A Maken X-mas

The Yard is definitely getting in the festive spirit right now. The non-denominational decorations are being liberally deposited on the towers of discarded Sonic Shuffles. The broken down yellowed cases from abandoned Dreamcasts are getting a lick of paint. And, most importantly, the annual dump truck of hard liquor is pulling in as I type. I tell you, there ain't no party like a Junkyard party!

Locking on allows you to see an enemy's remaining health.

         Hero Kei Sagami wielding the Maken.

Of course, the merriment doesn't end there, as there is also plenty of time to boot up quality seasonal titles like, errr... Maken X! Nothing says 'holiday season' more than a daemon sword wielding school girl slashing her way through hordes of swastika-emblazoned, Neo-Nazi enemies. Errr... an end boss is the Pope! Does that count as festive?

Maken X is a first-person slasher where you use the titular Maken - a magic sword that can control people's minds (the name translates as 'Daemon Sword' in Japanese) - to engage a number of distinctly designed enemies in close quarters combat. The combat essentially involves locking on to a foe and then slashing away when in range, blocking when attacked, or dodging with a variety of balletic manoeuvres.

As enemies are dispatched, power-ups are unlocked, allowing you to level up your character in a quasi-RPG manner, while periodically at points throughout the game you 'brainjack' other characters to gain control of their unique powers and fighting styles. This combination of mechanics keeps the combat fresh, as too small details like being able to return incoming missiles with a simple swipe of the magic blade.

Attacks can be blocked or dodged  with jumps, strafes and flips.
On the Japanese version of the game, this overall craziness is then cranked up to 11 with the uncensored enemy designs, which throughout either indirectly or, in some cases, directly pay tribute to Nazi Germany. Some enemies can be seen sporting red Nazi-style armbands, while others simply go the full distance and wear the infamous swastika. As aforementioned, just when you think things can't get more insane, you then have to fight the Pope. Unsurprisingly, the whole Nazi thing and Pope slaying was removed from the North American and European versions of the game.

There's snow in this level. Does that count?
Oh, the soundtrack is probably the best aspect of the entire game - a high-octane trance of drums and electro synth.

I get that you love being a Neo Nazi, but really? How can you even see?
So why not chase away the cold this winter with a heart-warming... errr, get in the festive spirit by decapitating legions of... errr, bring the whole family together within the loving embrace of religion... erm. Ah to hell with it! The liquor has been unloaded. Wahey!


Tom Charnock said...

Funny you mention this game - I fired it up the other day to see if the fishing rod would work with it. I can sadly confirm that it does not. Still, it's a decent adventure even just using the standard controller to destroy the Nazi Pope threat! XD

SpencerUk said...

Can't believe you guys are still going..so refreshing to keep checking back on this site and see new content!
Keep it up!

Tom Charnock said...

Hey, thanks for reading! The Junkyard is immortal and unlike Sega we will keep supporting the 'Cast until the last fan stops spinning and the last GD-rom drive stops tearing itself apart XD