(Video review to come soon)
Max Steel is not good. It looks alright, for a game from 2001, after the Dreamcast was unfortunately discontinued. Luckily the game is based off of action figures, so the fact that the cutscenes look like dolls is totally acceptable.
The sound is, eh, there? The music is about as generic as it could possibly be, and the sound effects work, kinda? I mean, I literally had to replay some of my video in order to remember the music, which speaks to its flippantly generic nature.
The only mode available is the story, which, given that I don’t know the turn of the millenium Max Steel canon very well, is kinda pointless. Going from what I learned in the intro movie, apparently a kid was exposed to something (I’ll guess nanobots), and it turned him into a superhero, who now goes around doing super spy things.
As I’ve said before, gameplay can and does make or break a game, and, well...this game is broken. Tank controls, I didn’t miss you at all, and you didn’t have to come back. The tank movement isn’t helped at all by the confusing button layout. Each of the Dreamcast’s four face buttons is used, but for something abnormal. A punches or uses a weapon, B kicks, X interacts with the environment (mainly pressing buttons), and Y jumps and climbs, if he feels like it. Oh, and you can’t climb up if you have a weapon equipped. So if you have your laser pistol out to kill the bad guys, you can’t climb up to get a health pack. Speaking of the laser pistol, it has a little lock on so you don’t need to use “sniper mode” for it. But, it only hits targets that are at about chest level with it. So people shooting you from above, or goo stuff on the ground requires you to use the cumbersome mode.
Oh, one other thing that the X button does is move boxes, one square at a time. The game is pretty much an invisible grid, and in order to move boxes to and fro, you need to press X each boxlength.
Of course, the thing about the tank controls is that they make precise platforming difficult.
The weapons other than the pistol are almost useless, the grenade kills you more often than the enemies, and I have no idea what any of the other things are. I’d guess they’re accessories that Mattel includes with various Max Steel figures.
You know, given that this game, and a tv show, were made to sell toys, the profit margins on those must be massive.
Anyway, the game is just plain bad. The enemies are repetitive, the stages long and monotonous, the sound forgettable, the controls terrible, just about everything you don’t want in a game. Even the graphics, which were a big selling point, have aged terribly, so they don’t really look good anymore.
I give Max Steel a 4 out of 10.