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Metal Arms: Glitch in the System

Moby ID: 11590
PlayStation 2 Specs

Description official descriptions

Metal Arms: Glitch In the System is an original (non-licensed) title from Swingin' Ape Studios and Sierra.

You will play Glitch, a rebellious robot who is determined to destroy the evil army of Mil robots. Metal Arms features plenty of third-person robotic destruction. Glitch sports a large arsenal of weapons with which to complete his task. Original features include the ability to possess enemy Mils and use them for your own purposes.

For variety Metal Arms includes a few vehicle levels, including drivable tanks and 'RAT' vehicles. Metal Arms features some platforming, but is more of a shooter. Helping to keep the player's interest is the colorful character design - all characters have an attitude.

On the multiplayer side, Metal Arms features four-player split-screen gameplay with various modes including Possession Melee (your opponent's kills count for you!), standard Bot Brawl, King of the Hill, Moving Hill, Tag and Reverse Tag modes.

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Credits (PlayStation 2 version)

189 People (161 developers, 28 thanks) · View all



Average score: 78% (based on 26 ratings)


Average score: 4.1 out of 5 (based on 18 ratings with 2 reviews)

A very entertaining and humorous 3rd-person shooter.

The Good
-->Nice graphics: detailed models, textures, and well designed environments really draw you in.

-->Possesses a definite sense of humor, with the humorous chatter of your robot teammates, the high pitched squeal of panicked enemy robots, and of course the foul mouthed engineer.

-->Tons of levels, you really get your moneys worth, especially since the 'cube version is now available for a meager $20

The Bad
-->Noticeable slowdown in large battles/areas with complex architecture.

-->Can get repetitive at times.

-->Only a few varieties of robots.

-->Controls takes some getting used to/not quite as responsive as I would have liked

The Bottom Line
Since the advent of the Sony Playstation in the mid-1990s, along with the beginning of the Tomb Raider franchise, the number of third-person adventures, shooters, and other genres exploiting the perspective has been mind boggling. Unfortunately, the vast majority of these titles have been highly derivative, bringing little innovation to the mix. For this reason, encountering a title that tries something innovative, effectively combines different elements in this age of sub-par movie license games, is a refreshing change of pace. "Metal Arms: Glitch in the System" is one of these games...

STORY: The story is fairly generic, with the player controlling a robot, "Glitch", unearthed from some ruins on his planet, and possessing circuitry far more advanced than any of the other current robot denizens of the planet. Although Glitch remembers little, he does know that he is on his home planet, and that the evil Mil robot army, lead by General Corrosive has taken over, and forced the robots into poverty. Outraged, Glitch joins the robot rebellion to push back the Mil army, and recapture the planet for his robot brothers.


[controls] Like several other Gamecube titles, this game uses the analog stick to move and the C-Stick to aim, and the left a right triggers for secondary and primary weaponry, respectively. The difference lies in the weapon switching scheme: a single click of the X button will reload your primary weapon, while holding the button down will call the weapon selection screen. Holding down the B button will switch Glitch's secondary weapon. The player can streamline the process by holding down the digital pad to assign a certain primary/secondary weapon setup to one of the directionals. the A button is used to jump, with a double tap producing a higher somersaulting jump.

[weapons] The weapons run the gamut from the simple mining laser you begin the game with, to chainguns, the robot-dismembering Ripper, and explosive weaponry such as the rocket launcher. Most weapons can be upgraded to a higher level by purchasing upgrade kits from the robotic brothers who appear at different places throughout the game. Switching weapons profiles on the fly is essential, as certain robots are only susceptible to certain weapons.

[enemies] The various robots appearing in the game are well modelled and animated, and run the gamut from simple-minded chaingun toting bots who are easily surprised, to warrior robots who will pursue you at all costs. The location specific damage is excellent, enabling you to blow off a robot's weapon arm, rendering them ineffective fools running around in a panicked state. Bots often appear in large groups with a single commander bot directing (and insulting) the others. Occasionally, they will be joined by a bot controlling one of various vehicles, or flying support drones. The humorous personalities of the robots keeps the mood light, even in large battles.

[levels] The level design is excellent, with complex architecture, and many good places for cover. Some levels take only a few minutes to pass, while others will require an investment of an half hour or more. The greatest challenge initially is coming to terms with the control scheme, once you get used to it, the game becomes easier. This game is by no means a breeze, and certain scenarios will take several attempts to successfully complete, but the game is so enjoyable, you will find yourself coming back to the game time and time again. Not all levels are foot missions, some will find you racing 6 wheeled behemoths, or commanding tanks, it's this successful blend of different gameplay that makes this title so appealing.

[replay value] Other than the collection of secret chips to unlock multiplayer levels, there is little to unlock, but the game is so fun, you will want to play through it again.


[graphics] Great graphics, above par for the Gamecube system, though the don't quite meet the standard set by titles such as Metroid Prime. The models are intricate, and the texture quality is excellent. The weapons effects are nice as well. The only thing I can complain about in this area, is that the framerate takes a noticeable hit when you are battling several robots, or enter an area with a lot of architecture, though you do adjust to it.

[audio] good sound effects and music, good voice acting. average to above average


I heartily recommend this to anybody who enjoys 3rd-person shooters, and are sick of the lack of innovation in the genre, this title is a nice surprise. With great graphics, a sense of humor, and gobs of levels, this title is an excellent value at $20. A worthy title to add to your Gamecube library.

GameCube · by Ryu (50) · 2004

Well executed third person shooter with good AI and stealth/hacking

The Good
You can tell that the devs put some love into this game with some neat little touches such as a character that you only play during one of the 42 stages who holds shader-simulated liquid in his back cylinder that visibly empties out in relation to his flamethrower ammo.

Weapons are thoroughly gratifying to the gun fetishist. The weapons are nothing particularly innovative (shotgun, rockets, SMG, blades, sniper), but each one is given an interesting twist when you upgrade them. Reactions to these weapons is where the robot motif gets the most mileage. The robots come apart and actually suffer limb damage, reducing their offensive effectiveness in very localized ways before they eventually blow up into spectacular flinders. So being a robot buys an inherent explanation for localized limb damage that does not affect combat effectiveness in other ways, and it also buys visceral depictions of combat damage that parents might be willing to let their kids participate in. The blade weapons are somewhat innovative in that they cause little physical damage but lots of limb damage, so they are the equivalent of a mage's permanent cripple spell, which does make for some interesting fights... and yes, combined with a sniper scope, you can actually target specific limbs on your victim.

I can also tell that they had an ace programming team behind this project. With each NPC being potentially player controlled, they definitely must have abstracted character control from user input in a very clean and flexible way. The AI was also very well done, engaging in semi-realistic and obvious actions during combat, search, and patrol behaviors. The bot-hacking mechanics is an innovative complement to stealthy gameplay, as your reward for sneaking up on bots from behind is an opportunity to take over their CPU for 100% risk-free combat (your original body can't take damage while you're controlling a bot) with unlimited ammo. I only wish there was a nicer way to make your possessed bots self-destruct rather than stand next to a wall and commit suicide via missile splash damage.

They did an excellent job of forcing you to use your player tools. It wasn't until the second half of the game that I realized that this was a strategic shooter with its effort towards a realistic AI (susceptible to stealth) combined with a truly orthogonal tool set for the gun-based gameplay. There were some sections, where you can almost hear the designer nodding at you to use the hacking interface to sneak up behind and take over a bot.

The Bad
I got lost a lot in some levels, it was a long while before I realized that the pause menu had a second screen that displayed your objective. There were some unused buttons on my Xbox controller that could have been used to pop up objectives on an initial screen instead of bringing up the pause menu and using a trigger to scroll to the secondary screen. Generally, they really skimmed on player direction for those that don't read instruction manuals.

There was one spot where I was absolutely stuck and ended up just dying because I was not aware that the temporary character I was playing could do a triple jump. This character was a large heavy character that I was forced to play a level with and there was absolutely no clue whatsoever that he was capable of doing a triple-jump, which was needed to beat that level. As far as I know, this huge guy is the only character capable of performing this feat. What's more is that the triple jump needed to be performed by an unintuitive three rapid button presses in quick succession as opposed to just pressing the jump button at anytime while in-air. This absolutely sucked.

Boss fights are tough, and some of those boss fights were more frustrating than fun. For example, one boss expects you to throw a grenade (not shoot an RPG but specifically throw a grenade) into his mouth at a certain point during the fight, but accurate grenade throwing takes a lot of trial and error. I feel like luck played a factor in some of the boss fights more than my skill.

The weakest part of the game by far is the story and fictional framing. I found myself not caring about the hero's journey or the world around him as I just wanted to get through to the next challenge and engage in the fun combat. The supporting characters weren't particularly charismatic, nor was the protagonist somebody that I bonded with. I can see that this may have been sold to the publisher as "A bloodless tactical shooter with cute robots who fart." Really, the fiction didn't really go beyond that.

The Bottom Line
The game has a total of 42 levels with each level ranging from 2 minutes to 2 hours of play. It is very difficult on the normal setting. There were times when I just had to give up on certain boss fights towards the end and come back another day. At the end of the day, this was simply a well executed third person shooter with good AI and a decent stealth/hacking component. Because of the lack of any major draw for the box-readers and five-second-browsers of the world, this game would sadly be relegated to the status of "sleeper hit".

Xbox · by Kain Shin (28) · 2007


1001 Video Games

Metal Arms: Glitch in the System appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.


  • GameSpy
    • 2003 – Xbox Surprise Hit of the Year

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  • MobyGames ID: 11590


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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by clef.

Xbox 360 added by Parf.

Additional contributors: skl, DreinIX, Patrick Bregger, FatherJack.

Game added January 5th, 2004. Last modified March 9th, 2023.