richard_kain's Metal Storm (Nintendo Entertainment System) review

A Title Before It's Time

Metal Storm was a very intriguing genre hybrid from near the end of the NES's glory years. It was released with precious little fanfare or marketing, and passed under most consumers' radar. It was also a brief title, it can be completed in very little time by an experienced player. Despite these shortcomings, it was surprisingly groundbreaking in its approach to game mechanics, and has aged very gracefully for a NES game.

A word of caution, this game is hard. Very hard. Though it is primarily focused on platforming, it often times feels more like a traditional shoot-em-up, and it is quite common to find yourself dodging storms of enemy fire. The game play is centered around a unique and forward-thinking mechanic that let you "flip" gravity. You could activate this feature at anytime, and the rest of the game was built to accommodate the feature. The game is littered with some very clever level design that plays to the gravity flipping mechanic. Metal Storm also featured some levels that would scroll vertically. At some points in these levels it was possible for the player to fall upwards or downwards indefinitely. All of these features, and their polished integration into the game's overall design, put Metal Storm considerably ahead of most games of its time.

The music, graphics, enemies, and bosses were all well thought out and implemented. The game was also notable for running very smoothly, despite some of the technical feats that it accomplished. Though not deserving of a perfect rating, this title is easily one of my favorite for the NES. I recommend it highly for fans of plat formers or shoot-em-ups. It's creative approach to game play mechanics still holds up today.

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