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Before you start this and stop reading halfway because you think I'm kind of a dick, please know that Tim Schafer/Double Fine fans don't come in packages more hardcore than mine. I'm probably one or more of the top 5 fans out there, and they call me the "Schafer pimp" because I pimp his games to everyone, all the time, for no reason.

But, I have a small problem with Brutal Legend, and that isn't its RTS elements. I liked those, though I wish some bits had been better explained and implemented.

(Keep in mind, I finished this game 1 or 2 hours ago.)

The best parts in Brutal Legend were the areas where you were either in a middle of a particularly well designed battle - the Ophelia ones come to mind - and where you'd, say, park your car and watch the changing weather, some really great song playing in the car and the wildlife around you. Just sitting there and watching Eddie enjoy the scenery: it's surreal, and not something you see a lot in games. It's a different kind of entertainment. I started thinking of those silent movies and the dreamlike state you go into watching them. But that boss system DF likes - that whole, you know, attack the spider, flip it on its back, stab it, fight its minions, rinse and repeat - that doesn't work in a world that seems to be as harcore as Brutal Legend's. When in combat, Brutal Legend's struck me as being more as a God of War with a sense of humor and a toned-down Shadow of the Colossus. I don't mean that Eddie should be fighting tower-high monsters. I mean that Eddie should be scaling some of these guys. Run on top and stab that thing before landing back and decapitating some other guy (like the CGI trailer). Why not? With the RTS, that would have been pretty sweet.

The Nintendo influence is nice, but it's not something you carry with you in whatever you do. It (mostly) worked in Psychonauts, but Brutal Legend is a whole different ballgame. Edit: I hate to say this, but a few replays through the Metal Gear Solid games probably would have helped; even through God of War.

Why couldn't you swoop down and fight when you had your wings, knock a few Reapers off their horses? That would have been so much fun. It's probably control or multiplayer issues, but it's still something I'd have liked to see. The RTS elemens mostly worked, though I had shitloads of trouble getting certain units to do my bidding.

These didn't remove any enjoyment I had, but I do wish that Double Fine fixed their boss fights to suit their characters and their story. Even having small things like out-of-battleground areas, or invisible walls (where you try to go somewhere and can't because of some invisible wall) - what little there were took you out of the gameplay.

The interesting thing about Double Fine's gameplay is that, if you take a level and subtract the story from it, it just isn't that much fun. It almost seems like they design the area around an idea first, put it down in concept art, and then fix it. But it's not working for them. The levels themselves should be fun, or at least interesting, minus the story. I love Milla's level in Psychonauts, but I get bored when I go back in there and there's no end goal that's part of Raz's development. I'm not kleptomaniac enough to go around and collect all that stuff, but then again I do that in other games. I guess it's that the levels themselves just aren't fun enough. It's the kind of thing that, say, Valve get themselves worked up about a lot that really helps their games.

So I loved the game, and a lot, though I'm afraid it won't win the official, exclusive Kroms Game of the Year award. There were some other things, but these were the ones that bothered me the most.

I do appreciate the game, though. I do like some flaws. It adds a personal touch. But a lot of these won't fly in another game.

TL:DR: gameplay should probably be hardened/loosened/changed in style - including boss battles - to suit the world and story of the game. The "attack three times and do this whilst you fight minions" Zelda system is not the kind of thing that works in a game like Brutal Legend. All in all, great job Double Fine, but I hope you iron out these things in your future games.

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I agree and disagree, you have to be careful in this kind of territory because then the game becomes in danger of becoming more like Devil May Cry or God of War. It's obviously a game of it's own. You also don't want QTEs clouding the game up because then it takes the interaction out. The up close and personal gameplay bits you talked about also have the flaw of being open to attack. You have to realize the engine is about letting the armies duke it out while you duke it out. Meaning that if you were trying to jump on a treeback while Ophelia was using his Double Team attack, then you're in danger of being shredded up by the legion of crows. Although I definitely get what you mean, giving Eddie for personal main quests that didn't involve the army would've kept things fresh. Although to be fair, those damn spiders were a bitch to kill. I just replayed that level and it's one of the hardest parts of the game. Plus, the making of Brutal Legend probably forced Tim Schafer to move the schedule up a bit due to the game almost not being made because of the whole activision fiasco.

Also, Nintendo influence? I saw two or three things that were nintendo related influences, but I feel as though you're trying to say that the game is riddled in it.

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I agree and disagree, you have to be careful in this kind of territory because then the game becomes in danger of becoming more like Devil May Cry or God of War. It's obviously a game of it's own. You also don't want QTEs clouding the game up because then it takes the interaction out. The up close and personal gameplay bits you talked about also have the flaw of being open to attack. You have to realize the engine is about letting the armies duke it out while you duke it out. Meaning that if you were trying to jump on a treeback while Ophelia was using his Double Team attack, then you're in danger of being shredded up by the legion of crows. Although I definitely get what you mean, giving Eddie for personal main quests that didn't involve the army would've kept things fresh. Although to be fair, those damn spiders were a bitch to kill. I just replayed that level and it's one of the hardest parts of the game. Plus, the making of Brutal Legend probably forced Tim Schafer to move the schedule up a bit due to the game almost not being made because of the whole activision fiasco.

Also, Nintendo influence? I saw two or three things that were nintendo related influences, but I feel as though you're trying to say that the game is riddled in it.

First off, I want to apologize for a horribly-written first post. It's unclear, jumbled, overlong, full of grammatical errors and contradictions.

I will now attempt to clarify.

The reason I listed God of War and Devil May Cry isn't because I'm fond of these specific games; it's because they're both games that wrap their fighting styles around their concepts. Dante's fighting style rides on the idea that he jumps around and continually blasts off his double pistols, for example, and does it with a certain flair or style.

My philosophy in anything is to take a concept and wrap your work around it. Now, I'm not suggesting that Eddie should run up to the balloon that Ophelia uses, stab it and then deflate it. But let's take the Spider Queen boss fight. What happens is you go in, you wait for her to expose herself, and then do your attack. You do this three or four times, and the boss fight is over. That's sort of what I mean by the Nintendo/Zelda influence: the routine attack, fight minions, attack three times routine. It was all over Psychonauts, but it probably worked in that game. You're dealing with very "light" material. I mean, Psychonauts does have a dark undertone, but it's all handled very light-heartedly, whether in story (even Clem and Crystal's homocidal/suicidal tendencies were given in an amusing way - as amusing as you can make suicide, I mean) or in gameplay (it feels like it's...floating on air. Maybe because it's a platformer and with that art style? Then again, Diablo is "light" too).

It doesn't really work with Brutal Legend. A good methodology to use when it comes to boss fights is to think of the bosses as real people/things (Eddie alludes to it with Miss Licky: "Haha! I can't believe you fell for that twice!"). It's why I brought up Metal Gear Solid. I am not exactly the world's largest MGS fan, but I do like their boss fights. What happens there is that the person you are fighting has some sort of methodology that they will actually use against you. So, for example, there's this fight with a soldier called Olga in MGS2 that has you and her shoot at each other. She has a pistol; you have a tranquilizer. What's really interesting is that she'll always use the environment against you, no matter what you do. She will flip around a searchlight to blind your eyes, she will shoot off the covers off her cargo to hide behind the flapping blankets (blankets? Is that the word? I'm sorry, English isn't my first language, and I'm a little rusty on it).

What's so interesting is that she will go through these measures no matter what you do. What happens in DF's games is that, say, Doviculous will release certain kinds of enemies at first, and then when you hit him again he'll summon harder enemies, and then when you hit him again he'll bring out even more people. All you have to do is fight him, then kill the demons he brings, and electrocute him down three or four times.

A lot of the ideas are there - as a roadie in a war-torn heavy metal world, I don't want to go herding chickens, for example - but the execution is always a little too formulaic, a little too safe, a little too Nintendo, for a heavy metal game. And that brings me to my final point: the Shadow of the Colossus influence. QTEs are not something you want, true; I was thinking of that when I suggested scaling a giant instead of just slashing at him till he sprouts blood, the same you do with everyone else. My thinking was that 1. scaling is a very, very cool thing to do that'll add how awesome you feel taking down this thing, and 2. it fits into the game world. The magnificence of a falling giant, the slam you feel as all that muscle hits the ground, is so...it's probably what I walked in the game thinking I'd see.

I still loved it. A lot.

TL;DR: Wrap your gaming styles and mechanics around your concept.

Sorry for sounding like a world-class jerkwad.

(PS: Worth mentioning: I noticed yesterday that if you drive the Druid Plow and actually look at the plow, it feels slow and clumsy, but if you speed through and look at the horizon, it suddenly feels very fast and fun. Just as an FYI for anything related to the driving in the future.)

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First off, don't worry about coming off as a jerk, everyone has there opinions and as long as their open to discussion and not conflict, they will always be respected and debated just as respectfully. With that said, I get what you mean, the formulaic boss fights are not as good as they could've been. I think one thing they could've done for the single player is have some kind of arena where you fight through the archetypes using all your tools at your disposal (making having learned all solos very useful). Perhaps a point where you could even summon more animals than normal? Or maybe have to smash open Doviculus' chest and smash his heart, as that makes more sense than the spider queen (although I find it funny her innards turned out to be a motor). Speaking of the Spider Queen, I feel as though filling her up with fire would've been better. I say keep the motor part in, but not as a way to kill her.

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