Game: "Metal Storm"
System: Nintendo Entertainment System
Published by: Other
Reviewer: Dr. Boogie
Review: Hey, remember Metal Storm? Whatís that? Youíve never heard of it, and youíre sure it must have been a crappy game because of that? Well youíre wrong. No marketing and a generic name do not a bad game make.
The plot is... ah, who cares. The plot is that you control a big robot and youíre fighting through waves of robots and such in order to, letís say, save the world. Itís the NES. The ratio of games with stories to games without stories was somewhere in the neighborhood of 1:50.
That your robot has guns should go without saying. The thing that sets your robot apart from others in the giant robot genre is that yours can reverse gravity at will. If you come to a gap thatís too wide to jump, you can simply flip the gravity and walk along the ceiling. Being able to fly wouldíve been handy (instead of up or down, you could switch the gravity to ďneutralĒ), but the controls are simple enough that youíll have a pretty good handle on it after only a few minutes of play.
And god help you if you donít. The first stage of the game has you running down a single hallway blasting away at mostly defenseless robots to build up your confidence. By the second stage, however, youíll need to have a good handle on both gravity flipping, and just plain jumping. The bad news about your hi-tech robot body armor... thing, is that even the slightest touch of anything that isnít either a powerup, or the ground itself, means death by spontaneous combustion.
Action is definitely the main focus, but negotiating each of the gameís 7 stages also requires a small amount of puzzle-solving. In the above mentioned second stage, for instance, you must travel from the left side of the screen to the right side of the screen, but the catch is that the levels wraps from top to bottom. You can use this to get around some of the trickier robots, but a careless gravity flip could land you right in a bed of spikes you didnít even see because they used to be below you. Later, youíll encounter levels that wrap from top to bottom AND are constantly scrolling upwards like some kind of insidious horizontal barber pole, and in later scenarios, youíll be trapped inside a box, dodging enemies and hazards alike as they scroll past you.
It all requires quick thinking, good reflexes, and a certain amount of memorization to make it through. In other words, itís a true old school game. Newer gamers may find themselves irritated by some of the games trickier sequences (not the least of which being a boss that uses a pair of satellites), but itís just a matter of practice makes perfect. You start off with three lives, and though extra lives are in short supply, the game allows an infinite number of continues. I recommend bringing a friend so that you can alternate. Youíd be surprised just how angry you can get, dying in the same spot over and over again.
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)
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