Wednesday, April 3

Review: METAGAL [Nintendo Switch eShop]

When you’re setting out to make a game there’s sometimes no shame in looking to emulate something out there that’s popular, a sizeable chunk of the industry is built on that. The tricky part is that the more you’re obviously copying another game the more striking the differences become. That brings us to METAGAL, a game that is thematically and structurally emulating the MegaMan. While it does a fair job of laying out plenty of run, jump, and shoot platforming with multiple bosses you can then inherit new powers from, it unfortunately doesn’t do as well with in establishing the same flow and level of polish.

Starting with the positive there’s no mistaking many of the hallmark traits of the classic series. You’re on a mission to save your creator and your multiple mechanical sisters from the evil General Creeper who has captured and corrupted them. In order to get to them and fulfill your quest you’ll first need to get to each of them, working your way through platforming sections and a relatively small variety of enemies in eight themed worlds. Each will culminate with a boss fight where you’ll face one of your sisters, and once you’re able to defeat them you’ll take on their special attack power as you seek to liberate the others. While you won’t be able to jump to just any of the levels initially, you are free to determine which order you go through them in to a degree.

While at the core is all pretty familiar and does a reasonable job of approximating the revered series what’s missing is generally the craft behind smart and solid level design and mechanics. The majority of deaths you’ll have in the game are pretty cheap ones, and too often getting through the levels feels more like an exercise than fun. While there are multiple enemy types that have different attacks there’s just something one-dimensional most of the time in dealing with them. Boss fights aren’t terribly different, with defeating them feeling more spammy and less strategic than I’ve become accustomed to.

If you’re really jonesing for a taste of that MegaMan style experience this may not be a bad match on a budget, but I’d keep your expectations in check. In many areas it does a fair job of approximating the series, but there’s just an element of craft and heart missing from it so it just doesn’t quite feel right. That said, I don’t doubt that for the right audience they may enjoy it despite its shortcomings.

Score: 5.5

  • Emulates quite a bit of the MegaMan formula pretty well
  • It implemented a decent system to prevent sending you back too far when you die

  • Most of your deaths will tend towards being cheap ones
  • A lack of polish and creative spark in general, too often it feels very generic