Metal Unit – PC Review

Metal Unit – PC Review
AlexKnight2005
Latest posts by AlexKnight2005 (see all)

Genre: Indie action-adventure side-scrolling RPG
Developer: JellySnow Studio
Publisher: NEOWIZ
Release Date: January 27th, 2021
Edited by AlexKnight2005

As we continue with our daily lives, it seems that specific genres in the video game community get more and more popular with each success with that certain genre. One of those happens to be the rouge-lite genre that exploded in 2011, and now developer JellySnow Studio with a side-scrolling platformer named Metal Unit. Released in February 2020, the game came into early access and plans on preparing to be fully released in October as their roadmap says. But enough history and more about the game itself! You play as Joanna, the pilot of the powerful M-Unit (often referred to as Unit 11) fighting off alien machines from space and monsters that roam the earth. The first thing that anyone will notice is the choice of art style, the developers used pixel graphic sprites trying to get the retro feel to the game. And with the art style of the characters themselves, it gives off a feel of should we say a cruel angel’s thesis? Either way, the art style of the sprites and the cutscenes was done wonderfully.

At the beginning of the game, you will get a tutorial that will teach you the basics of attacking and movement, although most of the mechanics are pretty straightforward. As equipment goes you have a melee slot, a ranged weapon slot, an armor slot that will enhance your armor or give you special effects, a sub-weapon that has a cooldown but does some wacky effects and damage, an add-on slot that each time you attack will shoot lock-on missiles, and an Ultimate skill that will do massive damage but will be built up by attacking your enemies. Not only you can equip yourself, but there is also your little robot friend that you can give a weapon to it as it will fire whatever equipment that you will give it when you attack as well! As the player goes through sections of the map on the stage (once the tutorial is done) the player can collect different types of equipment, gold, and crystal cores. Gold is used for buying equipment once you get to a merchant within the level you are exploring, and crystals can be used for specific permanent upgrades for Joanna. While you are in one of these outposts there is also a shop where you can sell some of your equipment, although I do not know why the shops were split into two, rather than an option for a singular shop. One shop that will be used regularly within the game is the synthesis shop, where you can use two equipment parts and fuse them into a new random one with a base chance of 20% of getting rarer equipment. And the last shop in the game at the outpost is the Smith where you can fuse certain parts to make stronger weapons, although your bank is very small and the chance of you getting all of the items is kinda slim as well, in my own experience this function was not used that often. Before the player can continue with their run they have two choices, the first one is that Joanna goes to sleep and gets full health for the night, the other is Joanna goes into a vault that has some treasure in it but will have to go through a puzzle and some enemies as well, though in doing so does not get full life either.

As the player obtains more equipment, there are certain ones that, if the whole set is completed can change their class that will give you bonuses, and if Joanna dies can start with that set in their next run. Speaking of the game consists of four areas in this game that range from a post-apocalyptic world setting, a volcanic area where burning damage will slowly kill the player, a blizzard area with ice physics (yay…) and traps as well, and a mysterious ??? level that you will have to find out by playing.

The music and the sounds of the game seem to be only a backdrop of the game as most of the sound effects are decent enough, but the music that you listen to will be drowned out by the explosions from your guns and your Add-On weapon. Even if you do turn down the effect sounds half of the time is an ambiance of the level or some sort of synth music that feels awkward to listen to while you fight your enemies. The story of the game is also iffy as well, as half of the time you speak to another character through a codec like-window and the game can be completed within 5 to 10 hours of gameplay with all of the reading the player will do because there are no voice-overs in this title.

Pros:

  • Many different types of weaponry to play with
  • Fun and engaging gameplay
  • Beautiful pixel artwork that’s anime-like

Cons:

  • Some mechanics have little or no use
  • Crystal core economy seems off unless you die often
  • A short game that can be completed quickly

alexknight2005 gives Metal Unit a Drastik Measure a 5.5 out of 10.0 (55)

I had some fun with this game and I hope things get better with its full release but I don’t see this game going far if its full release is soon, maybe another year to refine the crystal core economy, the shop, and the smithery being worked on to make it useful and fulfilling although if you find this game too frustrating or just don’t care about combat you can turn on “assist” mode that is essentially god mode, at $14.99 on steam, I would get this on sale if you are a fan of rouge-lites and even then wait till its on sale