Metal Blade

Action 2001 Windows Beat em up

Get punching and kickin

If you're looking for a fighting game to make a change from the usual Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat titles, then you could do a lot worse than this cracking slice of one-on-one action. It's not exactly overburdened with originality but it makes up for it with heaps of playability and combat depth and turns out to be quite the hidden gem. Interestingly, the game was created with the Fighting Game Maker application but which was never released outside of Japan. Once you get into the game, it's all pretty familiar stuff, with a number of varied characters to choose from, which you then pit against one another in a series of head to head matches, with three rounds to a match. The characters all have their own unique moves, with an absolute ton of special attacks and combos to learn and which adds much to the game's longevity. There's also a cool skill system which should have added even more interest but which isn't implemented quite as well as it should have been unfortunately. Apart from this, everything is pretty much standard fare for the genre but as far as these things go, this is cracking stuff. The uniqueness of the characters is perhaps the game's biggest draw, with some really distinctive ones to get to grips with, while the sheer amount of attacks is also pretty impressive. The visuals are equally as enticing, with some slick animation and lovely backdrops, while the sound supports things in stylish fashion, with some lovely tunes. If quibbles are to be made, a few more characters and backdrops would have been nice, but apart from this, Metal Blade is a must play for fighting fans.

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