The Definitive 50 SNES Games: #39 Metal Warriors

It is the year 2102, and Earth is under attack by the Dark Axis. It’s up to the Metal Warriors to beat back the evil dictator Venkar Amon and drive his forces off Earth. That is the story of Metal Warriors, a mech-combat focused action platformer for the Super Nintendo.

This game was developed by LucasArts and released April of 1995. It takes 39th place on the Definitive 50 SNES games.

Metal Warriors‘ one player mode features nine lengthy levels which take the gamer from the depths of the enemy’s mechanical facilities, to the defense of a great space ship, and even the icy cold of Alaska. This mode includes well animated cut scenes which hold the lovable and ridiculous plot together.

The Head to Head mode is the game’s brilliantly balanced and tragically under-appreciated multiplayer combat mode. In Head to Head, players frantically traverse levels similar to small sections of the campaign’s levels. They must navigate their mechs around each other, dodging attacks and sneaking in their own gun blasts and melee swings.

In one player mode, the gamer is assigned a certain mech at the beginning of each level, and usually gets to switch to other mechs depending upon what turns up in the course of the level. In Head to Head, each player has his or her choice of mechs taken from the single player campaign, the choices being: Nitro, Havoc, Ballistic, Drache, Prometheus, and Spider.

Each mech has its strengths and weaknesses, and each controls quite differently, although they all use all of the SNES’s buttons. Drache, for example can fly around with ease and drop on its opponents with devastating results. Prometheus can’t even jump, but can place blocks to create a path for itself. In both single and multiplayer, the select button can be hit at any time for the player to hop out of his or her mech and play as a tiny jet-pack-equipped human. In this state, the player becomes incredibly vulnerable, but it is necessary to jump out in order to switch mechs and explore certain parts of levels.

Both the one player and Head to Head modes of Metal Warriors are fully developed, intense, and engaging experiences. Each could likely stand as its own game, and combined they form an undeniably enjoyable package.

Check back next week for entry 39 on the Definitive 50 SNES games.

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