Very initial impressions of Guitar Hero 5

I’ll continue pounding the pavement on Guitar Hero 5, never fear, but after a night of playing through a decent chunk of songs, I’m ready to lay down some of the basics of the game.

And don’t worry, we’ll talk about more than just rhythm games on here, it just happens to be some of the first of the bigger titles that have come out since we opened up shop here.

I love rhythm games. I have since I played Dance Dance Revolution in the arcade and brought home a crappy pad and the first release for the original Playstation.

We’ve been playing using our Rock Band 2 controllers, and it’s been working rather well. At least, I’ve been pleased that I haven’t had to shell out the cash for a new set of controllers.

It looks like NeverSoft is attempting to make their game harder … by making the interface incredibly hard to use. When playing WITH anyone, the interface becomes so small that from anywhere beyond 5-6 feet away it becomes quite difficult to read where the notes are, especially once you enter star power.

The meter that lets you know if you’re about to fail out is tiny and quite subtle. I didn’t notice it until I was watching my roommate drumming by himself. The Star Power gauge is a bit easier to see, but just as small.

(As I’m writing this, as a matter of fact, the roommate has started playing. The game picked Ex-Girlfriend by No Doubt)

Enough with the negatives! I still have my favorite new feature to talk about!

Party Mode.

Party Mode allows you to start playing almost immediately after starting. That’s great, but here’s the kicker: people can join in halfway through a song. You can change difficulty halfway through the song.

This doesn’t require loading screens. It doesn’t require restarting the song. It’s a beautiful thing. In fact, after my roommate played Ex-Girlfriend, he went into Ring of Fire, which of course forced me to pick up a controller and play some. That’s dedication, folks. I stopped writing when a good GH5 song came on. Sue me.

Speaking of which, more impressions to come later. More research is needed, I think. We’ll talk avatars and career mode next.