Thursday, February 4, 2010

Special extra long review: Brutal Legend for the PS3/360 review




To be honest, it seems like A LOT of games are leeching off of a super popular game of that genre. For example, how many freaking futuristic first-person shooters have we seen come out since Halo made its debut? How many God of War wannabes have we seen? What about Grand Theft Auto clones? I mean, does anyone have an original idea already? Well, for once, I am actually happy to see a pretty much original idea of a video game. The game I am going to review today is Brutal Legend. When I first saw the trailer for this game, I was amazed. A whole game inspired by metal music? Where do I sign?! Now that it has been a couple of months since its release, and I have picked up a copy for my Playstation 3, I have my full-on thoughts about this game. This might be one of my biggest reviews ever…maybe.

The main story starts us off at a concert for the “metal” band called Kabbage Boy. Offstage though, the band’s roadie who is known as Eddie Riggs, who is voiced by Jack Black, is repairing a guitar one of the band mates destroyed. Now, Eddie is actually known to be the best roadie in the business, who can repair anything, build anything, tune any instrument, and you get the idea. Sadly though, he is the roadie for the worst metal band ever. I might not be a huge fan of metal, but I know metal when I hear it, and Kabbage Boy is NOT metal. After saving one of the band members from a horrible stage accident (caused by the band member himself), a piece of the stage falls right on top of Eddie, hurting him. The blood from his hand then drips down off his hand and onto his awesome-looking belt. The belt, however, has amazing powers since it summons the fiery deity Ormagöden, who cures Eddie, and kills the band that got him hurt. The funny thing is that everyone thinks Ormagöden is special effects. Eddie is then transported to a world inspired by every metal thing you could think of. Eddie escapes the temple he woke up in with the help of a fellow human named Ophelia. Eddie then learns of a revolutionary group that is trying to take back the land that has been oppressed by the demon lord Doviculus and his sell-out lackeys. It is up to Eddie to help lead the revolution and save the land from oppression. It’s an interesting story, and I will talk more about it later.

The game play is a hybrid between hack-and-slash action, mixed in with real-time strategy components. Let’s split this into two parts since this is what the game did. We will first talk about the hack-and-slash action part of the game. Eddie’s main form of attack is an axe called the “ Separator”. This is where most of his melee attacks are from. He isn’t the only thing though that was warped back to the metal world. He also brought along his guitar named Clementine. His guitar is also a big part of the action parts since you can shock people with lightning, blow them up using fire, and play awesome guitar solos. The guitar solos are also very handy. due to all the different effects each solo has. I will list a few of them and their abilities. One of my favorites is the Call of the Wild solo that summons animals to help you fight the enemies. Another one is a ranged attack called the face melter, which, well you guessed it, melts peoples face from a certain range. It really helps when there are a lot of enemies surrounding you. The final one I will talk about is called “Bring it on Home” where you can summon a giant burning blimp that crashes into the ground, killing any nearby enemies. Eddie can also use team up-moves that vary between each different person. For example, if you team up with head bangers, you get to have a defensive ring of head bangers that damage anyone in your way. Another example is teaming up with the Roadies, so you can stealthily sneak past people and send out a booming shock wave to the enemies. You can also use the lightning attack to stun the animals of Brutal Legend and ride on top of them. You might find it silly riding a panther that shoots lasers, but it’s so ridiculous that it’s awesome. Your other main weapon is your car, called the Deuce or Druid Plow. It’s your basic mode of transportation if you don’t feel like riding on top of an animal. You can get upgrades to all your weapons in a relic called the Motor Forge. The funny thing is that the guy who helps you upgrade yourself is none other than Ozzy Osbourne. You can upgrade your axe with fire, lighting, or make it stronger or sharper for more attack power. Your guitar upgrades mainly the effect of your guitar attacks, like in melee combos or making a specific guitar attack stronger. You also gain weapons for your car, like machine guns, rocket launchers, side flames, or mine dropping. You also get stronger armor and a stronger engine, which is pretty cool.

Now, let’s talk about the real-time strategy components. The main big battles in the game are called stage battles. This is where the RTS components come in to play. You control Eddie, and he controls all the units. Each unit has their own special task, like short-range, long-range, healing, heavy weaponry, and you get the idea. Each unit has its own ability that helps out in battle. You also get to produce the units from the stage. Your main source of materials to produce more soldiers comes from things called fan geysers. You basically build things around the geysers so the energy from them goes to your stage. The RTS components of the game isn’t like Command and Conquer. It is more on the line of Overlord or Pikmin. You have to be close to your army to send commands. The cool thing is you get to actually team up with your soldiers in the RTS battles, instead of doing just the commanding. The multiplayer section of the game is basically the stage battles. During the game you will encounter three different factions. One is your own army known as Ironheade. The other two are the Drowning Doom, and the Tainted Coil. Each faction plays differently and I like that. Ironheade is mostly an ‘everything’ kind of army. It basically has short and long-range infantry and any other kind of infantry you can think of. This is the faction you will be playing as, and a good one for beginners. The Drowning Doom is a unique faction where it focuses on overwhelming the opponent and destroying the enemy’s vehicles and such. The Tainted Coil is basically the powerhouse of the three factions. It relies on overpowering your opponent with strong infantry and status-boosting infantry. It all comes out with each having different strategies for each faction.

The graphics and art style of the game has A LOT of charm coming from it, as the whole world of Brutal Legend looks great. The character designs are also very creative and the characters are super likable. You just feel so attached to these characters. The only other game that I feel makes you feel attached to the characters in the game is the Final Fantasy series. I also like how animated everyone is. I mean, yeah, they look a little awkward during in game, but in the cut scenes, the characters are very lively and active. The voice cast is huge! It’s filled with famous celebrities. This of course includes Jack Black as Eddie Riggs, Rob Halford, Lita Ford, Lemmy Killmister, Ozzy Osbourne, Tim Curry, some guy called Kyle Gass (part of Jack Black’s band Tenacious D), and so many other people. The music is nothing but metal. All kinds of metal are on the soundtrack to the game. There’s stuff from bands like Motorhead, Dragonforce, Deathklock, Angel Witch, Tenacious D, Sanctuary, Black Sabbath, Mastodon, 3 Inches of Blood, and other bands that comprise this very metal soundtrack. The cut scenes are also fun to watch, and are executed very well.

Sadly, it’s time to talk about the bad parts of the game, but there is very little that is bad about the game. The real-time strategy components of the game are very awkward and don’t work well from time to time. However, I don’t blame the game itself, like how everyone else does. I blame the console limitations, since the 360 and PS3 aren’t as known for having a good RTS collection. Besides, RTS games sell better on computers than consoles. While I hate to agree with other people, I just have to agree that the main story itself is very short, but this is only if you don’t go after every side quest and find every little thing in the game, though you aren’t forced to go through the main story in one sitting. It is set up where you can go off and do side quests before moving on. I also hate how people are like “oh, you HAVE to be a fan of metal to play the game”. WHAT?! That is the dumbest thing I have ever heard. Yeah, I’m not a fan of metal, but it doesn’t stop me from enjoying the game. It’s also annoying how people shun this because the same person who made Psychonauts, Tim Schafer, who also made Grim Fandango, made it. They only did this because Psychonauts didn’t sell well. What a horrible and stupid thing to do only because one game didn’t sell well. The good thing though, is that the good parts totally outweigh the bad parts of the game.

Overall, I really REALLY enjoyed Brutal Legend, and I have to say this is going onto my list of favorite games of all time. Even with its RTS flaws, the game is still very fun to play. It’s an outstanding game, and I would buy it if you have a PS3 and 360. I can’t wait to see if Tim Schafer will make a sequel, or make DLC, kind of like how Fallout 3 did with their stuff. Double Fine Productions did a wonderful job on creating a creative and fun game.

This game gets a 9.8 out of 10

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