Metal Unit is a solid standalone effort on a 2D action roguelike with an anime wrap, but it lacks the fundamentals to stand alongside the greats.

Recent action-roguelike Metal unit he really wants to be the next try and die again obsession and throws enough items and weapons at players to appear to be up to the task. With some fun confusions and fun challenges, it’s definitely the kind of roguelike that seems exciting in its early hours, but the bloat of the visual design and an overwritten narrative carry away its strongest qualities. Still, for some lighter fare mechanical nonsense with decent post-game treats that lengthen its value, Metal unit has enough to make for some fun afternoons of screen cleaning action.

First things first though: anyone who doesn’t have the appetite or patience for cheesecake anime girls will likely become Metal unit off after the first few scenes. The game and its lackluster story are by no means sexually charged beyond the images themselves, but these are fiercely charged up front; the pause screen itself shows an animated view of the main character Joanna flirtatiously presenting her heaving chest in motion. Again, it’s a purely visual note, with the translated narrative harboring a variety of other non-brilliant anime tropes, but this still seems dull and potentially disrespectful to some of the game’s viewers.

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Metal unit It works like a 2D platformer with a roguelike structure, and Joanna’s Mechanic Unit 11 traverses a set of multi-stage biomes, each marked by camp respirators and a final-level boss. In each of these bite-sized stages, of which there may be 20 or so in a given area, players have a chance to collect a piece of equipment, some gold coins, some permanent upgrade coin from “central crystal” or a tangle. with secrets and light puzzles. While the biomes themselves are quite long, a good variety of activities and traps keep players busy, despite the fact that the scenery and enemy layouts are static at all times.

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When she doesn’t go through these areas (or after dying in them), the central area of ​​Sun Tail Base allows Joanna to visit shops and talk to NPCs. Again, a good variety here offers a blacksmith for crafting, potion shops and random items, a synthesis NPC that combines items to the Power stoneand even a special semi-secret storage area where equipment can be stored for later runs. True to roguelike fashion, Metal unit strips players of their gear and gold after death, though a host of weapons, armor, and special items can be found on a console near Joanna’s room in the center.

There are seven total slots that can be attached with custom-made pieces of gear, such as a projectile weapon, armor piece, or a special ultimate technique; even Joanna’s cute robot companion can wield any projectile weapon. Earning XP with these weapons and leveling up allows the player to secure them in an arsenal for later races, and there is a mix of huge swords, whips, daggers, and even more unusual weapons like drones and barrier missile launchers. Unfortunately, the amount of visual noise during some of the more explosive weaponry makes some Metal unit screens completely illegible, which often leads to unavoidable damage.

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Metal unit It initially appears to have a diverse set of elements, but it is a double-edged sword; Wide variety leads to certain key drops being all-powerful, and bad runs where nothing OP drops from a chest feels doomed, especially after the challenge peak in the third area of ​​the game. There are also few effective element synergies, something that is, at this point, part of the soul of the best action roguelikes.

There’s also very little feedback from the action, with a lot of time spent learning how to react to surprise damage or which enemy projectiles blend into the background more easily. While Metal unitPixel art is pretty hefty for your characters and most enemies, softer backgrounds blend in easily with these sprites, making the whole visual experience too flat. Certain biomes fare better than others in this regard, and the player’s movement has a weightless yet agile and responsive feel.

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Metal unit does not have the mechanical novelty and character of something like Skul: The Hero Killer or the precise feeling of Enter the dungeonbut it has a long list of colorful weapons to try and some cool secret challenges to come back to once completed. At its price, there’s more than enough to satiate a roguelike fanatic with nothing else on their plate, but Metal unit it lacks the fundamentals to lift it closer to the top of the roguelike heap.

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Metal unit It’s available now on Steam for PC, with an expected release on Nintendo Switch to come. A digital PC code was provided to Screen Rant for the purpose of this review.

Our rating:

3 of 5 (good)

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