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Metal Arms: Glitch in the System Review for GameCube
Posted on Wednesday, January 28, 2004 @ 10:19:33 pm E.S.T

With the gaming industry filled with such popular franchises, it's sometimes hard to create something that's truly unique. Nowadays, many games seem to be become more and more generic and less original. However, when a game has such an incredible and unique style to it, it rises above the rest, with ease. Metal Arms: Glitch in the System is one of those games.

In Metal Arms you assume the role of a little droid named Glitch discovered by two other droids one night. The two escort back to Droid Town to be repaired. In this process of being fixed, memory bank is restarted. When this happens, a short film is projected that tells you the story of Droid Town and how the mistake of a droid named Doctor Exobolt caused a war hungry robot, named General Corrosive, to be created. As a result, it and an army of robots waged war against the droids. Seeing as the droids need all the help they can get in the war, Glitch volunteers to fight for the droids.

The game's shooting is awesome. The game features many weapons, each one being very unique. You start out with the Mining Laser, which is basically the handgun of the game. Later you acquire such weapons as the S.P.E.W, a rapid-fire weapon; the Barrage Cannon, which is a rocket launcher; and the Scatter Blaster, which resembles a shotgun. Each weapon, although based on weapons you'd find in any shooter, is different than anything you've ever seen before. They all have a futuristic style to them that really makes them feel different than weapons you'd find in your average shooter. Also, Glitch is equipped with an array of secondary weapons, ranging from EMP Grenades to Magma Bombs.

However, the most interesting weapon of all is the Tether Gun. With this, you can sneak up behind any bot and position it so that the bot's serial port is in the weapon's crosshairs. Upon firing, Glitch will now be in control of the bot. This is called hijacking. When in a bot, you have infinite ammunition for whatever weapons the bot carries. This is very helpful for times when you are against an overwhelming amount of enemies. However, you cannot clear an entire level with the bot, because once you get too far from Glitch, you'll start to lose transmission. And if this happens, then the bot you hijacked will become your enemy once again. Hijacking is an interesting and vital role in Metal Arms that is incredibly fun.

The game features forty missions, all with their own specific objective. In one level, you'll have to clear out an area full of bots in an intense, quick-shooting battle, while in another mission you'll have to drive a vehicle to a certain destination in a certain time limit. The missions are diverse, and for the most part, fun. The battles are excellent. Since enemies surround you, you'll always be moving, shooting, throwing secondary items, and switching weapons. Because of this, the gameplay is almost always thrilling, and amazingly fun. You will probably even find yourself replaying missions over and over for the intensity and thrill of battles.

However, the game sometimes suffers from too high a difficulty level. In intense battles against hordes of enemies, you'll usually have to die and try again. This can get incredibly frustrating at times when you are completely overwhelmed by enemies, surrounding you on foot, in vehicles, and in the sky. It does add a bit of strategy because it forces you to know when to conserve ammo or what weapon to use, and when to use it, but for the most, part it's just annoying.

The other slight problem that Metal Arms suffers from is vehicle control. The game features three unique vehicles. And while using them is fun, it is sometimes frustrating. For example, some of the game's objectives are to navigate a vehicle, called the RAT, through a rocky area, in a certain time limit. However, in order to control it, you must use both the control stick and C stick. So, while you tilt the control stick forward to move, you must tilt the C stick to steer. This feels extremely awkward and at times incredibly annoying. And since in some missions it is mandatory that you control the vehicle, you have to get used to it, which may take some time. Other than this though, the rest of the game's controls are solid and easy to become accustomed to.

The game also features a great multiplayer mode, complete with seven modes of play. The modes range from a standard deathmatch to King of the Hill. Plus, all of the aspects from the single player mode are available in the multiplayer modes, including hijacking and vehicles. The multiplayer battles, much like the single player, are fast, furious, and fun. And, since Metal Arms is an arcade-style, “pick up and play” shooter, anyone, even someone whose never played the game before, can play and have fun.

Graphically, the game's style is unique and beautiful. The environments are blooming with life and color. From the rocky terrain of the Wastelands to the colorful Morbot City landscape, every environment sports a diverse and excellent look. The game's character models look fantastic. All of the bots are filled with very nice detail and color that brings them to life. Plus, they are all realistically animated. If you weaken an enemys arm, it will be left dangling from the torso as the bot runs frantically in terror. The only problem is that with all this constant action the framerate dips from time to time. However, other than that, Metal Arms is excellent visually.

The audio category is where this game really stands. The voice acting and dialogue is hilarious. The lines are hysterical and the delivery is just as funny. In a few instances, some bleeps will pop up here and there to censor random uses of profanity. Also, one of the game's later characters speaks in a high pitched and fast voice that you can barely understand. All of this has a comedic charm to it that will have you laughing out loud. The game's soundtrack is amazing as well. All of it creates a futuristic atmosphere to it that sounds excellent. When you are in a quick shooting battle, the music is fast and really gets the adrenaline pumping. On the other hand, when you are sneaking around an enemy base, the music is slow, giving you a sense of stealth. And, finally, sound effects are also excellent. From explosio'ns, to bullets whizzing past you, everything sounds incredible. The audio in Metal Arms is truely a wonderful treat for the ears.

The game also has a lot of replay value. In just about every level, there are secret chips to be acquired. These can be obtained by either finding them in hard to reach, or see, areas, or by completing the mission in a certain time. When you collect enough chips, you will unlock different multiplayer maps. And speaking of the multiplayer, you'll be playing that for a while as well. The multiplayer is addictive, fun, and easy to play. This is one game that you'll probably always want to play when you're with three or more people. And, if you don't have friends, just going back and playing some intense levels is always fun. But, there isn't much to unlock or collect other than secret chips, so you probably won't be playing the full main game again, unless you want to try out the three other difficulty levels.

Overall, Metal Arms is one of the best shooters around. The intense gameplay, stunning graphics, fantastic audio, and addicting multiplayer modes all make this game a must play. Of course it has its problems, like an overwhelming difficulty level, but nothing really holds it back from being a completely satisfying experience.

Review By: MarioPrime - 1428 Reads

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