Certain games will stand out in your memory above many others. For me, this is one of them.

User Rating: 10 | Brutal Legend X360
When I look back on a library of 2 decades worth of games, there are certain few that stand out in memory as exemplary experiences all around. Among them are certainly the Monkey Islands, Full Throttle, and the classic Grim Fandango.

These are games with wit, personality, more heart than Ma-Ti's power ring, and are completely unique. There aren't similar experiences to compare them against even among each other.

At first glance Brutal Legend has given many the impression that it is a Devil May Cry style Hack and Slash with heavy metal music starring Jack Black. If you play the demo there aren't any apparent signs that you should think otherwise; but, the demo only sets the first stage and a high bar for presentation and humor.

However, in the full version of the game there is a level 2, and having learned how to swing an ax and fire lightning with a guitar, in this mission your taught how to command a squad to defend multiple locations while fighting along with them with steel and lightning.

This trend of building layers and layers upon simplicity is what ends up making this game very deep. By the end of it, you will need to be able to swing your axe while playing just the right guitar solo to turn the tide of a battle to bring victory to the army that you had chosen, built, and positioned, all while engaging in a 4 v 4 epic war of the bands.

The war of heavy metal you wage is excellently presented against a backdrop of an incredible soundtrack, sharp humor, great characters, and 64 km of a free roaming landscape in the shape of a record store of the gods. There is plenty of comedy, drama, and plot twists around every bend to keep you firmly in your seat until well after the main story's credits have rolled. For perfectionists, there is a massive amount of collection to be done as well.

To many, the Real Time Strategy gameplay may seem intimidating, but the game's story eases you into it piece by piece. If you don't have experience in how to manage a balanced army and keep them well funded, then it is in this game that you should learn how.

To those bear a dislike to RTS game in general, this isn't one you've played before. The great multitude of established RTS games are about knowledge, practice, and most importantly, clicking speed. You have to have memorized hotkeys, tech trees, map resources, and the fastest possible ways to build your base and dominate resources. Brutal Legend is about taking to the field and holding it. Even when faced by a superior force, your personal intervention on the battlefield can let you pull an ace maneuver that lets you regain your advantage in the fight. A practiced routine is, of course, still important; but reading the mind of your opponent and countering his actions play a more prominent role in victory. Skill in melee combat is also a plus, rewarding those who's skills lie in dueling the enemy commander into the ground rather than quick, efficient army building.

As far as its faults go, the main story in itself is not of epic length for the epic story it tells, but if a game is great all the way through, you will always be left wanting more.

To fans of Tim Schafer's previous work, expect to make new memories to look back upon, and to those who pick up Brutal Legend as a first, expect a game that might easily end up an all-time favorite.