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Metal Walker Gameboy Color Review – A Unique Twist on RPG Mechanics

 

 

Metal Walker, a late 90’s RPG overshadowed by the Pokemon franchise, brought a creative twist to the genre, much like Custom Robo or Medabots. Initially a pedometer-based game in Japan, it was remade for Game Boy Color, featuring evolving mechs through stat enhancement and collecting items. The game extended its reach with an associated toy line and manga, styled by Beyblade’s Takao Aoki. While it didn’t outshine Pokemon, Metal Walker stood out with its own brand of innovation.

 

 

 

At its core, Metal Walker explores the adventure of Tetto and his father, Core Hunters in search of special metals known as Core Units on the desolate Rusted Land. The young hero’s quest quickly turns into a search for his missing father amidst the island’s secrets. Targeted at a younger audience, the story lets players traverse the eerie landscape and meet characters who contribute minimally to the progression. Critiques have been aimed at the game’s localization and story flow, yet its distinct Flip Battles system where players ricochet their Metal Walkers against foes using strategic angling is a genuine gem. It combines RPG leveling with tactical matchups akin to Fire Emblem’s mechanics.

 

 

 

Strategic gameplay is bolstered by a diverse item system, with capsules that influence battle outcomes through hefty attacks or terrain alteration. Capsules appear randomly during each turn, adding surprise to strategy. Customization is key, despite a clunky menu, and capturing enemy units with an “Analyzer” capsule deepens the roster. Metal Walkers evolve by equipping Core Units, enhancing stats and unlocking new skills, making evolution a crucial tactic in gameplay.

 

 

However, as enticing as Metal Walker’s concepts are, they tend to unravel as players progress. Traversing the Rusted Land’s monotony, battling too frequently, and navigating through samey, puzzle-free zones hinder the enjoyment. The lonely ambience aligns with the narrative background, but fails to captivate the player. The lackluster environments contrast with the vivid Ever Green area and the Metal Walkers’ sharp battle designs. The music, unfortunately, does little to elevate the atmosphere. Despite its shortcomings and niche appeal, Metal Walker is a notable entry in Capcom’s GBC portfolio, fusing billiards-inspired combat with traditional JRPG elements. It may not resonate with all RPG fans today due to its grind-heavy gameplay and storytelling shortfalls, yet it carves a respectable niche in retro gaming collections.

 

7.0 TOTAL SCORE

Metal Walker Gameboy Color


7
PROS
  • Unique gameplay mechanics offering a fresh twist on traditional RPG elements
  • Evolving mechs through stats enhancement provides a deeper level of strategy
  • Associated toy line and manga for extended fan engagement
CONS
  • Overshadowed by the more popular Pokemon franchise, resulting in lesser recognition
  • Story and character development are minimal, affecting emotional investment
  • Localization and story flow issues detract from the gaming experience
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