Ok, it's about time I bring this god-forsaken place back to life! Gather around, my dear friends, for I'm about to do what I do best: review stuff and tell you about stuff you never thought existed! This time I bring you the tale of an Xbox game. An original Xbox game, not 360. Now, now, what could come out of that little, somewhat ill-fated, predictable little box? We all know the first Xbox was only good for sports games and shooters (HALO!!!111oneoneone). Well, allow me to prove you wrong. You see, although the console performed terribly in Japan, it did manage to have its share of exclusives we, westerners, never saw. Incredible, I know, but it's true! One of such games goes by the name of Metal Wolf Chaos.
Now, pay attention, as what I'm about to write may very well be too much for you to absorb all at once. In this game you take control of the president of the United States of America. Now, go back and read that sentence again. You don't work for him, you don't have to protect him, he's not just a shadowy figure you never see or a just a poser for the cut-scenes. You, the player, take direct control over the most powerful man on earth! (or so they say) (and no, it's not Obama, soz... *sad face*). But wait, there's more! Obviously you're not on foot, otherwise it'd be boring. Oh no, the president obviously deserves a more fitting ride, so you're riding a big-ass power armor, aka=mech, name Metal Wolf!!! Holy fucking Jesus!
But wait, it gets better. Unlike most mechs, the weapons are not directly and permanently attached to its arms, instead it has them stored in those huge containers over the shoulders so you can pick them up as you please. Oh, and yes, they're fucking gigantic versions of real-life weapons.
Gameplay-wise, the game can seem a bit complicated at first, specially since the default controls have inverted aim (you point the analog stick down and the camera goes up) and a lot of the menus are in Japanese. Still, after some experimentation I managed to configure the controls to my liking, and once you get the hang of it, the game actually plays quite well. The main objectives of each mission usually involve destroying key targets, most of the time enemy towers, with the ocasional boss fight against a huge (HUGE!) mechanized enemy. The levels, usually with a urban setting, give you some liberty as to which way to go and wich targets to get first, which is always nice, and along the way you'll encounter a lot of enemy soldiers or tanks that you can either take out of ignore.
Taking them out is usually the best option, unless time is a priority, since it gives you points that you can use to unlock new weapons. Speaking about weapons, they come in every shape and size (well, not size, since they're all huge), from handguns (can you picture that, a robot shooting a handgun?) to machineguns, rocket-launchers or some exotic pieces, like rifles that shoot lighting. Overall the gameplay is fast and fun, although it takes sometime to get used to the weird weapon-changing system (you can carry up to 8 weapons at a time, 4 for each hand, although the bigger weapons need both hands), and this is in part due to the awesome graphics.
The key word is destruction. Almost everything, beside key structural elements like buildings that are part of the level, can be destroyed. Somethings, like trees, containers or cars explode just by ranning it over, and the rest can easily be dispatched with a couple of well-placed rockets. This goes for enemy towers and other buildings, huge neon signs, building facades, etc, etc... and, you know, the bigger they are, the more impressive the resulting explosion is!
Overall this was a good surprise. At first I tried it just out of curiosity, thinking that there was nothing more than an ingenious gimmick and a ridiculous plot, but actually there was. The gameplay is solid and fun, the graphics are amazing, even the soung is good, and I'm talking about the soundtrack, not the cheesy dialogues (although, if you're into that, they're also great...I guess... "I got to do it, Kate!", "But why, Mr. President?" "Why? Because I'm the president...of the United States...of America!!!"). Too bad it's somewhat rare import, and probably fucking expensive nowadays too, so you're better off getting it through...*coughcough*...other means...