Despite its non-stop violence, this absurdly over-the-top shooter deserves a pass thanks to its simple, non-realistic graphics and tongue-in-cheek political message. Though fifteen years old, Metal Wolf Chaos XD exaggerated gameplay is still good fun, and its themes of restricted political freedoms and overreach of government power make it a great way to spark a discussion of contemporary political developments. In fact, with its satirical take on both the news media ("DNN" instead of "CNN") and on the way governments manipulate information, it's hard to believe it was made before "Fake News" became part of our national vocabulary. The focus here is nonstop, outrageous destruction, which is understandably disturbing in a time and in a country where mass shootings have become commonplace. The game offers a caricatured take on American culture with its ultra-manly President Wilson, Western ghost town, and money-soaked Hollywood mansions, but this isn't as exaggerated as it used to be.
Still, things can't become too grim when you're wearing a mech suit, and it's undeniably fun to zip around, jet-pack-jump, and blow the heck out of everything in sight. You don't play this game for beautiful graphics; everything in it looks fifteen years old. It goes to show though, that fun gameplay makes up for a lot of shortcomings. Despite being challenging at times, Metal Wolf Chaos XD makes you feel powerful, and it's fun defeating so many enemies single-handedly. Guns are easily upgraded, swapped, and wielded, and your ultimate ability (which can only be used once a level, generally) is truly awesome to see. Though there's blood, it doesn't go overboard or fixate on it which keeps the violence from getting too graphic. That said, in the context of today's headlines, parents might not want kids playing this game. At any rate, Metal Wolf Chaos XD could be fun for older kids and could give adults a means of starting a conversation about the effects of real-world violence.