Guitar Hero is the first game in the Guitar Hero series. Guitar Hero was released on November 8, 2005 in North America, April 7, 2006 in Europe and June 15, 2006 in Australia.
In Guitar Hero, players use the strum bar along with the fret buttons to play notes that scroll down the screen along a fretboard. The Easy difficulty only uses the first three fret buttons, that is, the green, red, and yellow. The Medium difficulty uses the blue button in addition to those three, and Hard and Expert use all five buttons.
A single note in Guitar Hero is worth 50 points. After a player correctly plays 10 notes correctly in a row, the score is multiplied by 2. This continues until a 4x multiplier is achieved. Star Power can double the score at any multiplier, and can bring the multiplier to its highest possible 8x. A single note would then be worth 400 and a chord worth 800.
Career mode is the primary mode of play on Guitar Hero. Players progress through the game by beating every song in a tier, then they play the encore song for that tier. Once the player has played every song in all six tiers (five in Easy), they have completed career mode.
Quick Play mode allows the player to play any unlocked song.
Two players take turn playing small parts of the guitar track in a cooperative play.
Tutorials teach the player how to play the game. The tutorials will focus on the first three frets for the most part including the green note, red note, and yellow note.
- Basic lessons: This tutorial lesson will teach the player how to strum notes. This also includes playing different note colors and playing long notes and chords. It will also briefly teach the player how Rock Meter and Scoring works.
- Star Power lessons: This tutorial lesson will teach the player how to achieve and activate Star Power. This also includes the use the of the whammy bar to acquire more Star Power energy on long notes during a Star Power phrase. Once Star Power is activated by pressing the Select button or tilting the guitar controller, other upcoming Star Power phrases will be disabled until the player's Star Power meter runs out of energy so use Star Power wisely.
- Advanced lessons: This tutorial lesson teach the player how to perform hammer-ons and pull-offs (HOPOs). Hammer-ons and pull-offs are glistened single notes that can be tapped without strumming and they would appear after notes that are less than eighth note apart. In the first Guitar Hero, to perform a hammer-on (playing a note from left to right), you have to hold down the lower note relative to the note you're about to hammer-on. To perform a pull-off (playing a note from right to left), the next note's fret must be held before releasing the higher note. Compared to newer Guitar Hero entries, hammer-ons and pull-offs in the first Guitar Hero are more difficult to play with these strict rules in mind. These strict rules were dropped ever since Guitar Hero II.
The game features 47 playable songs; 30 of these tracks are covers of the originals. The additional 17 songs are by lesser-known groups. Many of these groups feature members of the Harmonix development team, while some are indie Boston area groups. Drist's guitarist, Marcus Henderson, provided lead guitar on 20 of the game's 30 cover tracks.
All cover tracks are credited on screen with the phrase "as made famous by" (e.g., "I Love Rock & Roll, as made famous by Joan Jett & the Blackhearts").
1. Opening Licks
- "I Love Rock & Roll" - Joan Jett & the Blackhearts
- "I Wanna Be Sedated" - The Ramones
- "Thunder Kiss 65" - White Zombie
- "Smoke On The Water" - Deep Purple
- "Infected" - Bad Religion
- "Iron Man" - Black Sabbath
- "More Than A Feeling" - Boston
- "You've Got Another Thing Comin'" - Judas Priest
- "Take Me Out" - Franz Ferdinand
- "Sharp Dressed Man" - ZZ Top
3. Thrash And Burn
- "Killer Queen" - Queen
- "Hey You" - The Exies
- "Stellar" - Incubus
- "Heart Full of Black" - Burning Brides
- "Symphony of Destruction" - Megadeth
4. Return of the Shred
- "Ziggy Stardust" - David Bowie
- "Fat Lip" - Sum 41
- "Cochise" - Audioslave
- "Take It Off" - The Donnas
- "Unsung" - Helmet
- "Spanish Castle Magic" - Jimi Hendrix
- "Higher Ground" - Red Hot Chili Peppers
- "No One Knows" - Queens of the Stone Age
- "Ace Of Spades" - Motörhead
- "Crossroads" - Cream
- "Godzilla" - Blue Öyster Cult
- "Texas Flood" - Stevie Ray Vaughan
- "Frankenstein" - The Edgar Winter Group
- "Cowboys from Hell" - Pantera
- "Bark At The Moon" - Ozzy Osbourne
- "Fire It Up" - Black Label Society
- "Cheat on the Church" - Graveyard BBQ (winner of the "Be a Guitar Hero" Contest)
- "Cavemen Rejoice" - The Bags
- "Eureka, I've Found Love" - The Upper Crust
- "All of This" - Shaimus
- "Behind The Mask" - Anarchy Club
- "The Breaking Wheel" - Artillery (now known as Breaking Wheel)
- "Callout" - The Acro-brats
- "Decontrol" - Drist
- "Even Rats" - The Slip
- "Farewell Myth" - Made in Mexico
- "Fly on the Wall" - Din
- "Get Ready 2 Rokk" - Freezepop
- "Guitar Hero (song)" - Monkey Steals The Peach
- "Hey" - Honest Bob and the Factory-to-Dealer Incentives
- "Sail Your Ship By" - Count Zero
- "Story of My Love" - The Model Sons
These can only be unlocked through the use of a PlayStation 2 cheat device, such as GameShark, CodeBreaker or Action Replay.
- "Trippolette" - Andrew Buch (a member of the RedOctane team)
- "Graveyard Shift" - Windtunnel Syndrome
Guitar Hero was very positively received by many major reviewers. Jeff Gerstmann of Gamespot praised its set list and accessibility to newcomers.
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