Saturday, April 28, 2012

Retroulette #10: Metal Warriors

 Today I was presented with a game calling itself Metal Warriors, for the SNES.

With a title like that, this is bound to be the most boringly generic game ever right? Read on to find out!

(spoilers: Nope, this game is fucking awesome)

The game opens with these two logo screens:

Which instantly makes me want to play Zombies Ate My Neighbors instead. Hopefully out of the hundreds of games available to choose from, that one is randomly picked next.

Anyway the story is set up in a screen with scrolling text. It boils down to this:

100 or so years in the future, Earth is under attack by the forces of the Galactic Empire Dark Axis led by the evil Emperor Dictator Palpatine Venkar Amon. A handful of scrappy warriors are all that's left to stop this terrible threat! They are....

These guys?
 No! It can only be the-

*cue kickass guitar solo*

 So yes, not really quelling my fears that this is going to be a horrible paint by numbers 16-bit side scroller at this point. In fact, now I know it. But, as always, I'm wrong.

Upon starting the game, you're treated to an amazing cutscene showing all the preparations for the mission ahead. Seriously, I was kinda sorta blown away by it. It has to be among the most impressive things done on a 16-bit machine.

There's quite a bit of animation in this sequence and it looks pretty great in motion.


Our objective?


Yes. You have to rescue a captured woman.

Metal Warriors, I can't defend you when you're throwing out cliched crap like that every chance you get.

Well, it's time to go to the Death Star Axis 5 to get Princess Agent Leia Marissa.

I am a pretty bad dude, yes.

So I'm given control of this huge robot an--HOLY SHIT THIS GAME IS AWESOME.

I got freaking rocket boosters, I can shoot in 16 different directions, and I have a lightsaber (naturally). The 16 way shooting actually takes some time to get used to, but after awhile I'm blasting shit in every direction.

The first enemy you encounter is just an little tiny unarmored trooper. I didn't expect to see little teeny people but they're firing at my massive mech so they must be eliminated.

C'mon man, how did you think this was going to end?
When you kill these guys they explode into a cloud of purple blood. Therefor these guys are either aliens, cyborgs or zombies and I am all too happy to kill them in that case.

"Oh shit did you see what he did to Jimmy!? I didn't know he would fire back! Ruuuuuuun!"
Then of course some actual enemies turn up, in the form of similarly giant robots. These guys fly and dodge all over the place so you have to be pretty quick on the ol' D-pad to take 'em down.

Your sign says "Welcome",  but your giant armed robot guards say "Get the fuck out of here!"

Inside the space station is a level full of elevators and opening and closing doors. One thing I notice is the levels are pretty destructible.

You just never really see this kind of detail in a 16-bit game.

At some point in the level I get kind of stuck. I use this opportunity to test out the full range of my controls. The Start button brings up a Metroid-esque map, so that's pretty helpful. The Select button....makes your little pilot get out of the mech. Why the hell would I ever want to do that? When am I ever going to go "Piloting this giant badass lightsaber wielding walking tank is pretty boring, I'm going to take this fight to the ground."

This time, it's personal.
Pressing the left shoulder button uses whatever powerup you have equipped. There's grenades and rockets and stuff, but when I used it the first time I all of a sudden was walking on the ceiling. Now, I can't think of even a single instance in which that would be truly helpful, but how is that not awesome? The right shoulder button brings up a laser shield of some kind.

I continue on and die a few times. And you know what happens when you die? It's back to start.  That's seeeeeeriously bullshit. There's no health bar or HUD of any kind in this game. Your mech's life is represented visually by how messed up it is. It can be pretty hard to tell sometimes, but that's pretty forward thinking. We're just doing that in games now.

After awhile I find Agent Marissa. She's just chilling on some platform. She's very lucky I didn't squash her like an ant though.

"Yay thanks for rescui-AHHH WHAT THE HELL!"

She's also like 10 feet away from the exit to this level. She could have just strolled out.

Whatever, MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. Some guy is giving the objective for the next stage. We're to steal an Axis supply ship.

"How! How are they unaware!? I blasted the shit out of everything in my way."

This level is more of the same kind of stuff. But it's still awesome.

This doesn't seem safe.
At some point I make it to the bridge of the ship. But the entrance is too small for the mech to go through. So getting out of my ship has a point after all.  Too bad being a little dude sucks ass. I appear to have 10hp as a little guy, and every time you get hit you lose 1. There's two guys in the bridge and they obliterate me pretty quick. Of course it's back to START. I ain't doin' that again.

Long live Dictator Amon!


I can't say exactly how many megs there are of stellar mayhem, but 16 sounds about right. I got that vibe while I was playing it. Sometimes it would almost seem like it was 17 megs of stellar mayhem, but then I would die or get stuck or something and it was back to normal.


  1. Was this game released in Aus/EU as 'cybernator' ? if so, I remember the game well, it's fucking awesome.

    1. According to Wikipedia:

      "The gameplay mechanics and level design are very similar to Assault Suits Valken/Cybernator, but this game is not a sequel to Cybernator as many users tend to believe. Cybernator and Metal Warriors are completely different games made by different companies."

      Different game, but you're not the only one to see the resemblance. I'll have to check out Cybernator some time, because Metal Warriors is bad ass.