Copyright/Publisher: US Gold/Namco, Release Year: 1987, Genre: Weird Sports,
Number Of Players: 1 or 2
The latest in the long line of coin-op conversion to come '64-side is the Namco classic,
Metrocross, the objective of which is to negotiate a series of floorways within a set time limit.
The quickest path is to keep to the chequered flooe covering, as the green tiles reduce your
speed by 75%. Hurdles are liberally dotted about, and must be dodged or jumped, as contact causes
your player to go sprawling on the deck, therefore wasting valuable time. Rats also join in the
proceedings, biting your shoulders and slowing you down - these pests are shaken off by moving
quickly from side to side.
A variety of cans are found scattered about the floor, each with a different function according
to its colour. Red Coke cans must be jumped over, blue cans are kicked to gain a bonus score,
and green cans double your speed.
Speed is also increased by riding on skateboards which are provided along the way, and certain
obstacles are cleared completely by use of the springboards which are dotted around. Jumping
from these sends your player somersaulting rapidly across the floor, thus clearing and hazards
in his path.
Each of the 24 levels has a separate time limit, displayed by a disappeating bar at the
bottom of the screen. Only one life is provided, so fail to finish a level and it's back to
The arcade game isn't exactly a household name, and when playing this it's not difficult to
see why. Running along the rather bland horizontally scrolling landscape is entertaining for
a while, but the unchanging backdrops, repetitive gameplay and long pauses in the action
eventually repel. If it was cheaper, Metrocross wouldn't be a bad investment, but there's not
enough action or variety to justify its ten pound price tag.
Although billed as a game for people who can 'think in microseconds not minutes', this
particular facet isn't terribly useful when the main character doesn't move that
rapidly anyway. It tends to be a game where remembering the layour of the screen is as
important as being able to think quickly - this is alright for a while, but all too quickly
becomes boring. As racing games go, Metrocross isn't exactly the state of the art, and
although it does have some strange addictive quality I don't think I'll be returning to it
In essence, Metrocross is very simple racing game with unusual obstacles tacked on, similar
in many ways to a horizontally scrolling Trailblazer. It's quite enjoyable, but somehow misses
out on a certain something to set it apart from the rest.
It has one or two bad points,
including the annoying delay between games (over 20 seconds) and the dreadful music. I suppose
that this is a reasonable conversion from the arcades - it's a pity that it's not a bit