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Brutal Legend: Did it try to do too much? Is rhythm minigame not required?

Forums - Gaming Discussion - Brutal Legend: Did it try to do too much? Is rhythm minigame not required?

There are two part to this post. 

First, I need help with the game before I decide to get rid of it.  First, is the rythm game not required in order to do certain moves?  Is there a way I can do a move ones, and be able to lock it in, and then select it?  I tried repeatedly to set up a concession stand, but found it went by WAY too fast.  I don't need to have this in the game, as it is annoying.  I want to know if the ryhtmn game is not required, or I can do it once?  I don't believe so, but want to ask.

Second, my question above is bringing up a possible issue with Brutal Legend that resulted in why it didn't do well.  While people like Tim Schaeffer's works, and his creativity, and usually like Jack Black and Metal, also also game with innovation, I believe maybe if a game tries to do too much, and force people to do things that they don't like, they won't end up liking the game.  In the case of Brutal Legend and myself, I can't nail down the rhythm minigame.  I don't know why I should to make an RTS work right.  I believe also other aspects of the game may of turned people off.  Maybe you like RTS, but don't like to do a Konami code version of Dance Dance Revolution in it.  Maybe you are into action titles, but don't like RTS.  Maybe you don't like driving games, but like other stuff.  Maybe the issue of Brutal Legend is that it just had players doing too much.  Had it not make players have to do a broad range of genres, it would of been more appealing.  Anyone see that as an issue?  It is beyond "It is an RTS", which means that people who don't like RTS games won't like it (and people who said that won't like it).  It is that it does things one doesn't want to do, and that killed it.  Of course, the hardcore reviewer type who plays everything, would possibly rate the game very high.

Can anyone comment on the second, or help with the first?

 



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As far as I know, you need to do the minigame.

I agree that this game tried to do to much, but I come at it from a different angle.

Even if a given player likes all of the genres/elements in a game like this, there are only so many gameplay elements that a developer can polish to a lustrous shine. The action is the only part of this game I found satisfying. The RTS elements were as clunky and boring as I've come to expect from RTS on a console, the driving mechanics are wanting, and several of the missions are confusing or glitchy.

Spore syndrome. Too many ideas, and never enough resources to spend sharpening those ideas to a razor's edge. What some of these game designers need more than anything is a good editor.



"The worst part about these reviews is they are [subjective]--and their scores often depend on how drunk you got the media at a Street Fighter event."  — Mona Hamilton, Capcom Senior VP of Marketing
*Image indefinitely borrowed from BrainBoxLtd without his consent.

Seconded.

If it had just been an adventure game like the demo implied I bet it would have sold better, and I would have liked it better for sure.

And what was with all those controls? Depending on what you were doing all the buttons do different things. I beat the game and I still don't know how to control it. What were they thinking?!

Also, everything has too much health. If they had cut the health of every unit, including the player, into one quarter what it is the game would be faster and more fun. That's a problem a lot of modern games have, but it was especially annoying here. It's also the first game without a healthbar where I REALLY needed one. Couldn't tell how hurt I was until I was almost dead. I supect this was a problem in trying to balance the RTS and Action-Adventure components.

P.S. Console RTSs suck.



"Now, a fun game should always be easy to understand - you should be able to take one look at it and know what you have to do straight away. It should be so well constructed that you can tell at a glance what your goal is and, even if you don’t succeed, you’ll blame yourself rather than the game. Moreover, the people standing around watching the game have also got to be able to enjoy it." - Shiggy

A Koopa's Revenge II gameplay video

You can't bypass the rhythm minigame. Personally I wondered why this wasn't a bigger aspect of the game. The game is all about the music but you only ever deliver one bar of music, and only then for 'special' moves? Which I guess brings us to your second point. It mixes up a lot of different gameplay without excelling in much.

- RTS was bad. I've not played the multiplayer because it's all RTS. I've finished the game and the only time I lost an RTS battle was the second to last fight. The next time around it was simple. I still don't know what I did differently.
- Driving was ok if pretty simplistic. I fell off lots of cliffs (to my death). The game is so spread out you have to drive a lot. The only reason for making it so spread out seems to be so all the secrets can be hidden. Which is ok if you're encouraging exploration but the exploration wasn't satisfying.
- Action was good when you were fighting by yourself.
- The boss fights required such obscure strategies the game had to tell you what to do.
- Minigames were repetitive other than the driving minigame. The enemies changed, pounding X didn't.

All in all a confusing mashup of gameplay.



 

I want to look at the aspect of doing too much. Say that developers nail everything perfectly and all the experiences together are best of breed. If you demand players have to do all of the above, isn't there a risk you are going to give them some experience they suck at and don't find fun? That is the question I am posing about Brutal Legend. Now, if you have experiences OPTIONAL, that can work, but not required. I don't need a rhythm minigame in my action RTS.  With myself, I don't care how much you have a rhythm minigame polished, I am not going to end up being good at it at all.  I have Guitar Heroes, for example, and it only comes out in a party set up.  I picked up a Guitar Heroes bundle on my 360 for $10, and some expansions, and now am set for parties.  But no way do I play this.  It just isn't my thing.



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richardhutnik said:

I want to look at the aspect of doing too much. Say that developers nail everything perfectly and all the experiences together are best of breed. If you demand players have to do all of the above, isn't there a risk you are going to give them some experience they suck at and don't find fun? That is the question I am posing about Brutal Legend. Now, if you have experiences OPTIONAL, that can work, but not required. I don't need a rhythm minigame in my action RTS.  With myself, I don't care how much you have a rhythm minigame polished, I am not going to end up being good at it at all.  I have Guitar Heroes, for example, and it only comes out in a party set up.  I picked up a Guitar Heroes bundle on my 360 for $10, and some expansions, and now am set for parties.  But no way do I play this.  It just isn't my thing.

No, you're right, a lot of people will hit that one gameplay element that turns them off. But on the other hand, a small subset of people will find all the gameplay types exciting and varied. So the game would likely alienate a fair number of potential customers, but at least a minority of people will walk away extremely satisfied.

I just think that even that minority will be shrunken and tiny when over half your game mechanics are diappointing because you tried to design four or five games at once.

And while I'm venting my spleen on this game, why the hell doesn't it have a minimap? It's not a super sophisticated bit of programming, and just about every part of the game would be better with a minimap.



"The worst part about these reviews is they are [subjective]--and their scores often depend on how drunk you got the media at a Street Fighter event."  — Mona Hamilton, Capcom Senior VP of Marketing
*Image indefinitely borrowed from BrainBoxLtd without his consent.

famousringo said:

No, you're right, a lot of people will hit that one gameplay element that turns them off. But on the other hand, a small subset of people will find all the gameplay types exciting and varied. So the game would likely alienate a fair number of potential customers, but at least a minority of people will walk away extremely satisfied.

I just think that even that minority will be shrunken and tiny when over half your game mechanics are diappointing because you tried to design four or five games at once.

And while I'm venting my spleen on this game, why the hell doesn't it have a minimap? It's not a super sophisticated bit of programming, and just about every part of the game would be better with a minimap.

Originally the game was inspired by Herzog Zwei, and the decision was made to swing it more into the action category.  So, the minimap likely went in the process.   As far as I know consoles don't do minimaps well.  I wish you could use a minimap and point and click, but it ends up missing.  It likely became an inside "wee this is fun" sort of thing for Tim and his crew.  But to people outside, it just didn't seem to work.  And yes, I would love a game with a WIDE range of options.  Just don't force me to have to do them all.  Give me ways, based on what I am good at, to be able to beat the game.

Looks like Brutal is getting traded in for store credit.  Maybe also Mass Effect, if it is a good price.