Monday, May 25, 2009

Mech Week : Metal Warriors

So here I am for my first week theme, which is if you have been following my single mention is Mech Week. For this I will be looking at all my favorite Mechs from different media outputs. There is a single factor I noticed from when I started scraping any mech memories from my mind, it is that most of the mech related media is japanese most of the time, and quintessentially my list is mostly all anime and video games. Sure there were a few other exceptions but they aren't that awesome or cool enough to fit into my personified list, but as an added bonus I'll be counting at the end of the week what didn't make the cut and a little conundrum of what should of made the cut. First item of the list something completely obscure, because everyone knows the more obscure it is the cooler it is and in retrospect the cooler you are! (Statement isn't a fact)

Metal Warriors, an obscure game on the SNES, at least it was obscure for me at the time, even now nobody knows that much about it, even me. The production is a little iffy for me also, seems that there is a bunch of other mech games similar to this one named Valken, but from the word I hear around Metal Warriors is a complete rip off of those games but made better. Ironically is was produced by LucasArts, stunning I know they can make good games besides their two cash cows, no no I'm being to harsh they made a few good game besides those two Lucas fueled franchises. It was also, never released outside America, so it is considered a spritual successor to the Valken games somehow.

Despite being purely american it sports a lot of the anime styling with the small opening cutscenes, which are still very nice to look at even for today's standards. Sadly, the story is still purely american, you are the somewhat valiant american fighters against the organization named the Dark Axis. The game doesn't say much more than that really, a few tidbits here and there but nothing really important. Still like I said the cutscenes are really cool even they are only about 15 seconds of it. See it below. One aspect that didn't hit me at first but that I found really cool is that there isn't any on screen interface, no health gauge, weapons meter, time and useless information like that. When you get hit your Mech slowly loses its color and after awhile it will start to deteriorate, all in glorious 16-bit. That aspect of no screen hub is why I found that the praise of Dead Space for using no interface so hilarious because Metal Warriors did it 14 years earlier way before Dead Space!
Another beyond awesome aspect was that yes you had one main mech, but you aren't tied to that mech at all. It doesn't feature this special power that only it can defeat the evil forces, it's simply a war machines and it can be easily destroyed. That might sound like a pain, because in most video games you're almost invincible, but if you're mech does get destroyed or if it is reduced to a walking piece of metal you can simply walk out of it with your jeckpack wearing tiny pilot. The problem is that when in pilot mode you are completely vulnerable and you twitch along flinging your tiny bullets at other huge mechanized monsters. Fear not if you spot an inactive mech around you can simply climb in and continue kicking ass! Great feature, need a different model for a different situation? Grab another mech! Need to fix your mech but don't have any health packs around? Grab another fully healed mech! It adds this layer of panic because you are so vulnerable while in pilot mode, also adds a tactical element because you can't simply go in charging with guns a blazing for every situation, because you will surely be destroyed and most of the time with no empty mech in sight. You really need to take advantage to each of the mechs specialized abilities and defensive and offensive.
I think that's what made the game awesome enough to make my list, being able to switch mechs. And there are a bunch of different models to choose, one is basically a walking canon with no flight abilities, another is a quick spherical with high defense and speed, another is a spider model with the ability to cling to wall and trap others and a few more with each their own special weapons and flying capabilities. Too bad they dropped the ball with the multiplayer. Yes it is fun fighting a friend one on one with each his own favorite model, but the level design made the experience feel way too claustrophobic, with the huge array of weapons, the small maze of hallways ruined the fun factor for the multiplayer. Not that its completely horrible, you just won't be coming back for more after you've played enough.

It simply made my list for being awesome and before its time all without any recognition! Of course 6 different mechs all playable in one game? So cool.


Siskoid said...

Yay Mechs!

Sounds like something I'd play if they made a 360 version of it.

Nizbel said...

There are a bunch of 360 mechs games, thing is that not many are good.

Also guessing that 2D doesn't float your boat?

Anonymous said...

My god, I never thought I'd see a post about Metal warriors! Another reason why Nizbel floats my boat.


Siskoid said...

It's not that 2D doesn't float my boat. Just that I don't have an SNES. I named the console we have at home.

Pout said...

Siskoid: emulators.

Nizbel: This post brings back memories. I don't think I ever extensively played this game but oh do I ever remember having to jump out of a busted mech, freaking out that I might die, and frantically searching for a new, functioning, robot. Good times.