Guitar Hero 5 is a rhythm video game and the fifth main entry in the Guitar Hero series. The game was developed by Neversoft and published by RedOctane and Activision, and released internationally in September 2009 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, 3 and Wii consoles. Similar to the preceding title, Guitar Hero World Tour, Guitar Hero 5 is geared towards playing in a four-person band experience, including lead and bass guitar, drums, and vocals. The game is available as a standalone title, allowing players to use existing compatible instrument controllers, and as a bundle that provides these controllers. Guitar Hero 5 adds several new features, such as drop-in/drop-out play, bands composed of any combination of available instruments, a Rockfest competitive mode consisting of several various scoring mechanisms, and both song-specific and general Challenges to unlock new avatars, clothing, and other extras in the game. Many of these changes were added to make the game a more social experience, allowing players across a range of skill levels to be able to play cooperatively and competitively against each other both locally and online.

Guitar Hero 5's track list contains 85 songs by 83 separate artists, and like previous Guitar Hero games, several musicians with works in the game have been modeled through motion capture for avatars in the game, including Johnny Cash, Carlos Santana, Shirley Manson, Kurt Cobain, and Matthew Bellamy. The game continues to support the user-created music studio introduced in World Tour through GHTunes, and additional downloadable content for the game will be made available. A majority of existing downloadable tracks from World Tour are forward-compatible with Guitar Hero 5, along with selected on-disc tracks from World Tour and Guitar Hero Smash Hits. This content will also be available for Band Hero.

The game was well-received by reviewers who appreciated the improvements in the accessibility of the game, allowing players to immediately jump in and play without spending excessive time in the game's menus. Improvements to both the Career and competitive multiplayer modes were also highlights of the game. However, the game's track list was considered to be too broad, and controversy arose over the ability to use the avatar of Kurt Cobain to perform in any other song within the game.

Gameplay Edit

Gameplay in Guitar Hero 5 is similar to previous games in the series. Using a special game controller, players attempt to match scrolling notes as they appear on screen along a note track to mimic the playing of rock music and other songs. Hitting correct notes in time with the music increases the player's score and builds up the performance meter, while missing notes will cause the meter to drop. Should the meter fall below a certain threshold, the song will end prematurely with the player booed off the stage by a virtual audience. Correctly hitting ten consecutive notes will add to the player's score multiplier by one, up to a maximum of four times the original multiplier. Specially marked sections of the song, if completed correctly, help to build up Star Power, which can then be activated through an action with the controller to further double the current multiplier (up to 8x).

As with Guitar Hero World Tour, Guitar Hero 5 supports the playing of lead and bass guitar through guitar controllers, drums through a drum controller, and vocals through a microphone. Players can also play in groups of up to four local or remote players to form a band, co-operatively playing through a song. Whereas in World Tour, a band could only have one of each instrument, Guitar Hero 5 allows players to arrange for any combination of instruments, including all four players on the same instrument if they so choose.[4] While playing in a band, Star Power is now tracked separately for each player, as opposed to collectively for the band as in World Tour.[5] A new play mechanic called "Band Moments" will require all members of the band to play sections of a song successfully to gain rewards, both in a temporary scoring multiplier and visual effects on screen. The Band Revival meter will appear when a player fails out of the song, requiring the other band members to play well as a group together in order to bring the failed player back into the game. Failing to do so will end the song prematurely.

Game Modes Edit

Guitar Hero 5 allows players to start in a Band Lobby from where they can then launch into any of the game's modes, add other local and remote players to a party, and switch between the game modes without having to leave the party or lobby, a significant change in response to the difficulties players found in World Tour.[8] The game supports a Career mode (described below), a Quickplay mode, where players can create a set list of numerous songs and play through them. All songs on disc and through downloadable content are immediately available to play in this mode. The game also carries over the competitive modes from previous Guitar Hero games.

Two new multiplayer modes are in the game. The first is a "Party Play" mode, which is immediately launched once the game in started. During "Party Play", the game will automatically play randomly through the available songs. At any time, players can jump in with any instrument and start playing that song after selecting their difficulty and handedness; additional players can also jump in, drop out, or change their difficulty levels once someone is playing in this mode. The second feature is a "RockFest" mode, which can be played by four players locally or eight online, with several sub-modes that influence how the game is played and scored. In general, each song is divided into roughly 30-second long sections, and players earn points for their performance over that section based on the specific mode. These points are shown to all players to know how they are fairing against the others. Players are able to create a playlist in Rockfest and assign a different mode to each song.[8] The RockFest submodes include:

  • "Momentum": Starting at Medium difficulty, players can increase their difficulty and score more points by hitting twenty consecutive notes, but will fall back in difficulty if they miss three notes in a row.
  • "Streakers": Points are awarded for making "streaks" a series of consecutive notes, with the value further increasing for longer streaks.
  • "Perfectionist": For each section of a song, players are ranked by the percentage of correct notes hit, with the top player getting the most points.
  • "Do or Die": A player is forced to wait out until the next section if they miss three notes in the current section of the song.
  • "Elimination": After each section of a song, the lowest scoring player is eliminated. However if the scoring player decided to stay in, they may do so.
  • "Pro Face-Off": A standard score attack mode, with the highest score winning points.

Career mode and Challenges Edit

Guitar Hero 5 features a combined single- and multi-player (both off- and on-line) Career mode similar to Guitar Hero: Metallica. Songs in the game are distributed across 13 venues, with all but the first locked at the start. Each venue contains 5 or more specific songs and 1 or more special sponsored gigs, each with Challenges that can be completed along with playing through the song. To unlock the other venues, the players must collect a number of stars based on their performance playing individual songs, with each song offering up to 8 stars: up to 5 for the general scoring performance, an additional star for a perfect performance, and up to 3 for completing the song's Challenge. Players share the benefits of earning stars for their own respective profiles, thus, a player that may have difficulty completing one song on their own could join with a band that is able to complete it, benefiting from the gain in stars should they then play by themselves or with another group.

Four player gameplay where all four are playing the same instrument on three different difficulties.

Guitar Hero 5 introduces both song-specific and open-gig Challenges that offer the player more rewards for completing certain feats while playing a song.Guitar Hero 5 introduces Career mode Challenges, that are either tied to specific songs, or allow players to select a song to meet the Challenge requirement in "open gigs". These were created by Neversoft to allow the developers to take advantage of unique features of many of songs and provide another layer of gameplay, according to Neversoft's Brian Bright. Each Challenge features three possible completion levels—Gold, Platinum, and Diamond, mimicking the music recording sales certification levels—with Diamond being the most difficult to complete. The song-specific challenges include both instrument-specific challenges, such as correctly vocalizing the repeated "Fame" lyric at the end of David Bowie's "Fame" as it moves down in pitch, and more general scoring or performance challenges on either specific instruments or for the whole band. Open gig Challenges are presented by sponsors within the game, and are based on performance aspects such as scoring a certain amount of points using Star Power or using the guitar controller's whammy bar continuously for a length of time. These allow the player to select any song to complete, with some songs potentially being better suited for completing that challenge. The progress towards these Challenges is shown in-game by a record meter that appears when the challenge is active, and fills up similarly to the overall scoring meter as the player successfully completes towards the challenge. Higher completion levels, particularly Diamond, may only be possible by playing the Expert difficulty of a song, but players can take advantage of the mid-song difficulty adjustment feature to complete these if needed.

All players are awarded for completing a challenge if one of the members is able to do so, and will be reflected in the individual players' career progress. in addition, players can unlock new avatars, outfits, and other content by completing challenges. The rewards of the challenges are used to replace the previous in-game money reward in previous Guitar Hero games.

However not all versions have this challenge feature, most notably the PS2 version, which is lacking in challenges of any kind. Rather than doing the challenges to unlock avatars/content, all one must do is complete the gig by successfully completing all songs. Not all gigs have content to unlock, rather just those which seem to have that unlockable pertaining to them (for example the Johnny Cash gig allows you to unlock Johnny Cash as a playable avatar)

Music studio Edit

The Music Studio feature, which allows players to create their own songs and distribute them through the "GHTunes" music service, has been improved.[6] The service now allows for songs as long as ten minutes, and up to fifty songs from a single user to be uploaded to the service. The GHMix2.0 mode allows one to precisely create songs, and includes pre-defined sample tracks that can be modified on a note-by-note basis as desired. The new Jam mode lets the players select one of several standard pre-set rhythms and then play along with it on the instrument controllers in a free-form mode; however, players can then capture any segment of this music and move it to the Mix mode to compile a song. User songs are then uploaded and downloaded through the GHTunes mode of the Music Studio. While songs that violate copyright will still be removed from the service, Neversoft will be less aggressive about this and will rely more on user feedback on such issues.

Characters and customization Edit

After three years of negotiations, Kurt Cobain is a playable character in Guitar Hero 5.Avatars of famous musicians are part of the game, performing for songs by that artist and available as unlockable characters. Notably, Kurt Cobain of Nirvana is a playable avatar; Activision had sought to gain permission to use Cobain's image for the game for three years, including obtaining the necessary agreements with Courtney Love, who controls Cobain's estate, and Dave Grohl and Universal Publishing, who control Nirvana's catalog. Cobain's avatar was designed with input from Love, who provided photos and videos for the design team to use, and emphasized how she would like Cobain to appear, starting from his appearance in "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and modifying it from there. The avatar includes the t-shirt design based on Daniel Johnston's "Frog" that Cobain had popularized. Johnny Cash is also a playable character, with tribute artist Terry Lee Goffee helping to provide motion capture for his character. Carlos Santana, Shirley Manson (of Garbage), and Matthew Bellamy (of Muse) are also playable avatars, all of whom performed motion capture for their own avatars.[16][17][18] Though Activision approached Jon Bon Jovi to appear in the game, Bon Jovi turned down the offer. While the standard character creator is available for all versions of the game, the Xbox 360 version allows players to import their Xbox Live Avatar into the game, while the Freestyle mode on the Wii version of the game allows use of the players' Miis in the game.

Console-specific variations Edit

The Wii version of the game, developed by Vicarious Visions, is "full feature parity" with the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions, including support for up to eight players online, each possibly on their own console. Guitar Hero 5 is the first Wii game to support high capacity SD cards, allowing up to about 800 songs to be stored on a 32 GB card. While existing Wii Guitar Hero games allow players to purchase downloadable content one song at a time, Guitar Hero 5 includes the ability to download complete albums and song packs. Players are also able to manage the content of their Wii memory cards through the game's interface. The game does not require players to enter game-specific Friends Codes, but instead uses the global Wii address book to locate friends. The "Mii Freestyle" mode, introduced in World Tour, is also present, and with changes to address some of the issues with less-skilled players trying to play well together. A "Guitar Hero Nintendo Ecosystem" is introduced in Guitar Hero 5, letting the Wii version communicate with the Nintendo DS, including a stage manager/video editor DS controller feature in conjunction with the Mii Freestyle mode, and a new game mode called "Roadie Battle". In Roadie Battle, four players play as two teams; each team has one player performing on an instrument through the Wii, while the other player uses a DS to connect to the Wii and act as the roadie. During play, the roadie players attempt to sabotage the other team by completing mini-games on the DS that affect the other team's music performance in a manner similar to Guitar Hero III's Battle Mode. These can only be cleared by the other DS player performing another mini-game.

The PlayStation 2 version of the game, developed by Budcat Creations, features less functionality in comparison to other versions. Besides lacking online play or downloadable content, the game does not include drop-in/drop-out play, multiplayer.

Songs Edit

  • 3 Doors Down - Kryptonite
  • A Perfect Circle - Judith
  • AFI - Medicate
  • Arctic Monkeys - Brianstorm
  • Attack! Attack! UK - You And Me
  • Band Of Horses - Cigarettes, Wedding Bands
  • Beastie Boys - Gratitude
  • Beck - Gamma Ray
  • Billy Idol - Dancing With Myself
  • Billy Squier - Lonely Is The Night
  • Blink-182 - The Rock Show
  • Blur - Song 2
  • Bob Dylan - All Along The Watchtower
  • Bon Jovi - You Give Love A Bad Name
  • Brand New - Sowing Season (Yeah)
  • The Bronx - Six Days A Week
  • Bush - Comedown
  • Children Of Bodom - Done With Everything, Die For Nothing
  • Coldplay - In My Place
  • Darker My Love - Blue Day
  • Darkest Hour - Demon(s)
  • David Bowie - Fame
  • Deep Purple - Woman From Tokyo (’99 Remix)
  • The Derek Trucks Band - Younk Funk
  • Dire Straits - Sultans Of Swing
  • The Duke Spirit - Send A Little Love Token
  • Duran Duran - Hungry Like The Wolf
  • Eagles Of Death Metal - Wannabe In L.A.
  • Elliott Smith - L.A.
  • Elton John - Saturday Night’s Alright (For Fighting)
  • Face To Face - Disconnected
  • Garbage - Only Happy When It Rains
  • Gorillaz - Feel Good Inc.
  • Gov’t Mule - Streamline Woman
  • Grand Funk Railroad - We’re An American Band
  • Iggy Pop - Lust For Life (Live)
  • Iron Maiden - 2 Minutes To Midnight
  • Jeff Beck - Scatterbrain (Live)
  • Jimmy Eat World - Bleed American
  • John Mellencamp - Hurts So Good
  • Johnny Cash - Ring Of Fire
  • Kaiser Chiefs - Never Miss A Beat
  • The Killers - All The Pretty Faces
  • King Crimson - 21st Century Schizoid Man
  • Kings Of Leon - Sex On Fire
  • Kiss - Shout It Out Loud
  • Love and Rockets - Mirror People
  • Megadeth - Sweating Bullets
  • Mötley Crüe - Looks That Kill
  • Muse - Plug In Baby
  • My Morning Jacket - One Big Holiday
  • Nirvana - Lithium (Live)
  • Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit
  • No Doubt - Ex-Girlfriend
  • Peter Frampton - Do You Feel Like We Do? (Live)
  • The Police - So Lonely
  • Public Enemy Featuring Zakk Wylde - Bring the Noise 20XX
  • Queen & David Bowie - Under Pressure
  • Queens Of The Stone Age - Make It Wit Chu
  • The Raconteurs - Steady As She Goes
  • Rammstein – Du Hast
  • The Rolling Stones - Sympathy For The Devil
  • Rose Hill Drive - Sneak Out
  • Rush - The Spirit Of Radio (Live)
  • Santana - No One To Depend On (Live)
  • Scars On Broadway - They Say
  • Screaming Trees - Nearly Lost You
  • Smashing Pumpkins - Bullet With Butterfly Wings
  • Sonic Youth - Incinerate
  • Spacehog - In The Meantime
  • Stevie Wonder - Superstition
  • Sublime - What I Got
  • Sunny Day Real Estate - Seven
  • The Sword - Maiden, Mother & Crone
  • T. Rex - 20th Century Boy
  • Thin Lizzy - Jailbreak
  • Thrice - Deadbolt
  • Tom Petty - Runnin’ Down A Dream
  • Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers - American Girl
  • TV On The Radio - Wolf Like Me
  • Vampire Weekend - A-Punk
  • Weezer - Why Bother?
  • The White Stripes - Blue Orchid
  • Wild Cherry - Play That Funky Music
  • Wolfmother - Back Round

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