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   PlanetDreamcast | Features | E3 2001 Coverage | Heavy Metal Geomatrix

Heavy Metal Geomatrix
Think Virtual On but with more hair and riffs. - by Mr. Domino

E<SUP>3</SUP> Logo

Whoa. Capcom's Heavy Metal Geomatrix is deceptively addicting. When I first started playing it came across as just another 3D fighter, and, well, it doesn't help that Heavy Metal is just another 3D fighter. You take one of your characters into a small square arena and beat the blood soaked stuffing out of up to two other opponents. The game is very Virtual On-like, from the dashing and weapon intensive gameplay to the viewpoint.

You pick one character from a selection of 12. All are stock 80's metal characters: leather, spikes, big hair, and so on. It's really a shame Capcom didn't license real metal characters; it would be neat to have Poison battle it out with White Snake. The metal theme even continues further to the music with a soundtrack by Megadeth! It's so cheesy it's great! The characters sport names such as Lance, Hound, and Mayfly, and the roster is divided into four teams of three. Once you select your team and character, your partner must choose from the same team. The variety among the characters isn't too great, using the standard "strong/slow," "average," and "fast/weak" stereotypes, but the teams do sport a nice mix of the types to make things a bit more interesting.

Graphics are decent but nowhere near great, and I did notice some slowdown during some of the more intensive weapons. The weapons are a great mix of the standard flame throwers, beam cannons, and shot guns, but the single most incredible weapon I've ever seen in a fighter is the satellite laser. When you pick it up, the screen switches to a top down perspective and you actually blast the other player with powerful shots from above! A beam tracks the laser on the surface so the opponent can avoid it, and the player using the weapons can't move while in use, so don't go thinking it ruins the balance of the game. Don't think it!

The game uses a Virtual On-style viewpoint and runs in split screen when two players fight. You can play as a team and take out two CPU opponents, and there is a "switch" button to change your player's focus from one opponent to the other. That gets annoying, and it's not as well done as I would like. Heavy Metal also suffers from the same kind of camera problems which plagued Spawn, and the game just seems a bit "off" because of the imprecise controls and camera. Still, it doesn't interfere too often. Otherwise, the game controls like a dream with just a shot, attack, and jump button. This is not a serious fighter from my impressions -- basically a fun, metal-influenced Power Stone 2 with Virtual On gameplay would sum it up best. We'll have media of the game up soon, though it's not something you'll want to hold your breath for. Hold your breath for more important things, like swimming and walking through junk yards.

Back to E3 2001 Coverage

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