Gal Metal - Release Date Announcement Trailer (NINTENDO SWITCH)
Who it Caters to
Nintendo Switch as of late has received an enormous amount of support from third parties, most notably their “Nindies” titles, and the list of titles just continues to grow over time. Gal Metal isn’t an indie title by any means as DMM Games is a pretty established brand name in Japan, but it doesn’t seem to ring many bells in the western realm, mostly because DMM typically focus their brand domestically. Fortunately, XSEED Games and Marvelous were able to pick the title up and provide western fans with a taste of something cool, engaging, and truly fun overall. Gal Metal is a rhythm-based title that focuses mainly on the rock genre and of course metal in many respects, with players using the Joy-Con controllers to mimic drumming and rock out to 13+ tracks, all in sheer freestyle mode! All you need to do is memorize the drum lines, then take what you’ve learned to the live stage and rock out like a true drummer! Share your body with popular drummer Rinko and eliminate those pests to save planet Earth!
What to Expect
Gal Metal takes advantage of the motion controllers and allows players to enjoy their very own drum set, learning how to play on the fly. It’s quite simple in its approach as you use the red Joy-Con to use the kick drum, the blue Joy-Con for the snare drum, and both Joy-Cons at once to mash away at the cymbals. It sort of reminded us of playing Taiko no Tatsujin but in this case, you’re able to really take drumming to the next level since the game allows you to really go wild and be creative, so long as you continue to improve and evolve your rhythm over time.
With that being said, rhythm certainly plays a very big role and so it’s not just about banging on the drum incessantly in hopes to defeat the evil Squidarin and Octoids. You really do need to listen carefully to the rhythm and from there, come up with a flow that syncs up with the beat so that you can create bigger combos, receiving greater rewards after your performances. You can practice solo or call upon your bandmates to do practice sessions and really boost your performance!
A lot of titles out on the market try their damndest to look polished and provide players with an eye-catching experience, but Gal Metal takes the unconventional approach this time around. DMM Games instead goes with a more comic book style approach, giving the characters a more goofy-yet-stylish feel, which really helps to reflect the overall premise of the game: you’re an individual who gets trapped in a drummer girls body and now the two of you must work together to defeat the Octoids before it’s too late! For some fascinating reason, Octopuses and Squids seem to be growing in popularity now, ever since the conception of the Splatoon series. Back to the point, Gal Metal really stands out in its own unique way with its visuals, executing it very well without being a detriment to the gameplay experience.
Being that this is a rhythm-based game, we’d hope that the music selection would provide some promising ear banging tracks for us to get excited about, and luckily for us, Gal Metal delivers. It’s a very adlib-friendly title which makes great use of the Joy-Cons, and because of the wide variety of tracks to drum to it really helps to encourage creativity from the player as you progress through the game. There are no licensed tracks by any major bands or anything, which is a little unfortunate, but we felt that the game still delivered in its own way, which was to allow you to explore your inner child and rock out however way you felt like. The tracks you get to choose from are all really exciting to play and experience, as you bang on your snare and cymbal to rack up millions of points to impress the Octoids so that they don’t blow up the Earth. It’s certainly a lighthearted ordeal, but still requires all of your attention since you can still fail missions if you’re not careful to stay on rhythm, and the game will certainly tell you just how much you suck.
To elaborate more on what we just said, Gal Metal has a letter-grading system which grades you on your overall performance. As you continue to progress and come to understand the flow of each song you perform, your letter grade will of course rise and in turn your judgement will be less harsh. For example, if you’re just simply mashing away on the drums and don’t have any rhythm at all, the game will tell you that your rhythm is totally off and you need to start listening to the drum lines better. If you run into the same pattern and don’t really step out of your comfort zone, the game will once again tell you that your sound is too bland and things need to be mixed up in order to score higher on the points scale. Combos play a major role in Gal Metal as the more creative you are with your drum lines, the higher your combos, which help to put a stop to the Octoid invasion.
You also receive better prizes as well, so it’s encouraged to think outside of the box while still learning how to play the drums properly. This is actually really rewarding for people who are perhaps looking into becoming a drummer themselves, because the game in a way really helps you to better understand how drumming works, while teaching you the mechanics and techniques to help solidify your drumming skills. The game progressively gets more difficult and so too do the drum lines, so making sure to constantly be on the ball is imperative. As you play through the game, you’ll need to do other activities in order to build up your skill set and so, throughout the course of the day you can partake in things such as a part-time job, hanging out with friends at the arcade, or perhaps just studying and relaxing. All of these are attached to specific attributes.
Each activity you actively participate in will net you a certain amount of points and in some cases, will reduce them if the activity is something not as engaging for the main character. The higher your parameters within the game, the stronger your performances will become and allow you to really go nuts with scoring high in the combo area. Scoring high in the Guts category will help you to avoid being attacked by the Squidarians during your performance, for example, while Passion means that laser attacks from the Shrimpian are reduced in their frequency and duration. Knowing what all of these perks can do for you will help in the long run, so make sure to take part not only in club activities but also work, play and other too!
All of the activities within the game come with a stamina amount and so, throughout the course of the day, you’ll need to also keep track of how much stamina you use. 40 is your total amount and so, delegating tasks is important in order to rack up enough points on your parameters to ensure performances don’t suffer. As you see, not only is Gal Metal all about drumming away, you also need to manage time and energy accordingly so as to not burn yourself out during major live events. This in a way reflects that of real life, where taking responsibility is imperative not only for your own success but also for your bandmates, as they too play a big role in everything that’s happening.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
If you’re not too comfortable using the Joy-Cons, you can opt for the touch screen or simple control scheme, by heading to the options menu to make the necessary changes. We’ll be honest though that playing Gal Metal with the Joy-Cons really adds to the experience and truly makes you feel like you’re actually drumming. It’s not too often that you come across a rhythm title that gives you this kind of freedom, and when a game like Gal Metal comes along and throws you into a game where creativity is encouraged, you should take advantage of it! It’s a very fun and quite tiring experience, but it gets you out of your seat and puts you into the mind of a drummer, forcing you to improvise on the fly, gather resources to stay relevant, and avoid the destruction of Earth by impressing fans with your fantastic performances.
Very unique style of gameplay where adlibbing is encouraged and so a lot of depth is involved.
13+ tracks to play with, and all are a blast to listen to!
Visually intriguing and captures the comical essence of what the plot is trying to sell.
A good chunk of replay value since you can always come back at any time and drum away.
DLC packs allow you to change up your bandmates.
Wish the game had some online highscore ranking.
Sometimes the Joy-Cons wouldn’t sync well with the drumming but not consistent to be a major problem.
Sadly it’s only a single player performance. No friends to help you out here.
Honey's Final Verdict:
Music titles are always a blast to play not just on your own but with friends it certainly creates an even more enthralling experience. Sadly for Gal Metal this is a solo performance but ultimately the game is so fun that you most likely will forget about it down the road, and have fun with the bandmates in-game anyway. We hope you found this review to be an insightful one and that Gal Metal will be just as impactful on you as it was on us!
As always, for all things sweet, with news straight from Japan, be sure to keep it locked here on Honey’s Anime.
Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.
A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and watch me play on twitch.tv/honeysgaming ! Take care!