Megaton Musashi W: Wired Review

Megaton Musashi W: Wired Review

There is no denying it; Level-5 has been in a weird place for a long time. Ni No Kuni 2 did not get the love it needed and was doomed to be slathered in price drop stickers in Gamestop bargain bins across North America. Most would agree that Level-5 has not had the success it once had during the PlayStation 2 days, with Dark Cloud 2, Dragon Quest VIII, and Rogue Galaxy being their absolute pinnacles.

Where did Level-5 go wrong? Maybe it was their initiative to produce more than just games. Level-5 sought to create transmedia projects. Professor Layton wasn’t just a few puzzle games; it also had to have an anime series, movies, manga, books, and even stage performances. This approach to media would be Level-5’s modus operandi moving forward for most of their games and it came at the expense of some games not getting Western releases.

Level-5 was just too busy building transmedia franchises and putting all their energy into the market at home in Japan. Even if we eventually got something like Snack World, the game was a tie-in to a larger-scope project that connected to various other media. This made their games sometimes feel incomplete when we got them.


Megaton Musashi was originally a PlayStation 4 title from 2021. It was another transmedia project with an anime that never aired in the West until the Western release of a second revision of the main game in 2024. What can mecha fans hope to see in this explosive action-RPG? Can it save Level-5? Find out in our Megaton Musashi W: Wired review!

Megaton Musashi W: Wired
Developer: Level-5
Publisher: Level-5

Platforms: Windows PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5 (reviewed)
Release Date: April 24, 2024
Price: $49.99 USD

Yamato is just another hot-headed youth destined for damnation in his prefecture. His life in high school is a blur of beatdowns with other delinquents as they tussle outside the local arcades and spends his nights alone lifting weights in his apartment.

Yamato is a gamer, but his routine gets utterly upended when it’s revealed that his life is a lie and his world is a simulation. Yamato’s uppity and stubborn attitude becomes one of his greatest assets because now he is proven to be an ideal candidate to pilot a ROGUE; a huge mech built to battle Draktors.

These aliens have already won and what’s left is the last bastion of humanity. Struggling to survive, most humans live in ignorant bliss in the simulation, while Yamato and his friends clash with a bizarre threat that has transformed the planet into a donut that harnesses the core’s energy.

The story unfolds in a very straightforward shonen anime style. Yamato and his friends become pilots, fight aliens and some enemies become friends and maybe even love interests.

Many anime cutscenes elevate the presentation and while I have never seen the actual anime, it wouldn’t be surprising if these scenes were recycled from the show. They’re high-quality, and it was smart to implement them into the game in this way.

All the familiar archetypes from the genre are present and accounted for. There are also a few amusing nods to some classic anime for mecha fans to catch and giggle to themselves, but mostly everyone will be too excited to use the Getter Robo and Mazinger Z parts to relive some memorable attacks.

While Megaton Musashi W: Wired‘s story isn’t bad, it is merely adequate and unremarkable. It’s like a poor man’s version of 13 Sentinels and incorporates many of the same story beats but without any of the sexuality, humanity, or intelligence. This is a story that aspires to sell merchandise to Japanese teenagers first and foremost and has no bite at all.

The music will mostly be drowned out by the sounds of the explosions of ROGUEs and Draktors clashing. What is most disappointing about the audio is the complete lack of an English option.

This is probably going to set back the appeal for Megaton Musashi W: Wired since the target age group will find the amount of reading to be bordering on exhausting. Having something as dumb as this story in English would have helped make the story more engaging since most of the non-anime scenes would be read quickly.

If there was an English option, I might have been open to settling down and letting the dialogue scenes play out. The game puts a lot of emphasis on the plot and a majority of all the content is locked behind story gates. Regretfully, this also applies to the co-op missions.

Combat when in control of a ROGUE is flashy and satisfying. The speed of the gameplay is way faster than the weight of these mechs would allow in any realistic sense and the impression is that they feel less like humungous robots that weigh thousands of tons and more like action figures.

The trade-off for believable physics and weight is worth it because the battles are punchy and match the tone of a hot-headed shonen anime. The mechs are big and the call-out attacks are even bigger with battles that level the ruins of cities into pancakes. ROGUEs can carry six weapons; three melee and three ranged and you can hotkey special attacks that are tied to a regenerating gauge.

The combat is simple yet effective. What sells the battles is the sheer spectacle and flurry of effects during animations. Megaton Musashi W: Wired is not a high-level action game and this is due to it being a looter game that pushes players to constantly go through parts and weapons like they’re nothing.

The challenge starts very light for hours and it isn’t until the option to change difficulty for missions is available. Until then, expect most battles to be complete push-overs. When the heat intensifies, the battles become drawn out because enemy HP pools become huge and expect to be destroyed in about two hits. The balance leans on how good your gear is, not on how well you mastered the gameplay.

The tedious grind for loot is where Megaton Musashi W: Wired begins to utterly alienate players. Even when playing in co-op, when you do get into a party, expect to be joined by some insanely overpowered players who will dash through the stages and wipe out all foes in seconds before you even realize what happened.

There is not much mission variety. Even in co-op, all the missions are repurposed from the main story and follow a very predictable and tiresome formula. Encounters are short and feel right if you’re playing on a portable console, but the stop-and-start flow doesn’t make for an enthralling experience when playing on the big screen.

The amount of customization impresses, but after extended play time, all the stats become white noise. Gamers will find themselves scrambling for an auto function to bypass the tedium of having to compare weapons and parts between missions. With so many variables to account for, the game does offer a lot of freedom but it never feels like there is a substantial trade-off.

Compounded with the unbelievably huge skill tree and the different pilots, there are endless possibilities for players to make whatever they want. The time sink to put into Megaton Musashi W: Wired is deep, unbearably so at times, but anyone who is excited by the prospects of lengthy grinds, battle passes, and daily missions will feel right at home.

Megaton Musashi W: Wired feels like it was made to cater to mobile gamers. While it is perfectly playable offline and alone, most of the features and the meat of the experience is the big grind online with players who rush to the end of every mission for loot.

The story has no teeth and its target audience may be disappointed by the lack of English audio, but Megaton Musashi W: Wired does have its moments with its utterly dumb brawling and Michael Bay-esque explosive action.

Megaton Musashi W: Wired was reviewed on PlayStation 5 using a code provided by Level-5. You can find additional information about Niche Gamer’s review/ethics policy here. Megaton Musashi W: Wired is now available for Windows PC (via Steam), Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5.

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The Verdict: 6

The Good

  • Smashing, bashing and rocking and socking the big robots is satisfying and explosive
  • Smart mixing of 2D characters/assets and 3D
  • High quality anime cutscenes throughout
  • Highly customizable mecha with fun designs
  • Getter Robo and Mazinger Z

The Bad

  • The looting and mobile-like battlepass grindy gameplay that turns a fun mecha action game into work
  • No English audio optio
  • Undercooked co-op gameplay

About

A youth destined for damnation.


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