Product: Nyko Metal Pedal
Tested with: Rock Band 2 on Xbox 360
While raising the neck of the guitar in Guitar Hero and rolling the sticks around the pads for a drum fill in Rock Band might make gamers feel like they’re really rocking out, it is hard not to notice that the instruments we’re pounding and plucking away at are made of plastic. And sometimes, especially when one kicks the hell out of the bass pedal, plastic breaks, and then the rockin’ stops.
I feel the need to personalize this review to let readers know that I am of the mind that drums should be played loud…all the time. And I admittedly probably smash the pads a bit too hard and thump the pedal quite a bit with my right foot, and yet with the Rock Band 2 kit I have never had any problems with the equipment. I have, however, read several accounts of Rock Band 2’s pedal not making it through extended play. And all of my Guitar Hero: World Tour drum kit feels like it’s ready to fall apart.
Enter Nyko, a company that has been making a name for itself as of late as a quality producer of third-party peripherals for all the major consoles. Nyko’s solution to the cheap plastic pedal problem?
Both as a material and music genre. The company released yesterday its Metal Pedal peripheral for Rock Band 1 and 2, as well as Guitar Hero: World Tour and Metallica on 360, PS3 and Wii.
Despite its name, a majority of the pedal is still made of plastic, but a large, heavy metal plate is screwed into the foot pedal. It is coffin-shaped and fittingly decorated with a skeleton in its grave. The heel portion of the pedal has another, smaller metal plate with raised studs both for decoration and help with keeping the player’s foot in place.
A red coil similar to that of Rock Band 2’s pedal connects to the drum kit, with a plastic slider to switch between Rock Band and Guitar Hero compatibility. The design is otherwise very similar to that of Rock Band’s pedal – floor pads to keep it from moving, same spring positions, etc.
What is different is that Nyko’s is thicker all-around, giving it a sturdier feel. The spring also offers less resistance than Rock Band’s, and the range of motion required to play it is smaller, ultimately making it a slightly easier pedal to play. And it has a hands-down better feel than Guitar Hero’s pedal, which actually bends if pushed down anywhere but the middle. The spring does give back a strange vibration, but it is minimal and has no bearing on gameplay unless one is easily distracted.
The Metal Pedal’s functionality is about the same as those of any of the games with which it can be used, though it does come with a splitter that enables double-pedal play (though it reportedly is not compatible for this function with the first Rock Band and some gamers have experienced problems with Guitar Hero). It therefore doesn’t fully warrant outrightly replacing a functioning Rock Band pedal, but for gamers looking for some double-pedal action, it’s a solid product.
The main appeal here will be for those who have broken their pedals. As a studier product still at the budget price of $20 (compared to some of the professional caliber pedals), Nyko’s Metal Pedal is the way to go for a good replacement.