From comic books to movies, and now on the Dreamcast. - Review By Celeryface - Page 1/2
After many delays, Heavy Metal: Geomatrix is finally arrived. Waiting for this game has been tough, but the finished product is in my hands and what matters is that the game was released, and not cancelled like a few other Dreamcast games. Capcom has been a huge developer for the Dreamcast with over 20 games, including Marvel VS Capcom 2 and Resident Evil: Code Veronica, and it is great to see that they are still showing their support. Most 3rd-party developers, including Capcom, have ventured to other next-gen consoles. Capcom could have easily dropped this title and concentrated on games for other systems. But instead they have released Geomatrix for US Dreamcast gamers at a very low price ($19.99).
Set in the future, where the line between fantasy and reality is very thin, humans escape reality and live their lives inside a virtual world called the Geomatrix. Humans have abandoned the real world for this luxurious virtual world. Then tragedy struck. The polar ice caps have melted, flooding the planet, and leaving only small portions of land above water. The remaining land has been taken over by gangs. The battle for this land starts, and takes place inside the Geomatrix.
Heavy Metal: Geomatrix is 3rd-person 3D fighting game. To give you an idea of what the game is like, think of it as a cross between Spawn and PowerStone. Each fighter is given a weapon to start off with and can pickup new weapons throughout the battle. Weapons rangine from bazookas, swords, machine guns, rocket launchers, flame throwers, and much more. You can also have two weapons, one for each hand, which is very cool. The game has the standard fighting game rules where it is based on rounds, and to win a round you must deplete your opponent's life meter. But not only is this 1-vs-1 fighting game, there are several times where it is 2-vs-1.
There are 12 characters to choose from in the game, that are from 4 different teams: 818 Stompers, 323 Agents, 707 Metal Heads, and 911 Elite.
Heavy Metal: Geomatrix not only had the great team of developers from Capcom, but they had some outside high profile talent. Kevin Eastman is the creative consultant for the game, and is the co-creator of the The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and owner of "Heavy Metal Magazine". Also on hand was character designer Simon Bisley. Simon was the designer behind the Heavy Metal 2000 movie, and has done very popular comic book work including Judge Dredd, and one of the most popular cross-overs ever "Batman vs Judge Dredd". Simon also worked on character design for Galaxy Quest, and the upcoming Time Machine remake. So Heavy Metal: Geomatrix has the same people behind it that made the Heavy Metal comic books, soundtracks, and movies what they are today.
Let's take a look at the good and the bad of this action packed fighting game.
Rocket packs, big guns, detailed characters...oh my!
To start it off, the game has awesome character design. Simon Bisley's character designs are highly detailed, and have both that hard-edged and rounded look to them. Each character has a very unique look to them, all with different accessories, clothes, armor, and color. The character models themselves are in full 3D, and are very pleasing to the eye. Each character has there own weapon that they start off with. The weapons are over-sized and have a powerful look that will be very familiar with comic book fans. Again, the models in Geomatrix look amazing, including the weapon models.
The music for Heavy Metal: Geomatrix, as you may have guessed, is mostly heavy metal. The music ties in perfectly with the fast paced gameplay, and at times it seems that the characters are feeding off the music giving them a sort of adrenaline boost. The music plays a huge part in the gameplay, and adds to the overall enjoyment of them. To add to the outside talent, the soundtrack features bands like Megadeth, Halford, Corrosion Of Conformity, Dust To Dust, and much more. Check out this soundtrack page to see the bands.
Geomatrix has an Arcade mode, Chaosmatrix mode, and a versus mode. For 2-players the game features cooperative, versus, and tag modes. So having another person join in an arcade game, or battle head-to-head is no problem here. The 2-player mode is pretty fun, and the split-screen mode works quite well. The Arcade mode is a straight port from the arcade version of the game and looks fantastic. The ChaosMatrix is an exclusive for the Dreamcast version. Basically you are set in a level and to complete the level you have to defeat all the enemies and pickup a special item. ChaosMatrix has a similar look to the VR missions from Metal Gear Solid, and surprisingly it is alot of fun and adds to the replay value of the game.
How does the lead taste?
The graphics in Geomatrix are very impressive. The backgrounds are colorful, have detailed textures, and are in full 3D. As stated before, the characters and weapons are stunning and feature a high polygon count, and very detailed textures. The game runs at a high framerate with very rare slowdown. If you own a VGA adapter, the graphics look even more colorful than before. The graphics seem to reach another level when using a VGA adapter. I highly recommend trying not only Geomatrix, but all supported Dreamcast games on a VGA monitor.
Something that I like about Geomatrix are the cool battle intros. Each character has their own intro where they strut their stuff and say their lines. They aren't essential to the gameplay but it is just a cool thing to watch before go off an battle your opponent. Some other things I liked were the dual weapons for characters, the ability to destroy some objects in the levels (like in PowerStone), and the combo meter. The combos aren't set combos like in Tekken or Virtua Fighter , but are more of the button mashing type. So the combo meter is there as a cool add-on, not as a technical combo system, which is fine with me.
Geomatrix is possibly the last Dreamcast game from Capcom, seeing that Capcom VS SNK 2 is out in Japan but hasn't been announced for the US Dreamcast, and they have gone out for Dreamcast owners by having the game priced $19.99. This offers a great value for the customer, and gives Dreamcast owners on tight budgets the chance to play the game. So your wallet won't be hurting if you decide to purchase the game.
Next: The Bad, and The Final Word