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Written by  :  Zovni (10638)
Written on  :  Apr 08, 2005
Rating  :  0.83 Stars0.83 Stars0.83 Stars0.83 Stars0.83 Stars

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Putting robots and babes in the same game should give better results than this.

The Good

Metal & Lace sets out to prove that any gaming genre can be improved by the addition of free sex, and well... just who are we to say no to that? The idea of a tournament-styled fighting game in which you customize a robot and duke it out against other "mechas" for cash sounds good enough already (and works like a charm in One Must Fall), add candid hentai illustrations of your defeated enemies as a reward and you can only be improving things.

Anyway, as I mentioned, M&L is a futuristic tournament fighter, meaning you have an assigned amount of cash which you use to buy a basic robot body from a variety of models (each with their own stats and moves) and outfit it with as much upgrades and armor as you can, this boosts your fighting stats and gives you the required edge you need to win the series of matches you must endure in Mecha Island's robot fighting tournament.

Fighting games in the pc are pretty scarce, and tournament fighters even more so with only titles like 4D Boxing or One Must Fall available in those days to satisfy those of us with a little more career-oriented fighting taste, thus a game that pulls it off reasonably well like M&L deserves at least recognition for it. With lots of upgrades to choose for your robot as well as being able to buy multiple bodies and have a "stable" of fighting machines to choose from M&L fulfills the requirements. And all you need to get these goodies is the cash you earn from your wins (after all repair costs are deducted) or whatever you can scrounge from the local loan sharks (but watch out for their interest rates!).

Interacting with the gameworld is done via a nice animated background of the local Mecha bar, filled with hot-spots that take you to the robot store, arena, match selection, etc. This place is also filled with small hidden goodies such as small amounts of cash and helpful tips given by the local patrons, all triggered when clicking upon them with your mouse pointer. It is here that you'll also find the local billboard, where your defeated dames post their nudie pictures as a reward for being defeated... Yeah, I know it doesn't make much sense but who's gonna look a hentai gift-horse in the mouth, huh??

The Bad

Of course, all of that would be nice if it were attached to a good game, but unfortunately the fighting gameplay in M&L is amongst the worst ever, which is pretty confusing if you consider that this is a Japanese game and they are supposed to be the best at making these kind of games.

Anyway, the action is sluggish, with poorly timed controls that make the action both boring and slow... and which gives the fights in Metal & Lace about as much dynamism as watching a snail race. Characters are poorly balanced, with a "rock-paper-scissors" mentality behind them that kills any gameplay depth, plus they are very poorly designed. Remember those "token" robots in giant robot shows like Mazinger? The ones that only served to be around and explode in the background and which had zero effort placed in their conception and visual design? Well, that's what pretty much what all the robots in M&L look like, except maybe for the main "bunny" robot.

But even if they were well designed, you probably wouldn't know it by looking at the game's graphics, as the pixellated mess of poorly-animated sprites that move around the screen hardly make justice to the many illustrations you find in the other game menus and screens. Backgrounds are even worse, with solid-color walls as a still backdrop for you to fight again that every now-and-then includes some statue or thing to spice things up...yipee. And don't even get me started on the sound department, believe me when I tell you that gamers without soundboards were actually blessed in this case.

Finally, there's no story or recognizable long-term objective in the game, with only 4 hentai pictures or so for each character as your only reward for all of this. Tough I'll admit the pictures themselves are nicely done.

The Bottom Line

Ever ran into one of those games that offer superb gameplay but lack complementary features? Well, Metal & Lace is exactly the opposite. This is a game that has that which is missing from most fighting games: a more-or-less comprehensive tournament mode. However... that's all it's got! Not even the addition of hentai makes up for what's essentially one of the worst fighting games you'll ever put in your hard drives. Trust me, this is one Megatech game you want to stay clear off.