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Metal Arms - Glitch in the System


JFo
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I just read these impressions of this new third-person shooter at IGN, and I must say, I'm very interested. This game comes to us from Swingin' Ape Studios, a newcomer to the industry. IGN praised the latest build in several areas including the following:

 

Glitch on GameCube runs in progressive scan at 30 frames per second. Normally we're framerate tarts, but there's a lot going on in this title that helps us overlook the lack of a perfect 60-frames-per-second fluidity. There's a good amount of detail in Metal Arms. The worlds are large and filled with geometry, but it's more than that -- most of the geometry is fully interactive. Buildings take bullet shots. Windows crash out. Architecture breaks apart and falls to the ground, smashing. Chunks of wall separate. There are particles galore. Because of all this, the simple act of shooting Glitch's weapons is all the more satisfying. It even plays a part in the game. You can shoot down platforms that enemies are standing on and they will crack and fall, for instance.

 

Hmm... a fully interactive environment with high detail and a decent framerate? I'll play it!

 

Metal Arms also allows you to take control of vehicles and other robots, which is apparently where the heart of the game lies. The article in the link mostly deals with the first level though, so they don?t go into a lot of detail. I suppose that will come out in a future writing. It will be very interesting to see how this one turns out. Too bad I have to wait until November to play it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've come to find out a little bit more about this game. Apparently, it isn't a GameCube exclussive as I had initially thought. It will be available for all of the major consoles (though I don't believe it will come out for the PC).

 

Furthermore, this month's OXM demo disc features a playable level from this game. I just may have to pick it up today when I hit the game stores.

 

Oh, and the Xbox version comes out on October 14. Next month is going to kill my bank account.

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I really enjoyed the OXM demo. It's very Ratchet & Clank - lots of shooting, lots of gadgets, lots of over the top weapons, lots of things to destroy. Controls like a fps essentially, and was easy to get to grips with. Graphics were pretty & cartoony with a lot of character in the models.

 

The gadgets/weapons were nice - at one point you take over a huge hulking robot & stomp on the enemies you normally face.

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I have now gotten my hands on the OXM demo and played it.

 

First off, the game doesn't strike me as being too original. It's a pure action-packed shooter, and that's perfectly fine with me. I just want to have a good time while playing it. Secondly, I was impressed with the level of activity on screen. What the standard soldier robots lack in brains they make up for in numbers and while all of this shooting, running, and blowing up was going on, the framerate remained consistent. I did notice a slight drop in fluidity a few times, but it didn't hinder the ability to play at all. Let's hope that it runs perfectly smooth when the final version is released.

 

The controls seemed spot on. I did have some trouble with them at first, because I'm accustomed to playing FPS games with the Southpaw control stick configuration. (The left stick looks and turns while the right stick walks and strafes.) I hope they offer up some more controller configuration options in the final version. I suspect that they will since demos usually don't let you customize the controls at all. Still, once I got used to it, I managed to hold my own, although I still did die a lot. That brings me to the last comment... This demo is hard! I made it to the second checkpoint, but could not get past the part with the tank, the several dozen soldier bots, and big nasty with the shield. I may have to play it again later tonight to try to get past it. Did you manage to beat the demo, dogbert?

 

EDIT: Nevermind. I discovered that Glitch can not only take control of other robots, but can also grab the controls of vehicles as well. :)

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

Just in case you guys missed it, IGN Cube has their review of the GCN version up.

 

Overall, they liked it and recommend it. Sadly, I think that this game is going to be swallowed alive by the flood of higher-profile titles coming out within the next six weeks. I know that I'm probably going to wait until after the Holiday season to get my own copy, as I have enough to keep me busy between Ratchet and Clank: Going Commando, the Grand Theft Auto Two-Pack, Prince of Persia: Sands of Time , Mario Kart Double Dash!!, and 1080 Avalanche. Hell, I may have to forget about buying Christmas gifts for anyone this year, as I won't have any money left over for that.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, I tried the demo of the XBox version as it was on last month's disc. And got a total of absolutely nowhere.

 

Why oh F***ing Why do idiot programmers insist on locking out the control options on "playable" demos? I understand the full game does allow you to switch the analogue sticks to lefty mode, but since the demo doesn't I'm completely unable to make it more than about 100 yards into the game. GRRR!!!

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Originally posted by ianl:

Why oh F***ing Why do idiot programmers insist on locking out the control options on "playable" demos? I understand the full game does allow you to switch the analogue sticks to lefty mode, but since the demo doesn't I'm completely unable to make it more than about 100 yards into the game. GRRR!!!

 

It's funny that you should mention that, because I had a similar problem playing that demo myself. I'm used to the Southpaw control style (move and strafe with right thumb stick, look with the left) and it took me a while to get used to it. I did manage to make it all the way through the demo, but it took me a while, mostly because I kept getting blasted away by the foot soldiers, who took me down while I played the game like a retarded monkey (no offense to Robot Monkey). If the game is half as fun as the demo, it should be a real treat.

 

Speaking of which, I may try to find myself a copy sometime this week. It's out now, and I would really like to give this one a shot and report my findings to you good people.

 

While I'm at it, might I recommend to the forum administrators that this thread be moved to the General Discussion Area? After all, this is a multi-platform game and I will be buying the Xbox version. I feel somewhat silly talking about an Xbox game here in the Cube forum. Thanks!

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ianl;

 

I picked up Metal Arms over the weekend. I'll warn you right off the bat that there is absolutely no option to change your controller configuration in this game. None. What you get is what you use, and if you don't like the default setting for the analog sticks, you'll be in trouble.

 

That said, I have played through a good portion of the game now, and I will say that I have gotten used to the controls. I won't say that I'm as comfortable with them as I am with the Southpaw configuration, but I'm not accidentally falling off of cliffs or some god-awful robot-crunching device now.

 

At any rate, how 'bout I post some impressions for those of you interested?

 

Sometimes you when you play a game, you get the distinct impression that the developers have an absolute blast playing it themselves, and wouldn't have bothered making it if they didn't like it. Metal Arms: Glitch in the System is one of those games. As far as shooter games go, it doesn't do anything revolutionary, nor does it even need to. It's merely an excellent representative of the genre. Everything you would expect from such a game is present. There are plenty of big guns in your arsenal and they can all be upgraded to do more damage. Explosions are loud powerful, and blast your metallic foes to millions of tiny pieces. The story is your standard tale of a solitary hero going up against an army of robots with nothing but his wits and weapons to save him. In other words, it's the quintessential shooter game.

 

This is a great effort from first-time developer Swinging Ape Studios. Assuming that this game sells well enough for them to remain in business, I would expect to see some more great games in the future. This is a talented company, and if Metal Arms is any indication, it has the potential to become a 400-pound gorilla in this industry. I will be keeping an eye on them.

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I'm planning on picking this one up in the near future. I just can't see myself doing it at this price point. I've just got far too many others to get in the way at this point. :)

 

It does look like a solid shooter though.

 

Regarding control scheme in games, I've never really had a problem with games that don't let you adjust them. I just kind of find my way into getting used to it. I really can't recall a title that I just hated the control scheme so much that I didn't want to play it. The closest I ever came to that was Halo, and that was just because I didn't like the black and white buttons.... but that's just me.

 

Glen

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Thanks for the impressions, J. Fo. I'll probably pick this up for the XBOX when I finish a couple of the games I'm currently working my way through.

 

G4 ran a half hour special on Swinging Ape Studios and the making of this game. I already had this on my "investigate further list", but it definitely moved up a notch after watching that show.

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I finally made it through this game this evening. Here are some final thoughts.

 

I'd like to mention two things that I don't think other reviews have mentioned. First off, this is a pretty big game. In all, there are 42 levels, and each one took me about a half-hour to complete. In total, I estimate that I spent between 18-20 hours to beat it. For those of you who like to get the most for your money, you'll get it with this one. You can even scour the levels for secret chips that unlock mulit-player levels if you're into that sort of thing.

 

Secondly, I was surprised by how tough it was. Let's just say I died plenty of times... and that was on the normal difficulty. I hate to imagine what would happen if I played it on "Nuts o' Steel." Those of you who pick Metal Arms up will probably notice the challenge kick in somewhere in the mid- to late-twenties levels. Fast reflexes alone will not get you past the Mils. You'll need to plot out strategies to get past them, which include using your trusty control tether to take control of them as well as turning some of them against each other using this special grenade that reprograms the bad guys to be on your side. (I can't tell you how many times that's gotten me out of a jam. Okay... five.)

 

 

So, yes, it's a great game, and I highly recommend it to you shooter fans. Have fun.

 

Now, I'm off to play Jak II!

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