Game Review – Guitar Hero 5 – Neversoft (PS3, Wii, Xbox360)

Guitar Hero 5

Here at Casa Moviegrrl we’re a big fan of rhythm games (that sounded ruder than I meant it to!) Last year alone we bought Guitar Hero: World Tour, Guitar Hero:Greatest Hits, AC/DC Rock Band, Beatles Rock Band and DJ Hero. We also rented Guitar Hero: Aerosmith. That’s a lot of time spent with plastic guitars, drums and mikes and all three of us play and engage.

Yet for some reason last year Guitar Hero 5 didn’t even make the wishlist. Game fatigue, a fairly uninspiring playlist and the Kurt Cobain avatar all built up to a “meh” from myself and Mr Moviegrrl. A couple of weeks ago, however, we found ourselves hankering for new tunes to play, and courtesy of a good price at Amazon and twenty quids worth of vouchers, courtesy of Nectar, we decided to splash out and buy it finally.

Was it worth it? Well yes, actually I think it was. While the game hardly reinvents the wheel (Activision are on their way with the next innovations with keyboards and stringed guitars for Rock Band 3), it does bring some new gameplay elements.

Players can jump in or out of a song (great for someone who has to answer the door for the pizza delivery), there are new challenges, the scoring system is wider and a little harder, and you can have multiple players playing the same instrument, rather then being tied down to one vocalist, one guitarist, one bass player and one drummer. The songs are the usual eclectic bunch, a few classics, some utter dross and a few forgotten favourites (the personal glee in playing the bassline from In the Meantime by Spacehog has yet to be beaten this week).

Kurt in GH5
You can play as your Avatar but if the rest of the band are the computer generated muscians, it looks really odd. Sadly the console isn’t smart enough to take your Avatar and gussy it up so it looks like it’s part of the Guitar Hero universe.

As for the use of Kurt Cobain, I’m in two minds about this. The avatar isn’t badly realised but it feels a little spooky. However bearing in mind in other games you can play as Jimi Hendrix and in this game you can play as Johnny Cash, being squeamish about stepping into the shoes of the dead seems a little precious. While you can make your Kurt sing Bon Jovi if you wish, you can also just leave him the hell alone once unlocked.

In hindsight, I’m glad I didn’t splash out for this on the day of release, indeed thanks to vouchers this cost me very little indeed, so I can’t be disappointed with what I’ve got. If you’ve not bought this already, then perhaps renting it is perhaps the best bet. It is as much fun as any of the other games in the franchise and looks far more geared to a social gatghering than the earlier versions. Good playable fun as ever, that will tide me over until I get my keytar!!!

And in a “timing is everything fashion”, the

~ by moviegrrlreviews on June 30, 2010.

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