Metal Max: Xeno

Metal Max, what can be said about you? Possibly the fact that no one knew you were related to one of the top RPG's made by Atlus on Playstation 2? I'm talking about Metal Saga. Reflecting on this game and Xeno, we do see some comparisons. The storyline is pretty much continued. But Metal Saga was criticized for its lack of development and storyline. With Metal Max: Xeno, some may still point out that lack of story once again.

The plot is a bit of the same Metal Max many fans know. Humanity as we know has fallen. We've polluted our waters and airs, we've drained the resources, and we've even killed all the forests. Already this sounds like where we're headed as a whole on Earth. Well, aside from this next part. We also lost all females known to man. There is no way to repopulate. We only have female AI.

The story revolves around your character travelling the map by tank, locating bases that once held settlements. You soon find out though, that all is not what it seems. You're a Monster Hunter, and a rogue group known as SonS, are attacking these settlements. As your progress through this game, you also have freedom over which bosses to attack first. But I would advise leveling up before attempting them. Also, I advise you to progress far enough to unlock tank customizations of weapons.

Since playing this game, I can certainly say for Metal Saga/Metal Max fans, it is fun. It is not for everyone however, as this RPG is in Japanese language, only English subtitles, and it can be quite a pain to run out of ammo. Once you do, you have to fast travel back to the main base to reload, heal, and then go back at it again.

Despite these shortcomings. Metal Max Xeno does have some fun attached to it. After some time of unlocking things, customizing tanks, and finding more settlements, the battles seemed a bit easier. Not to mention, one tank can hold up to 8 party members. This gives you the opportunity to attack with one vehicle up to 8 times. I'm not sure there are more than 10 potential party members in the game, but I have yet to get further.

You can also customize your characters' specialities, such as grenades, machine guns, or basic gunning abilities. The way this works is by completing Ace quests. This rewards every party member with XP, giving you the ability to pay for further customizations. There are also classes, 6 in total. Each adds further creativity to your own story. Gone are the days where RPG's give you only main character customization. This game breaks that barrier.

While it may be true that not everyone is going to enjoy this game, I personally enjoyed, and can't stop playing it, other than my other two main games. It might not have the best soundtrack, and grinding may be slower than most RPG's, but the fun level, customizations, and sandbox style world all give me reason to come back for more. As for replayability, I would say moderate levels, mostly for trophy hunting. But, all in all, this game is fun and I give this a 4/5 stars.

Brian Eckels