I know that I post a lot about Metallica, but hey, they are my favorite band — I’m going to do that.
A few days ago I purchased a copy of Guitar Hero: Metallica (as if you didn’t see that coming), and I got to say – I’m impressed. It follows the realm of Guitar Hero: Aerosmith in that it focuses mainly on the band it’s made for, with some side acts “hand picked” by Metallica. It’s basically Guitar Hero: World Tour – with a Metallica punch.
You can tell that a lot of time and dedication was put into this game, first off just by playing the first couple of songs on career, which are “For Whom the Bell Tolls” and “The Unforgiven”. If you’ve seen Metallica live, then you’ll be able to tell that they have perfectly replicated Metallica’s performance on stage. I could write a 10-page essay on how they have captured their live performance flawlessly, but that’s not what this review is about, and I doubt you’d read it.
Some of things you’ll notice that’s different from this game and all other Guitar Hero titles, is how career mode is played. You are Metallica Jr., a band who saw an Ad that Metallica is looking for an opening act. Your first band members consist of two 80’s Hair metal stereotypes (along with two normal rockers), who get kicked out for two righteously heavy metal freaks who join your band permanently. On the way to the audition, you are almost thwarted by a Hair Metal band (the games story line is a hiliarious stab at hair metal, btw) until your van plows into the side of the band, and James gives the devil’s horns to show the approval to perform as their opening act. From there, it’s history…
Rather than having (here is the big difference) to perform setlist after setlist in order to keep rising up, you just need to achieve a certain number of performance stars to gain a new setlist. Which, after you’ve played threw the first few setlists and got at least 4 stars or higher on all of them, you’ll have every song unlocked on Career mode. The very last song (Spoiler Alert) is The Thing That Should Not Be, which you will play in a new stage, called the Ice Cave, which is a underground permafrost wasteland inhabited by what looks to be a giant octopus-type monster. I’m guessing that’s the thing that should not be?
In another note, most everyone’s fear with this game was that it was a Metallica game – and that the songs by Metallica were all going to be rediculiously hard when played on Expert. Come to find out, some of the hardest songs have been dumbed down and the solos not as extreme as you would think. Of course, as you progress through the songs – they do get harder, and some of them are that old familiar “It’s too damn hard!” — But it’s not to discourage you, because if you play Expert amazingly, then you’ll do just fine. As I did.
Battle mode is back in action, just when a few Metallica-ized tweaks. “Amp Overload” is now called “Ride the Lightning”, “Broken String” is now called “Damage Inc.”, “Broken Whammy” is now called “Trapped Under Ice”, and there is a new attack too – it’s called “Fade to Black” – which blackens out everything on your fretboard (also called highway). Which, if you are opposing someone who is playing on the same difficulty, you just watch their screen for a bit and go on. (Unless, of course, you’ve already double noted, and/or blackened their screen) Mines are a very interesting attack too, certain notes turn gray and you must miss them (on purpose – it won’t affect your score) or they explode on impact and your rock meter takes a quick turn for the worse.
King Diamond and Lemmy make appearances on this game, as promised, along with all your favored Guitar Hero characters.
Another really cool feature that they’ve thrown in (I know it was kind of in GH:WT, but it’s different – I promise) is the ESP Custom Guitar shop. Finally, you can hand design your very own ESP guitar, and play it live! If only you could literally take it home with you…
Oh, and I can’t not mention this: There is a cheat to turn Metallica into either 80’s Metallica (literally) or Zombie Metallica. Simply go into the cheats menu and strum this: Green, Red, Yellow, Blue(2), Yellow, Red, Green. Another little hint: You unlock characters by achieving so many stars in certain categories. I.E.: 100 vocal stars for James Hetfield.
Other than that, even if you don’t like Metallica and just love Guitar Hero, you need to get a copy of this game because I believe 100% that it’s the best Guitar Hero game that is out on the market to date. And it’s not even because I love Metallica (which I do, very much), it’s because of all the time that put into this game. Everything is so smooth and flawless, ahh!
GO GET IT NOW!!!!!!!!!!