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Sierra / Vivendi



Swingin' Ape Studios



T (Teen)



Q4 2003



- A timeless story: The little robot that could

- Some very good action

- Humorous touches

- Variety of gameplay



- Might seem like a bit of a knock-off

- Some truly hair-pulling sections



Review: Metal Arms - Glitch in the System (XB)

Review: Starfox Adventures (GC)

Review: Turok Evolution (GC)

Review: Medal of Honor - Frontline (GC)



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Metal Arms: Glitch in the System

Score: 8.0 / 10


“I think I can.  I think I can.  I think I can.”  And so the little engine that could slowly climbed the mountain.


metal arms          metal arms


This is the theme of Metal Arms: Glitch in the System, although in this case the little engine that could is a little mining robot named Glitch with an explosive arsenal “thrust into the midst of a planetwide rebellion” against “the evil General Corrosive and his relentless Mil army.”


And the Mil army really is relentless.  They keep coming even after mowing down waves of mechanical foes with your mining laser, ripper and spew gun (i.e. shotgun).  Even with the ability to assume control of unfriendlies with the tether gun and use the enemy weapons against them, Glitch will still have to dodge for cover.  There are upgrades available for each weapon and Glitch has access to the old grenade (coring charge) stand-by, which turns out to be mandatory in the early going.  Glitch himself can also be upgraded slightly, work with a small team of bots, and he can get behind the controls of a few different vehicles.


Relentless hordes, robots, and good weaponry – it can only mean some explosive action.





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For the most part Metal Arms is packed with action, with just a bit of exploration and item collection.  Some areas can be so packed with enemy fire that getting through them can prove to be frustrating, as they require repeated attempts.  Sometimes it can just be a matter of exploding the right piece of equipment or slicing through the right supports.  Overall, the action is more fun than frustrating.


During the heat of most fire-fights I couldn’t help but draw some parallels 


with Halo (for Xbox).  The right shoulder button fires your equipped gun and the left shoulder button throws ordinance; the movement and aiming feels Halo-ish; and the enemies run away with arms flailing much the way the weaker Halo enemies do.  However, this nod toward Halo isn’t a bad thing as the control is rock solid – it takes very little to master your various moves (switch weapons, etc.).


metal arms          metal arms


The early levels feature lots of subterranean levels, filled with dark corners and hidden caves.  As you progress to the surface, the architecture becomes lighter and enemy units are easier to see.  The design of each level is smart, with fairly spaced checkpoints, and staggered waves of enemies so you have a chance to catch your breath and maybe appreciate the graphics.  I’ve never been one to dwell on a game’s graphics unless they’re exceptionally horrid.  In the case of Metal Arms the graphics are good and the animation is particularly done well.  Depending on where you damage enemy units, you can get some pretty hilarious animations.


Also funny is some of the dialogue and one-liners.  On the whole the audio portion of Metal Arms gets good marks – if not for being memorable, then for being perfectly suited to the game.


Metal Arms: Glitch in the System may not grab a huge amount of attention, but for action fans, Swingin’ Ape brings you a solid title worthy of a rental at least.


- Omni

(January 25, 2004)

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