The Top 10 Video Games for the Fans of Heavy Metal Music
Note: This has also been published on GameFAQs. The note at the end addresses GameFAQs writers.
Do you like video games? Are you metalhead? Don’t you love it when Heavy Metal and video games come in one package, a game with an awesome metal music, or a game with a great metal soundtrack list? These games will satisfy you.
#10: Kiss: Psycho Circus: The Nightmare Child
I could not resist putting this game on the list. I understand why you might object. Many don’t consider KISS a metal band. I disagree. Many think this game sucks. I…. don’t disagree. But it is such a funny game (in an unintentional way) that I recommend it to everyone. It’s like recommending an Ed Wood movie. KISS fans will enjoy this game because of the references to them and KISS haters will enjoy it because the game sucks.
KISS: Psycho Circus: The Nightmare Child is a first person shooter developed by Third Law Interactive and published by Gathering of Developers for the PC in 2000 and a year later for Dreamcast via Windows CE. The game is based on Todd McFarlane’s KISS: Psycho Circus series of comic books which portrays the members of the rock band KISS as super heroes with supernatural abilities. The members of the original band are not in the game, which is a bummer. The story revolves around a tribute band instead. Gamers begin as mortals but suddenly acquire supernatural powers and have to save the universe from certain doom. The gameplay consists of killing a f*** load of monsters and nothing else.
However, there are a lot of references to KISS and if you are a fan, you will like them.
That is a cameo of Gene Simmons.
#9: Rock ‘N Roll Racing
An old SNES game! Blizzard Entertainment has produced this game, although then it was known as Silicon & Synapse. It is a battle-racing video game with a background music consisting of instrumental covers of several heavy metal and rock n’ roll songs. So in some ways it’s an early prototype of Twisted Metal games. It was initially developed as a sequel to the company’s other battle-racing SNES game RPM Racing. At the end of the project, Interplay marketing added licensed music and they were so excited about this development that they changed the name to Rock N’ Roll Racing.
The game sets four racers against each other, two of them can be player-controlled and the other two by AI. There are four laps around tracks viewed from an isometric perspective in each race. You have to go through them without being destroyed by your enemies or falling off a cliff. You earn money and between the races you can spend it to upgrade. It was a very innovative game for its time.
There are only five songs in the game: “Paranoid” by Black Sabbath, “The Peter Gunn Theme” by Henry Mancini, “Highway Star” by Deep Purple”, “Born to Be Wild” by Steppenwolf, and “Bad to the Bone” by George Thorogood. It might sound not much, but this game deserves respect and credit because of its historical value for a metalhead gamer.
#8: God of War series
God of War series need no introduction, nevertheless, I’m going to introduce them here because I need to fill up space. The series follow the story of Kratos, a Spartan who kills his wife and children and sets on a mission assigned to him by the God of War in order to gain redemption and ease of heart. However, the very said mission results in a beef with Gods and he begins killing the gods. And this story goes on for a long time. But the series is famous for its gameplay, which is the perfection of a sort of tactical action which was introduced by Devil May Cry. You have cool weapons at your disposal and while completing platformer elements and puzzles you bring down the enemies with cool combos and special moves.
The series has had a lot of composers, but all the games in the series accompany awesome heavy metal songs for battles and similar situations. Kratos looks and feels like a Heavy Metal singer, tough, uncompromising, angry, and a true rebel. Kratos rebels against the whole system of existence, against the very condition of life. This is an extremely Heavy Metal mentality. Also, there is an EP called “The God of War: Blood & Metal” which is a heavy metal homage by various bands from the Roadrunner Records label, and features original music inspired by the God of War video game series. These bands include great names such as Opeth and Dream Theatre. One song – “Even Gods Cry” by band The Turtlenecks – was made into a music video.
Tell me that could not be an awesome album cover art.
If you like killing multiple hordes of poor enemies in a comically gratuitous violent manner, combos and button mashing, and a rather juvenile sense of humor, this 2010 Namco Bandai beat ‘em up is the game for you. Remake of the classic Splatterhouse (1993), the story begins when some evil doctor kidnaps your girlfriend because she looks like his dead wife. He kills you; and then a mask revives you and turns you to a demon. Gameplay is combat-oriented and your task is to destroy monsters with your bare hands, makeshift weapons, special moves, and combos. You might lose limbs as you fight and collect blood to upgrade.
The game might not have much to say, but boy the music is great. Killing is fun simply because it’s accompanies by such a fast, violent, and hard music. You can feel adrenaline rush through your veins, and believe me when I say it’s not level design. Splatterhouse co-producer Dan Tovar is a member of the bands Invisible Enemies and WolfShirt, both great bands. So the work is in the hand of the experts. In addition to these two bands there are songs by The Accused, ASG, Cavalera Conspiracy, Five Finger Death Punch, Goatwhore, The Haunted, High on Fire, Lamb of God, Mastodon, Municipal Waste, Mutant Supremacy and Terrorizer.
As you have noticed, most of these bands are lesser known. But they are great, and the game is a great opportunity for you to get to know them.
The graphic of the game reminded me of Cannibal Corpse.
#6: Soul Blazer
Another old SNES game! Soul Blazer, known in Japan as Soul Blader (a very grammatically inappropriate name), is an action RPG developed by Quintet and published by Enix (now Square Enix) released in 1994. Similar to the company’s previous game ActRaiser, you control an angel sent by a God, called The Master, to go from town to town and in some dungeon crawl battles kill monsters who have captured souls of people. By killing monsters you will free their souls. As souls are freed, the town is reconstructed and its inhabitants are restored. When you defeat the boss the town is cleared. After you clear six towns, the final mission “World of Evil” is unlocked, where the final villain awaits.
The music of the game was composed by Yukihide Takekawa. There is large range of music in the game, and some of them, especially the ones you deal with bosses, are metal songs. Each town and dungeon and boss accompanies its own music which really suits its mode. Metal is there to make the battles more exciting. “Demon King Deathtoll” accompanies you final fight and “A Night Without Lovers” is the last song of the game and they are awesome.
#5: Rock Band series
There are only two music games on this list, but obviously you could fill up the whole list with such games, and I have tried to avoid that.
Maybe the most metal music game series of all time is Rock Band. The series lets a maximum of four players to play as a band by playing popular rock songs using controllers modeled after various musical instruments. These instruments include lead guitar, bass guitar, keyboard, drums, and a USB microphone. Rock Band has sold over 13 million copies; netting more than $1 billion. Over 3,000 songs representing more than 1,200 different artists are available in the franchise library, and over 100 million downloadable song purchases have been made.
When you look at the tracklist of the original games, there are a lot of great metal songs you’ll surely enjoy to simulate. In the three games we have songs by Soundgarden, Kiss, Blue Öyster Cult, Metallica, Deep Purple, Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Rush, Aerosmith, Crooked X, Pleymo, Motörhead, Avenged Sevenfold, Jethro Tull, System of a Down, Mastodon, Disturbed, Anarchy Club, Judas Priest, Megadeath, and many others.
If that is not impressive enough, there are some Track Packs that can make your metal library even larger. We also have one dedicated to AC/DC, and one to Metal as a genre.
Bayonetta! An epic action game developed by Platinum Games and published by Sega in 2010, famous mostly for the roundness one may encounter as the protagonist’s back is facing the camera (also its great gameplay). The game tells the story of finely curved Bayonetta, who uses four pistols and magic to kill shiny yellow divine monsters. The combat is easily learned yet deep, and you have an endless arsenal of combos and special moves at your disposal, plus some platformer elements, and the game never gets boring.
There are over 150 songs composed for this game. This number is ought to blow you your mind. Many of these songs are metal songs, but what matters is the masterful use of the music which makes the game even more interesting. As you begin to fight, the music turns to metal. Like always, this will excite you as you usual. But then when the battle is approaching the end and when you are heaping massive combos on your poor enemies, a very violent fast riff which gets better and better as it goes on fills the air, and therefore the music is ascending, and it somehow orchestrates your moves. Bayonetta’s moves are very similar to dancing, and the music makes the whole thing look like an awesome music video. Without the music the game is fun, with it, it’s orgasmic. I can’t imagine Bayonetta without metal.
#3: Twisted Metal series
The name “Metal” here is no coincidence. Everything about this game is extreme, which the spirit of Metal. A race combat game, you drive over the top vehicles while using over the top weaponry- chainsaws, machine guns, mines, rockets, even satellite-based weapons and nuclear weapons- to win a very extreme demolition derby. You drive and continue fighting your enemies until you are the last one in the race. There is a lot of humor in the game, but it’s black. The characters also look like instrumental metal bands- from evil clowns to BDSM-like costume wearers.
Now, you can’t imagine any type of music but metal to be the background of that game? I mean, Celine Dion singing would not prove atmospheric here. The first two games only had original music- composed a band called the Pinnacle Group. Great metal music! However from the third game onwards there has always been a tracklisting of great metal licensed songs as well. Rob Zombie is a favorite and has most of the songs.
This is a game which is about extreme violence and excitement. The whole game plays like a very heavy riff. Only those who appreciate the spirit of heavy metal will enjoy this game.
This image is for you, people with Coulrophobia!
#2: Guitar Hero: Metallica
I believe Metallica is the greatest band of all time. You may disagree. However, it is an indisputable fact that they are the biggest and most successful metal band in the history. So what can be better for metalheads than a game solely dedicated to Metallica? Nothing!
Guitar Hero is the most famous rhythm game of all time. It is one of the few games that even your grandma knows about. (Unless your grandma is Will Wright). This 2009 game is the second game of the Guitar Hero series to focus on the career and songs of one band following Guitar Hero: Aerosmith. The game is based on a previous game in the series, Guitar Hero World Tour, you can go for lead and bass guitar, drums, and vocals. There is a very hard difficulty level for drums which is based on Lars’s special way of playing the drums, and this is very awesome.
There are 49 songs in the game, 28 of them by Metallica, and an additional 21 songs by other bands selected by members of Metallica. All 49 songs are absolute masterpieces. The band performed extensive motion capture for the game for their in-game avatars and performances. The game includes several extras including behind-the-scenes videos of the motion capture sessions, tour and concert videos of the band, and Pop-Up Video-like facts for many of the songs on the game disc.
In short, any Metallica fan should worship this game.
#1: Brütal Legend
This game naturally tops the list. First, it is a very great game. Second, the whole game is a tribute to Heavy Metal music. Created by the legendary Tim Schafer, the game is about saving the world with Heavy Metal music, which is the most beautiful tale to be told. Eddie Riggs, voiced by and modeled after Jack Black, is a roadie who finds himself in a world which looks like the artwork of heavy metal album covers. Eddie discovers that metal music here has magical powers, and he has to use that magic to save the world. The gameplay is a hybrid between action adventure and real time strategy. So why should you love this game, apart from its story?
Hands down, the tracklist of licensed songs in this game is the greatest collection of songs of all times, in every video game created. No doubt about it. There are 107 heavy metal tracks from 75 different bands. All of them great songs. There is a song from every major sub-genre, there are songs by heavyweights and less famous bands, there are songs from American and British bands and songs from bands from other parts of the world, there are lighter songs and heavier songs. This is the greatest anthology of Metal, and Schafer has said that it was “designed to be loved by Metal fans.”. Nothing but praise can be said.
And as if that wasn’t enough, there is 70 minutes of original music for the game. Peter McConnell composed them as a mixture of meldic and metal music. And who played for him? Slough Feg drummer Harry Cantwell, and the Judas Priest guitarists Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing.
No, we’re not yet finished! For of the greatest gods of metal of all times have played their own roles in this game, voicing and modelling their character: Lemmy Kilmister, Rob Halford, Ozzy Osbourne and Lita Ford.
For Heavy Metal fans, this is porn, book of prayers, and their favorite mixed CD compressed into one package.
Now that the list over, let me profess that I wish this list becomes first of a series of lists which deal with the same subject. Are you a fan of pop music, country, jazz, J-pop, classical music, or any other type? Please write a list like this.