Welcome back to Mecha Madness and this today we are taking a step back a system to the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) to 1991 to talk about Metal Storm a well received action platformer that is considerable rare here in the west. Metal Storm was initially released here in the states first and then in Japan which is curiously different to most NES games.
Metal Storm was developed by a company named Tamtex, and was published by Irem. Irem is a company known in a comedic sense by some here in the west as Irem-ber them not. Irem was once a very popular video game publisher in Japan and they have since their inception built arcade games/units. Irem hasn’t been seen much in the west but continues on in their home country of Japan.
Now for Metal Storm the games story is much like most games of the NES era, very simple. Essentially an intense interplanetary weapon on Pluto originally created to defend the solar system against alien invasion has malfunctioned. The malfunctioned defense weapon nicknamed “Cyberb” has destroyed Neptune with it’s massive LaserGun and all signals of self destruction are being jammed.
At the games start the weapon is beginning to target Earth as it’s next target and it is up to the player to save the day and destroy Cyberb in a Mecha unit. Which enters the games strongest point: its game play and graphical representation of the Mecha. The Mecha is something very reminiscent of just great Mecha related works that are similar to main stays of Mecha such as the Anime’s Gundam & Macross/Robotech.\
The game could be considered a standard action platformer but they added a twist with the ability to invert gravity. By inverting gravity you can get around spots you couldn’t necessarily have done without this added mechanic. This gives you the player an advantage over your opponents simply because you can approach things differently. And as an added bonus as your Mecha takes damage it will alter a bit to show. Fortunately the control are responsive and lend to the players overall enjoyment of the game and it’s difficulty.
The game has a soundtrack you imagine to see in an NES game, and while the music can be great it also gets highly repetitive due to the limitations of the day.
Whats more is that some of the tracks are fitting more in a fantasy setting, the track above falls into that category. But for a console that saw many fantasy games it was awesome that it got a Sci-Fi game such as Metal Storm…
Sadly this game wasn’t one to easily be gotten and maybe that’s because of Irem’s lack of marketing of Tamtex’s game. Had there been marketing this could have been a main classic yet it wouldn’t be anything except a cult classic. Even a Nintendo Power with the game on the cover and a multi-page review and guide within the issue couldn’t help it. Overall I would say as a game it is good at least as far as detail and game play go for the NES and it is a solid choice for a Mecha Fan. Though the games rarity does make it fairly pricey for a collector or fan.
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