If I haven't mentioned it a million times by now, I love me some metal. Doom metal, prog metal, black metal, death metal, power metal, thrash metal, folk metal, avant-garde neo-hipster transcendental drone metal. I pretty much love it all. I also love games. So, naturally I get all excited and wet whenever bits of metal pops up in my gaming time whether it be licensed songs or totally original material. I thought it would be fun to make a little list of some of the times I found a bit of heavy metal made a nice impact in a game I was playing. I'll be revisiting this topic at some point in the future so I'll keep it short and there will be obvious omissions. So enjoy and let me know some of your favorite metal moments/songs in video games! Peace Love and Metal!!!!!
Opeth is my all-time favorite band (tied with Iron Maiden). Heavy prog tendencies blended with some of the most grim black metal and brutal death metal is just absolute joy for me. Even in their modern incarnation where they have basically left the bulk of their metal side behind for 70s prog, I can not get enough of them. So, as you can guess, I squeed like a little fanboy when I was cruising around causing havok in Saint's Row and boom, The Lotus Eater off of the wildly underrated Watershed album popped on. While the song itself is a bit of an odd choice due to the various tempo changes clashing with the breakneck pacing of the game, it still worked for me and made my experience with the game even more enjoyable. The song in the game is an edit, so check the full tune out here.
Bonus: Opeth also appeared on the God of War 3 soundtrack with the mellow acoustic tune The Throat of Winter. I got to see them play it live where Opeth mainman Mikael Akerfeldt said he was a big time gamer.
MegaMan is one series that is never lacking in the metal department. Nearly every chiptune in the games bears heavy power metal influence as they brandish driving tempos and catchy as hell melodies. I could have picked nearly any tune from the games and would have been content with my selection. But I'm going to say the theme from Dr. Wily's Castle 1 is the best use of metal in the series. Tired from working your way through the robot masters you now need to dive into the home stretch to the final showdown. This tune is a well placed shot of adrenaline to get the blood pumping as you dive into some of the toughest bits the game has to offer.
One of the genres of metal I least go on with is industrial metal. There are a couple neat bands (go listen to Author & Punisher), but I prefer my metal a bit more organic. So I found myself really getting into the pulsing beats of Combichrist while killing demons in the reboot of Devil May Cry. I think what really got me was I noticed found myself chaining SSS combos to the rhythm of the music almost like I was playing a rhythm game. It got me to pay a bit more mind to what I was hitting and pull of some really neat combos my usual attack of button mashing doesn't allow. It actually made me a better player when I moved over to other games like Bayonetta. I just wish there was a larger selection of tunes put into the game.
Ya know, to my surprise, Nintendo puts a lot of metal in their games. It may not be of the extreme variety, but check out a lot of their songs and there are some serious groove and power metal tunes in there. One of my favorite Ninmetal tracks is the one for Bowser's Castle in Mario Kart 8. What makes it so badass in my opinion is the inclusion of the jazzy brass section which reminds me a lot of a little kick ass band known as Diablo Swing Orchestra. The wailing guitar melody, the swinging horns, and that punchy upbeat all work to make the race track even more hectic and fun. A true gem in Nintendo's already legendary music catalog.
Like most tr00 kvlt metalheads I generally can't take any form of Nu-metal seriously. But that doesn't mean I don't find it fun and a good laugh. Jumping on a chocobo for the first time in FFXIII-2 and hearing this song I seriously laughed so hard my face and sides were in some serious pain. The fact that this silly tune is official FF cannon (of which there are a ton of metal songs, not even mentioning Nobuo Uematsu's own orchestral FF metal band, The Black Mages) also makes it that much better. Any time I could get myself an enraged chocobo I went out of my way to do so just to hear this song.
If you remember the battle with Jecht/Sin in FFX you should also remember its absurd length. That fight took me over an hour, maybe two. And this subpar death metal song on constant repeat for the whole thing. This song was the inspiration to finish the battle the first time through lest I should have to listen to it even more.