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Guitar Hero 5 (Sony PlayStation 2)

Purchase

Last time when I went to the Technomarket shop to buy HDMI to DVI cable for my Dell Inspiron N5010, I browsed the Sony Playstation 2 games stand for some new additions for my PS2. After browsing several small boxes of really attractive titles, I noticed a bigger box of the game Guitar Hero 5 standing sideways unattended by anyone. I took the box and asked the sellers what is the price for this game, expecting a high amount. To my surprise they said it is on sale for 40 BGN. I love to test new games and new input devices for the many systems I have, so I purchased the game without caring much about the package it had, looking little damaged at the sides.

Package

Guitar Hero 5 game for PlayStation 2 - box, covers, manual, wireless controller and DVD. Although the exterior of the package was not excellent, the game contents inside were untouched, very well packed and put into the white carton box. The game box has dimensions of 58 cm X 35 cm X 6,5 cm. Inside the box are the Guitar Hero Wireless Controller (also known as the Guitar Kit), the game DVD placed in ordinary blue PS2 gaming box, warranty information in ten European languages, quickstart guide for the wireless controller, Guitar Hero poster with adverts for other Guitar Hero games on the back, belt for the guitar, two AA batteries, stickers and the guitar. Wonderful game package and contents giving the impression of high quality product. Even if the game is old, the contents were well preserved thanks to the two desiccant bags placed into the box. On front of the box is written with very big font the title - Guitar Hero 5 along with the most popular artists and the new features.

Guitar Hero 5 game for PlayStation 2 - back side of the box, poster and DVD. On the back of the box are three screenshots of the game along with mentions of the new features and longer list of the 85 songs by 83 artists. The license number of the game, written on the top of the box is SLES 55533. The game box contains tiny book with guide in English for Getting Started, Using the Guitar Hero Controllers, Main Menu, Options and How to Rock. Reading the instructions and following the step by step guide, I managed to get the game and my guitar ready to rock in less than thirty minutes. The guitar belt can be configured for people who would like to press the buttons with their left hand or their right hand and it can be set for people of all size and weight. On the neck of the guitar there are five Fret buttons, colored from up to down in green, red, yellow, blue and orange. Under the Fret buttons in the neck is the slider bar. On the body of the guitar are the Strum bar, Star Power / Start / Select buttons, the Whammy bar and the Directional pad with status light. The guitar is easy to pick and manipulate with hands, made of light materials. All the buttons are easy to press, including the Directional pad that can be used with single finger.

The game


It takes less than fourty seconds for intro of the game to appear after the Playstation 2 is being turned on. The intro of the game is nothing visually impressive, only twenty seconds long. In about a minute from boot, the PRESS ANY BUTTON TO ROCK... text appears, along with Guitar Hero 5 title. Here is a good place to test if the guitar is working at all. If the guitar is not switched, the Dual-Shock controller can be used for playing the game, but it wouldn't be as much fun for playing as when using the wireless guitar. Clicking a button brings the Memory Card screen and after some waiting for the memory card read and save, the main menu of the game appears. The main menu has several selections:

  • QUICKPLAY - The quickest way to play some music.
  • FREE PLAY - Play your favorite songs without failing!
  • CAREER - Earn stars and travel the globe!
  • OPTIONS - Modify your game settings
  • TOP ROCKERS - Check out how you rank in the rock arena.
  • ROCK STAR CREATOR - Create your very own digital rock god.
  • TRAINING - Learn the ropes of Guitar Hero 5.
  • HEAD TO HEAD - Complete against a friend.
For the novice players of the game it is better to start with the training, giving the possibility to PRACTICE or do TUTORIALS. In the TUTORIALS teachers give the player lessons from how to do from basic performance to most advanced techniques of the guitar, including usage of the Whammy bar and the slider bar. After doing the first four tutorials, I was ready to rock with selecting QUICKPLAY, where I can play SINGLE or in BAND with GUITAR or BASS. The BASS can be played with Guitar or Dual-Shock Controller, but it is much more fun with real drum controller, sold separately. All the 85 songs are available for selection in the Quickplay mode, where up to six songs can be selected. The difficulty level can be chosen from Beginner, through Easy, Medium, Hard to Expert. Real fun with the game can be experienced with the songs selected in this mode. After each song performance, the player can see statistics how he performed and to see on which parts he need to focus more, if he or she did not hit the 100% mark somewhere. Top Rockers names along with their results are also available in this game mode. If the player fails to do his performance, he can reply the song, skip to the next song, practice, change difficulty, select new song or even return to the main menu. After playing for several hours and enjoying my favourite songs, I was ready to try the other modes of the game.

Songs

The quickest way to see all the available songs is to select FREE PLAY from the main menu. All the game songs in alphabetical order are available for selection. They can be sorted by artist and career as well. There is no need to unlock any of the songs, making it good for novice player, but removes the motivation for high score records in order to unlock new songs. In alphabetical order by name, the songs are as follows:

  1. 2 Minutes To Midnight: Iron Maiden, 1984
  2. 20th Century Boy: T. Rex, 1973
  3. 21st Century Schizoid Man: King Crimson, 1969
  4. All Along The Watchtower: Bob Dylan, 1967
  5. All The Pretty Faces: The Killers, 2006
  6. American Girl: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, 1976
  7. A-Punk: Vampire Weekend, 2008
  8. Back Round: Wolfmother, 2009
  9. Bleed American: Jimmy Eat World, 2001
  10. Blue Day: Darker My Love, 2008
  11. Blue Orchid: The White Stripes, 2005
  12. Brainstorm: Arctic Monkeys, 2007
  13. Bring The Noise 20xx: Public Enemy Featuring Zakk Wylde, 2009
  14. Bullet With Butterfly Wings: Smashing Pumpkins, 1995
  15. Cigarettes, Wedding Bands: Band Of Horses, 2007
  16. Comedown: Bush, 1994
  17. Dancing With Myself: Billy Idol, 1982
  18. Deadbolt: Thrice, 2002
  19. Demon(s): Darkest Hour, 2007
  20. Disconnected: Face To Face, 1995
  21. Do You Feel Like We Do? (Live): Peter Frampton, 1976
  22. Done With Everything, Die For Nothing: Children Of Bodom, 2008
  23. Du Hast: Rammstein, 1997
  24. Ex-Girlfriend: No Doubt, 2000
  25. Fame: David Bowie, 1975
  26. Feel Good Inc.: Gorillaz, 2005
  27. Gamma Ray: Beck, 2008
  28. Gratitude: Beastie Boys, 1992
  29. Hungry Like The Wolf: Duran Duran, 1982
  30. Hurts So Good: John Mellencamp, 1982
  31. In My Place: Coldplay, 2002
  32. In The Meantime: Spacehog, 2007
  33. Incinerate: Sonic Youth, 2006
  34. Jailbreak: Thin Lizzy, 1976
  35. Judith: A Perfect Circle, 2000
  36. Kryptonite: 3 Doors Down, 2000
  37. L.A.: Elliott Smith, 2000
  38. Lithium (Live): Nirvana, 1992
  39. Lonely Is The Night: Billy Squier, 1981
  40. Looks That Kill: Motley Crue, 1983
  41. Lust For Life (Live): Iggy Pop, 1993
  42. Maiden, Mother & Crone: The Sword, 2008
  43. Make It Wit Chu: Queens Of The Stone Age, 2007
  44. Medicate: AFI, 2009
  45. Mirror People: Love And Rockets, 2008
  46. Nearly Lost You: Screaming Trees, 1992
  47. Never Miss A Beat: Kaiser Chiefs, 2008
  48. No One To Depend On (Live): Santana, 1993
  49. One Big Holiday: My Morning Jacket, 2003
  50. Only Happy When It Rains: Garbage, 1995
  51. Play That Funky Music: Wild Cherry, 1976
  52. Plug In Baby: Muse, 2001
  53. Ring Of Fire: Johnny Cash, 1987
  54. The Rock Show: Blink-182, 2001
  55. Runnin' Down A Dream: Tom Petty, 1989
  56. Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting): Elton John, 1973
  57. Scatterbrain (Live): Jeff Beck, 2008
  58. Send A Little Love Token: The Duke Spirit, 2008
  59. Seven: Sunny Day Real Estate, 1994
  60. Sex On Fire: Kings Of Leon, 2008
  61. Shout It Out: Kiss, 2007
  62. Six Days A Week: The Bronx, 2008
  63. Smells Like Teen Spirit: Nirvana, 1991
  64. Sneak Out: Rose Hill Drive, 2008
  65. So Lonely: The Police, 1978
  66. Song 2: Blur, 1997
  67. Sowing Season (Yeah): Brand New, 2006
  68. The Spirit Of Radio (Live): Rush, 1980
  69. Steady As She Goes: The Raconteurs, 2006
  70. Streamline Woman: Gov't Mule, 2006
  71. Sultans Of Swing: Dire Straits, 1978
  72. Superstition: Stevie Wonder, 1972
  73. Sweating Bullets: Megadeth, 1992
  74. Sympathy For The Devil: The Rolling Stones, 1968
  75. They Say: Scars On Broadway, 2008
  76. Under Pressure: Queen & David Bowie, 1982
  77. Wannabe In LA: Eagles Of Death Metal, 2008
  78. We're An American Band: Grand Funk Railroad, 1973
  79. What I Got: Sublime, 1996
  80. Why Bother?: Weezer, 1996
  81. Wolf Like Me: TV On The Radio, 2006
  82. Woman From Tokyo ('99 Remix): Deep Purple, 1999
  83. You And Me: Attack! Attack!, 2008
  84. You Give Love A Bad Name: Bon Jovi, 1986
  85. Younk Funk: The Derek Trucks Band, 1998

After mastering the songs in FREE PLAY mode is time for the real game and the long fun in the CAREER mode. When selecting the CAREER mode, after a pretty animated intro, the players can choose to build their careers in SINGLE or BAND mode or to perform TUTORIALS. The tutorials are suggested even for players who did the previous trainings. There are options for GUITAR/BASS - BASICS, STAR POWER, ADVANCED and NEW FEATURES, for DRUMS - BASIC and INTERMEDIATE and OTHER - VOCALS and BAND. The lessons in the BASIC tutorial for the GUITAR/BASS start from very easy tasks like placing the guitar neck on the left or on the right, through performing simple notes, chords and open notes. The tutorials get harder and harder, training the player for the game in SINGLE or BAND.

In SINGLE mode, after selecting the instrument - GUITAR or BASS, the player can decide to play in particular DIFFICULTY - BEGINNER, EASY, MEDIUM, HARD or EXPERT. On the difficulty selection screen is also shown what percentage of game is COMPLETE, starting from 0%. After selecting the difficulty, the fun starts with creation of the rock star, or choosing one of the nine already available - Axel Steel, Casey Lynch, Izzy Sparks, Judy Nails, Johnny Napalm, Lars Umlaut, Clive Winston, Pandora, Eddie Knox. Each of the stars has different biography and style. If the player can not decide which one of them to choose, best bet is to create a character by his own liking - with possibilities to select gender - FEMALE or MALE and genre - ROCK, PUNK, METAL, GLAM, BLACK METAL, CLASSIC, GOTH, POP or MIXED. The different genres select different costumes for the character. Finally is the character selection of name, HEAD, BODY, HAIR, OUTFIT and INSTRUMENT. The character goes to a little known band that can have a name change later and as in the real life, the band starts performance at not so good places, like trains stations, but neither the songs to be performed are hard, consisting mainly of open notes. Later the game gets harder and harder, demanding more skills from the player or the players. There is a possibility to replay any of the easier levels or to train in the other gaming modes, so there is usually no excuse for not being perfect. The career mode in the game can keep the player and the music loving fans occupied for many months.

Conclusions

  • Gameplay: 8/10 - Excellent gameplay, but sometimes the learning curve can be pretty long.
  • Presentation: 7/10 - Nice packaging. The Playstation 2 can have better intro or midgame animations.
  • Graphics: 8/10 - The graphics are pretty for game in the music genre. Not much artwork is included in the game.
  • Sound: 10/10 - The best hits of the past fifty years. Everyone can find his piece of music.
  • Story: 10/10 - Perfect fit of the story of emerging band getting famous.
  • Overall: 86% - A must have game for every person who loves rock music. The game can build excellent reflexes in the players that can be useful even for performing on real instruments. For example the tempo training helped me to make better performances on my Korg PA 50 synth. A fine game with unique controls and nice story.


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