METAL FLAME PSY BUSTER
( Metal Mech - Man & Machine )
©1990 Sculptured Software Inc.
©1990 K.K DCE
Release: 1990-12-14 (¥5900)
Released in America as
MAN & MACHINE
( NES-J8-USA )
Metal Flame Psy Buster is a side scrolling action game by
Sculptured Software and published by Jaleco. In the year
AD20XX, a malicious race of half-alien, half-machines, suddenly appears and
attacks the Earth. The Metal Mechs, as they are called, have now
successfully taken control of the human world. But a small group of
scientists decides to counter attack the enemy - they manage to capture a
large three-legged Metal Mech vehicle, and they plan to launch a
desperate offensive to destroy the alien mothership and save humanity. The
player takes control of the captured Metal Mech codenamed Metal Flame OMO III,
and more precisely, its human pilot Tonī Seibasutā (aka Tony Psybuster).
This is what distinguishes Metal Flame Psy Buster apart from other action games
at the time - although the player starts inside the three-legged vehicle, he can jump
out of the war machine at anytime, scout the surroundings on foot, collect items and
explore areas the mech can't reach (in a way very similar to Sunsoft's
excellent Meta Fight).
The goal of each level is to recover the
Level Key (symbolized by a red "K" icon) hidden somewhere around
the vicinity, and to reach the exit (usually located at the right-most part
of a level). Other special items are also scattered around each area and can
be collected to enhance the survivability, mobility and firepower of the mech.
They range from armor upgrades, radioactive fuel,
life upgrades, bombs to extra weapons (the player can
switch from on to the other by pressing 'Select', and they range
from Rotary Gun to Missiles or Rapid Fire).
Metal Flame Psy Buster consists of six levels.
There are a couple of notable differences between the American NES
version of the game and the Japanese version. The game's title is completely
different and shows Tony and the OMO III mech (picture on the right),
whereas the Japanese
version features the game's title over a blue background. The screen that
follows, where Tony runs towards his mech has some added text that says
"Let's do it mech!". Interestingly, although the game is credited to
Sculptured Software, a development company originally based in
Salt Lake City (Utah, USA), if was first released in December
1990 in Japan, and in march 1991 in the USA (was the game originally
commissioned by Jaleco Japan ?). Additionally, on his game design
and art work page, Joe Hitchens (game artist at Sculptured Software
in 1990 and Metal Flame's game designer) has some artwork showing Tony
as seen in the American
version's title. It is anyone's guess as to why these graphics were removed
(or never included) from the Japanese version. Joe Hitchens also
mentions a Game Boy version of Mech Metal which, as far as
we can tell, was never released (it was announced in the
Official 1990 World of Nintendo Buyers Guide for a 1990 release).
Finally, an early game promotional flyer shows that
Metal Mech Man & Machine was first announced under the name
Mechanoids Man & Machine (which was also the name of the
unreleased Game Boy game).
Teaser text copied from the American version:
It can save mankind,
but beware... this machine
has a mind of it's own!
You Can beat'em
into the ground...
... or fight
Welcome to the all-terrain
attach vehicle of the future!
It's what you need in a world
gone to the dogs!
Teaser text copied from the American Mechanoids promotional flyer:
We want the world and
we want if now!
That's not just the player's mission in his struggle to
wrest the fate of Earth back from the invading
aliens of MECHANOIDS.
It's also the goal of every dedicated video
game player who's looking for the hottest
new challenge on the NES horizon.
Today, players expect the world of every game they
play. Torrid action and complex strategy. Dynamite graphics
and super-powered weapons. Mind-boggling fantasy and
downright dangerous realism... all wrapped up in an'
intricate, engrossing story.
And finally, they can have it all. MECHANOIDS
blows the roof off the "doomsday" genre of video games
with a truly breathless battle for survival matched only
by the complexities of its video landscape. With six
distinct, scrolling battlefields connected by an
intercontinental subway, a lumbering, leg-driven, terrain-crushing
vehicle, plus the ability to leave the MECH and explore
on foot, MECHANOIDS draws the player into a perilous
world where everything is alien: the enemies... the terrain...
even your own weapons.
If you stock just one new game this year, make it
MECHANOIDS. Because, for today's most demanding
players, nothing less will do!
Game Staff (Copied from the pause menu) :
Click on picture to enlarge
Add your Pov here !
Metal Flame Psy Buster definitively looks like Meta Fight
(aka Blaster Master), smells like it, tastes like it, but it
definitively doesn't play like it. Granted, they checked off the
"man riding a cool vehicle" and the "man jumping out of cool
vehicle" boxes. But they somewhat forgot to check off any of the
others. The game is incredibly boring and the task at hand is daunting
and strenuous to say the least. Listen to this - you have to find a key,
that same key can be hidden anywhere within the level (usually inside
something that you have to blast with your gun), and the levels are
massive and enemies respawn like crazy. Believe me, the second level
alone is enough to destroy anyone's sanity - I can't express how long
it took me to find that stupid key! It is a shame, because the rest of
the game is somewhat decent (except for the terrible music), the
mech looks pretty cool (it is surprisingly large on screen, but this
comes at a price and it is very clunky to control) and the last
level where you only control Tony certainly came as a
pleasant surprise (despite horrible controls). All in all, the poor
level design and the messy gameplay are what killed the game for me,
and made the whole experience a lot more difficult (and frustrating)
than it could and should have been. A mess of a game.