Gal Metal – Review
Follow Genre: Rhythm
Developer: DMM Games
Publisher: DMM Games, Marvelous USA Inc.
Platform: Switch
Tested on: Switch

Gal Metal – Review

Site Score
6.5
Good: Story, Concept
Bad: Not really fun for those expecting a traditional rhythm game
User Score
5.5
(2 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 5.5/10 (2 votes cast)

Rhythm games have always been a thing, but they have never been so popular as during the heydays of Guitar Hero, and to a lesser extent DJ Hero. Before we knew it, these kinds of games were everywhere, ranging from small indie titles, to even companies such as Square Enix making their own Final Fantasy spinoffs for the genre. Safe for a few more obscure titles, it seems that the hype has toned down and is now something that is more rare than an actual popular genre. Nonetheless, today we are here with Gal Metal, a rhythm game that doesn’t follow the conventional rules of the genre, and mixes vocal-less metal with a story about alien invaders, which can only be beat by some heavy drums and some great riffs.

Story

Gal Metal will take you to a small town in the vicinity of Tokyo, a town where nothing ever happens. At least, until the day that aliens appear in the town, kidnapping a boy and a girl, placing them in one body, namely the girl’s. The next day, you wake up as always but, with the boy controlling the body of the girl and the implanted message that the aliens will destroy the Earth, and that the now paired duo is the ‘chosen one’ to fight them. Of course, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that you’ll be able to beat them with the sound waves that are emitted from playing metal songs. Sadly, with the boy in control of the body, the girl’s drum skills are somewhat going to waste, so he’ll have to try and be the best he can in order to actually pull off their grand adventure.

The story slowly evolves with you acting as if you’re just one person inside the body of the president of the metal club. You will also go through a sim portion where you can work a job, or meet up with your friends, but overall this adds nearly no story content to the experience. You’ll have to go through a decent amount of storytelling before you actually have to play another song, so the game is very story orientated.

Graphics

Gal Metal does not really look good by any account, as the in-game graphics are somewhat dated, not really detailed and feel as if they are an upscaled version from an old forgotten title. Nonetheless, even with the dated graphics in place, the game does look quite cute and appealing for a rhythm game with a storyline. The actual story portions are done in a comic book-like style, which also lacks a hefty amount of details and feels a bit like a rough draft or a storyboard, but once again, for some reason the game gets away with it. That being said, we’re sure many people who are looking for a normal rhythm game will probably hate the aesthetics of this title.

Sound

For a game that revolves around metal, we’ll have to immediately start off by saying it’s a missed opportunity that the game does not have any vocals at all. Luckily it gets made up by the nice tracks that are present in the game. The game has a somewhat classical soundtrack with the proper metal tunes to back it up. Sadly, the game comes only with around thirteen tracks, which makes it somewhat of a letdown in comparison with other games in the genre.

Gameplay

Gal Metal is a rhythm game that doesn’t really follow the formula that other games in the genre do. For example, you’ll have to wade through an actual Story Mode in order to unlock the songs and actually accomplish something. The game only has thirteen songs, so you won’t be buying this for its bountiful soundtrack. From start to finish, you’ll be wading through the story about the alien invaders, hoping you can defeat them with the power of metal. In the story you can undergo practice sessions or do a sort of sim world portion where you do part-time jobs or bond with your fellow band members. We aren’t quite sure why this was implemented, but it does add a bit of extra gameplay.

How the actual rhythm part works is pretty peculiar. Before playing new songs, you’re able to go through solo or group practice routines, with the solo routines being the best to actually learn something. The game works with specific drum patterns you actually have to learn by heart and have to memorize the speed and rhythm as well. During the actual performances you’ll have nothing to hold your hand, so you’ll have to use your studied patterns during the song. This means that you’ll be completely free in what patterns you play, so every song can be matched with different drum performances, and you can often manage with only a few of your memorized patterns.

When we talk about actually performing the right patterns or getting the hang of the timing, it does change the game into something slightly more frustrating. You’ll never truly know if your timing is spot-on, safe after a few tries and getting some precious points for whatever it is you’re trying. Other than that, there is nothing to indicate what button you’ll have to press, and when, and even during the practice sessions, they don’t repeat what color code stands for which part of the drum. All of this makes the game a bit tedious and a bit unwelcoming for those looking for a fun and casual rhythm game experience. You can opt to either play with the Joy-Con controllers, a pro controller or the touch screen. The last two feel the most comfortable and natural, but it’s pretty much up to you.

Conclusion

While Gal Metal does stray away from the conventional path these games take, the game’s story is still a pleasant experience which makes the game somewhat worth the effort, even if you’re just mashing buttons all the way through the story. If you’re looking for a more conventional approach of the genre, then this game will most definitely come across as a disappointment due to the limited amount of tracks, the lack of vocals, the fact that you have to play through the story mode to actually unlock the tracks and of course the fact that you have nothing to base yourself on during the actual songs.

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Rating: 5.5/10 (2 votes cast)
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Gal Metal - Review, 5.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
Ibuki
Ibuki


Aspiring ninja.

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