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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

How to Beat Brutal Legend's Stage Battles

I mentioned yesterday how much I dislike real-time strategy (RTS) games. Last night, Brutal Legend changed from action-adventure to RTS in the blink of an eye. Or, at least, that's what I thought. Despite using very little strategy, I was able to get past a couple Stage Battles. I wasn't quite sure how I'd won. Rather than spending my time surveying the field and micro-managing the units of my "army", I decided to run into the fray and kick ass instead. And you know what? It worked!

After closing things down for the night, I decided to take quick look around the Internet for some tips and tricks to beating Brutal Legend's Stage Battles. Luckily for me, I was able to find some solid advice that should help me get the most from Tim Schafer's hilarious heavy metal adventure!

Before I get to the finer points of beating Brutal Legend's Stage Battles, you should check out the Brutal Legend Stage Battle Guide. I used that guide as a reference for the information below and the guide's author, EvisT, deserves credit for his work. And with that out of the way, let's figure out how to beat some Stage Battles!

  1. It's all about the fans.
    Fans are the lifeblood of your army. But focus too heavily on acquiring fan geysers and you'll find yourself suffering from diminishing returns. It's best to acquire no more than three fan geysers. This will give you enough juice to pump out your units and upgrade your stage without compromising your overall goal of taking out your enemy's stage. And trying to defend more than three geysers would suck pretty hard given Brutal Legend's focus on RTS action as opposed to strategy.

  2. Ultimate Alliance
    Brutal Legend was designed to be fun. Real-time strategy games are not fun. It stands to reason that viable RTS strategies shouldn't work very well in a fun, action-oriented game. So don't bother splitting your army to attack your opponent on multiple fronts. Don't waste your energy trying to set up multiple squadrons to handle different offensive and defensive tasks. Focus instead on building a large army and using it to hammer your enemy's troops into bloody pulp.

  3. Rock On!
    Eddie's guitar solos are an invaluable tool in turning the tide of battle. My personal favourite thus far is the Facemelter Solo. I like to fly Eddie over to a group of enemy units gathering near the enemy's stage. Once I'm in position, I come in for a quick landing and fire off the Facemelter solo. And just like that, I've gained a huge edge in the battle.

    You should also use various solos to rally and gather your troops. I haven't used any solos other than the Facemelter in my game but I've only successfully completed a couple stage battles.

  4. Double Team
    Tim Schafer was quick to defend Brutal Legend's RTS elements in a letter sent to Kotaku. Mr. Schafer was concerned that Brutal Legend's target gamer, namely an action-adventure gamer with a sense of humour and a penchant for metal, was missing the point of Stage Battles. Attempting to complete the Stage Battles using classic RTS tactics would only serve to frustrate players. Tim urged players to get Eddie into the fight, using his axe and solos to destroy his foes.

    One point that Tim Schafer hammered home was the importance of "double teaming" Eddie with his various units. Each unit has a special attack or power that can only be triggered during a double team. For example, double teaming with a Razor Girl allows Eddie to target and destroy targets at long range.

    This is one aspect of Stage Battles that I have ignored until now and that's really hurt me. In the opening chapter of Brutal Legend, I performed a few double-team attacks with Ophelia and they were devastating. If you find yourself having problems beating a Stage Battle in Brutal Legend, just remember that a few successful double-team attacks may be all that's needed to turn the tide of war.

  5. Are you ready to rock?
    Like it or not, exploring the world of Brutal Legend serves more purpose than simply unlocking achievements or trophies. Freeing bound serpents and finding tab slabs will help you expand Eddie's arsenal of tricks and his overall "might" on the battlefield. And don't forget to visit the Guardian of Metal frequently to upgrade Eddie's powers and weaponry. Every upgrade you acquire will increase the edge you hold over your opponent's army.

  6. When all else fails...
    ...remember your primary goal in a Stage Battle: destroy the enemy's stage. Build up your troops, upgrade as much as you can, and then charge! Rip through anything that stands in your way and start laying on the hurt where it counts!

I'm going to keep these points in mind tonight when I sit down to play more Brutal Legend. As much as I found myself struggling with the Stage Battles last night, there was definitely something exhilarating about them. Flying above the field of battle, summoning troops, and then charging into the fray with a face-melting solo is damned fun! I'll try to remember to throw in some cool double-team attacks and maybe take a spin around the field in The Deuce!

I'll leave you with the Stage Battle video tutorial that comes packaged with Brutal Legend's multiplayer mode. I'll probably watch it a few more times myself to make sure that I'm ready for the many battles that lay ahead.

Rock on!