Well, "so far" meaning "I'm only playing the demo". And honestly, I'm not quite sure what to think of Guitar Hero: Metallica.
But before I explain myself, let me give you a quick little background on myself, in regards to Metallica and Guitar Hero.
I got into Metallica back around ...And Justice For All
. A kid in school had drawn their logo onto his math book cover, as well as a crude drawing of the electric chair from the Ride the Lightning
cover. I asked him what it was, and without saying anything, he took out his Walkman, stuck the headphones on my ears, and hit play. Out came Creeping Death
...and I was hooked. Eventually I saw them in concert during the tour for their box set, and later on the S&M tour. Both shows are on my list of the best shows I have ever seen.
The album that got me hooked.
As for Guitar Hero, I bought the first one for the PS2 when it came out. I had a bit of difficulty really getting into it, and when a friend of mine came over and beat me in the 2-player mode, I sold it to my little brother. At the time, I had no desire to practice a plastic instrument just so I could play a video game...
...and then, Rock Band came out. I played it at my cousin's house and, much like Metallica, was immediately hooked. For whatever reason, I had no problem playing the guitar like I did with GH1, even though Harmonix made both games. Once I got my 360, the purchase of the full band kit was a no brainer. I even got my wife hooked on it, and when Rock Band 2 was announced, I immediately put it on pre-order.
I heart you, Rock Band. Not you, Generic Singer.
And though some of you may be hardcore GH/RB players, I tend to stick to Medium. I can play on Hard, but I tend to focus too much on getting everything right than having fun pretending to be in a rock band. I've tried Expert, but apparently I'm too old to stick with it. So, yeah...Medium for me. I can goof around more and, as I said, have some fun.
Just before Christmas, my boss gave me a $30 gift card to Gamestop. Since all the games I wanted I had asked for from my wife, parents, and in-laws, I decided to pick up Guitar Hero II...I'll admit, I learned that it had the Strong Bad song Trogdor
in it, as well as a Buckethead song, which also pushed me to buying it.
Anywho, I then bought a $10 X-plorer guitar from Circuit City (this was prior to their bankruptcy, when they marked down this and the Les Paul), went home, and popped it in. Not sure if it was from my time playing Rock Band 1 and 2, or that I just decided to give it more of a chance than I did with GH1, but I actually liked this one.
Guess the second time is a charm in my case
And that leads us to today, when I learned that a demo for Guitar Hero: Metallica was out. Still being on the fence about it, due to what I've heard about how RB and Guitar Hero: World Tour are two different creatures altogether, this went immediately into my queue. As soon as I got home, I grabbed my RB Gibson and powered up the demo.
The intro seemed pretty awesome. Cartoon, evil-looking versions of the band are shown on stage, evil-looking red sky...but I wanted to get to the game, so I skipped past it.
I get into the single player, select guitar, then choose Seek and Destroy
. Throw it on Medium and start it up.
Immediately I'm thrown off. The note-highway is slightly more "back"; Rock Band's is more vertical, and also a bit wider. It's also easier to see the notes coming, or at least it is for me. In fact, I popped in RB after playing GH: Metallica to compare the two, but more on that in a moment.
"Okay, just gotta readjust," I tell myself. I take a quick look at the band before the song starts up; pretty cool looking. We've all seen the images; stylized versions of the band. Nothing really new to report here.
James contemplates Robert's hair.
The intro starts up, and I start playing. Still have to readjust to the notes, and I'm doing fairly well, but for some reason, everything just feels off. Maybe it's the circles, as opposed to RB's bars? Nah, I've played GH2, so it shouldn't be a huge leap to revert my brain back to using them.
Then I figured it out; it's the placement and size of everything...the layout. Star power is on the right, in little light bulbs. I'm used to the bar across the bottom (for Rock Band), or the bar to the right (with GH2). The rock/status meter is flipped from GH2 as well. I kinda figured it wouldn't be the same as RB's meter, so I was ready for that. But the light bulbs...I don't know. I'd rather have a bar (note: did a search and found GH3 switched over to light bulbs, but the images I found looked like the bulbs were larger).
Multiplier meter...where are you? Oh, look, you're off to the side. And somewhat difficult to see while I'm trying to hit the notes coming down. Hrmmmm...really not digging that. GH2's is pretty easy to spot, and RB's is perfect; right under the highway.
Then there's the star rating/points area. For whatever reason, I find it much easier to glance up at RB's than I do with GH: Metallica's. GH2 doesn't display your rating, but the points are in a much bigger font that GH: Metallica's, making easier to read on a quick glance.
Here's the Rock Band layout...
...and here's Guitar Hero: Metallica's.
After getting through Seek and Destroy
, I try out No Excuses
. Did pretty good there, but I'm still not a fan of the layout. I switch over to Rock Band 2 and...ahhhh. There it is. Much easier to work with, and I immediately notice that the highway is much more vertical and wider. But maybe it's just a difference between RB and the GH series?
Nah...looks more like a difference between Activision and Harmonix. Popped in GH2, and while the highway isn't as vertical, it's definitely wider than GH: Metallica's.
So, verdict on the layout: this is definitely a case of personal preference. I'm more used to RB's style and layout. And though I've played GH2 a bit, I probably just need to play GH: Metallica a few more times to see if I can get over my initial dislike of how everything is setup.
But what about the music, you ask?
Well, it's Metallica. If you don't like them, you aren't going to like the game. Sure, there are songs from 20 other bands in the game, but I'm pretty sure someone isn't going to buy the game to play Queen's Stone Cold Crazy
I did notice a bit of a jump in difficulty between RB and GH:Metallica, but that could also be due in part to the fact that I haven't played a lot of Metallica in RB. My wife doesn't like to sing it, nor does she like playing bass on their songs. I have the DLC songs, and took a little bit to get used to Enter Sandman
in #1. I also found myself focusing more on the notes than on just loosening up and having fun, like I do with RB. So again...need to readjust to their style and note layout.
Meh. I need a little more time with it. First go didn't really hook me. Sure, it's pretty awesome I can finally play Metallica songs AND have the game-versions of them thrashing about in the background. But, the layout...it kinda bugs me. If subsequent plays fail to grab me (I'll try to get in more tonight, once the kids are in bed and before the finale of Battlestar Galactica), I may wait until the price drops. $60 might be a bit too much for me at the moment to drop on a game that, while I love the music, the gameplay isn't as fun/smooth as RB...at least for me.
Sorry guys...it may end up being a discount-buy for me. read