Review | Tiny Metal: Full Metal Rumble
This second part is a direct sequel to Tiny Rumble, previously released on PlayStation 4, PC and also the Nintendo Switch. It still follows the same (in my opinion fantastic) formula and the game is full to the brim with content. Both the single-player and the multiplayer fanatic get enough for their choosing. Regardless, can Tiny Metal: Full Metal Rumble also be as triumphant? Or does it appear to be a weak extract from its predecessor? I can already tell you that developer Area 35 not only won the battle, but also the war.
Tiny Metal: Full Metal Rumble is a turn-based strategy. People who are familiar with other games such as X-COM or Final Fantasy Tactics know exactly what to expect. In that respect, it’s basically a copy of its predecessor. On the battlefield, which is divided into squares, you get the opportunity to move your army and bring it into line. Each unit, consisting of infantry, tanks, helicopters, and even the so-called Heroes, have their own conditions as to what they can and can’t do on the battlefield. Infantry, for example, is a strong unit with excellent all-around strength. However, they are very weak against a Scout.
Furthermore, Metals (tanks) are great workhorses to win the battle, but they turn into a pile of scrap iron against a helicopter. Also, you have to think per unit about how you put them down because every move affects the next round. You have to choose in advance what you want to achieve. Go for the Communications Tower to quickly get a Hero on the field, or do you want to capture the enemy Headquarters, which costs an average of three turns. You achieve victory by either defeating all enemy units or conquering your opponent’s Headquarters. It really can be that simple.
Fans of this genre enter Valhalla if we stay in the theme of struggle and war. The overall gameplay is very well put together. Every unit has an excellent balance and no unit feels overpowered. Plan your attacks well and place your men in the right positions so you have complete control over the battle. I found that some missions can keep you busy for 45 minutes easy. As you play the game, you will discover the intricacies of its depth. A Scout with a Metal works brilliantly and always wipes away a group of Riflemen or Lancers in one go. To help you with this, the game displays this in excellent overviews when creating these units.
That way you can make good choices in the heat of battle. Every mission in the story is accompanied by instructions about the working methods of new units. This means newcomers to the battlefield don’t have to worry, and experienced marshals will be able to press the ‘skip’ button. Tiny Metal: Full Metal Rumble is easy to pick up, but very difficult to master. On Normal, I got great resistance, but nowhere did I feel like I had to put the game on Easy. Hard, was almost always just a bit too difficult for me.
The game is packed in a funny jacket. The characters are in a 2D cartoon style, within a 3D cartoonish environment. This makes the game look a lot like Advance Wars, but that’s no problem if you ask me. The old saying ‘better stolen than badly conceived’ is perfectly appropriate here. In that respect, the game also benefits. Tiny Metal: Full Metal Rumble knows how to give a perfect twist. It really does look good, although with a frame drop here and there. I think the only downside is that the game takes a long time to load. Once started, the game runs fine. The dialogue in the cut scenes tend to be moderate. I suspect that the translation from Japanese to English is not optimal, but in such cases, the voice-over is pretty average. What’s really brilliant are the comments from the units in the game itself.
Apart from the graphic presentation, the game is packed with content. In addition to a single-player campaign with more than thirty missions, you will find skirmish mode. In other words, start a relaxed game of war on one of the 65 maps. Each with its own challenges, against an easy, normal or difficult CPU. Then you have the online multiplayer. This offers endless options because you play against human opponents. Since it’s turn-based, the connection does not influence the course of the game. That’s a plus if you ask me. Finally, there’s also the Hero Hangar, where you can find 3D models of the characters and units in the game, the Jukebox where you can listen to your favorite tunes. Finally, there’s the Metalpedia, where you can get to know your units in a Tiny Metal Wikipedia.
Area 35 offers you a quality experience with Tiny Metal: Full Metal Rumble. It’s full of content and you will spend tens of hours if not more than a hundred hours on it. In terms of presentation and graphics performance, there is little to argue with. It’s a specific genre that may not have too many true enthusiasts. However, gamers who like a lot of genres should definitely buy this game.
Final Score: 9 out of 10