DMM Games’ Gal Metal is certainly quirky. The story pits you, a school girl and boy who have been merged together by evil aliens fed up with music being pumped out at them from Earth, against these aliens with only a metal playing band for a weapon. It’s also a rhythm action game that sort of isn’t.
The story begins as octopus-like aliens come to Earth and complain that the Voyager spacecraft has been blasting out heavy metal, destroying their civilisation. As a result they’ll destroy Earth unless you can stop them. Fortunately, one of the people they abduct as random emissaries of Earth is a drummer in a school metal band. Just to make it more complicated, though, the boy they also abducted is made to take over her body so has no practice at playing the drums in this all-girl band. Cue funny Manga-inspired story where he has to learn drums and get the help of her band mates while she guides him from inside her head.
What this turns into is a series of Metal concerts where you pick up the Joycons and drum away to the music. You can use buttons or motion control but the latter is recommended. Unlike other music games, there are no icons to follow or rhythm to match, it’s all down to your listening skills and ability to drum. This may make it harder for some, if you’re not particularly good at listening for a beat then you’ll find this really difficult, but it’s a fresh take on the genere that makes you feel far more involved in the music.
In between these jamming sessions, you’ll need to complete some simple time management games and work out how to earn some money while making closer ties to your bandmates so that you can all play better together. It’s a charming system that breaks up the music gameplay and delves deeper into each character. I really loved this story-based time management side and it strangely enhances the feeling of being a proper band. A social media chat room is also there to push the story on and get to know what each of the band members is thinking.
The story isn’t long, maybe 5-6 hours including the songs and there are only 12 tracks/events to play, so it feels a little like a slim offering, but what’s here is absolutely charming. The motion controls worked really well for me. even though I did find it more difficult to keep a good beat at times and the songs are interesting metal covers, though some of them lack emotion and become a bit like those covers you hear in shops that can’t afford the real licenced music.
Gal Metal is an interesting take on the music game genre and while it’s a little short on content, it’s worth picking up if you fancy something a bit different.