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Brütal Legend


The Tingler
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Great ending, but Tim was never that good at ending games. Aside from the Gainax Freak-Out that was MI2's master stroke of a finale, everything else he's done has felt rushed. Good that he left it open for a sequel, too. I wouldn't mind Brutal Legend 2, truth be told, and if they polished the gameplay, then it could definitely work.

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Great ending, but Tim was never that good at ending games. Aside from the Gainax Freak-Out that was MI2's master stroke of a finale, everything else he's done has felt rushed.

 

Whaaa? DOTT didn't feel rushed, neither did Psychonauts, and Full Throttle has probably the best ending of any adventure game ever. :confused:

 

Haven't played it...probably gonna wait for the price drop because it's gotten some serious mixed reviews.

 

It's totally awesome! Some of the gameplay suffers, but it gets a lot better if you take the time to learn it properly.

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I'm with ThunderPeel, I love his other endings. Grim Fandango especially.

 

With BL though (trying not to spoil anything) it's not just the rubbish leaving-things-open-for-a-sequel cliffhanger that I don't like in games that may never get a sequel, it's the final battle too. I was expecting another part of the map to open up for you to explore, all ruled by Doviculus and the Tainted Coil, instead you basically just do it and suddenly you're in the final (easy) boss fight.

 

Best part of the game though, in my opinion? The stone gargoyles that show you the epic Legend itself, voiced epicly by the same guy who did the teaser trailer ("it was meant for a god, not for you!"). A very, very well-written and conceived origin story for this world, with a real Norse epic feel.

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Have not played Brutal Legend beyond the demo, but I'm also confused how Tim Schafer's games have seemed rushed. I mean yeah, Monkey Island 2 definitely had some cut stuff more near the end, but I always think of that more as a Ron Gilbert game.

 

Day of the Tentacle, Full Throttle, and Grim Fandango have always seemed extremely complete and well thought out and paced from beginning to end to me, which is why they seem (to me at least) to be some of the most accessible adventure games to people who don't often play them. I didn't feel unsatisfied at all beating any of them. I also am very okay with Full Throttle's length though, if that's any indication.

 

Maybe Psychonauts seemed ill paced in terms of gameplay, but I felt like the ending was not a cop out and pretty much went well overall with the game and storyline. It's hard for me to say with that one, because story seems much less important in Psychonauts than the LucasArts adventures.

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I posted a few brief thoughts of my own here, until it started becoming a review and I realised I still had to do one of those (writing it now in fact).

 

Know what surprised me most? I don't love it. I love every single Tim Schafer game (from Monkey Island 1 onwards) and will bang on about how great they are for ages, but I won't be doing that with Brütal Legend. I love the world, the design, the art, the characters, the voices, and to a certain extent the story and music (which I'm not a fan of but I'm liking a few of the songs), I just don't love the game part itself. And the design is a certain part of that.

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Im definitely in love with Brutal Legend, I finished the main plot about 4 days ago or so and am still playing like crazy. There something about the world presented that really grabs the part of me that spent my high school years wearing black and collecting spiked clothing.

 

The soundtrack is a huge draw for me, introducing my to many bands ive never heard before and containing many old favorites, I would love to have it released but realistically with 100+ tracks it would be more like a boxed set. Having that much music in a game must be some sort of record, i remember Guitar Hero World Tour bragging about having like 88 tracks or so before DLC.

 

I found the cast to be incredibly likable and developed a fondness to the Eddie and Ophelia Characters early on so when it came to the point where

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Eddie abandons her after Lars dies
the hurt i felt let me know i was emotionally invested.

 

Gameplay wise I really enjoyed the Mix, perhaps being galvanized toward odd blends with Fallout 3 or Batman Arkham Asylum, and once i got the hang of it even got to love the action-RTS-but-not-really-RTS Parts. That being said, i had not quite gotten used to it by the time i had reached the last few Story battles and as such spent several days cursing my inability to get past some of the more brutal final stages (which i of course ended up shouting from the rooftops at twitter). There were points during those battles where my frustration was causing me to see the style of RTS play they used as a terrible design choice but as i got more and more used to it i began to really enjoy it. Most often i found what was holding me back in a battle was a small oversight or trying to spend to much time getting technical. Once i decided to just start smashing everything in my path hack'n'slash style the gameplay became so much more fulfilling.

 

Franky I love this game, i hope to replay it on Brutal mode in the next week or so. I would definitely like to see some DLC in the form of new missions or mini-campaigns. Of particular interest would be the

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Recapturing of Bladehenge and perhaps a more fleshed out Tainted Coil section as i agree with Tingler about how it seemed to be missing an act (not in a terrible way, the story still wraps up well and it fits, but i seems like there really could be more)

 

Hmmm... actually i think ill go play some more

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This is a bugbear of mine with BL - I hate it when people refer to the game as an RTS. It's not. The term, as I have said before, is "Action Strategy". Examples include: Sacrifice, Giants: Citizen Kabuto, Uprising 1 and 2, and Battlezone 1 and 2 to name a few famous examples.

 

One of my main beefs with Brutal Legend, which you touched on there GloKidd, is how you don't really get enough instruction with the battlefield controls and how to do it properly. A good example is the Rally Flag - a vitally important piece of kit, and yet you're never told about it.

 

What most annoyed me though was this post here, where Tim gives a goddamned essay on how to play the game. Um, shouldn't this actually be in the game somewhere? If the game's designer has to take the pad out of your hand and say "no, you play like this", then I don't think they've designed their game quite as well as they should have.

 

"Some people find it hard to split up the army and give individual orders to individual troops. This is kinda true, mostly because you shouldn’t be doing it!"

 

Then why the f*** did you include the (incredibly fiddly) option in the first place?! Why aren't we told this in-game? With all the funny lines Jack Black did for this game, couldn't you have included one that went along the lines of "I don't need to split these guys up, they work better together... even when they're getting utterly annihilated by those towers over there that only Roadies can get to safely".

 

Do I sound like I didn't really enjoy Brutal Legend? I did, honest, there's just a few major things that really ticked me off. And frankly, now it's finished I don't have any desire to carry on as the sub-missions felt very tacked-on to me.

Apart from Kyle Gass and the Osborne family bats.

 

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hehe, okay Action Strategy it is then, unfortunately i have no experience with the titles you listed so when encountering the game mechanic in BL it identified to me as RTS-like. This is largely why i said action-RTS-but-not-really-RTS, unfamiliarity with the genre. In that sense im definitely glad that Tim put it in my way so to speak as ultimately i found it an interesting if-occasionally-frustrating challenge. I guess the closest i come yet to this specific type is squad based games where you give orders but even then ive missed out on unit creation and upgrades. Ill have to check out the games you mentioned :D

 

I couldnt agree more in regards to the need for more tutorial like sections, not necessarily a full on gameplay tutorial but perhaps even a text window blurb coming up when a vital ability like rally flag is added. Were i to analyze why that particular design choice was made id probably come to the theory that perhaps they felt the songs importance was signified by it being one of the ones that was placed in your given path while going around completing the story missions as opposed to the ones that you have to go out of your way to find (Rock Block, Light of Dawn). Either way a text blurb about the importance of the command would be very handy

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Well, as I put in my blog, McTingler, I do agree with your main complain that while the game does a great job of saying 'here's various things you can do' it does a much poorer job of teaching the bigger picture of how all these elements fit together, how to succeed in battle. This is a major flaw, no doubt. So major, in fact, that if I was scoring it for some sort of publication I'd have to dock it around 2 points out of 10.

 

However, it IS something that it's possible to get past, and once you click into how the game wants to be played but isn't telling you properly, I found it to be a sheer pleasure.

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Yes! Once I'd done the "playing against the AI" practice mode I suddenly realised how little I understood about the "action strategy" mechanics. (The Rally Flag is a great example.) Despite playing it on the easiest mode it took me AGES to defeat my enemy... because I obviously wasn't really using any strategy. I learned SO much from playing that one mission, despite not having lost a single battle in the game itself.

 

It's sad to say that Brutal Legend might suffer from Space Giraffe-ism: Superb, well balanced gameplay that just isn't explained to the average player.

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With some things it does, like upgrading units (which I had no idea how to do until I just read it in the manual right now), but most of these things need to be shown, not told.

 

I'm listing flaws here, but it doesn't stop Brutal Legend from being a very good game.

 

Oh, and is anyone putting together a map with all the secrets on it? I can't find most of the optional Solos, and I've been looking really hard.

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Yeah, I'm sure it does, but who reads the manual before playing a game like Brutal Legend?

 

Who says "before"? I meant "during".

 

All I know I hated the fact that at least half of Psychonauts was a tutorial.

 

I dislike tutorials in general. Even reading a manual is more fun.

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That's the problem with having too much in the way of wildly differing gameplay - you either have a lot of tutorials and bore Ascovel, or don't have enough and piss off me. ;)

 

Batman: Arkham Asylum's a good case in point on how to do it right - there's loads of different gameplay styles in there, but you can get through them all with the basics you learned at the beginning. If you get some new piece you're told how to use it, forced to use it once or twice and then you're just allowed to get on with the game.

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Well, you can hope away, but don't expect. From what I've played (all of it!), I think it would take much more effort than it's worth to make the controls work well enough to be easily playable on a PC.

 

You mean like a Xbox 360 controller that works on every Windows computer?

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