Maken X was a first person action game for the Dreamcast
developed by Atlus
, and published in the United States by Sega
. Specifically, the game was developed by many members of Atlus who have been responsible for the modern titles in the Megami Tensei
franchise, notably series director Katsura Hashino
, art director Kazuma Kaneko
, and composer Shoji Meguro
. It is considered a part of the Megami Tensei universe, despite not bearing the moniker.
Maken X was unique in that it was one of the first instances of a first-person
game having a focus on close-quarters, melee
-based combat. The game revolves around the titular Maken X sword, which is actually the lead "character" of the game. The word "Maken" directly translates from Japanese as "Demon Blade" and the "X" is derived from the latin deus ex machina
("God from the machine").
Gameplay revolves around Maken X's unique ability; the "brainjack." As you progress through the game, you will "brainjack" several different characters, and doing so provides you with altered combat abilities and charactaristics. During gameplay, you will also come across "ampules" dropped by fallen enemies, which can be used to improve your stats in an RPG-like fashion
Maken-X was heavily censored in the localization for Western audiences, as the Japanese version featured a controversial boss battle against the Pope
, set in the Vatican, and some enemies adorned Nazi
symbolism (specifically, some enemies had swastikas for faces). This is not actually the first time a game in the Megami Tensei series has featured controversial real-world characters or symbolism; Persona 2: Innocent Sin
, for example, featured Hitler
as a major antagonist.
Maken-X receieved a generally favorable critical reception in the US, with a GameRankings aggregate score of about 71%. Most criticism revolved around the game's localization, with many feeling both the translation and the English voice acting were poor. IGN.com notably gave the import version of the game a 9.0/10, whereas the domestic version got a 7.9, to which they cited the localization as a large factor.