I think this is a first for this site – a computer game review. When the news story came in the other day, I just had to try it out so I begged a bit and the lovely folk at Nuberu sent us a test license to take it for a spin.
Metal Tales: Fury of the Guitar Gods is a game with a simple basis – shoot all the bad guys. It’s a title you can pick up and start playing very quickly and enjoy for a the kind of blast you can have between meals without ruining your appetite. Only sometimes that five minute “quickie” turns into a half-hour three-course meal and you’re late picking the kids up from school. Erm. Oops.
Evil heavy metal demons have taken over your favourite nightclub and you alone can save all your possessed fellow metalheads. Armed only with your trusty (upgradeable) guitar and the WASD keys (or a game controller) you have to wander from room to room, emptying them of evil spirits and gathering the booty before taking on the end of level nasty.
Imagine, if you will, Gauntlet meets Guitar Hero. The graphics and audio owe more than a bit to the plastic instrument wielding console favourite, and they’re of a staggering quality. I love the little background animations and the menu effects. Oh, and the music… Included in the soundtrack are some cracking numbers from Despite, Striker and a bunch of others. Sometimes it’s background, sometimes it’s a featured track for the boss battles. It’s all good.
I found the controls a little fiddly, but that’s due to the fact that I generally suck at games. I think with a gamepad I’d have found things a little less challenging, but I did manage to finish the first level after a couple of goes. And then got roundly tonked shortly into the Festival stage.
There’s a lot of replayability as the levels are randomly generated and you don’t have to clear the whole stage to get to the end boss. However, spending the extra time can give you a chance to tool up and give yourself a better chance. Those bosses are randomly selected as well, so you don’t have to progress through the levels to encounter them all. Idea for crap gamers like me who’d otherwise not get the chance to see those deeper into the game. They do take a lot of beating, though, as they seem to have a huge amount of health.
There are plenty of power-ups to grab, and there’s a shop where you can spend game currency on more permanent features. This definitely makes a difference when you get to the bosses! Dual player fun is available as well, so you can battle on-screen with a friend.
The only real “bug” I noticed was that the introductory animation was voiced over in Spanish, despite my language options being set to English. However, the writing was in a language I can read and the voiceover artist had a lovely gruff style, so it was like listening to a gritty South American drama.
Metal Tales is a fun game. Very, very simple to pick up and one I’ve popped back to a few times over the last couple of days.