Written by Ryan Johnson Monday, 04 October 2010 18:50
Brütal Legend: Goozex Value Bin Review
RyanDJ educates you on the glory of the Value Bin and an epic that you may have overlooked last October.
Before I get into my discussion on this particular game, let me inform you a bit about Goozex and the Value Bin. If you’re completely unfamiliar with Goozex, go up to that link on the right side of the top of the page and check them out. If you know them, but want to know how to get more points in your cache, go to the main page and check out averyzoe’s “Gaming Goozex” article on how to drum up more points. Once you do that, make sure you go into your favorite console’s page and click the “Value Bin” button in the top bar. While you may think “Value Bin” translates to “old junk nobody wants”, you couldn’t be further from the truth. The Value Bin retains the true original meaning of “Value”, where the Goozex team has chosen games that are readily available and easily desirable. Those familiar with Goozex know that looking for rare or popular games takes true patience. The games on this list are high-quality and available NOW. Click the button, and it’s as good as yours. The titles have had a good share of the spotlight, and are now available at an affordable price if you never got a chance to try them. Check it out now!
Now, let’s get Brütal. I had been slightly interested in this game when it first came out, but had NO idea what it was about. I have learned through research that this was intentional by the promotion company. They were afraid to use the term “Real-Time-Strategy” on a console system, and also felt the demographics were split: most RTS players may not be so deeply involved in the heavy metal world. This was merely marketed as an action game and OMIGOSHJACKBLACKSINITTOO!!!
As much as I appreciate Jack Black and all the humor that he wonderfully put into the role of Eddie Riggs, I feel another name should have been dropped a lot more frequently: Tim Schafer. Tim “Monkey Island” Schafer. Tim “Psychonauts” Schafer. Games that regularly receive critical acclaim, and go on to greatness. Psychonauts sold horribly despite the critical acclaim, but is now available as DLC and doing well. Monkey Island is getting HD remakes and sequels as the point-click genre returns. You can also see Tim’s appreciation of metal in another work of his, Full Throttle. (For those already interested in anything Tim Schafer, let it be known that another title from him, Costume Quest, comes out on Halloween 2010 via DLC on XBL and PSN.) Tim supplies a lot of humor to his games, and that is easily prevalent in Brütal. Humor is readily available in every aspect, right down to choosing options at the start of the game for cursing and violence.
The world itself is a love letter to Metal, looking as if it were torn from the front covers of so many vinyls of the metal era. Characters are pulled from the Metal Rock Gods, with most of them (such as Ozzy and Rob Halford) actually playing their metal world counterparts. The soundtrack has over 100 classic metal songs, and boss battles mirror the lyrics involved with the song playing. I love how you can pause the game and immediately see the song title and artist. This game is a gem in that aspect: Too many companies are putting out “what works” to sell games, not creating games that follow a passion: this game does so in spades.
Upon original release, Brütal received low grades for its actual gameplay. I couldn’t disagree more. While it does take some getting used to, an action-RTS hybrid is fresh for the console crowd. It took about five levels before I realized that the solo missions were truly easing a tutorial in on me that would help if I were to connect up and versus someone on Xbox Live. I have enjoyed this pace, as it added two or three new things to each level and gave me time to grasp them. Eddie voiced hints if I was particularly stuck. I liked how his vehicle’s blinkers turned on giving you the general direction to your next destination. When you get to the Stage Battle levels, understanding each thing instead of having it thrown on you in one heap, you are able to perform much more fluidly. And the combination, while odd at times (it can be difficult to call orders to everyone from the field using a simple controller versus full keyboard functionality) is welcome to me, for if nobody ever tried to make anything new, we would never…HAVE anything new and fresh.
My complaints with the game are few. A couple of times I went into battle, “following” another NPC, only to learn I was in control. They got mad at me for leaving them behind, when in fact I had told them to hold a position. Another time, I was timed to race back somewhere and clipped into the background, unable to move. These beefs are small, compared to the quality of the rest of the product.
I know this is an older game, and that’s all a lot of people may think when they read reviews of last year’s titles. We budget gamers need to stick together, though! With so many great games coming out every year, and prices jumping higher and higher, people are buying less and less games, letting gems fall through the cracks, and are more affordable now. The Goozex Value Bin is there to help, though, catching the gems and putting them up available for your immediate enjoyment. Brütal Legend is one of those gems. For something outside of your normal gaming experience, I suggest picking this one up, for a trüly epic metal experience.
· A love letter to Heavy Metal
· Laugh-out-loud humor and punnery penned by Tim Schafer and delivered by Jack Black
· Smart flow of battle tactics education
· Interesting characters and a storyline that you can be interested in
· Occasional clipping
· Frustration if you miss the point of a tutorial and try to wrangle NPCs
· Less satisfying for someone who doesn’t know their heavy metal history
· More satisfying if you have online access and someone to play online with
OVERALL REVIEW SCORE: 4/5
Released: ROCKtober 13, 2009
Developer: Double Fine Productions