Metamorphic Force


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 7.5

Sound: 9

Gameplay: 7

Overall: 7.5

Between Konami and Capcom, it's hard to choose a fave when it comes to beat-em-ups. Both of these companies went nuts in the early 90's with some outstanding games, both licensed and unlicensed. In this case, we have Konami coming through with a great brawler that simply got lost in the crowd.

Metamorphic Force provides a unique twist that madly effects gameplay and helps give the game some depth. By picking up specific power-ups, any of the 4 selectable characters can transform into an animal/human hybrid. Think Altered Beast and you get the idea. Your limited in how long you can stay transformed and your time is indicated by a bar just below your health meter. The animal mode increases your power slightly, but you'll really have no problem taking on the masses in human form.

The game runs on what is obviously a tweaked "X-Men" engine which was released the year previous. It's solid enough and more than playable, though the number of moves is somewhat more limited. You can whack enemies when their down and pick up items that'll clear the screen, but your left with standard punches after that. 2-players can go at this one together, a step down from the incredible widescreen 4-player X-Men.

Animation remains adequate, but the number of foes is extremely limited, even for a game in this genre. There are some great mode-7 effects (check out stage 5's coliseum) and the bosses are quite menacing, but there's nothing else that will astound an experienced gamer. The sound on the other hand, well, it's outstanding. The music is highly varied and every track is screams quality. There's some great 16-bit styled riffs, a few rocks segments, and it all finishes off with a classical track that really puts a nice finishing touch on the entire experience. There's quite a bit of voice work as well.

Few issues mar this game, but there's enough to drop it a few points. First, your always losing life, a Konami trademark that started way back in Crime Fighters. Until the final battle, you really won't have that much trouble playing this one, not even on the bosses. This is probably the reason for the dwindling life meter, but it's still not a good enough reason. Secondly, the controls seem to be just a hint off track at times. It wont be enough to ruin the game, but a bit more programming would've done the trick.

Yes, there are a lot of better games in this category you could play, but once you've plowed through them a few times, this isn't a bad choice. As mentioned above, the previous years X-Men is the all-around better game, but this one is much shorter and probably more accessible. If your in the market to play a beat-em-up and Capcom's line-up doesn't do it for you, than this should be on your "must-play" list.


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Last updated: Wednesday, December 10, 2003 02:28 PM