Coming to America has been a long road for Metal Wolf Chaos. Despite developers From Software designing the game with the US in mind, Chaos originally released only in Japan on the original Xbox in 2004. Thanks to its ridiculous premise, it did gain a cult following in the West. This was mostly due to the… shall we say… flexible nature of the Xbox’s operating system. Devolver Digital has done all the dark business to right this wrong, bringing the game in all its angular glory to American shores. As Metal Wolf Chaos XD, it’s the same game now as it was then, which does bring some issues along with it. If you go in with an open mind and you’re looking for cheesy fun, Metal Wolf Chaos won’t disappoint.
Freedom in America is dead. Richard Hawk, the former Vice President, has led a military coup d’etat and taken over the nation. Our only hope is his running mate, 47th American President Michael Wilson. Climbing into a special military mech suit, Wilson travels from coast to coast liberating citizens and facing down an impressive array of mechanical threats. It’s the kind of plot that you’d expect from an Asylum film, and it fits the tone of the proceedings perfectly. Let’s party.
Metal Wolf Chaos XD Review | SUCK ON MY MISSILE PUNCH!!
As far as what you’re doing in order to free the nation, Metal Wolf Chaos plays pretty similarly to your run of the mill Earth Defense Force. You’ve got way more weapons than you really need, there are often swarms of enemies to take care of, and everything around you is constantly exploding. There’s not a lot of nuance to the proceedings, but ripping through each area is an enjoyably mindless endeavor. The only complaint I can really muster comes from the awkward weapon switching and the brief bouts of platforming. Unlike the hammy dialogue, there’s nothing charming about outmoded gameplay quirks like these.
To get to the point, Metal Wolf Chaos is an old game, and you can feel it. There has been no effort to bring it forward into 2019, which is both a curse and a blessing. Your enjoyment of the gameplay here will map directly to how familiar you are with the tropes of 15-year-old action games. How can you adapt to experimenting with your abilities without an in-game tutorial? Can you deal with boss attacks that kill you in one hit? Are you able to work without mid-mission checkpoints? Because of the old tropes, playing Metal Wolf Chaos can be frustrating more often than not. As with a lot of older titles, learning the ropes is part of the loop, and that can be rewarding, but it takes some real commitment.
Metal Wolf Chaos XD Review | He’s not even giving us time for Instant Noodles!
Just be sure to do some research before you dive in. On top of the ancient gameplay ideas, Metal Wolf Chaos has plenty of dead ends in its weapon progression system. There are maybe four truly useful categories of weapons among the ten selections. Since you need to invest currency to keep unlocking weapons, you have to either go in with a gameplan or grind out earlier missions for upgrades. Trust me, even going past the initial few levels without a pair of reliable machine guns is close to suicidal.
Despite the necessary extracurricular studying, Metal Wolf Chaos draws players in with its true appeal. From cutscenes to mid-level musings, every single bit of recorded audio in this game is amazingly over the top. Every speaking voice enunciates random syllables and cackles madly at the drop of a hat. Explosions and other audio feel haphazardly mixed, which is a problem that also leads to hilarious moments. The entire campaign captures the vibe of any number of SEGA arcade games from the 90s. This was surely a wink and a nod in the game’s original context. It becomes a nostalgic treat playing today.
Metal Wolf Chaos XD Review | Meaner than Satan himself
Metal Wolf Chaos captures the spirit of arcade legends, but it also captures their depth. While you can replay every mission to your heart’s content, the additional content beyond the main campaign feels threadbare. Completionists will want to hit every S ranking and go for high scores to obtain some wacky bonus weapons. There are also some pretty well-hidden alien collectibles, but that hunt only yields a few extra lines of dialogue. It’s nice for From Software to reward the true maniacs among us, more games should do that. On the other hand, I wish the rerelease just let me play around with all the game has to offer. Once you tire of all fourteen levels, you’ll be looking for something else to play
I’m overjoyed that Metal Wolf Chaos is finally available legitimately in the country than appreciates it most. I also really didn’t have a great time revisiting it for this review. Considering that I’m someone who appreciates the unique quirks of the Original Xbox more than most, I can only imagine what an average player would think. If you’re just down for a history lesson on From Software, you could do worse. If you’re down for The Room-style comedy or a supremely old school mech game, Metal Wolf Chaos XD might still be for you. Don’t go in expecting too much and you won’t end up as roast chicken.
TechRaptor reviewed Metal Wolf Chaos XD on PC via Steam with a copy provided by the publisher. The game is also available on Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
Metal Wolf Chaos has more than earned its place in video game history, but playing this XD rerelease in 2019 is a blast from the past that's pretty hard to swallow.
- "Incredible" Vocal Work
- Old School Ideals
- Arcade Gameplay
- Limited Replayability
- Old School Quirks
- An Abundance Of Useless Weapons