Zero Punctuation: Brutal Legend

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phlegethonic:
Jack Black and Tim Schafer in the same room together.
image
Oh, and also Rob Halford.

All of which are awesome.

OMG one of the best vids latly! i love the ending!!!!! keep it up Yahtzee!

Triforceformer:

phlegethonic:
Jack Black and Tim Schafer in the same room together.
image
Oh, and also Rob Halford.

All of which are awesome.

YEEEEEEEEEEEEEES. Thats to much awesomeness for my brain to comprehend.

I have to say I am pretty disappointed with this weeks "slating" of Brutal Legend. I know the gameplay is not the greatest but just for the story itself this game is AWESOME!! Dont let this video put you off playing a perfectly good (but not GREAT) game, especially if you are a metal head. There is nothing more satisfying than driving around a METAL landscape listening to METAL!!!

Oh and there is nothing as awesome as summoning a flaming zeppelin by playing an epic solo.

Keep up the good work Yahtzee

-Zen-:
Was I the only one who caught the Eddie Izzard reference? I'd like to thank Yahtzee for that, as it gave me a good laugh, much like the rest of the review.

Nope, caught it aswell :) This is the second Izzard reference within a short time! I'm not sure it's enough though. Or maybe it's just that. Hm...

timmytom1:

Aptspire:
well, it is pretty accurate, and there's 1 point where I completely agree:
WHERE THE F*** is the mountain where I make my statues?

The clifface with the faces on is to the west of bladehenge (you know the resistance base where you start out)where you go to change them however....

I found it, you have to go in the field of devil horns (hands with index and little finger out) and climb the stairs on the back of the biggest hand 'facing' the faces...
I made a wall with Eddie, Ophelia, Lita and Lars :D
and for references: Lizzie's real last name is 'Kilmister' :)

This just seems a complete 180 from the Psychonauts review in terms of what Yahtzee's looking at.

The complaints are legitimate. The game didn't exactly live up to its potential and suffered from somewhat of a lack of cohesion. It was quite short and some things weren't explained too well (the Hornthrower in particular, though that isn't anything too important in the game). I do not think that it's quite as good as Psychonauts.

The thing that seems off to me, though, is how Yahtzee really brushed aside the actual fun of the game. The imagery, story, characters, world, soundtrack (licensed and original), the humor and the overall style that makes Tim Schafer games great. In the Psychonauts review, he talked about how he could let certain handling issues slide for an artistic and original game. Even if they aren't put together as well as in other games of his, though, it's worth addressing the unique elements of this game, though, in more than one line. Those parts cannot be understated as they are critical to the Schafer experience.

That, and his RTS friend isn't playing it right. I'm not just hopping on the 'agree with Tim Schafer' band wagon, I really think that you miss so much by just making units and sending them to another location. Sure, from an overall RTS perspective, it is really giant tug of war that doesn't involve much besides getting units from one end to the other. That isn't the main aspect of the strategy, though. How you support your units and use them individually changes it from a linear RTS struggle to a series of dynamic battles that you need to control and join from two different perspectives. If you don't help your units, take advantage of your unique solos, make use of the various powerful double team attacks or fend off the enemy from doing the same then you'll lose pretty easily. I also think that the two elements seem to break each other up when they would normally get dull. You don't have to keep mashing buttons in the fray, nor do you have to sit and just deal with the logistics. I also think that this is the most playable console RTS I've seen yet.

phlegethonic:
Jack Black and Tim Schafer in the same room together.
image
Oh, and also Rob Halford.

I`m amazed by the fac that Schafer isn`t even fazed by the fact that Rob Halford and jack Black are standing RIGHT NEXT TO HIM!!! if that was me i wouldn`t even be able to talk in a remotley coherent manner

From the Wet review:

Endocrom:
Place your bets: there will be a Brütal Legend review within three weeks.

Bonus points if he makes a referance about being gay for Tim Shafer.

Oh, snap!

SomeBritishDude:
...Why are all my favourite reviewers bashing this game? I thought it was the shit.

As did I. I really enjoyed this game, even the RTS stuff. Especially the RTS Stuff.

Venatio:
Well Im kinda dissapointed at Brutal Legends negatives. I wasnt planning on buying the game new, I never do unless its Bioware, but if i was going to I would now just rent it or wait its price out.

Hell maybe I'll just watch someone play it on youtube for me. Worked with Wet.

Coincedently does anyone know a good website for that sort of thing? Watching someone play a game for you adequetly so you can enjoy the story?

YOUTUBE!
Duh.

Aesthetical Quietus:

Venatio:
Well Im kinda dissapointed at Brutal Legends negatives. I wasnt planning on buying the game new, I never do unless its Bioware, but if i was going to I would now just rent it or wait its price out.

Hell maybe I'll just watch someone play it on youtube for me. Worked with Wet.

Coincedently does anyone know a good website for that sort of thing? Watching someone play a game for you adequetly so you can enjoy the story?

YOUTUBE!
Duh.

Maybe I should rephrase that question for the slower folk in the building:

A good place to watch high quality videos of people playing games for me OTHER than youtube. Because when I was watching WET the guy kept commenting on it as though it was Unskippable or something.

Youtube.

The 720p playthrough has no commentary.

Game was doomed as soon as Jack Black became associated with it.

miracleofsound:

MissAshley:

miracleofsound:

Darrkon Fearlock:
Not to try and destroy Yahtzee's point with the RTS thing, but after the game came out Tim Schafer came out and said not to play it like an RTS and to play it more like a hack and slash with RTS elements. Like you should be down there a fair bit with your guys, you just need to replenish them every once in a while.

As I have been trying to point out for the last two weeks...

THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN EXPLAINED IN THE GAME.

Or gamers could, you know, figure it out.

I'm not going to argue the point of the game not being intuitive, but as far as actual game-play goes, I'm struggling to comprehend how people are not figuring things out on their own. It seems a lot like complaining Earthbound only very vaguely tipping you off to Pray on the last fight. . .

Whatever happened to learning through exhausting option?

My guess is developers realised it wasn't all that fun.

Okay, let me frame this another way.

I'm not understanding how given a set of things to try, people aren't finding the things that work, or at least coming near understanding how the battles work. It's like having every weapon in a Megaman title on a multi-target boss and complaining half the weapons aren't working on half the targets.

I'm certainly not advocating games follow the first Zelda's example and encourage players painstakingly burn every single bush, but I can't understand how people aren't learning. The only way I can see this happening is if players are doing the same thing over and over again and failing. And if that's the case, what's causing these people to not try a different approach?

MissAshley:

miracleofsound:

MissAshley:

miracleofsound:

Darrkon Fearlock:
Not to try and destroy Yahtzee's point with the RTS thing, but after the game came out Tim Schafer came out and said not to play it like an RTS and to play it more like a hack and slash with RTS elements. Like you should be down there a fair bit with your guys, you just need to replenish them every once in a while.

As I have been trying to point out for the last two weeks...

THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN EXPLAINED IN THE GAME.

Or gamers could, you know, figure it out.

I'm not going to argue the point of the game not being intuitive, but as far as actual game-play goes, I'm struggling to comprehend how people are not figuring things out on their own. It seems a lot like complaining Earthbound only very vaguely tipping you off to Pray on the last fight. . .

Whatever happened to learning through exhausting option?

My guess is developers realised it wasn't all that fun.

Okay, let me frame this another way.

I'm not understanding how given a set of things to try, people aren't finding the things that work, or at least coming near understanding how the battles work. It's like having every weapon in a Megaman title on a multi-target boss and complaining half the weapons aren't working on half the targets.

I'm certainly not advocating games follow the first Zelda's example and encourage players painstakingly burn every single bush, but I can't understand how people aren't learning. The only way I can see this happening is if players are doing the same thing over and over again and failing. And if that's the case, what's causing these people to not try a different approach?

Not knowing that there is a different approach.

I spent hours exploring the world and I still had four solos to find when I finished the game. It would have been nice if the game had told me at some point 'these battles will be easier if you explore a bit more', or 'you can also gain solos from completing a whole load of sidequests'.

Take Mount Rockmore for example: 'Climb to the top of the HornThrower to customise Mt Rockmore'

At no point did the gane even hint to me that one of the stone devil horn hands was the location. In a game about metal, the horn thrower could have been anything. There were a lot of horns. There was barely any visual differentiation between it and all the other stone hands, it was not signposted significantly enough to stand out.

Also, every other landmark was non-interactive, so it just didn't occur that this one might be.

It's quite a small issue but the game was full of badly signposted or poorly explained elements.

It's appropriate that you mention Zelda, the last time I played a game with such cryptic signposting was Ocarina of Time.

Don't get me wrong though, I still loved it for the most part. Driving around a heavy metal landscape with Megadeth and Dimmu Borgir on the radio never got old.

wow... was never into brutal legend when i first heard of it... now i know not to get it, and jack black is cool dont mess with him!!, anyway, hi yahtzee, u probably not gonna reply to this but, i met u on sunday!! im the fat asian kid that ran around the convention looking for 2 little girls

If you're thinking about buying Brutal Legend then you need to consider a few things:
Do you like metal music?
Do you like the type of art it's associated with?
Do you like humor (Tim Schaffer's and Jack Black's)?
Do you like, or have no negatives towards, Jack Black?
If your answer was yes, or mostle yes, to these questions then CONGRATULATIONS! It's time to buy, or mostly buy, Brutal Legend! If you answered no, then don't.

First to engage Yahtzee directly. The RTS elements are major in the game, and they suck the big one. Seriously, by the end of the game it gets incredibly frustrating and I almost killed the game right there. The only thing redeeming it is something that you, Yahtzee, failed to mention/glanced over/made seem a bad thing.
You drive all over the landscape doing the side missions and unlockables. Every one of these is fun in some way, and usually humerous. On top of that you get to listen to awesome metal every time you're in your car. Then, to top it off, the landscape. This game's landscape is damned amazing. As I said, you must like metal artwork to enjoy this game. It is everywhere and it looks glorious. Never have I enjoyed aimless driving, but I'll go around the game world just to sightsee!
I also feel the need to mention the unlockables. Yahtzee seemed to protray them as a horrible drag in this review. In other reviews they have been touted as a good thing. I just didn't get that. Unlockables in this game, while tough to locate, are rewarding to find and use.

So lets sum up a pros and cons for simplistic people

PROS:
-Amazing metal-art environments
-Metal music when driving, very good
-Humor is everywhere in the game
-Side missions are entertaining
-Unlockables are rewarding
-Vehicle/personl combat is rewarding
-Very good back story(NOTE: This story is itself an unlockable)

CONS:
-RTS system is horrible demon spawn of satan and his own mother, eew
-Fairly weak main plot(NOTE: Not a horrible plot, but fans of strong main story will be dissapointed)
-Some glitches in game, but fixable in-play
-Second-to-last RTS battle will cause you to question God's love for man.

miracleofsound:

MissAshley:

miracleofsound:

MissAshley:

miracleofsound:

Darrkon Fearlock:
Not to try and destroy Yahtzee's point with the RTS thing, but after the game came out Tim Schafer came out and said not to play it like an RTS and to play it more like a hack and slash with RTS elements. Like you should be down there a fair bit with your guys, you just need to replenish them every once in a while.

As I have been trying to point out for the last two weeks...

THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN EXPLAINED IN THE GAME.

Or gamers could, you know, figure it out.

I'm not going to argue the point of the game not being intuitive, but as far as actual game-play goes, I'm struggling to comprehend how people are not figuring things out on their own. It seems a lot like complaining Earthbound only very vaguely tipping you off to Pray on the last fight. . .

Whatever happened to learning through exhausting option?

My guess is developers realised it wasn't all that fun.

Okay, let me frame this another way.

I'm not understanding how given a set of things to try, people aren't finding the things that work, or at least coming near understanding how the battles work. It's like having every weapon in a Megaman title on a multi-target boss and complaining half the weapons aren't working on half the targets.

I'm certainly not advocating games follow the first Zelda's example and encourage players painstakingly burn every single bush, but I can't understand how people aren't learning. The only way I can see this happening is if players are doing the same thing over and over again and failing. And if that's the case, what's causing these people to not try a different approach?

Not knowing that there is a different approach.

I spent hours exploring the world and I still had four solos to find when I finished the game. It would have been nice if the game had told me at some point 'these battles will be easier if you explore a bit more', or 'you can also gain solos from completing a whole load of sidequests'.

Take Mount Rockmore for example: 'Climb to the top of the HornThrower to customise Mt Rockmore'

At no point did the gane even hint to me that one of the stone devil horn hands was the location. In a game about metal, the horn thrower could have been anything. There were a lot of horns. There was barely any visual differentiation between it and all the other stone hands, it was not signposted significantly enough to stand out.

Also, every other landmark was non-interactive, so it just didn't occur that this one might be.

It's quite a small issue but the game was full of badly signposted or poorly explained elements.

It's appropriate that you mention Zelda, the last time I played a game with such cryptic signposting was Ocarina of Time.

Don't get me wrong though, I still loved it for the most part. Driving around a heavy metal landscape with Megadeth and Dimmu Borgir on the radio never got old.

I think that it should be common sense to gamers that most exploration will be rewarding. Who hasn't traced all the rooms of an RPG dungeon, braving annoying random battles, for that extra treasure chest, whether it contained another potion or really good armor? Who hasn't explored a Zelda environment to search for those heart containers that helped you die less? Why would you assume anything different for Brütal Legend?

Also, I thought the RTS elements were intuitive. The game spends many chapters letting you learn how to handle a new unit. The only ones that didn't get this treatment were the Razor Girls, the Bouncers and the headsplitter. Otherwise, the missions instructed you on what the units did, how to effectively use them and how awesome their double team attacks were. If you didn't pick up on that, then that's your fault.

This has totally saved me a fiver. I was going to rent it. Demo seemed funny and I don't mind a bit of scrolling 3D beat 'em up but I hate RTS.

I can't stand directing NPCs in games. That and stealth, not my things. It's even worse that it's sand box. Why can't it just be a straight game?
I found the linearity of Uncharted 2 a welcome break from the Wasteland wanderings of Fallout 3.

mocruz1200:
i had bad feelings about this game, now im sure not to get it

Are you actually taking Yahtzee's review's seriously?.

I loved Brutal Legend - T've spent the last six months not expecting to, and when I heard about the pseudo-RTS gameplay I was even less enthused.

But this game got inside my head. Whenever I wasn't playing it I felt compelled to go play more, until I finished it. Some of the gameplay and story decisions were questionable, and it is by no means a great game to play. But it has a certain something about it that engages me. I'm not a fan of metal, or Jack Black, or even Tim Schafer when you get right down to it.
But I really enjoyed playing this game.

I also didn't seem to run into any problems identifying key features of the game world that forced me to go and RTFM. The first time I saw a giant fucking engine sitting on the ground surrounded by red flowers, I walked over and Eddie Riggs helpfully said "these red flowers are telling me I need to raise something". Play relic raiser and bam, a fucking garage grows out of the ground, accompanied by even more helpful advice like "this door looks like it's meant for a car".
I had to drive around a little bit to find the Hornthrower, but when you see a hand shaped rock throwing the horns towards Mount Rockmore, there's a fairly easy conclusion to draw.
The main problem I had was the Hornthrower's proximity to Bladehenge. It seemed like every time I was in the area and wanted to go looking for the Hornthrower, I also had a mission waiting for me at Bladehenge, and the range to activate those missions on approach is almost as long as the snipers in Farcry.

When are you gonna review Snow Leopard?

Kermi:
I loved Brutal Legend - T've spent the last six months not expecting to, and when I heard about the pseudo-RTS gameplay I was even less enthused.

But this game got inside my head. Whenever I wasn't playing it I felt compelled to go play more, until I finished it. Some of the gameplay and story decisions were questionable, and it is by no means a great game to play. But it has a certain something about it that engages me. I'm not a fan of metal, or Jack Black, or even Tim Schafer when you get right down to it.
But I really enjoyed playing this game.

I also didn't seem to run into any problems identifying key features of the game world that forced me to go and RTFM. The first time I saw a giant fucking engine sitting on the ground surrounded by red flowers, I walked over and Eddie Riggs helpfully said "these red flowers are telling me I need to raise something". Play relic raiser and bam, a fucking garage grows out of the ground, accompanied by even more helpful advice like "this door looks like it's meant for a car".
I had to drive around a little bit to find the Hornthrower, but when you see a hand shaped rock throwing the horns towards Mount Rockmore, there's a fairly easy conclusion to draw.
The main problem I had was the Hornthrower's proximity to Bladehenge. It seemed like every time I was in the area and wanted to go looking for the Hornthrower, I also had a mission waiting for me at Bladehenge, and the range to activate those missions on approach is almost as long as the snipers in Farcry.

Pity there was no Fear Factory in it though :(

miracleofsound:
Pity there was no Fear Factory in it though :(

In all honesty, Fear Factory (which, the fact I'm using an FF avatar aside I haven't listened to for about two years) wouldn't have fit with the game. I think the music they chose stayed reasonably within the themes of the more classic traditional metal: demons, fantasy and mythology and whatnot.
Fear Factory is more based on antisocial angst/rage, which has it's place, but Brutal Legend isn't it.

Kermi:

miracleofsound:
Pity there was no Fear Factory in it though :(

In all honesty, Fear Factory (which, the fact I'm using an FF avatar aside I haven't listened to for about two years) wouldn't have fit with the game. I think the music they chose stayed reasonably within the themes of the more classic traditional metal: demons, fantasy and mythology and whatnot.
Fear Factory is more based on antisocial angst/rage, which has it's place, but Brutal Legend isn't it.

There was plently of industrial angst in there... they had Ministry, Static X, KMFDM, Prong and Marilyn Manson... but no Fear Factory.

Still the best soundtrack in a game ever though.

I bet if you do go listen to Demanufacture again, you'll enjoy it! Zero Signal is still as epic sounding as ever.

miracleofsound:

Kermi:

miracleofsound:
Pity there was no Fear Factory in it though :(

In all honesty, Fear Factory (which, the fact I'm using an FF avatar aside I haven't listened to for about two years) wouldn't have fit with the game. I think the music they chose stayed reasonably within the themes of the more classic traditional metal: demons, fantasy and mythology and whatnot.
Fear Factory is more based on antisocial angst/rage, which has it's place, but Brutal Legend isn't it.

There was plently of industrial angst in there... they had Ministry, Static X, KMFDM, Prong and Marilyn Manson... but no Fear Factory.

Still the best soundtrack in a game ever though.

I bet if you do go listen to Demanufacture again, you'll enjoy it! Zero Signal is still as epic sounding as ever.

Well, you've got a point there. Don't get me wrong, I've nothing against Fear Factory, or I would have made an effort to change my avatar. I just haven't listened to metal for awhile I should revisit Sonata Arctica too.

Lysserd:
If you're thinking about buying Brutal Legend then you need to consider a few things:
Do you like metal music?
Do you like the type of art it's associated with?
Do you like humor (Tim Schaffer's and Jack Black's)?
Do you like, or have no negatives towards, Jack Black?
If your answer was yes, or mostle yes, to these questions then CONGRATULATIONS! It's time to buy, or mostly buy, Brutal Legend! If you answered no, then don't.

First to engage Yahtzee directly. The RTS elements are major in the game, and they suck the big one. Seriously, by the end of the game it gets incredibly frustrating and I almost killed the game right there. The only thing redeeming it is something that you, Yahtzee, failed to mention/glanced over/made seem a bad thing.
You drive all over the landscape doing the side missions and unlockables. Every one of these is fun in some way, and usually humerous. On top of that you get to listen to awesome metal every time you're in your car. Then, to top it off, the landscape. This game's landscape is damned amazing. As I said, you must like metal artwork to enjoy this game. It is everywhere and it looks glorious. Never have I enjoyed aimless driving, but I'll go around the game world just to sightsee!
I also feel the need to mention the unlockables. Yahtzee seemed to protray them as a horrible drag in this review. In other reviews they have been touted as a good thing. I just didn't get that. Unlockables in this game, while tough to locate, are rewarding to find and use.

So lets sum up a pros and cons for simplistic people

PROS:
-Amazing metal-art environments
-Metal music when driving, very good
-Humor is everywhere in the game
-Side missions are entertaining
-Unlockables are rewarding
-Vehicle/personl combat is rewarding
-Very good back story(NOTE: This story is itself an unlockable)

CONS:
-RTS system is horrible demon spawn of satan and his own mother, eew
-Fairly weak main plot(NOTE: Not a horrible plot, but fans of strong main story will be dissapointed)
-Some glitches in game, but fixable in-play
-Second-to-last RTS battle will cause you to question God's love for man.

And to sum up this guy's post for others who can't be bothered to read. In his OPINION the art style, music, humor, side missions, unlockables, normal combat, and backstory are all cooler than Antarctica in an Ice Age.

But he believes the RTS system is shit with one of the story battles being of I Want To Be The Guy difficulty, and that the main plot was weak with a few glitches.

Hungryfreak:
I think that it should be common sense to gamers that most exploration will be rewarding. Who hasn't traced all the rooms of an RPG dungeon, braving annoying random battles, for that extra treasure chest, whether it contained another potion or really good armor? Who hasn't explored a Zelda environment to search for those heart containers that helped you die less? Why would you assume anything different for Brütal Legend?

This is partially correct, but mostly wrong.

Yes, the game made it evident that exploration would be rewarded. But it didn't make it evident that it would be rewarded meaningfully. My friend rented this game over the course of a weekend, so I played the story missions, thinking I would need to plow into it to actually finish the game. I did a few side missions, yes (the turret one is horrible, bee tee dubs), but the problem is that they were just "here, have some money for upgrade that you really, honestly don't need."

That was the problem with the "exploration" aspect. All it ever got you was fire tribute and occasionally a health upgrade. Neither of which were things I needed ever. My friend played it more leisurely, and yeah, he found a ton of cool solos that would have been nice to have. But there is no plausible way I ever would have known about it, seeing as how I was playing it like a game, not the six hour proof of concept that it was.

It did introduce the tab slabs and the solos it gave you were strong enough to give you the incentive to find them, though I agree that there's a large gap in significance between the solos and other unlockables.

miracleofsound:
Pity there was no Fear Factory in it though :(

I think there was enough mainstream industrial (not all metal) there. This game really needed GODFLESH.

Don't get me wrong, the solos it gives you from exploring are really useful. There's just no way of telling that they're hidden on your first playthrough.

My thought process was more of "Oh, okay, I guess I will unlock more solos as I progress through the game wtf was that the final boss?"

Price of admission alone is the cut scene featuring "Mr. Crowley".

EPIC to the MAX.

Hungryfreak:
It did introduce the tab slabs and the solos it gave you were strong enough to give you the incentive to find them, though I agree that there's a large gap in significance between the solos and other unlockables.

miracleofsound:
Pity there was no Fear Factory in it though :(

I think there was enough mainstream industrial (not all metal) there. This game really needed GODFLESH.

They probably said 'screw gamers' after everyone bitched about thier soundtrack for Prince of Persia: Warrior Within.

I liked it though.

'I... STAND ALONE...' chugga chugga chug

I am Jack's Fight Club refrence

I... really love this game. So, er, kinda disagree here. A lot. I know that commenting on the plot would have ruined it a bit, but I thought the game took a really surprising twist about 2/3 in and the whole Jack Black comedy element was ditched in favour of some really great character development.
And it's not really an RTS, more a rush and slash than anything.

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