METAL MAX Xeno Reborn has totally caught me by surprise. It's a post-apocalyptic, turn-based JRP with tanks and dogs with guns!
Title: METAL MAX Xeno Reborn
Release Date: June 10, 2022
Suggested Audience Age: Rated T for Teen
Time to Play: 30 hours, according to How Long to Beat
Availability: Switch, PlayStation, Steam
Recommended for fans of: Turn Based RPGs, The Apocalypse, and Dogs with Guns
Geek to Geek Media was provided with a review copy of this title.
When Metal Max Xeno Reborn first popped up on my radar, I had no idea it was part of a 30 year old franchise. Apparently there’s a whole series of post-apocalyptic, tank based RPGs that’s just been floating around in the ether, and somehow no one told me… so now I’m here to tell you!
From what I understand, METAL MAX Xeno Reborn is a remake of the PlayStation Portable title, METAL MAX Xeno, which is the sixth main entry in the Metal Max (sometimes rebranded as Metal Saga) series. Fortunately, this seems to be a series the same way that Final Fantasy is; there may be a lot of familiar points from one game to the next, but each story is totally standalone in totally separate worlds.
In this one, you take on the role of a survivor in the desert wasteland that used to be Tokyo Bay. You start out as a lone wolf anime boy with a robot arm, but very quickly claim yourself a tank and befriend a few other survivors camped out at an underground facility called Iron Lung. From there, you explore the wasteland, look for survivors, and blow up enemies in order to scavenge resources to make your tank even cooler.
Big Tank, Big Guns
The story feels like it’s a fresh mixture of tired tropes, but it also seems like it’s as much of a driving force as the story in a Monster Hunter game would be. Instead of the plot being the driving motivator, you push further into the world to fight bigger enemies and attach bigger guns to your tank.
Combat is pretty standard JRPG fair. From where I’ve gotten to so far, you can have up to four different cannons or machine guns attached to your tank. You can move around freely during battle, but mostly that’s just for cool visuals. On your turn you choose which weapon to fire, and it seems like accuracy isn’t impacted by where you are located at all.
Beyond your basic attacks, you can also unlock specials skills that you can use in your tank or on foot. In the tank, you can use skills that let you fire multiple weapons at once, while on foot you can use your robot arm to unleash energy at your enemies.
I’ve only been able to get a few hours into Metal Max Xeno Reborn, but I’m absolutely loving it so far. It doesn’t have the most impressive graphics, the story is a little milk toast, and the combat is pretty straightforward… but it all comes together to be greater that you he sun of its parts. Cruising around the wasteland is a lot of fun, blasting apart giant ants with a tank cannon is outstanding, and who doesn’t love an anime boy with a robot arm?
Oh, and as if that wasn’t enough, you also get a Shiba Inu pup companion with a giant gun on his back and when you are driving around the wasteland he sits on top of your tank and he’s the best boy.