Metal Tales: Fury of the Guitar Gods

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
Metal Tales: Fury of the Guitar Gods Game Poster Image
Fun heavy-metal fantasy shooter hampered by tech issues.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

All about fighting evil to transform fellow "metal heads" back into humans, but killing enemies limits positive impact.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Nothing known about protagonists to assess whether they're positive or not. Sure, they're destroying evil, but they're killing many thousands of possessed humans, other creatures in process.

Ease of Play

Simple controls, easy to learn.
 

Violence

Players use a guitar, modified by magic, to shoot, destroy evil enemies that disappear in purple smoke when killed.

Sex
Language
Consumerism

Along with original music, uses, promotes heavy metal tracks from bands like Striker, Despite, Persefone, and A Breath of Silence. Some characters resemble real-life heavy metal stars. 
 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

References to alcohol, such as beer signs in taverns, bars (fictional brands), you can also collect a "Free Drink" item which shows a picture of a mug of beer.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Metal Tales: Fury of the Guitar Gods is a downloadable top-down cartoon shooter. Players aim and fire an electric guitar to destroy possessed humans and fantasy creatures. There isn't any blood -- enemies explode into purple smoke -- but frenetic combat is the core gameplay mechanic. In both the solo model and co-op option, the game also shows alcohol as a "reward," plus heavy metal tracks are licensed from real bands.

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What's it about?

METAL TALES: FURY OF THE GUITAR GODS has a comic book-like introduction that tells the story of an ancient evil that's converted your fellow metalheads into deadly zombies, so you take it upon yourself to save the world, using nothing but your electric guitar and powerful magical items to fight against this malevolent force. That's the premise behind this top-down shooter, where you'll choose a playable character and venture out into environments (Metal Den, Metal Festival, and Hell itself) to shoot enemies that surround you, avoid obstacles (such as saws and enemy fire), collect items (like keys and power-ups), unlock new areas and chests, and face off against boss characters. The game can be played solo or via local co-op.

Is it any good?

As a frenetic shooter, this game has its charm, but its tech issues hit a sour note. It can be fun to take down enemies that swarm you, while you move out of the way to avoid their projectiles and melee attacks. The heavy metal soundtrack works well for this game's rock theme, characters and environments. The pacing and difficulty level keeps you on your toes, and challenges you without feeling like it's too easy or tough. Rooms are randomly generated, so it keeps things fresh, even when you have to repeat a level after you die. And there's many upgrades to find and use, along with the option to summon help, drop bombs, shoot exploding barrels, and use other fun ways to inflict damage. 

But this Steam game has its share of issues -- namely, technical ones -- such as your player getting stuck running into a wall (and other "clipping" issues), and the odd freeze or crash. In another instance the audio was crackling, and then cut out altogether. There've been patches to the game since it released, and hopefully more on the way. Because even at only $15, a player shouldn't have to face these kinds of glitches just to play a game. Still, Metal Tales: Fury of the Guitar Gods is an above average retro shooter that's especially fun for fans of heavy metal.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about consumerism. With the licensed metal tracks, will players feel like they're being sold to -- even though they spent $15 on this download? Do you feel a need to buy the songs for the game after playing a few levels?

  • What makes this game fun? Is it the frenetic top-down combat, the heavy metal music, or the fusion between the two?

Game details

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