So I took the past week of lack of gaming and managed to get in some GREAT photos out at Cape Spear of my wife and some of the scenery. I also poked in some interesting tv viewing (Doctor Who is still stunning and it's sad that 24 is ending as it's really good this year) but I also managed to sneak in one game... Brutal Legend.
Now Brutal Legend is a game that I gave a poor shake to last year because I got frustrated with a driving level. Knowing that it was somewhat narrow minded of me to do this, AND that it was $9.99 to buy, I gave it a second shot and I was more than pleased by the results.
Brutal Legend is about a roadie who gets transported to the past by Ormagodin the Fire Beast to fulfill his destiny and free the downtrodden people of the land, AND OF COURSE win the hot babe. This game is inspired by Heavy Metal Music from the 70's and early 80's, with lots of tongue in cheek, fun to look at visuals and stars Jack Black. given that Mr. Black is a moron, it may have turned a lot of people from the title. However, he truly does ADD to the game, and his style of humor (toned down some) fits the game perfectly.
Visually, this game REALLY rocks it well, drawing inspiration from musical themed periods like the 70's heavy metal scene, the 80's goth punk scene, and even from the masters of rock, KISS. Eddie Riggs is suitably designed, looking like a roadie should, with long black hair and dressed nearly head to tow in black, scruffy chin and the obligatory cigarette. The characters around him are a treat visually as well, with the girls looking HOT (you gotta see the KISS army girls riding large cat-like beasts) and the guys ripped and rocking. Probably the best designed character of the game is the first real "boss" of the game, General Lyonwhyte, with his inspired stylings of the the glam 80's really shining through. His hair is so teased and big he uses it for wings and flies around in his gaudy gayness. Hilarious.
The music is incredible, assuming you have and affinity for Heavy Metal at all. There's a nice mix in here though, with Motley Crue and Def Leppard getting in there, and neither of which can truly be called heavy metal at all. The sounds overall in the game are very well done, with the chops, slashes, engine roaring, and screams & shouts fitting everything suitably.
The gameplay is where it really drops the ball. With repetitive side missions, hard to control Real Time Strategy elements, at times HARD to hit guitar solo button combos, and sometimes non-responsive controls (how many times did I drive off a cliff in the car??? Dear god!) it does take away from the game considerably. Not enough to not give it a shot as it's dirt cheap now, but definately to take away from a full recommendation.
All in all, it gets a $29.95 out of $69.95. It's worth the $29.95 bill simply because it is an experience in itself to visit the world of heavy metal. It's hilariously written, well laid out and looks & sounds incredible. However, the controls can be VERY frustrating at times, enough for many to not even bother with the title.
Going on 4 years ago now, I was rear ended while driving by someone who refuses to take responsibility for their mistake and it's killing me.
It's not about the money. I've gotten by just fine without it and when it eventually comes, it will be a blessing and a gift and I shall appreciate it. However, the things I really am bothered by are the fact that given that this sort of injury is so often abused by people to "cash in" that everyone who gets rear ended is suddenly a liar, a schemer, and a thief.
What people in that person's position don't think about are the sideways glances when you say you can't lift something because of the pain, the long sighs given by bosses when you have to call in sick because you are so stiff you can barely move, the pain and discomfort you feel on a daily basis simply by doing simple tasks like making a bed, or even just sitting at a desk for more than 5 minutes. That person who hit me only sees me as a money grubber. As someone who is only trying to make his life difficult, even though, in truth, I am the victim of that person, of their ignorance and idiocy.
If, by chance, you happen to do this, do the right thing and say "I made a mistake". don't be taken for a ride, but seriously, make the world a better place to live in and just fess up. If you get hit by someone, I feel for your pain, as it is one I've endured for so long now and will for the rest of my life, and there's really no amount of money that will make that easier, or any better.