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Brutal Legend Review

Psychonauts was my first experience with Tim Schafer and his creative development team at Double Fine. I loved the game for its hilarious story and creative game design. When it was revealed in 2007 that Schafer�s next masterpiece was going to be a metal-themed action game starring the voice and likeness of Jack Black, I was ecstatic. Two years and various publisher and logistical changes later, Brutal Legend has finally come to rock the Xbox 360 and PS3.

After turning on the game and being greeted by the �DOUBLE FIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINE!� logo, you�ll witness a live action video of Jack Black entering a record store and searching around for a specific album that will �not only blow your mind, but also your soul.� It�s none other than Brutal Legend, which beautifully transitions to the game�s menu screen.

Once you start the game, you�re quickly introduced to Eddie Riggs (voiced by Jack Black), the world�s greatest roadie. Unfortunately, he works for a �modern-day� metal band that appears to be a parody of popular bands such as Fallout Boy and Linkin Park, which go on to prove that �real metal� in this day and age is dead. Eddie wishes he was born into a different age, �like the �70s�the early �70s.� His wish is granted when he is killed by a construction accident and is transported to a world of metal, complete with evil demons, mountains of skulls and characters donning S&M gear.

Eddie adapts to this new world painlessly as he almost immediately finds and wields a large battleaxe and discovers that his guitar, dubbed Clementine, is able to summon bolts of lightning and fire. Eventually, Eddie meets up with a group of humans and learns that a war between humans and demons has been waging for years. Eddie uses his advanced knowledge of heavy metal to aid the humans in their quest for freedom.

Going along with the metal theme, Brutal Legend boasts more than 100 metal songs. I was never a metal fan prior to playing this game, but after completing it, I�ve warmed up a little to the genre. Some of the highlights for me were �Deadly Sinners� and �Destroy the Orcs� by 3 Inches of Blood and �Kickstart my Heart� by Motley Crue. The cool thing about the soundtrack is a specific song will play at a specific point in the game and it totally sets the mood for the current situation. The most epic moment in the game in my opinion is when you�re quickly escaping from a crumbling tower with burning debris crashing down on you and �Through the Fire and the Flames� by Dragonforce starts playing in the background. �HO-LY SHIT!� was what came to mind.

Graphically, the game looks great. It�s a bit more realistic than Schafer�s past titles, but it retains the animated movie appeal. Schafer has gone on the record saying that every scene from the game was designed to look like a metal album cover and it accomplishes this well. The animations look great and in combination with a stellar voice cast, this game really comes to life.

Tim Schafer has managed to create another hilariously awesome game with Brutal Legend. If you like humor, metal and/or video games, this is perfect for you. The game does try too hard to be so many game types at once and it definitely falters because of it. If you can endure the gameplay, it�s absolutely worth it for the story and dialogue.


Photo credit: Giantbomb.com
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About TeknoDwarfone of us since 2:51 AM on 04.21.2008

I'm a Journalism Major at Eastern Washington University. I love playing games and writing about them. Whenever I have enough time in my procrastination cycles, I'll periodically update this blog with new entries. Video games will be my focus, but I'll also share the occasional Dungeons & Dragons anecdote or similar nerdy misadventure.

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