Games – “Guitar Hero 5” Is a Butterinterface

I don’t generally use fratboy slang to talk about video games, but in this case, the term applies.

There’s not much to say about “Guitar Hero 5”, the game.  It’s got a decent song selection, the graphics are as good as needed, and so on.  I have a few complaints: the kick-pedal line on drums could be more distinct, and the purple line on bass where you strum without holding a fret is an irritating and pointless addition, but none of these are deal-breakers.

No, the deal breaker is the clunky, idiotic interface.

Look, I get it, Neversoft doesn’t want to shamelessly imitate Harmonix or get sued by them, but there’s no excuse for this interface.  It isn’t just bad, it’s broken.  Configuring instruments, difficulty, everything that’s simple in Rock Band is a pause-and-restart chore in Guitar Hero 5.  “Rock Band” simply flows, while “Guitar Hero 5” relentlessly trips you up.

If you’ve got one group of friends who are playing the same instruments at the same difficulty, by all means, “Guitar Hero 5” should be fine.  But be ready for a frustrating experience if you try to use it at a party with different skill levels.

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2 Responses to “Games – “Guitar Hero 5” Is a Butterinterface”

  1. Sam Says:

    Wow, frustrating enough to make the BLOG!

    But yeah, Neversoft fails at UI.

  2. Sam Says:

    One thought, though, Guitar Hero 5 would be the ULTIMATE party game if you could do just one thing: select a song in “Party Mode.”

    If you haven’t played party mode, the concept is brilliant. The game plays songs constantly, whether someone is playing or not. At any time you can pick up an instrument, hit Start, and immediately jump into the song. You can then press Start again to drop out. At. Any. Time. It’s brilliant. Best of all, you can do it all from the MAIN MENU, without even dealing with the rest of the godawful interface.

    But the dealbreaker: in party mode, the game picks songs at random. You can’t pick one, so you just have to play what the game decides. If they’d only implemented some way to PICK A DAMN SONG, there would be no going back. As it is, they crippled the whole system. Just another example of how badly Neversoft fucked up.

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