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Guitar Hero 5 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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Just when you thought you'd played every song possible on a plastic instrument, a new game appears. This is not just another expansion to the series; “Guitar Hero 5” feels like a brand new game. With enhanced visuals, stunning venues, and simply amazing graphics, it will have you strumming/drumming/singing into the early hours of the morning.

The major selling point is the number of songs you can play. From pop to punk, from Stevie Wonder to Nirvana, anybody can find something to like here. Gameplay is the same – when a red note lines up with the red note at the bottom of your screen, you strum/hit. The exception, of course, is the vocals, which have been upgraded with the option to sing karaoke. The lyrics are enlarged on the screen, and as the blue travels across the lyric, you sing. Points are still awarded for pitch, etc. Overall it's a more fun and easier way to sing your favorite songs.

As always, the rock star feature has vast creation opportunities. Now I know what everybody reading this does: make your character look as stupid as possible. I cannot explain how much fun this is. I was wasting valuable play time trying to make the biggest monstrosity ever. Creating a rock star was consuming time when I could be playing, but isn't fun what time should be spent on? This is why “Guitar Hero” remains one of my favorite games of all time.

The graphics have been vastly improved in this version, with attention to character detail. The only minor niggle here is that the crowd does exactly the same thing: all their hands are up, moving at exactly the same time. Online is available too.

The most interesting new mode is Rockfest, basically a mix and match of all the online games combined. So at one point you can be playing for highest points, and next you're playing a “tug of war” type battle, which is immense fun for all you competitive gamers out there.

The story line is the same as always, which is slightly dull, but I don't think this matters very much. This game has never advertised itself as an epic story. However, the venues are produced in amazing detail with vibrant colors.

Overall, this game is fun for the whole family, with a simple interface and a vast song list. Fans of previous “Guitar Hero” games will enjoy this one. So go on, create yourself a wacky rock star and get your granny tapping away on drums – you will have a great time. 8/10

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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