REVIEW: Metagal

Every month or so Ratalaika Games seems to port a game for Xbox One, to name a few: Daggerhood, Access Denied, Heroes Trials or Fullblast. That’s just a few since they released 18 games so far, impressive but for gamers, it is pretty hard to trust the quality of releases, not all of them have been worth your time. METAGAL, the latest port won’t be pleasing many gamers, I’m afraid. It is a decent 2D platformer but plagued by serious issues that make it far less exciting than it should be, let us talk about it a little more…

Firestorm, is that you?
  • Tough boss fights: More on the level design later but the saving grace from METAGAL are the boss fights. It will take some time figuring out the attack patterns and tactics to beat your corrupt sisters.
  • Visuals: Looking at METAGAL and not bringing up Megaman is impossible, it was clearly a big influence! The charming character design and the pretty detailed 16-bit environments catch your eye immediately.
  • Chiptunes: The sound and music walk hand in hand with the visuals, surprisingly better than expected. The catchy music never seems to bore and while the game uses some typical sound effects it always perfectly fitted everything.
I don’t know the answer to why 2D platform games always seem to have a lava floor.
  • Story: The game starts with a barefaced explanation as to why you will be playing this game. Someone evil corrupted your family and now you’ll have to fight them all to solve it. All hope is placed on the player, Meta a cool looking cyborg that can eventually copy the powers from those who you defeat. Yeah, nothing earth-shattering but it gives a solid reason, something other games in the 2D platform genre seem to completely miss.
  • Achievements: (no score influence) I’m sure that the Ratalaika Games devs do it on purpose but the Achievements are stupidly easy to get. I would even think that a dung beetle could get a few Achievements when a controller is stuck in the rolling ball of dung.
In this screenshot you’ll notice the window that you’ll read about in this review.
  • Oh, I seem to have been killed? Oh.. I couldn’t avoid it… CHEAP DEATHS: There is nobody on this blue planet that likes to be unavoidably killed by some cheap reason. METAGAL is full of moments like this and it is utterly frustrating. Jumping further back than an Olympic athlete if your hit is the biggest reason, or missing your jump because Rambo has an even better hit detection is another main reason.
  • Level design: The cheap deaths bring me to the next point, the level design. Or rather, the level design that was thrown completely out of the window. Placement of enemies in combination with some level hazards is more frustrating than the defensive play from France against Belgium in the World Cup 2018. I honestly wonder if anyone playtested this thing before it was released? Some parts are so extremely luck based that “fun” was the first one to open the window so the level design could be thrown out of it.

CONCLUSION

ūüĆü SCORE: 43%
Sigh… the level design really screwed up METAGAL. It sounds decent, looks decent and has some decent parts but it just has too many frustrating moments to be really fun. I would only suggest buying this if you are a big fan of 2D platformers.
Dae Jim

Developer: RetroRevolution   Publisher: Ratalaika
Played on: Xbox One X  
Achievement difficulty for 1000 Gamerscore: Extremely easy
Time to finish: Main Story: 4 hours
Perfect for:  2D platform fans, Achievement hunters 
Xbox Game Store link:Click here