Vist Genki!

Format: Super Famicom
From: Atlus
Year of Release: 1992
Onscreen Language: Japanese

Armored Police Metal Jack

Kikou Keisatsu Metal Jack
(Armored Police Metal Jack)
"Metal Jack: Armored Police" (USA) Cancelled?

Seven rounds of the most lazy, uninspired generic platform tosh around. You have three characters to choose from Red Jack, Silver Jack and Blue Jack the only difference is their standard attack (either punch, kick or... er punch again) and that Blue can't use sub weapons. Not to worry Blue there's only one and the ammo is few and far between.

Levels involve little more than avoiding contact with the same enemy sprite, who seems so uninterested in the whole thing that it punches once before remembering it can simply walk through you to do damage and promptly does, leaving the screen in the process. The pre end-of-level boss is a weakling who would be easy to beat even if it weren't for the fact you can stun him into immobility with one hit then continue hammering the B Button until he dies swiftly and without a fight.

A short selection of stills, conveying your chosen character's transformation into a large robot, separates this pathetic punch-up from the next. The end-of-level boss is just as ridiculously easy to beat although this time all you have to do is hold down and then release B to execute your charge attack which will damage your opponent whether it touches him or not. Simply repeat this process several times and the current level is an unpleasant memory which will soon be replaced by the next.

The bosses are so weak and simple to overcome that the listless, standard enemies are actually more dangerous thanks to two conspiring factors. The first is their ability to damage you simply through touch and the second is an oversight which means you don't get a moments invincibility directly following a hit, unlike nearly all other games, platform or otherwise. This leads to you taking near fatal amounts of damage by simply being repeatedly passed by a constant stream of mindless drones.

Being trampled isn't the only way you'll needlessly loose a life in Metal Jack. Our old nemesis 'Pixel-Perfect-Jump', long thought dead after the 'Castlevania' games were reinvented, makes his unwelcome return. You remember; the sort of gap that required edging until you are holding on only by the edge of your left heel to leap. Having to constantly re-attempt the same jump over-and-over is frustrating and simply wrong.

Just about every fibre of this game is lacklustre. The generic enemies, the run-of-the-mill locations, the uninspired platforming, the bog-standard action game style music, the fact that the last level is just each boss one-after-another, the fact that only two of the joypad's buttons are used; A & B for punch and jump. I should also count Y which selects the sub weapon but it turns up so rarely and carries such little ammo that you'll barely ever use it. Worst of all this lazy programming comes when your character dies (jostled to death no doubt). The sprite doesn't collapse, explode or anything you might expect- it simply states on the screen "Player Dead" and the level starts over! Even 'Devastator' had more effort put in than this.

The only high point in the whole game is the unexpected and unintentionally hilarious appearance of Kung Fu Hitler! The end-of-level-boss for stage six, Kung Fu Hitler likes nothing more than to energetically leap around the screen before letting you eat hot lead from his deadly machine-gun-girdle, pulling the sort of pose that Madonna used to whip out during concert in the 80's. This really is unexpected and will suddenly wake you from your apathetic coma, at least it would have done if I hadn't spoilt the surprise...

As you should be able to tell by now this game is one of the worst examples of the sort of laziness and lack of effort that is often put into licensed games. Even the ending is bland- the final boss dies, the credits role, the end.

Avoid. Or at the very most play until you reach Kung Fu Hitler then turn it off.

Note:- This game may have been released in the USA under the slightly reshuffled title "Metal Jack Armored Police". I've found a box design but nothing else so it's possible it was cancelled. If you know more please email or leave a comment. Thanks.

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