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Lacks a lot of polish; still pretty fun


Metal Frontier: Kloe Edition is a non-linear tactical RPG, set in a gritty post apocalyptic future.

You play as Kloe, a young anime girl who wants to leave her comfortable village life and become a hunter, a nomadic mercenary who drives around in a tank and kills for money. The only problem is she lives in a place literally called Junk Village, and can’t exactly go to the local tank dealership, so she’s going to have scavenge a vehicle and recruit someone who can repair it before she can get her full Hunter’s License.

As far as I can tell, this game borrows a lot from the Metal Max series. You play as a hunter and can fight optional boss encounters for extra money, combat is done both on foot and in vehicles, and the first vehicle you’re going to own is a Dune Buggy.

That being said, there is a tactical battle system and the writing definitely has enough charm and personality to keep everything from feeling too derivative.


Graphically, this game is... interesting.

There are a lot of character sprites from RPGmaker VX Ace that have been resized and clash with MV’s charasets, many of the vehicle sprites lack shading and look like they were designed for an Earthbound style game, and I think I saw a tank from RPGmaker 2000 somewhere out in the desert.

This is still a demo, and some of the graphics are going to be replaced, though.

Map quality ranges from pretty good, to below average. In Junk Village, your starting town, there are some points where the grass and dirt meet without any transition between the two, but it’s mostly fine. The trash heap dungeon is a bit of a mixed bag, the bright cliff tiles look very out of place next to the dark grey floor tiles, and the sewer maps are mostly fine, though I was able to get out of bounds at one point.


Early in the game, you meet with this surfer lady who gives you a package you can open for some random loot. To open that package, you go into the menu, click item, then click items, then click on the care package, then click on Kloe, then click on Use Care Package. That is an excessive amount of clicking for such a simple thing. The rest of the menu isn't... as bad, but it could do with some streamlining.

Using items during battle is much easier but for some reason when I first started I couldn’t. I’d have Medicine and Sanitary Bandages, but when I clicked on my inventory it was completely blank. My first thought was that this was working as intended, and that only certain characters with medical training could use recovery items during battle. So I checked out some of the tutorials in the city hall building, none of them mentioned any special hurdles I had to jump through, so then I tried it again and it worked. I have no idea what I did to get that bug to happen, and I haven’t been able to repeat it since.

The tactical battle system is good, but it’s also kind of broken. I like it because it can add in a lot of depth. Do you want to give your mechanic a light machine gun, so he can do some crowd control? Or do you want to give him a missile launcher so he can kill things really quickly during battle (but can only fire it twice)?

It also means you can fight larger groups of enemies all at once. In a standard turn based battle system, trying to take on sixteen gangsters all at once would mean that all sixteen of them are going to be shiving you every single turn. Here you can take control of choke points and make them come at you single file, so only one or two can hit you at once.

In the early game, things are difficult. You start off with a hobo knife and some other basic gear, so about the only tactic you have is to hide in an alcove and make the rats come at you single file. Don’t even think about trying to take on the bandits, they’ll destroy you, but by the midpoint, once you get access to some decent hardware, things really open up combat starts to become fun.

My main problem with it is how long it can take to do anything. A lot of the maps are very big, and if you’re on foot, it can take four or even five turns to even just reach the enemy.

And then there’s the pathfinding. If there’s no way to reach any of your characters, enemies will just wander around aimlessly. This is obnoxious when you’re just fighting a small group, but it can get frustrating if you’re in a big battle. During my turf war with the Anklebiters gang, I must have spent 90% of my time just watching them run around in circles.


There isn’t much of a story, but what really sells this game for me are the characters.

When I first read the gamepage, I was expecting the main character to be some sort of Man With No Name or Max Rockatansky type character (except a woman, obviously).

Kloe’s not like that at all. I’ve never been a fan of cutesy anime, but it works here. This is a setting where a mutant fish who lives in the sewers is gathering an army of bandits to seize control of the surface world.

The villagers all get at least ‘a little’ personality. Some more than others, but none of them felt completely generic to me.

Aside from some minor spelling mistakes, the only real criticism I have is the intro. The first half of it is just sound effects and narration against a black background. It’s bad for a few reasons, the main one being that everything it brings up is then immediately recapped after its done. It doesn’t really reveal anything about the characters, Kloe only gets a single line of spoken dialogue during it, and it heavily implies that her father died in the battle, but when the game begins he’s alive and well with no explanation given.


This game’s pretty good. It’s not the most polished demo I’ve played, but I had a lot of fun with it, and I’d definitely recommend it to anyone who’s looking for a Post Apocalyptic RPG.

If the full version comes out, I'll definitely give it a try.


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Hey, Congrats on getting a review Delsin ^^
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