Xbox One | 360 | XBLA  PS4 | PS3 | PSN  Wii U | VC    3DS  PS Vita  iOS    PC    Retro    

  » news
  » reviews
  » previews
  » cheat codes
  » release dates
  » screenshots
  » videos

  » specials
  » interviews

  » facebook
  » twitter
  » contests

  » games list
  » franchises
  » companies
  » genres
  » staff

Which Console Did You Buy/Receive Over The Holidays?

Xbox One X
Nintendo Switch
PlayStation 4

Game Profile
Atlus Software
GENRE: Action
April 26, 2000
 Written by Thomas Wilde  on August 31, 2001

Review: We have a lot of killing, a confusing story, and stupid looking outfits, what more could a gamer ask for?

If you have the means, construct a Quake mod where you have no other weapons save the axe. Were you to then add distinctly odd character designs, and an intricately ridiculous Japanese plot, you'd get Maken X, a "first-person slasher" that is, if nothing else, unique.

At the beginning of the game, we meet Dr. Hiro Sagami, a world-renowned expert on "psi," the energy of the human spirit. Sagami has constructed Maken, an artificial life, which just so happens to look kind of like a sword. Maken has the ability to extract and modify psi, which in turn allows it to "brainjack" people, possessing them. Suddenly, after Maken's awakening, Sagami's laboratory is attacked by what would appear to be a traveling freakshow. To try and save him, Sagami's daughter Kay grabs Maken and goes after his attackers. Kay is thus swept up in a plot to take over the world, masterminded by the mysterious Geist. Only Maken, who you control, and Kay, who shares a strange bond with the sword, can stop Geist, and in so doing, save Dr. Sagami.

Clearly, this will involve dicing a great many people. It always does. Maken X, as I said at the beginning of the review, is a first-person action game. In gameplay sequences, you'll jump about a bit and solve the occasional puzzle, but most of your time will be spent hitting other people (if strange bondage ninjas can be called "people") with melee weapons. This part of the game is fluidly animated, expertly programmed, and has a very good learning curve; the first couple of levels are easy, thus allowing you to get a feel for the play control, but starting with the third level, an abandoned temple in India, the game will begin attempting to cave in your face for you.

The "hook" here, so to speak, besides first-person swordplay, is that Maken can possess certain people. As the manual explains, Maken does so by modifying the psi of a given target, so the target retains his or her abilities and memories; hence, each character you control has different abilities and specialties. Kay, for example, is a straight and unimaginative swordfighter, while Haken Audrey, who Kay eviscerates at the end of the first level and Maken subsequently brainjacks, is a polearm-wielding freak with some kind of missile weapon in his tongue. This adds a bit of strategy and variety to the game, which would otherwise become a bit monotonous.

Speaking of monotony, each level is broken up by a long series of story sequences, each of which is, by my watch, five hundred years long. Fortunately, you can skip through them with the B button, as well you should, or you will probably grow old and die in front of your Dreamcast. That and the utterly horrible character designs in Maken X are my only two real criticisms of the game.

Everyone in Maken X, with the exceptions of Kay, Anne, her father, and Kou, looks utterly, mystifyingly, brain-meltingly stupid. It's like the guy who made the last Fatal Fury movie got turned loose on a video game; it's like having to sit through one of those Parisian fashion shows where the models are wearing clothing no non-model in their right mind would ever wear. "Asinine" comes close, but the English language is almost insufficient to convey the horror which the Maken X character design instills in me. It makes Vagrant Story look like Final Fantasy 8. It makes Yoshitaka Amano look like John Cassaday. Maken X is the standard-bearer for the horrible marching armies of Fruity Character Design, and there can be no excuse.

Bottom Line
Maken X is a decent game with some interesting twists to it. The story's sort of weird, yes, but you can fast-forward through it if you like. Even the voice acting's okay, except for Kao's. If you don't mind how the character design will attempt to make your eyes melt, Maken X can be a pretty good time.

User Comments

EA Publisher Sale on Xbox Will Save You A Lot of Money This Week

ONRUSH Trailer Released by Codemasters and Deep Silver for Xbox One and PS4

The Story Goes On Will Arrive on Xbox One Next Month

Burnout Paradise Remastered Rolls On To Xbox One and PlayStation 4 Next Month

Battlefield 1 Apocalypse now Available for Premium Pass Members

Fe Has Now Arrived as the First Game to Launch in the EA Originals Program

Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality on PlayStation VR Receives Limited Collector’s Edition

Bayonetta is Now Available on Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Labo New Features Revealed by Nintendo

Secret of Mana Remake Now Available on PS4 and PS Vita

Home    •    About Us    •    Contact Us    •    Advertise    •    Jobs    •    Privacy Policy    •    Site Map
Copyright ©1999-2012 Matt Swider. All rights reserved. Site Programming copyright © 2004 Bill Nelepovitz - NeositeCMS