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KIKŌ KEISATSU METAL JACK
( Armored Police Metal Jack )
game Cover
game cartridge
機甲警察メタルジャック
©1992 Atlus Ltd.
©1991 Sunrise, I&S, TV Tokyo
Release: 1992-07-31 (¥8800)
Cartridge SHVC-MJ
Action/Platform


Kikō Keisatsu Metaru Jakku (aka Armored Police Metal Jack) is a side scrolling action game by Atlus and based on a Japanese anime series of the same name aired in the 1990s. In the year 2015, a special criminal investigation team of the Metropolitan Police is on alert for any kind of emergency situation. One day, a mysterious organization and crime syndicate called "Ido" appears and sends out robots to rampage Tokyo city. This is when the Metal Jacks enter the scene - a team of three men and their mechanical-cyborg suits embark on a mission to save the city and counter the emerging terrorist threat. The player takes control of one of the three Metal Jacks - Ken Kanzaki (Red Jack), Ryō Aguri (Silver Jack) or Gō Gōda (Blue Jack). Each fighter has slightly different attacks and weapons - Red Jack is average and can use a laser gun, Silver Jack can do high-jumps and use a laser-sword and Blue Jack is the toughest of all but can't use weapons. Although two Metal Jacks come equipped with a weapon, they start up empty handed and ammunition must be collected periodically. Each level is made up of two phases. During the first stage, the Metal Jacks fight in their police suits and levels follow a traditional platform gameplay style with enemies to battle, power-ups to collect and mini-bosses to defeat. Only three power items are available throughout the game - weapons/ammunitions (either gun or sword, based on the Metal Jack in action), shield energy or extra life. The second stage is the 'boss phase' - Metal Jacks combine with their support vehicles and transform into large robots, ready to engage the final boss. In this form, players can charge up a large and powerful attack that inflict extreme damage to all foes on screen.
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MetalJack SNES version This Super Famicom game was scheduled for a US release in 1992 but was eventually canceled. An advertising sheet (see the Omake section) was given away by Atlus in the 1990's and confirms that the game was scheduled for a 4th quarter 1992 release - the three main characters names were changed to Ken Striker, Billy Cash and Jake Gonzales. The action was also moved from Tokyo to Los Angeles. Another Metal Jack strategy game was developed by Takara and released in Japan for the Game Boy (1992).

MetalJack Anime Armored Police Metal Jack was a thirty-seven episode anime series produced by Sunrise and aired in Japan in 1991. It tells the story of the 'Metal Jacks', a top secret research project created to fight a criminal syndicate called 'Ido'. It all starts when Megades, the head of the syndicate, tries to assassinate commander Zaizen at a party. He succeeds and only a couple of people survive the attack - the young Jun (Zaizen's son), Ken Kanzaki (young policeman), Ryō Aguri (a car racer) and Gō Gōda (a wrestler). The three men suffer serious injuries and are saved by the police's best scientists and engineers - they are turned into cyborgs and become the 'Metal jacks'.


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"Jack On !" - No wonder the American version of the game was eventually canceled, read on. Armored Police Metal Jack looks alright and I have no major complaints in that department. Graphics, without being particularly memorable nor impressive, do the job just fine and suit the theme of the game. However, the real problem with the game stems from the clunky controls and horrible gameplay. The Metal Jacks have really weak attacks and enemies just need to walk through them or touch them to inflict damage (and believe me, they're especially good at it). Soon you realize that the jump-kick is your best ally and the only effective move against the constantly respawning enemies. Weapons are also useless and constantly run out of ammo. Finally, boss encounters are absolutely ridiculous, just hold down the attack button to charge up a blast of energy and kill them off in no time (as long as you keep moving). Later stages are just plain frustrating with pixel-perfect jumps and mediocre (yet hard to kill) enemies. Armored Police Metal Jack is an average-to-bad game wrapped in an obscure franchise and is not really worth tracking down... Metal Jackass. I mean, what's the point for scientists to spend so much effort and money into turning a random bunch of dudes - a cop, a car racer and a wrestler - into cyberzombies if you don't equip them with the fiercest weapons ? A Nerf gun would probably do more damage than the sucktacular fish gun found in the game. And it has substantially more ammo. Granted, metal dudes can combine with their support vehicles. What a pair. As soon as they do, they become slow as molasses and their super weapon takes ages to charge up. Sometimes scientists should just stop stuffing around with useless research and leave ordinary people alone.
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