Review by eolsen

Reviewed: 02/06/06

A shame more people don't have this game.

Metal Masters sadly is a game that very few people have ever heard or let alone played for the GameBoy. This game was made by the company Infogrames in 1993, and I think it definitely deserves more fame and popularity than it has, which is really none at all.

Metal Masters is a fighting game in which you take on the role of an underdog robot trying to overcome incredible odds and save the city from an evil baron who seeks parts to a super robot that will help him take over the city’s capital and end the city as we know it. These wildly popular robot battles are the world’s major sport and thousands of people bet on them. The baron however, knows that the fights are all rigged. With the money he will receive for placing winning bets on any more fights, he will be able to acquire the final piece of the super robot. It is up to you to upset all the matches and stop the evil baron.

Every robot has four main parts. They all have a body, left arm, right arm, and legs. When a fight starts, you will see these four components along with a health meter for each part. The main goal of the game is to render these parts useless on your opponent. You can attack with both arms when close in, and can shoot missiles when far away. Once one of your parts is gone, it can no longer be used. So once a player is left with no arms, they have no way of attacking and the other player basically just tries to rack up points while their enemy tries to defend themselves.

When you win battles, you will receive a small amount of credits. These credits can be used before and after each fight to buy upgrades for your robot. All four components of the robot can be upgraded. In total there are eighteen different upgrades you can make that will make your robot much stronger. If you lose a battle, the game is over and the baron finds the money to build the super robot and destroys the city.

Story
I’ll be the first to admit that the story isn’t very intriguing or even very original. This isn’t exactly the first time a rich baron has been your enemy and isn’t the first time I’ve heard of fighting robots. Nonetheless, I find that in fighting games, especially the older ones like this one, storyline doesn’t really matter a whole lot.

Graphics
Graphically this game wasn’t so special. The best part about the graphics was the movement of the robots. Their legs were pretty well animated and were very smooth in movement. Everything else graphically was just pretty ordinary. The environments were drawn pretty decent, but nothing to shout about.

Sounds
I really liked the sounds in this game. The background music was pretty refreshing. For example, after the fight there was some techno influenced that really fit the futuristic theme of this game and really sounds cool. Hell, if I could find it in an MP3 somewhere, I’d put it on a CD. The sound effects were also very good, though they became a tad bit irritating at some points just because of their repetition. For example, every time you stepped there was a sound effect, same for every time you punched. These sound effects may get annoying to some people, but I didn’t find them too irritating.

Controls
Controlling your robot is a little shaky however. Since there are two layers of the playing field (far and close), it’s hard to position yourself on the close layer and throw a high punch without getting moved to the far layer. Same goes for crouching on the far layer. Other than that, navigating your robot is very simple and easy to learn. Punching is also very easy, though sometimes getting yourself to the right range is challenging.

Game Play
This game is also pretty darn fun to play, and quite addicting. The first few battles are very easy, but as they go on, even on the easy difficulty, you will find yourself getting challenged more and more. And since you can only die once, getting through the entire game is quite a feat. The only thing I didn’t like about the game play was I felt that the rounds were too long. It is pretty easy to knock out both of your opponent’s arms relatively quickly, rendering them defenseless against you. So for the remaining two minutes of the round, you will find yourself just chasing around the other robot trying to get a few shots in. However, because of the impeccable responses and timing of the computer AI, this task becomes very challenging and sometimes a little aggravating. It is very hard to get multiple hits in on your enemy because they are extremely responsive and pretty smart. This is one of the better-made fighting games for the GameBoy and has very high replay value. I will admit that I don’t play a whole lot of GameBoy, but whenever I do, this is one of the first games that I pop in. It’s very entertaining and makes those long hauls in the back seat of a car a lot shorter and more enjoyable.

Final Words
It is really a shame that more people haven’t been able to experience Metal Masters. I was really surprised to see such a lack of knowledge across the internet of such an enjoyable game. I am assuming this game is somewhat rare, so if you come across this game, I would definitely recommend buying it. Though the storyline and graphics weren’t amazing and the controls could use some tweaking, this game made up for those mistakes in game play and fun factor. I really just wish that I could find a soundtrack to it somewhere!

Rating: 8

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