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Our guide to Nintendo Wii Guitar Hero

Originally launched in 2005 by publisher RedOctane, the series quickly became a smash hit, winning over players thanks to its excellent soundtrack and enjoyable gameplay.

Much of the success of the game can be attributed to the fact that it came with a guitar shaped controller which allowed players to look, and feel, like rock idols while strumming away to the music on screen.

The formula was an instant success, and despite the fact that the original game sold more than 1,500,000 copies world wide, there was much more success to come. The second game shipped in 2006, and went on to become the fifth best selling game of that year, ultimately selling in excess of 3,000,000 units world wide.

The real success came in 2007 with Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock. Despite the fact that the previous two games had sold well, nothing could have prepared people for the phenomenon that the third game would create. It went on to become gaming's first billion dollar franchise, and featured real life Guitar Heroes Tom Morello and Slash as playable characters. It also marked the first appearance of the title on the Nintendo Wii. Guitar Hero had found itself a new home, one frequented by a new breed of gamer more interested in casual social experiences than ever before.

With the fourth title, Guitar Hero World Tour, the brand was expanded to include additional instruments in a bid to keep up with Rock Band, Guitar Hero's newly released competitor. This new game featured a microphone and drums, as well as the standard guitar controller. A new feature was added that allowed players to create and share their own songs with other players.

Guitar Hero 5 hit shelves in 2009, and featured the biggest song set that had been seen to date in the franchise, with a total of 85 songs from 83 artists, and playable characters that included Kurt Cobain, Carlos Santana, Johnny Cash and Matt Bellamy.

The final title in the series to date, and perhaps ever, came in 2010 with the release of Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock. It shifted its focus back to the rockier side of music, paying homage to its heavy metal roots. It featured a quest mode which was narrated by Kiss star Gene Simmons, but failed to catch the imagination of the public, resulting in what appears to be the indefinite retirement of the franchise.

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