Since its inception in 2005, the Guitar Hero franchise has become one of the biggest names in videogames, in addition to cementing itself as a pop culture phenomenon. Guitar Hero and its main competitor, Harmonix’s Rock Band, are fixtures at parties -- after all, you’re never too drunk to strap on a plastic guitar or get on the mic.
Guitar Hero 5 (PS3, 360, Wii, PS2)
While Party Play makes life easy for everyone, especially less-tech-savvy players, RockFest is a new addition for the more hardcore, ScoreHero-reading crowd. RockFest introduces a slate of modes that will keep skilled Guitar Hero players enthralled for months to come. “Streakers” hands out points for -- you guessed it -- long streaks of notes. In “Momentum,” you’ll start out on Medium difficulty; hitting 20 straight notes will ratchet up the difficulty and your score, but missing three notes in a row will drop you down a step. Another option is “Perfectionist,” in which players are ranked by the percentage of notes they hit in each section of a song.
Neversoft has also made many much-needed tweaks to the visuals and basic gameplay, taking after Harmonix and Rock Band. No longer do all four players share one Star Power meter; each person now has their own gauge. And unlike in World Tour, one player failing a song doesn’t mean that all is lost, since fellow band members can be “saved” this time around (see screenshot above). In GH 5, you’ll notice that some notes are on fire; these are part of the all-new “band moments” in multiplayer -- if the band members hit the fiery notes in unison, an extra score multiplier will take effect.
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