By Sherwin Loh
|Guitar Hero 5
|» Price: Game only, all console formats, $84; with guitar controller, $169 (Xbox 360, PS3), $158 (Wii)
» Genre: Music
» Platform: Xbox 360, PS3, Wii
» Rating: 9/10
IT MAY be version 5 but Guitar Hero still rocks.
The big change here is that instead of being limited to two guitarists, one singer and one drummer, your four-man band can now comprise any combination of the instruments and vocals.
Want a pure singing experience ala Abba? Go with four singers.
The vocally challenged can opt to play as a quartet of drummers, bassists or guitarists, or any combination of these. Of course, having a combination means players need the required peripherals as well.
Four guitars might be possible to gather, as are the four microphones and four game controllers required for singing, but getting four drums might prove expensive or even a chore to transport to a friend's home.
But once it is done, the possibilities are endless. In a party setting, instead of facing issues where the drummers and guitar players want to play a song that no one can sing to, or try to decide who gets to play Bass instead of Guitar mode, everyone can play as their favourites.
Visually, the cues have also been tweaked slightly. During singing, empty blocks fill the screen and singing the right pitch fills the blocks, giving players an indicator of where and when they went out of pitch. For drummers, the kick pedal is now a white bar across the highway, instead of an orange bar.
If you plan to have two singers, be prepared to share the same lyrics track as the game cannot display independent tracks for each singer in Band mode, due to lack of onscreen space. This makes recognising individual pitches more difficult.
Star Power, where gamers who play or sing well can get more points, are also individually awarded, instead of having one chunk available to the band.