#128 Maken X

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  • Original release year: 1999
  • Consoles: Dreamcast

I questioned whether to mention Maken X on my blog. I mean, it’s not exactly a good game. But then it’s also not exactly a bad game. It’s just a weird game. A very weird game. My God though, it’s definitely worth playing at least once, so for that reason, as flawed as it is, it meets the criteria for my blog, because it’s a damn interesting and unique game that everyone should at least give a try.

Back in 1999, the idea of having a first person Action game, with swords, was kind of unprecedented, let alone one that allows you to play as multiple different characters by ‘brainjacking’ them as you make your way through the game. But along came Maken X from Atlus and that’s exactly what it did.

The game is truly bizarre, even if you’re a fan of Japanese manga and anime. You play as the sword (rather than the person wielding it) and the player can then control a number of characters via “brainjacking”. The story is really strong though and the game is a lot of fun, although it is quite difficult. Please note though, that the game is censored in the West (the National Socialist theme is dropped and all images of Swastikas are removed). In addition to that, the English acting is horrendous and the translation is poor. The Japanese acting, on the other hand, is very good.

So I’ve been playing through the Japanese version (I also own the PAL version, but fuck censorship) and even though it can be fiddly at times, the game is fucking fun. It’s ahead of its time too, offering sidequests, alternative paths and multiple endings. The graphics are brilliant for its time and the combat system is good once you get used to it. It’s great trying out all the different playable characters. Sure, the controls could be better (damn Sega for not giving the Dreamcast controller a second stick), but oh well, it’s still a joy to play.

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