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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 November 16, 2010
I'll be brief, but this is my favorite of these types of games so far (I have Rock Band 2, 3, Beatles, Band Hero, and World Tour).

Three things I like:

1) The UI and pacing - very similar to Band Hero in terms of how you unlock things, you perform gigs song-by-song rather than all at once, progression is straightforward and linear, etc.

2) Set list - I love the songs here. I appreciate that they threw in some stuff that was less for the hardest-of-hardcore rock fans - it leads to a mix of music with more stuff I'm familiar with, which makes a big difference to the experience.

3) Gameplay - I come at this purely from a drums perspective, but I generally do drums on Hard and I feel like the drum experience in this game is by far the best calibrated of the ones I have played, i.e. on hard, almost every song is of similar difficulty and that difficulty is right around what I would expect at that level. It's much less all over the place than some of the others.
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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 August 30, 2017
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on October 5, 2009
This game is a refreshing entry in this series. I found Guitar Hero World Tour to be boring and just played through it once for completion's sake, never really getting the replayability out of the game that I typically expect with music games. However, Guitar Hero 5 is a lot of fun on every instrument and is just the right level of difficulty to make it interesting. You don't have any TTFAFs or Jordans on this game, but 21st Century Schizoid Man and Scatterbrain are tough enough to give all but the most skilled players a run for their money.

Add on the fact that those gamers who purchased this game in the first month of release were able to receive Guitar Hero Van Halen for free (the offer expired October 1, 2009) and you have a great value as well. Importability from past games is another excellent feature that ensures Guitar Hero fans will be improving their scores on this game for months to come.
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VINE VOICEon March 14, 2011
I'm really sad that they're not going to be making any more of the Guitar Hero line. I like the graphics better on these than the rock band games. #5 is just like all the rest, with a few extra bells and whistles. If you liked the previous games you'll love this one too. Great song selection as well.
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on October 8, 2009
I've only had this game for 2 days at the time of this review but I can already say that this game is very, very fun. The one problem lies with my GH:WT guitar which decided to malfunction on my first song and caused me to miss alot of notes. I switched to my roommate's Beatles's Rock Band Hoffner Bass and I didn't miss a note on medium. I know, I know but I just don't have the hand control to play expert. The game is still fun and that's all that counts for me. I will be getting a new guitar this weekend. So too sum up, this game has exceeded all my expectations and is the best GH game I've played. Playing as my Avatar is also pretty cool.
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on October 19, 2010
Game made me sad after I spent $60 on this boring game. I loved GH 1-3. I spent a lot of my time on all three especially 3. I loved the challenge and all the good and original songs. The songs on this game just dont fit. I you need a full band game get GH Metallica. This game is challenging and about 97 percent of the songs are amazing. In this game I only liked about 5-8 songs. Only plus was that i got van halen for free and that game has a much better song list..Last point, GH 5 online is very interesting with all the modes but no one is ever on.
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on December 31, 2016
Game works. Few scratches that did not affect operating the game.
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