(Wii)

Game Review

Guitar Hero Metallica Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Stuart Reddick

Scraping the bottom of the barrel or taking the franchise to new heights?

Whenever a developer stumbles onto a gold mine, they usually start milking the franchise for all its worth. While Activision certainly falls into that camp with the Guitar Hero series, they’ve managed to maintain the quality of their titles from one installment to the next. While the latest entry in the Guitar Hero franchise certainly keeps in line with all that, it's at a huge advantage over the previous Aerosmith package because it puts the spotlight on the legendary metal band Metallica.

Guitar Hero: Metallica delivers in more ways than we could have ever imagined. For one, the track list is absolutely superb and the presentation values are through the roof. Instead of just being another Guitar Hero game with Metallica slapped onto the cover, Activision has gone out of their way to include a bunch new content for fans of the band to check out. It’s nowhere near the standards of the yearly numbered installments in the franchise, but it's excellent all the same.

Like last year’s Guitar Hero: World Tour, Guitar Hero: Metallica is a full-band game that includes support for both guitar, bass, drums and vocals. Rather than the gig-based progression from World Tour, you'll find something more along the lines of the first two titles where it's a tier-based system, but instead of having to complete each song in a set to progress, you need only meet a total star requirement. While there are plenty of reasons to attempt each song, players can still finish the game by not even trying out half of the songs.

When it comes to tracks though, the set list is absolutely stunning, not only in terms of song quality but also in respect to the amount of enjoyment you’ll have playing. For some reason, there’s just something about Metallica’s music that makes it the perfect fit for the Guitar Hero world. There are plenty of fast power cords, solos and melodic breaks that don't bore you to death.

Guitar Hero: Metallica does an amazing job of pulling pieces from Metallica’s career. There are a nice few tracks from the band’s earlier albums, with a couple from their more recent works. Not all of their greatest hits are found here, which is quite a shame seeing as the game solely hinges around their work. Still though, the track list is killer all-around, and nobody should walk away disappointed; obviously if you're not a fan of the metal genre then you might have some misgivings but we can't imagine there are many Guitar Hero fans out there that don't appreciate the work of this seminal band.

In case you aren’t aware, the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions boast downloadable content, something that the Wii version of the game doesn't support. To make up for this it actually includes a couple more songs from the band's most recent album - cheerfully entitled 'Death Magnetic' - that the other versions lack. It’s certainly a downside that Wii owners are getting the short side of the stick, but at least they’re getting a little apology gift to make up for it.

With regards to the presentation side of things, a lot of effort was put into making this the perfect hardcore installment of the series. All of the band members look great, sporting realistic looks that have been seen in other games in the franchise. The band came in for a series of motion capture sessions and their movements have been transferred into the game quite well. Besides this, the stiff animations have been cut for a much more lifelike approach, which means the characters on stage actually look like a real band now.

There’s a ton of new content to explore in Guitar Hero: Metallica, such as behind-the-scenes footage of the band, fan-shot videos from tiny club gigs, a gallery containing piles of photos and tour notes from years past and song lyrics. And for those people who are obsessed with Metallica, there are also 'Metallifacts' and VH1 Pop-up Video-inspired sets that allow you to watch the game play a song while notes and info bits pop up on the lower part of the screen. It’s a little disappointing that this isn’t available for every song, but it’s a great addition, nevertheless.

Guitar Hero: Metallica doesn’t stray too far away from the pack in terms of gameplay mechanics, but there are a couple of neat little additions to the drums. One such addition is the Expert+ setting, which basically turns on every bass drum note. Usually on faster music like this the bass drum notes are scaled back so that you can actually play them with a single pedal, but Expert+ gives you the full deal so that you can attempt to mimic the drummer by playing with dual bass pedals.

Conclusion

Guitar Hero: Metallica is an excellent addition to the Activision's best-selling franchise. The fusion of game concept and band results in a match made in heaven and even if you're not a massive fan of Metallica's work, this update does a good job of catering to the needs of fans of the series.

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User Comments (26)

Wiiloveit

#2

Wiiloveit said:

Nice! At least it's an improvement on Aerosmith. I can't see Van Halen selling half as much as this one will, though, and I think they should slow down a bit with the franchise, because they're only making it become uninteresting at a faster rate than ever before.

Machu

#3

Machu said:

I love Metallica!
I love games!

This is gay!! Please people either start buying proper games or buy yourself a damn guitar (y'know, a real one). Grraaagh!

Machu

#4

Machu said:

The amount o dough you spend on that crappy bit o plastic and the numerous 'updates', you could have bought yourself a nice guitar and a small amp, and a 'teach yourself Metallica' book, and already you would be 1000 times less dorky than you are whilst 'playing' this sh1te.
I repeat, graaagh!

-TR

#5

-TR said:

I've boycotted the GH series, but intend to pick up III on Wii for £25, as HMV are currently selling it, and from there see if I enjoy it and will go on.

Jeroen1

#6

Jeroen1 said:

Machu: Why don't you go take some fencing lessons instead of playing animu otaku kawaii crap such as No More Heroes?

Catch my drift?

Machu

#7

Machu said:

Last week, my avatar was a yoshi egg. What would you have said then Jeroen?

I am intrigued.

EdEN

#8

EdEN said:

Really great game overall.

As for NesGamepro's question, each GH:WT song on Wii is less than 200 blocks, but let's take 200 blocks as it is a rounded up number to refer to a DLC song. Each 2 GB SD card (which are less than $10 each) has 15,000 blocks which means you can store 75 songs on a brand new 2 GB SD card. Now, with the update to SDHC cards, you can buy a 16 GB SD card for about $34.99 on average and have 120,000 blocks to use on your Wii console, download 150 songs for the next 2 years and still have 90,000 blocks left for DLC from other games, VC, Wiiware and VC Arcade games.

I have a 2 GB SD card with 10 GH:WT, 20 RB2 (the free ones) songs and 8,000 blocks of VC and Wiiware games. I'll purchase a new 16 GB SDHC card to use as storage in July and transfers the content from my current SD card into the new one and use the 2 GB for now on my DSi.

Jeroen1

#9

Jeroen1 said:

Machu: I'm really tired of people using that crutch in general. I've never played Guitar Hero but I can understand it's broad appeal to the masses. Think of it as a way to make it accessible for people who are fond of music, so they can eventually make the leap toward Ibanez guitars or other brands. It sounds like another hardcore versus casuals topic and we've had enough of those.

Machu

#10

Machu said:

You are right, and unfortunately (or not) I don't understand alot of things 'the masses' get upto these days. Everybody wants to be famous at the moment it would seem, if pretending to be a rock-star floats ur boat then who I am i to pass judgement. I might point and laugh but thats about it.

The_Fox

#11

The_Fox said:

@Machu:
I've competed in numerous target shooting contests, but never ragged on people playing video games becasue they can't handle a rifle in real life. Its esacapism; just like when you're playing as a marine stopping an alien onslaught or a plumber tripping on mushrooms tormenting the local turtle population, it all boils down to playing a role.

Machu

#12

Machu said:

Yeah but in said rifle game, would it come packed with an 'awesome' over priced plastic rifle... ah never mind.

I'm in a grump so shall not return to this page as i seem to be using as a sort of mental release. Which is bad mmkay.

Rocky

#13

Rocky said:

I completely agree with this review. This game is packed with lots of extra material and interesting tidbits. Almost like a bonus DVD included with the game, but it is all included on one disc. Song lists are always subject to personal taste, but this GH track list is by far my favorite of any of the releases. Even the non-Metallica tracks offer a good variety of musical style from the past 30 years. I've picked up all of the GH releases to date, and for me, this one has been the best all-around and most fun release so far.

astarisborn94

#15

astarisborn94 said:

I won't be getting it (I hate metal a lot), but I'm glad it's a good game. Too bad it's inferior to the Xbox 360 and PS3 version, which sucks. But then again, great review as always and I'll be looking forward to it.

@ EdEN Post #9: WTF? You can store a 16 GB card into the Wii? AWESOME! I won't run and get it now, even thought I have the money, but when my memory runs out on the 2 GB card, that's instant buy! Thanks Nintendo, not only you let us store Virtual Console games, you let us support a waaaay bigger SD card, which is unbelieveable.

astarisborn94

#16

astarisborn94 said:

I won't be getting it (I hate metal a lot), but I'm glad it's a good game. Too bad it's inferior to the Xbox 360 and PS3 version, which sucks. But then again, great review as always and I'll be looking forward to it.

@ EdEN Post #9: WTF? You can store a 16 GB card into the Wii? AWESOME! I won't run and get it now, even thought I have the money, but when my memory runs out on the 2 GB card, that's instant buy! Thanks Nintendo, not only you let us store Virtual Console games, you let us support a waaaay bigger SD card, which is unbelieveable.

Objection

#17

Objection said:

I think that GH should stick to annual editions at most....they really seem to be flooding the market IMO. Then again, I'm free to ignore these semi-updates and will likely do so. Though I guess I'd sing a different tune (pun intended) if they made GH: Queen.

Mike1

#18

Mike1 said:

Good riddence, Machu is gone. He feels that it not right for people to play a Guitar Hero game just because it's not a real guitar. What a fool, maybe he should get a life instead of ragging on a video game.

MickEiA

#19

MickEiA said:

People who post 2 times in a row there is an edit button at the bottom and when this comes to AUS I'LL be getting it

hamispink

#20

hamispink said:

@MACHU
I got rock band a year ago, i practiced the drums and got really good, then i worked on real drums and now i am really good at them and i have a newfound interest in music, I am in a real band now and I wouldn't have had a chance if it weren't for REALLY FUN games like these.

nintendo87

#21

nintendo87 said:

i love old Metallica but now they suck they have sucked for years now but this game look good i have not played it yet!

The_Fox

#22

The_Fox said:

@post23:
Their most recent, Death Magnetic was actually a pretty good album. St. Anger and Load were pretty bad. Reload fell somewhere in the middle

Tycoon

#24

Tycoon said:

in my view this game is a great game is fu like metallica great band play carrer and online i recommend it to ppl who like guitar hero games. the rating could of been a bit better but the rating at the moment is fair enough but i would have given it like a 9/10 or 10/10

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