's no excuse for the poor percentage of transferrable songs. Fortunately, almost all of your downloads for GHWT are playable here (no Hendrix). The one bright spot is that 61 of the 65 tracks on Band Hero are exportable to GH5. Let's hope that one day all these tracks will work on GH5 and newer games.

All in all, this game is a great improvement in the genre and unless you always play alone, you'll love it.
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on July 12, 2010
Guitar Hero 5 had some really good ideas that were executed well, but it just isn't that fun. I find that most of the songs don't appeal to me. I'm a huge fan of various Metal and Hard Rock, and most of these songs seemed more like alternative rock. I find myself usually just playing Sweating Bullets by Megadeth and 2 Minutes to midnight by Iron Maiden, along with songs I downloaded.
One thing I like that they tried was the party play feature. Party play is basically just a jam session where players can jump in and out of gameplay whenever they want, using any combination of instruments, and no failing. The only nitpick I have is that Party play starts automatically before you even get to the menus, which isn't that big of a deal, just a little annoying at best.
Overall I don't like as much as I do GH3 and Metallica. but with rythm games, it's basically just dependant on your personall taste in music. If anything, rent it first and if you enjoy it and see yourself playing it in the future, buy it.
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on October 22, 2009
I've bought GH5 after buying The Beatles: Rock Band. My excitement wasn't that good, primarily due The Beatles' appeal. But GH5 is worth for due several aspects:

- Serious playability: requires more technique player, but also offers a range of easy play if required. My 5 year old daughter plays drums and sing easily and I do the hard work.
- Jump in: it was way cool, start to play right from the beginning. And others could play easy along, excellent for parties
- Nice song selection: would allow literally everybody to have fun.

I've also received the GH: Van Halen free game option, I didn't really like the way it works, I was supposed to not only register at GH site but also send back proof of purchase and invoice copy, along some bar code generated at GH site. Since I've used a unique code from a flyer inside game, GH would have allowed to do all the registration electronically. I'm still waiting for the game.

If you like this kind of game, it's worth for.
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on June 7, 2010
First of all I really love the Guitar Hero series games. This particular game ( Guitar Hero 5 ) is just another step above the rest. I can play it with my youngest kids on the beginner levels, or rock out hard with the best of them on the expert levels. It's got great songs with the opportunity to always add more songs to your play list.

Over all a great game.
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