Saturday, January 23, 2010

Holy Review: Brutal Legend

Time to stretch out the old review legs.  Ow ow.. Brain cramping.  Uhhh.... one two, it sucks.  Three four, maybe I'd play it again.  Ok, lets dig around here.  Oh yeahhh, I had this gamefly'd.  Brutal Legend.  alright.  Lets do this.

Stupid special characters in the name
You know, I liked this game.  I heard a lot around the net about it being an RTS(Penny Arcade).  But from all the screens and videos, it looks like an action hack and slash.  So some investigation was needed.  And the results.  Were actually quite nice.


You gotta believe me, I wish you were there.
The story worked for me.  A little generic, but sometimes you need something cheesy and a little predictable.  The story is a bit on the short side.  But its better than a game that drags crap out for 12 hours.  Not that I don't like that.  But sometimes, having something that's straightforward and familiar lets you relax a bit.  There is a lot of lore to the game as well.  Lots of back story on who this was, how the world came to be, who fucked things up.  It looked like it took a lot of it from different mythologies from around Europe.  I definitely got a Norse feeling from it.  Not as strong as Too Human(Blatant Norse Mythology ripoff), but there's hints.

So what you're all saying is...  You're completely fucking useless.
I liked the main character, Eddie Riggs(voiced by Jack Black[YES THIS HAS BEEN EXTENSIVELY ADVERTISED I FUCKING KNOW]).  Back in the "real world" he's a roadie for a "metal" band.  "Metal" being a bunch of fucking whiney losers that know nothing of real metal.  He's the guy behind the scenes that makes everything work.  I can relate with that.  Everyone kinda feels that way.  Be quiet.  Do your job.  If it's done right, nobody will ever know you're there.  Throughout the game, you basically save the goddamn day and do all the fricken work.  However, Eddie never takes the credit for it.  Always a team player and looking at the greater good.  I can get behind a guy like that.  And the only people that know what he's done are the people that matter.  Let the superstars and face people take the limelight, while the real heroes stay in the shadows.


And we make it rain!  Oh wait. Wrong game.
So this is the real meat and potatoes here.  How the hell does this game work.  Alright.  SUPER GENERALIZATION INCOMING - It's Legend of Zelda meets Halo Wars meets Dynasty Warriors meets Grand Theft Auto.  Let me attempt to explain it like all the other review sites out there.  So, you basically run around and hack and slash and do things like Zelda.  And you can whip out your guitar and do cool things with it.  Like Legend of Zelda:Ocarina of Time.  You drive around in your car that you summon by playing your guitar, much like summoning your horse in the Zelda series(later ones).

Heyyy baby.  Want some Eddie Riggs' penis?
Then you kinda have a real Grand Theft Auto feel to things.  The map is a large sandbox that lets you explore and do side missions and find easter eggs/power-ups all around the map.  Missions range from, kill these guys, race this guy, kill a number of these things, go from here to here without spilling beer, and other generic simple non-story related missions.  These missions give you the game's currency(called fire tributes, they're lighters held up).  Your weapons and cars are upgradable.  Some are pretty gewd.  Others, might be situational.  The storyline progresses to dungeon areas.  These areas are super linear and are mainly story telling in function.

You're supposed to be looking at the cool stage in the background
If that was the whole game, then whoop-dee-fucking-doo.  But it's not.  About 1/4th of the way through the game, you are introduced to something called Stage Battles.  Stage battles are where everyone comes up with that whole "DERR ITS AN RTS" portion of reviews.  Yes, these portions of the game play exactly like an RTS.  You have a base.  You build units.  You need to gather resources.  During Stage Battles, Eddie gains the ability to fly.  This turns him into a cursor to help assign commands to your ground units.  It's the usual, go here, attack that, defend this, fucking do something commands.  Now, I'm not one for RTS games on consoles.  Just something about not having a mouse and keyboard makes it uncomfortable.  Kinda like using a keyboard to play Street Fighter 2.  You can do it, but something's not right.  Probably the biggest gripe is trying to select specific units to do some action.  Sometimes when you have a big cluster fuck of guys, you spend more time trying to select the right unit than assigning the command.  Lots of, "Fuck not you, goddamnit! You here, you there.  No!  Fuck you! I'm right, you're stupid!"

Yes...  Yes, She has mounted you.
At the same time, you still have control over Eddie, meaning you can land anywhere and go hack and slash, play solo's, drive your car, get your shit punched in.  So when you control mass amounts of units, the game begins to have a Dynasty warriors kind of feeling.  Only, think dynasty warriors where you're pretty goddamn fucking useless.  Eddie will pretty much get his shit punched in by enemy troops as well as the enemy general.  Eddie dying in Stage battles isn't game over.  He gets rezzed back at your stage(base).  Repeat beating.  If Eddie needs to, he can combine with individual units to form VOLTRON.  No wait.  He basically has special abilities depending on what kind of unit he combines with.  The only way he won't get his ass beat is if you are in your car.  And you ride around blowing crap up and running shit over.  That's something i didn't really think about till i got super stuck and checked the forums.  Then I wanted to kill myself because these stage battles became trivial.

Now go over there and do shit.
There be multi-player battles here.  But yeah.. I didn't play it.  Because I prolly would've gotten my ass handed to me with a side of fries.  All of the multi-player stuff are stage battles.   Sooo basically an RTS.  Which I'm bad at...  Ask Christiansen.  He'll tell ya.

The Artsy Fartsy Stuff

 I wonder who this guy is supposed to be.
Alright...  I'm not as big on the art stuff.  I'm actually quite terrible at it.  But, I like the style of Brutal Legend.  Really feels like artwork taken out of an 80s metal album cover.  The exaggerated bulging necks of the headbangers, hawt kiss amazonian chicks, badass roadies.  I also like how each opposing faction in the game takes their styles from a different genre of music.   That was a nice touch.  And the guest cameos.  man.  Ozzy Osbourne makes a cameo, both as a voice actor and his image is used as the fire lord dude that upgrades your car.  Rob Halford was a VA.  Kyle Gass from Tenacious D even makes an appearance.  Just check the wikipedia page for the complete breakdown.  Or even better, just beat the fucking game and watch the credits.

Faces will be melted.
The music was awesome.  Whenever you're ridin the Duce, you get a myriad of rock and metal songs to cruise with.  Srsly, the soundtrack is awesome.  There was a problem though.  It's really hard to see what you're doing while head banging.  Many a cliff I have driven off of while just driving around listening to metal.  And your neck starts to hurt after a couple hours.

 I am unable to explain how awesome this is.
The game also does a nice touch with swearing and gore.  During the opening sequence, you're given a choice to censor the game.  You can either chose to have gore on or off, and swearing on or off.  Why you would censor it at all is beyond me.  Why the fuck you going to buy the game if you're only going to enjoy it behind bulletproof glass?  It's like buying a chocolate chip ice cream and picking out all the chocolate chips.  It makes you look fucking stupid and it tastes shitty because you got your hands all in it.

Couldn't find an english one. But you get the idea.
Going to have to say, the opening sequence and menu was awesome.   There's nothing really special to it.  But it does something that games haven't really done in a long time.  They use real life footage in the game.  No really.  I haven't seen this done in a long fucking time already.  Everyone's so hard up on using CGI to make real looking shit.  They said, "Fuck it.  Lets just use real people so we don't have to waste our time doing shit like that."  And so they did.  Even the opening menu was cool.  It's like flipping through an actual vinyl disc album.  I must give whoever the hell thought of doing that, a beer.

Holy Factor

 Holy Factor x 2
I must say.  The holy factor is strong with this one.  It was a good game that was able to suck me into the world and not realize I wasted over 30 hours playing it.  One of those, "I'll just play till the next story arc" kind of games.  I liked hearing all kinds of crap from everywhere about it.  Some say, it's good.  Others said it was stupid.  Some said it was lame.  Made me sit there and want to figure out where the hell I stand on this game.  Props to that.

Bottom Line(TL;DR)

Holy Factor x 8
Gewd game.  Look nice.  Sound Nice.  Play weird.  Holy approved.  Kiss Amazonian Chicks.


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