Still tanking
January 10, 2012

It's amazing how many things Metal Max games do right.

For a start very early on you get an item called the Dog System that lets you escape instantly from any dungeon AND lets you select from the major town locations to warp there. Saves an age in tedious backtracking or travelling when the only purpose is to get from A to B. Why don't more RPGs do this?

You can buy a tool for your tanks that allow you to cut the encounter rate in half and have it turned on (shows up as a blue icon with the word "CAMO") so you don't forget. That cuts down the frustration of lots of fights when you have to explore new territory. Also available near the start of the game. (And there's an item to increase the rate too.)

Want to find and fight a particular enemy to obtain the items it drops? No need for pointless wandering around hoping to trigger an encounter with that precise enemy! Your Hunter class has a skill that shows up a list of all the local enemies and you can pick one to appear. It might not work and it might show up with lots of other enemies but there's about a 50% chance it will. Fabulous system for fast levelling up as you can pick an enemy that gives oodles of experience.

Not only that, but the monster list gives both the drops and the locations for all monsters (once found). And you need that because there are hundreds of them.

Menus - everything can be sorted alphabetically or according to type. You can do this for all items, or you can do it for sub-groups: such as healing items, attack items, equipment etc. (Or move individual items around easily.) Yes other games let you do this, but not all. Should be a standard thing.

Lists - everything is listed in a master list with percentages showing how much of what you've got. That was a cool feature of Nostalgia too and it's in some of the Atelier games, and probably many others I forget right now, but it's a great feature.

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honestgamer honestgamer - January 10, 2012 (08:45 PM)
Those are definitely some nice perks. I'm not sure if a lot of RPGs thought such a system would eliminate the mystery (there's an argument to be made for that, definitely) or if they were trying to sell guides or what. In any console generation, it seems like there are development teams that "get it" and there are others who make similar games but always fail to include features that could make their respective games so much better. It's a pity.
overdrive overdrive - January 10, 2012 (09:11 PM)
The only one I played was that Metal Saga on the PS2. I just couldn't completely get into it. Felt there were good ideas, but it came off as kind of a chaotic mess.

But because of the good ideas part, I am kinda thinking about sometime down the road to check out the SFC one that has a translation patch out.
threetimes threetimes - January 11, 2012 (12:23 PM)
I read your review of Metal Saga. Disagreed with it of course, but I could understand why you were less than impressed. In some ways MS was less successful than the earlier games, The style is less suited to the PS2, although you could cut down the loading times by using the HD option. But I quite liked the loading screens with the cute tyre tracks or dog paw prints. Although to be fair the game wasn't made by Atlus, just localised by them. I think of Metal Max as being similar to Dragon Quest - lots of stuff to do and a huge world to explore, so it's easy to forget the real purpose. But I think you'd enjoy MMR more. No loading times anyway!

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