All Features


  PlayStation 3
  PlayStation 4
  Wii U
  Xbox 360
  Xbox One


Guitar Hero 5

Score: 98%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Vicarious Visions
Media: DVD/1
Players: 1, 1 - 4 (Local), 1 - 8 (Online)
Genre: Rhythm/ Party/ Online

Graphics & Sound:

It seems like Guitar Hero has been around forever, but really it's only been since 2005 when the first one came out. Now we're up to Guitar Hero 5, and they've just gotten better with every release!

Graphically, things just look a little more upgraded. There are still the old characters that you're used to like Pandora and Johnny Napalm, and you can also customize the characters to look however you want them to look. For the most part, the customization works great, but like all the previous versions, if you max the fatness on them, they look completely disproportionate. So just don't make the character huge and you'll be happy with the appearance. But wait, there's more... there are also unlockable characters such as Kurt Cobain and Shirley Manson that you can play as. In addition to all of this, you can also rock out as your Mii! I know some of you have worked really hard on your Miis and made them look just like you. So now, you can take the stage as them in the game, at least in the Mii Freestyle area.

Speaking of stages, there are so many stages that you can choose to play on that it's just plain awesome. There are 14 stages in Career mode, and then there are quite a few more that you can unlock. I don't know exactly how many as I haven't unlocked them all yet, but I do know that you get a special one for playing Roadie Battles, the Station Terminus. The unlockable stages are available for playing in Quickplay.

So let's go ahead and admit that the real reason we continue to buy new versions is to get the new songs. Guitar Hero 5 goes way beyond any of the other games in that region. There are 85 songs that you can choose to play, and they're all unlocked at the start of the game. That's right, if you don't want to play Career mode to get new songs, you don't have to! I really like that feature myself, since I just couldn't beat Career on Expert before, to get the final songs unlocked. Also, you can import almost all the songs from Guitar Hero World Tour! That gives you a whole bunch more songs to add to your collection and plenty of music to choose to play.


There are so many different ways that you can choose to play that you should be entertained for hours! So first, there's still Career mode, but it's slightly different this time around. Instead of playing through on each different difficulty level, you only have one career, so you can play some songs on Medium, some on Easy, and some on Expert and they still count to the same career. You can also play some songs on vocals, some on guitar, some on drums, and some on bass, or any combination of the four. This makes it so much easier to get through your career, but yet if you want to make it hard, you can still play them all on Expert like you've been used to before.

Party Play is a really cool, new mode. It allows you to just play. Here, you play without getting a score. You can add players in and out without making the other players even Pause. The one catch to this is if Player One drops out, Player Two fills the screen. If Player One then hops back in, it'll move Player Two over to the first player spot. If you do this really quickly, you can really confuse the second player (it is fun to watch them try and figure out what happened though!). Party Play is great if you've got a whole bunch of people who just want to play a bit and pass it on to someone else.

Quickplay is still there, as always, but with some really nice changes. Here, you can find all the songs unlocked by default as I mentioned before. Not only that, but you can also play any combination of instruments. If you want to have 4 guitarists playing on different difficultly levels, that's not a problem at all. They've really made it easy for people to play with players of any difficulty.

Competitive mode gives you a whole lot of ways to play against other people, up to 4 people at your house or up to 8 people online. I'm not going to go through them all, but with 7 different ways to compete, and the ability for your band to compete against another band anywhere in the world, how could you ever get bored!

The Mii Freestyle is special to the DS version only. Here, you can create music videos as your Mii. You can also have a stage manager use the DS to be the director. They can do all sorts of things like change camera angles, focus on certain characters, and change the views entirely. You can save these videos and watch them anytime you would like.

Last, but not least, is my favorite new feature of Guitar Hero 5, the Roadie Battle! You will need 4 people and 2 DS's or DSi's to play Roadie Battles. Two people play the guitars and two people use the DS to become roadies. As the roadie, you'll do things like sabotage the opponent's amp, mess up the sound board, or my least favorite as a guitarist, switch out the guitar so all the notes are all backwards. Your opponent roadie is going to be doing the same thing to your guitarist though, so you'll need to switch back over to your side to fix all the equipment. I highly recommend you restring the guitar first, since that's the hardest to play through! The games that you play to sabotage and fix things remind me very much of some of the Warioware Games. It's really very addictive and great for people that never really get the hang of playing the instruments to be able to play with their friends.


Difficulty is comparable to the previous games, I think; at least it is on the levels that I play on. I can't really tell you about Expert as it owns me every time. The great thing about these games is that you can make them as hard as you want by playing against other people. The Online mode makes it so you can play against people anywhere in the world, so I'm betting that you can find someone to give you a challenge.

Of course, as I mentioned before, the fact that you can play Career mode on any level and any instrument with up to 4 people really makes it a lot easier to get past all the songs and unlock all the venues. Personally, I think that's a really good thing since I've been unable to unlock the hardest songs in the previous versions.

If you really want a challenge, pick up the guitar in Roadie Battles. When you've got your notes backwards, the notes sped up, and things on fire, it's really very difficult to play. I can foresee a lot of guitarists begging for a great roadie. It just adds a wonderful new difficulty to the game!

Game Mechanics:

So I'm sure you all know how to play the game by now, but we'll go over things really quickly for you. When you're playing guitar, bass, or drums, you'll see notes scrolling down the screen. Simply press the corresponding button on the guitars or hit the right color on the drums at the same time the note hits the main bar. It's simple really, right? Well, when things start going really fast and there's a lot more notes on the screen, it gets complicated quickly! It'll take you some practice to master all the instruments. If you're singing the vocals, you'll see the words, and the notes if you choose, scrolling across the bottom of the screen. If you're playing with anyone else, it'll move your words to the top of the screen.

One of the things that I really like is the ability to transfer and store songs on an SD card. It's really very quick to copy them there and it makes it so that you can keep your internal Wii storage free. As I mentioned, you can download almost all the Guitar Hero World Tour songs. Being able to store them on the SD card is really the only way you could download them easily without filling up all your storage!

I am completely loving Guitar Hero 5. The song selection is awesome and the new features are simply amazing. There is nothing that I don't like about this game. I recommend everyone go pick it up today!

-Cyn, GameVortex Communications
AKA Sara Earl

Related Links:

Microsoft Xbox 360 Shadow Complex Microsoft Xbox 360 Watchmen: The End is Nigh Parts 1 and 2

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated