- Machine: Nintendo
In the year 2501, mankind looked forward to peace and prosperity. That hope was shattered, however, when disaster struck the powerful battle station Cyberg on Pluto. Originally designed to protect Earth from hostile space aliens, Cyberg malfunctioned and turned against our own solar system.
Now mankind's only hope lies with you. Somehow you must battle your way past the station's defenses to activate the self-destruct device. Fortunately, you're equipped with the M-308 Gunner, a cybernetic battle suit with enormous firepower and the ability to reverse gravity.
Although the background story is fairly ordinary, MetalStorm is anything but an ordinary game, thanks mostly to the M-308's unique gravity flip. By pressing the A button while pushing up on the directional pad, you can reverse the pull of gravity, allowing you to "fall" upward and walk on the ceiling. This might not seem like much until you run into the game's well-designed layouts of platforms, one-way barriers, and enemies that alter their patterns depending on whether you're on the floor or the ceiling.
It's obvious that a lot of thought and creativity went into Metal Storm. For what's essentially a side-scrolling shooter, the different stages are amazingly varied, both in the way they look and in the way they must be played. A number of the stage bosses are incredibly dynamic, including one that changes its fire pattern by constantly rearranging itself.
Getting through this game requires quick thinking and constant flips from floor to ceiling, combined with careful shots. What might seem like a simple gimmick leads to complicated strategies and an interesting challenge.
The graphics of MetalStorm are excellent as well - bright and sharp, with nicely detailed backgrounds and smooth animation. The only disappointment is the flickering when numerous enemies appear (which is more a limitation of the eight-bit hardware than of the game itself). There isn't as much flicker as in some other Nintendo games, but perhaps it's more noticeable in MetalStorm because so many other things are done so well.
Overall, though, MetalStorm stands out. It sticks to the standard pattern - lots of enemies and a boss in each stage - but its unique action and attention to detail put it head-and-shoulders above the average shooter.
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Metal Storm expands the scope of the normal side-scrolling action-shooter to include a super-hero with anti-grav abilities and plenty of firepower! The standard move and shoot game that is populated with challenging creatures and powerful Bosses includes a new feature that lets you flip between the top and bottom of the screen depending on where the action is!
Metal Storm is the perfect example of how to take an exciting theme and produce it correctly from beginning to end. You get amazing graphics, decent sounds and enough pulsepounding interaction to keep interest well into the action. It's not based on an arcade title, but it is solid.
Spectacular graphics and some very innovative features make this one of the best NES shooters to come around in a long time. While not as difficult as some die-hard players would like, the game is still easy enough for the average player. The reverse gravity is a big plus.
A very cool concept in shooters. If things don't look good than change gravity and face the situation in a totally different way. Graphics are too pastel, but weird parallax scrolling makes up for it. The bosses are easy and there aren't enough power-ups. otherwise a areat Dlavina game.
At last! A new idea for a shooter! Even though Strider was the first game to truly introduce the concept of gravity-reversal, Irem took that very thought and creates a very comprehensive game around it! Marvelous graphics and playability enhance this terrific shooter.
Fresh from the masterminds behind R-Type, Metal storm adds a brand new approach to scrolling shooters. In this game, you command the M-308 Gunner, a nine-foot, 2100 pound suit of armor! Of course, the concept of armored warriors isn't uncommon, but this technological masterpiece has the ability to reverse gravity!
At first, walking on the ceiling seems awkward, but after a little practice, many gamers will prefer the ceiling instead of the dangers on the floor. Actually, in some levels, the Gravity Flip is a necessity rather than an option. Level Two features an intricate maze of one-way platforms and trap doors which operate according to the flow of gravity. Careful, though! One touch from any enemy, door, spike, or laser bolt will send the M-308 careening into oblivion!
At first glance, this shooter appears only average, but the techniques are new and exciting, opening the doors for a new generation of side scrollers.
WHICH WAY IS UP?
Ever since the intense antigravity scene in Strider, there has never been a game that utilized the feature so completely and realistically! The feel of "falling" to the ceiling is excellent. This special feature adds a dramatic new weapon to an already impressive arsenal!
TECHNIQUES AND MORE!
Two special techniques in this game are the "jump-and-flip" and the "distance flip." The jump-and-flip requires the M-308 to jump off a platform and land on the reverse side. The distance flip requires a player to jump and flip gravity at the last moment. Get special items this way.
What's nine feet tall, weighs in at 2,100 pounds, is activated by 1,300 kilowatts of power and can reverse gravity at will? The "M-308 Gunner," the most sophisticated weapon available to planet Earth. Earth is under threat of total annihilation from a renegade computer-operated defense system on the planet Pluto. This station was originally intended to protect Earth from the threat of hostile aliens, but due to some unknown malfunction, it has started destroying other planets in the solar system! A built-in self-destruct mechanism has jammed, so you are being sent to make your way through the battle station "Cyberg," and attempt to activate it manually.
While this is certainly a new storyline, it's not exactly a brand new concept for a game. Basically, it fits the tried-and-true mold of fighting through a space fortress, crushing the enemy and defeating the end bosses. There are, however, some distinct differences!
In MetalStorm, there are four primary stages and three stages of the computer system itself that stand between either the obliteration or continued existence of Earth. Each of the stages is divided into two areas, which are inhabited by varying enemies--walking or flying robots, fixed-gun emplacements and jagged, spiked ceilings or floors that must be successfully navigated.
Ceiling and floor become more subjective here, however. By utilizing a special "gravity flip" function, you can, in effect, turn the tables on gravity. Your character flips over and flies in the opposite direction and lands on the first available surface. Thereafter, jumping is affected accordingly, depending upon where your head is!
Your character is armed with a powerful auto-firing laser, which may increase one step in power with the acquisition of the proper power-up. Other power-ups available include ones for 1-Ups, extra time, a "smart bomb" effect, armor, etc., for a total of eight in all. While shooting prowess is always important, jumping ability combined with manipulation of the gravity-flip ability are imperative for progress into the deeper levels of Cyberg.
Complicating matters further are special levels that may only be traversed in one direction, indicated by arrows that line the level. In some areas, there really isn't much of a ceiling or floor to orient you. You may simply step off a ledge and continue to fall forever! The levels simply wraparound, and you will often find yourself walking along a floor that only moments before you had seen as a ceiling. Some system defenses are triggered by your character's orientation, while others are set up to crush you when you pass between them.
The theme of MetalStorm doesn't break any ground, but does have enough freshness to make it interesting. Graphically, the game is adequate, although some backgrounds seem somewhat "tiled," or patterned.
The game is fairly challenging, but most of the tricks can be figured out in short order. Things didn't really get difficult to any extent until over halfway through the game, so anyone should be able to handle the action. Unlimited continues and a password option are available as well, which makes the chances of saving Earth much easier!