“Guitar Hero 5” (rated T, $60 for standalone game, $100 for bundle that includes guitar controller for Wii, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, $40 for game, $90 for bundle on PS2): I previewed this title fairly extensively in my Friday post about the latest doings in the music-game genre. The follow-up to “Guitar Hero World Tour” improves upon that title in a number of ways, through the addition of a new pick-up-and-play party mode. Party-goers can sit back, listen to the music and never touch the instruments, or just pick them up for the guitar solo. “GH5” will also support all the songs you downloaded for use in “World Tour,” though just 35 songs on that game’s disc can be played in the new game. Still, it’s a start. The first batch of “Guitar Hero 5” downloadable content hit this week, as well. Live versions of The Rolling Stones’ “Under My Thumb,” “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” “I’m Free,” “Prodigal Son” and “You Gotta Move” sell for $2 a pop or $9 for all five.
“Gears of War 2” (rated M, $40 on Xbox 360): If you’re in the market for the 360’s big exclusive shooter from last fall, the Game of the Year edition that came out this week is probably your best bet. It comes with the original game, plus all the downloads that have been released to date. One word of caution, though: Unlike other “Game of the Year” packages, the extra content doesn’t ship on the disc. You get a code so that you can download the content once. Presumably, this is to prevent you from buying one copy of the game and sharing the disc of extras with all your buddies.
“Defense Grid: The Awakening” (rated E10+, $10 Xbox Live Arcade download): It’s a tower defense strategy game, and a decent one at that. This genre’s blown up on the PC the past few years, but console offerings are still kinda scarce.
“Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-slick Precipice of Darkness – Episode 2” (rated M, $10 Xbox Live Arcade download, marked down from $15 through Monday): The second part of the adventure/role-playing game inspired by the popular game-centric Web comic strip is on sale through Monday.
“Tales of Monkey Island: Chapter 2” (rated E10+, $10 WiiWare download): The second part of the episodic sequel to “The Secret of Monkey Island” hit WiiWare this week. Fans of pirates and humor take note.
Assorted Capcom PlayStation Network titles: Capcom is discounting several of its popular downloadable PlayStation 3 games, but only if you buy them bundled together. $30 will net you “1942,” “Wolf of the Battlefield: Commando,” “Super Puzzle Fighter 2 HD Remix,” “Rocketmen: Axis of Evil” and the “It Came from Uranus” mission pack for “Rocketmen.” For $50, you can get all that stuff, plus “Super Street Fighter II HD Remix,” “Age of Booty” and “Flock!” All are rated somewhere between E and T using the ESRB’s ratings scale.
What I’m playing this weekend: I spent much of Saturday with friends at a barbecue, but Friday night and much of Sunday will be spent playing “The Beatles: Rock Band” so I can review it for Friday’s paper. In between, I’m sneaking in a bit of that old favorite “Culdcept Saga” and going for achievements in “The Bigs 2,” which I recently reviewed. Might sneak in a bit of “The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition,” as well.