Metal Max is a long living series of strategy RPGs that started in 1991 on the Famicom, initially created by a rather obscure company known as Crea-Tech and published by Data East. Metal Max was quite a revolutionary and ambitious game for its time, being one of the first open world games on the Famicom, with a big world to freely explore, different missions to complete in any order and multiple endings depending on your choices.
As you could guess from its title, the Metal Max series was heavily inspired by Mad Max movies: all the games in the series are set in a post-apocalyptic world mostly covered by deserts and destroyed cities, where players can accept bounty missions to hunt down monsters and criminals while upgrading their combat vehicles and weapons.
After the 2D chapters on the Famicom and Super Famicom, in september 1999 during Tokyo Game Show ASCII Entertainment announced a new 3D Metal Max to be published for the Sega Dreamcast under the title “Metal Max Overdrive” and later renamed “Metal Max: Wild Eyes”. Unfortunately the game was never completed, and only a few screenshots and a short video still exist to preserve the existence of this interesting strategy title.
Metal Max: Wild Eyes would have expanded the open world gameplay of the old Famicom games, keeping the canonical post-apocalyptic setting in which to move around the map in real time, on foot or by using one of the many different vehicles available, such as tanks, police cars and jeeps.
Players would have been able to explore the vast desert area and visit many different cities, some of which had buildings you could enter into and characters to talk to, to receive new missions and help them surviving in this strange world full of weird characters, a funny parody of classic post-apocalyptic movies and their tropes.
If you didn’t play any other games in the Metal Max series, you could imagine Wild Eyes on the Dreamcast somehow similar to a mix between the Fallout series and the Advanced Wars series, combat was turn-based with heavy emphasis on fighting using vehicles but world exploration was completely in real time.
As in previous chapters of the series in this cancelled Dreamcast game you could recruit many different companions to help the main protagonist during his adventure and one of them was a dog with a rocket launcher on its back… it’s easy to imagine how Wild Eyes could have been a funny RPG with a unique sense of humor.
As revealed in 2010 during an interview with former developers who worked on Wild Eyes, the game was cancelled when ASCII decided to limit its publishing efforts on the video games market and canned this Dreamcast project to cut expenses. In the end Metal Saga for Playstation 2 became the first 3D Metal Max and even if the original series’ producer Hiroshi Miyaoka was not involved with the PS2 version we can imagine that Wild Eyes could have been quite similar to it.
A few more chapters in the Metal Max series were later released on Nintendo DS and smartphones, but these games were never officially published in english.