This is a guest review by Terence Wiggins
Scrap metal is an overhead perspective combat racing game made by Slick Entertainment, in which you drive cars trying to race other cars or try to destroy them. It's a very simple concept. You've got 60 levels, 20 different cars, several different game modes spread across single player and multiplayer, and even has a story mode!
Wait, did I say story? What I meant to say was it has a single player mode. You go through eight sections, which contain the previously mentioned 60 levels, and run the gauntlet of Race, Derby, Elimination, and the always fun Protection mode which is just an escort mission. You face off against a boss at the end of each section but there is no cohesion as to why you're fighting them besides wanting a new place to blow things up at, but I suppose that's all you need with a simple game like this.
When I first heard about this game I got excited because I love vehicular combat games. I had one combat racing game for each system I owned. Road Rash, Twisted Metal, Vigilante 8, and they were all fun. And so is this game... to an extent.
You start off with a pretty standard car that shoots one machine gun and handles pretty iffy but once you start winning races you earn money to upgrade your vehicle. Speed, Grip, Armor, Firepower, and Nitro are upgradeable, to a certain point, on each car. And you can repeat a level again to earn some more money. But you don't really need to do that do you? Oh yes you do. Let's say for instance that your whole garage is full of high class cars and that's really cool! But you want to enter a race and the game is saying you won't earn anything because your car is too high class! Well that won't do will it?
So what to do, what to do? Well you can just replace one of your high class cars with a low class car and everything will be fine, kind of. So you replace a car and you see that your old low class car that you upgraded fully is back to its base specs. And that means that that high class that you upgraded needs to be upgraded again. Now this might seem like a minor gripe, but there are 20 vehicles in this game! That's a lot of upgrading.
Now let's talk about the controls. You remember back when you were a kid playing with your Hot Wheels and you would slick the floor with oil and make the car wheels out of butter? No? Well that's how the cars handle in this game. Well okay, it's not that bad. But when you're driving down the track and your slipping and sliding everywhere because you just got a new car you want to try out and you don't have the upgrade points to max out grip on a car, it becomes a little more than frustrating.
Then you finally get some good gripping on the car but somebody is driving right up on you and bumps you. This apparently is enough to send you sliding into the wall and pushing you all the way back into eighth place. The game subscribes to old rule of "Whenever you're in first place there will always be a car that comes out of nowhere and knocks you out and you end up finishing in fifth."
There are two different sets of controls, one where you just use the left thumbstick to drive, left trigger to brake, and right trigger to shoot. The other, the one I used, controls much like a remote controlled car. Right and left trigger brake and accelerate, left thumbstick to steer, X to use the e-brake. A is used in both control schemes to fire. And the controls work fine! Until, as I mentioned before, somebody light taps you and your car can't recover.
The graphics work. That's all that can't be said, they didn't wow me but they were adequate and worked with the rest of the game. The sounds are good though; the gunfire, the engine noise, and pretty much everything about the cars work. The only problem I had with the sound was the music, the generic butt rock music.