Gaming

Metallic Child Review (Switch eShop)

The venerable fascination with “games” has witnessed countless robotic robots. Metal child tries to give a definitive answer like Mega man, Astro boy and – what is the most formidable – Mighty No. 9… We are joking, of course. The infamous crowdfunding project Inafune (which resulted in an incredibly mediocre game) isn’t really competition for this. But we bring this up because Metallic Child reminded us of this. Wait, don’t run away! We promise it’s not bad. You see, Metallic Child is an isometric Mega Man roguelike, as absurd as it sounds, with character designs that immediately evoke Mighty No. 9. You choose a target and then go to the game world to defeat it.

Rogue elements are actually pretty limited to the point that we’re not even sure if that’s for sure. name it rogelite. Instead of starting from scratch on every playthrough, you only have one chance to complete each level / dungeon; the improvements and gifts found in it will be lost after death, but if you cleansed the level, it will remain cleansed. Perhaps this greatly expands the definition of rogalite; this is facilitated by the use of random positive and negative changes in characteristics. However, the risk of losing “time” is quite high: it takes about an hour to complete each multi-storey stage, even at high speed.

You see, as you progress through the game, you’ll find Cores that don’t tell you their timing until you install them. As you no doubt guessed, they can be good – increase the damage of your attacks, etc. – or they can be bad – reduce your movement speed and the like. The interesting catch here is that even negative kernels offer you valuable error data that you can later spend on super kernels that remain active throughout the cycle.

The feedback is good, the controls are responsive. After choosing a couple of weapons, you will go into the dungeons (as they are) and beat the enemy robots with absolute unreasonable cruelty. When using “standard” gloves, you press the Y button for the standard 1-2 hits and press A for a powerful uppercut that can launch enemies. You can also press X to grab enemies and throw them, which will become an absolutely essential part of your offensive toolbox once you get used to it; Throwing opponents into walls stuns them long enough to do good damage, or throwing them directly into raging fire or other hazards will completely destroy them. You can dodge rolls (or defenses) using the L button, allowing for quick, quick and exciting escapes.

The presentation is strong from the start, with a rather adorable connection to the player through the main character, unfortunately named Rona, who talks to you directly and instructs you on how you can help her. The view on your screen also looks as if you were watching Rona through the camera, with live readings in the corner. It’s a small thing, but it lends some credibility to the anime-influenced scene. The movement is fluid and smooth, with a smooth 60fps frame rate and crisp, crisp image quality even in portable mode. Enemies and their projectiles also stand out against the landscape, so you won’t find yourself dying with messy visuals like some of the other roguelites we’ve played (Curse of dead gods, as good as it is, comes to mind). The soundtrack is also good.

Metallic Child has all the ingredients to be something of a stoner. And in most cases it is! As you move from room to room, it is undoubtedly fun and exciting to fight countless enemies, learn to dodge their attacks, explore the environment in search of tidbits of knowledge, bonuses and improvements, and – ultimately – fight some pretty impressive and challenging bosses.

However, in essence, combat is the whole game. Every room you enter according to Hades, will seal and challenge you to smash its hostile inhabitants. The problem is that you defeat them all the same way. While you can swap weapons (including during a combo), you’re ultimately best off just spamming your throw attack, which seems to guarantee an S rank for every encounter. And that’s okay – it’s fun, of course, but the environment doesn’t differ much; While the lone developer has gone to great lengths to make each area visually unique, each stage simply consists of large rooms and corridors, sometimes posing a threat to the environment. It’s not very inspiring in that regard, but the basic gameplay is good enough that we might not even notice. Visual acuity is important, but variety is equally important.

Conclusion

Metallic Child is a gripping, dialogue-heavy and seemingly fully voiced quasi-roguelite anime adventure with some aplomb, and certainly an impressive achievement from Studio HG’s seeming solo development. The price is right, and only a few issues with repetitive gameplay make the game a little worse. There’s a lot to see and do, as well as a thrilling adventure to get stuck in with ‘achievements’ to unlock and constant additional upgrades that can be purchased with dropped currency as you smash your enemies to pieces. An impressive debut, clearly made by someone who understands how important feedback is to such a game; this is an exciting and fun holiday for your Switch.




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