Metal Max Xeno
Top Critic Average
Developer: Kadokawa Games
Publisher: NIS America
Metal Max Xeno is just so thoroughly average when it comes to JRPGs. The basic world, familiar storyline, and characters serve an okay experience which embraces the grind a bit too much for a world that is generally void of much interest. The game feels like a throwback to older JRPGs which is great if that is what you're into, but there has been so much advancement in the genre that overall Metal Max Xeno feels a bit out of place.
In a year filled to the brim with triple-A game releases, there's no doubt some of the smaller games will be lost in the fray. I hope that Metal Max Xeno isn't one of those games. While it may seem like I had a lot more to complain about than praise, I actually did really enjoy my time with the title, and it was a nice surprise considering how unfamiliar I am with the series. At $40, Metal Max Xeno is a worthy addition to any JRPG-lover's library, I hope you'll consider it.
That's about it, really! If you're looking for storytelling chops you won't find them here. Metal Max Xeno is all about angry and confused survivors screaming about dying, starving, or being horny, and how dope their tanks are, and how more bad guys need to die. It's refreshing in its earnest nature, and is actually more hopeful than nihilistic. But it is still on the simple and tropey side. Ultimately, this is a game about having a billion options dumped in front of you, and the joy of diving into that pile and making cool stuff out of it. There's lots of menu-fiddling, number-crunching, and ingredient-gathering, but at the end of that grind is comeuppance for evil, jerk murder-bots as your painstakingly-curated ordnance tears them to shreds, and it's hard to get more satisfying than that. Metal Max Xeno is a strange, janky, ugly mess of a game, but one I was glued to every minute of.
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