GH5 Update #1: Guitar Expert 50% Complete

It’s a little easy to get sidetracked when you’re playing a Guitar Hero game and forget you also want to post impressions. That’s exactly what I did with GH5 today, letting three hours go by without realizing it. But I’m here now!

The traditional gameplay hasn’t really been touched much — it’s all the surrounding stuff that’s been tweaked. Everything’s been reorganized, although it’s debatable if it’s much more efficient: the reality is that there’s so much STUFF in Guitar Hero 5 that there might not be an easy way to organize it all — there are little goodies are hidden in various menus that you might or might not ever see, and you’ll just have to spend some time exploring if you want to see it all.  

As far as I can tell, there’s now just one career mode now, instead of four or five for different instruments plus a band. Like recent GH games, the career is organized so you can zip through it: once you acquire X amount of stars in the first tier, you open the next. The addition of bonus challenges and the ability to get up to 9 stars on every song means that you can blow through the career at record pace.

Which is what I’m doing now. I’ve played 25/85 songs so far, which may not sound like a lot, but the reality is that I probably only need to play 10-15 more songs to finish unlocking all the venues and complete the career, which would be less than half the setlist. This is OK by me: in recent years, the Career mode has become a starting point, a way to ease into the game quickly without having to slog through songs you don’t like or can’t beat.

So I’m off to complete the Expert Guitar Career, and then I need to do a little research on some features, particularly the GHWT song import as well as this GH Van Halen deal where you can “get the unreleased game for free” within 6 weeks of today. Between GH5, Rock Band Beatles, GH Van Halen, LEGO Rock Band (which will be importable into Rock Band 2) and Band Hero, it’s going to be an epic few months for rhythm games.