Oh yes! Someone in my flat bought it the other day, and I WATCHED, not played, WATCHED, four people play one song, and I IMMEDIATELY wanted the game.
The first thing that I noticed was that GH5 has dropped the shite multiplayer system it used in Guitar Hero: World Tour. Thank God!
Why? Well, a number of reasons. Firstly, all the Star Power YOU earned in GH:WT goes into a central bank, which can be used by anyone in your band, including those people who can only play on Easy or Medium, and can’t seem to play the game without constantly tiliting their guitar in the air. And it was such a crappy meter, that I couldn’t tell when there were two shots of Star Power to be used. Sometimes I’d say "STAR POWER ME!" and I’d use Star Power, only to notice that there was a millionth of a pixel less than what was needed for two shots, so my partner couldn’t use it. GAH!
Now, in GH5, the Star Power you earn goes into your OWN meter, so only YOU can use it. The best thing you can do with Star Power is to wait until everyone has Star Power ready, and then deploy it after you hit a Band Moment. I mean… IF you hit a band moment.
Secondly, the Rock Meter was so HORRIBLE! It would decrease to zero and fail EVERYONE even if only ONE of your band members completely lost it through whatever means (arm pain, section was too difficult, generally crappy player, etc…). I could be ACING a really hard song on Expert, such as Sweet Home Alabama, then right near the end, just when I’m about to make world history… the drummer in my band may not be able to do the "End Spammery" section, and fail everyone because of it. (No, I can’t ace Sweet Home Alabama. NO-ONE CAN, unless they cheat. )
In GH5, everyone has their OWN Rock Meter, so only YOU can fail yourself out. If someone DOES fail out, the other band members need to play well to "win the crowd over", and the failed player will be brought back into the game. Every time a player fails, though, it gets harder to win the crowd over… and if people fail too much… it becomes physically impossible to win them back. The meter decreases WAY too fast.
Finally, the band streak. IT SUCKED. The band streak would increase by one for every two notes hit if you’re in a pair, every three notes hit if there are three members in your band, or every four notes if you’re in a full band. WTF?! Why don’t you just add one to the streak every time someone hits a note?! I can earn higher streaks SOLO than in a band on GH:WT.
Oh ya, and then when someone finally breaks the streak, you get THE WORST bonus in the world. I had a 300-odd band streak when I was playing in a pair (that’s technically a 600-note streak) and I broke the streak. Earning us… 3000 points! WHAT THA FOCK?! I can get that by hitting 30 notes at X4!
In GH5, though, the band streak goes up by one for every note hit, no matter how many people are in your band. And if someone breaks the chain, all it does is remove their streak from the band streak, not reset it to zero.
Eg: the band note streak could be at 400. That’s 130 by me, 170 by the drummer, 70 for the bassist and 30 for the singer. Then the bassist misses a note. Instead of the game going "HA-HA, that guy failed, I’m gonna punish EVERYONE now!" it simply takes 70 (the bassist’s streak) off the band streak, making 330. Simples!
There’s no point bonus for streaks, now. The streak is just there to show how awesome the band’s doing. However, if someone manages to get to a X4 multiplier, it increases the band multiplier by 1… so even if everyone’s extremely inexperienced and doesn’t know what Star Power is, they can still get some awesome scores if they can play well.
The biggest, most impressive feature in GH5, though, is the Party Play mode. The game goes through the title screens (and it LOADS OTHER STUFF while playing the title screen vids, so you don’t have to wait 1000 years to start the game, oh yes!), and then immediately goes to demo mode when you get through the intro. As demo mode is playing, you can press yellow on your guitar/drumkit/controller to bring up a note chart for the song that’s playing. You choose your instrument if you’re playing a guitar (bass or lead), choose a difficulty, and you’re away. Five seconds, and you’re playing.
Then your buddy comes into the room and wants to play guitar. But you’re already playing the game… and you’re playing guitar. No problem, GH5 lets you use ANY combination of instruments, and Party Play truly is drop in/drop out gameplay. He just picks up a guitar controller, turns it on, presses yellow, chooses guitar from the menu, chooses his difficulty, and he’s in the game. No interruptions, no screwing around. QUICKplay now has a new benchmark.
But oh crap… your buddy chose Hard instead of Medium! No need to panic and reset the console or make everyone quit… your buddy only has to press Start, and they can change difficulty from there without interrupting anyone else. I thought when the GH5 developers said they were adding "party play" with "drop in/drop out gameplay", I thought they were just speaking crap like all other developers do when they say "drop in/drop out gameplay". But NO! They actually MEANT it!
Party Play mode is THE coolest achievement in multiplayer gaming for a LONG time. Usually in all other games, if someone else wants to join in, the other players have to quit and restart and do all sorts of crap just to get one more player in the game (Halo 3 Multiplayer Campaign, as an example), but in GH5… you just press the yellow key!
Sure, in Party Play, you can’t choose the song you play (it’s set to random), and you can’t set high scores or earn stars or anything, but you can in Quickplay. But if you just want a quick game or are actually having a big house party, you can leave the game on the demo screen, and set up all the instruments nearby. When someone wants to play, they can be up and running in less than 15 seconds, playing what instrument they want to play. When they want to quit, they just press start, and select "Dropout". I freaking love it, it’s an awesome idea, and it just gets you into the game without any faffing around! Hats off to Activision/Red Octane or whoever it is.
Can’t wait to try out the Career mode when I get the game for myself, either. I caught a glimpse of something saying "Bonus Challenge" when someone picked a song to play on Career, and that sounds like it could add a new level to the game.
If you like music, and you have a ‘360… hell, ANY modern console for that matter, GET GH5. Seriously, you will freakin’ love it. If you get it on the ‘360, give us your Gamertag (if I haven’t already got it ) and we will rock out until our arms fall off. I don’t care whether you can’t play the game on Medium or higher… I just want to play the game as a band. Cuz that’s "where it’s at", y’know?
That’s all from me for now. Get GH5. For those that don’t:
YOU GIVE LOOOoove, a BAD NAME!
(That song’s on the game, BTW. If it helps your decision. )