Growing up, I always wanted to try my hand at the drums, but never really got the chance. I didn’t really have the time, and my parents probably didn’t want to have the noise of me practicing, so in the end I never took it up. There have been a couple of games which have given people the opportunity to play the drums – Rock Band being the most notable, but that game forces you into playing other people’s songs, beating the drum to a rhythm that’s already been set by someone else. Gal Metal is a game that offers something slightly different.
Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick
The most impressive thing about Gal Metal is the fact you can beat the drum to your own rhythm. You feel the tempo of the music, and you play what you want. You do have certain patterns that you probably should lean towards using, but there’s no real need to, other than to score points. Yes, you do need to score points to do well in the game, but you can definitely have fun with it, and in doing that, you might hit some excellent patterns that you hadn’t actually learnt before.
I was quite keen to play Gal Metal to begin with, because I’m a bit of a metalhead and I’m always interested to see what kind of music these types of games look to pump out. The genre of female-led metal bands has been fairly large in Japan over the last ten years, with Aldious, Cyntia and most recently BABYMETAL all hitting it big with some fantastic songs. I didn’t expect Gal Metal to produce similar songs – and in all honesty, it doesn’t. But what it does give out is still pretty solid. Obviously it lacks vocals and you’re the drummer, so you can make it as good (or in my case, as terrible) as possible.
Swing and a miss
One thing that is a bit of a double edged sword with Gal Metal is the story. The story itself is pretty fine. You against a bunch of metal-hating aliens is a pretty enjoyable story, but the way it’s told is a bit dull. There are lengthy cut scenes that are really a bit of a slog to get through. There is a skip cutscene button, which is useful for every play after the first, but having to watch them in the first is not easy. I always start losing concentration and missing key information while I hammer the “skip” button because I’m bored out of my mind.
The Final Word
Gal Metal is terrific. It’s shown me that I’d be a terrible drummer, and that I have no rhythm whatsoever, but it has an enjoyable story and drumming is still a great stress reliever. It’s definitely one of the better rhythm games that I’ve played, and doesn’t hamstring the player by forcing the player to be a godlike drummer just to play the game. One of the better indie games available on the Switch, for sure.