Can music be more persuasive to a player than gameplay? Hell yes it can.
It took me a couple months after getting my PS3 to grab Brutal Legend, but before I had the ability to play the game, it was the game
for me, and I had to have it. And it's not because I love Jack Black, and Tim Shafer's involvement only assured me that this game was going to get released no matter what
. The reason I wanted to play Brutal Legend is because it was the first time I saw a video game that was openly stating that the music would be the central theme of the game design. This promo made me come:
Now, plenty and plenty of games have an extreme focus on sound and music to guide and reinforce gameplay, but only two or three come to my mind that used music as the central component of the game, and Vib Ribbon is just too crazy to compare with anything. So that leaves Brutal Legend in a subtly amazing position, and its effect is seen on thousands of youtube comments like this:
I'm a huge fan of many different varieties of metal, and Brutal Legend exposed me to at least three new bands whom I am now obsessed with, including one which I had previously dismissed. By selecting such a huge compendium of Metal masterpieces, Brutal Legend has become the most ass-kicking metal anthology of all time, and it will live on forever as a Rosetta Stone of how all the different bands represented on its soundtrack all connect to a cohesive lore and artistry that is Metal.
Even GTA: Vice City or San Andreas don't achieve this level of musical glory, since the games' music was more of an ambient recreation of the eras, while every single frame of Brutal Legend feels perfectly married to the music, and even the most trudgingly awful moments of tedious strategy gameplay are redeemed by the continuous symphony of Metal imagery and music. For that reason, I'm going to hold on to Brutal Legend forever, to ensure that when my children are born, I can put the controller from my decrepit old PS3 in their hands, and show them how important music can be to the world.