Megaton Musashi W: Wired Review - Screenshot 1 of 6
Captured on Nintendo Switch (Handheld/Undocked)

In late 2020, Level-5 shuttered its operations in the West and effectively ended its business outside of Japan, leaving Western fans of franchises such as Yo-Kai Watch and Professor Layton wondering if they would ever see English versions of new entries in their favorite series. Fortunately, the company has since reinvigorated its efforts in the West and one of the new projects to emerge is Megaton Musashi W: Wired. As an enhanced re-release of a previously Japan-only action RPG, this mech battler brings a lot of style, charm, and raw action to the table, marking a strong return to form for Level-5.

Megaton Musashi W begins by introducing us to Yamato Ichidaiji, a lonely and headstrong teen haunted by unfocused memories of a house fire that apparently killed his little sister. Yamato has a penchant for picking fights with other kids in the quiet suburban streets of Akagicho, often landing him in hot water with the law, and he’s soon offered a way out of his legal troubles when he’s approached by some mysterious agents who see great potential in his fighting capabilities. Yamato begrudgingly accepts their offer to join their “Oblivion Bay” program, only to quickly learn the awful truth that he’s been unknowingly living his whole life in a fortified shelter on a devastated Earth, which was ravaged when aliens called Draktors invaded and killed nearly the entire human population. The aliens are hellbent on finishing the job, but they’re held at bay by the fists and firepower of mighty piloted mech robots called Rogues, one of which is granted to Yamato to continue the fight.

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Captured on Nintendo Switch (Handheld/Undocked)

Though it can come off as being a little too reliant on tired anime tropes, Megaton Musashi W mostly spins an interesting yarn here. There are some genuine twists as the story unfolds and the moral grayness of the central conflict comes more into focus, while the characters follow predictable but earned personal growth as their story arcs and relationships develop. The plot is ultimately nowhere near as engrossing or ambitious as something like 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim, but what’s here is nonetheless quite satisfying and gives the alien-punching action just enough emotional weight.

Gameplay is ultimately split into two primary game types: visual novel and hack ‘n’ slash. In the former, you simply guide your current character around various semi-3D environments and strike up conversations to progress the central plot. You also later have the option to engage in side narratives that delve more into various support characters, a bit like the Social Link system in recent Persona games. Although the actual gameplay here consists of little more than running around to trigger the next cutscene, we nonetheless appreciated how these segments slowed down the pace and gave you time to appreciate the worldbuilding and cast; it really helps elevate Megaton Musashi W from feeling hollow and superficial, like a lesser Dynasty Warriors release.

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Captured on Nintendo Switch (Handheld/Undocked)

When you’re not busy making friends, you’ll find yourself at the controls of a godlike Rogue robot, blasting your way across the ruins of a scorched Earth as you deliver furious justice to the alien invaders. Here, you have a variety of ground and air combos you can chain together with myriad melee and ranged weapons, while you can also trigger up to four equippable active skills that kick off some especially flashy and devastating attacks which all but clear the battlefield. The power fantasy here is off the charts, and while Megaton Musashi W can sometimes feel like it skews towards being a bit too easy for too long, it generally feels quite satisfying to clear out the enemy hordes and blow up massive alien bosses in spectacular set piece moments.

After completing a mission, you’ll be absolutely soaked in all sorts of colorful loot pickups that easily satisfy that monkey-brain need for cooler, shinier things. Everything from weapons to cosmetics to armor is at play here, and you’re almost always guaranteed to get a piece of loot that’ll help round out your Rogue’s build back at the hangar.

It can feel a little overwhelming sometimes with all the gear options at your fingertips, but we appreciated how there’s a strong Monster Hunter-esque design philosophy here of picking the right tool for the job. Depending on the mission, you may need to completely change your loadout to account for the unique enemy weaknesses you’ll encounter, and even though the generally easy difficulty means you don’t have to maximize your combat potential every time, many of the latter missions and difficulty levels will put the pressure on you to put more thought into your build than just going with whatever has a bigger number.

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Captured on Nintendo Switch (Docked)

There’s more than simple weapons and armor to consider in progression, as there’s also an enormous Sphere Grid-like skill tree you can develop with materials you nab from fallen enemies. Here, you can unlock and upgrade active skills to use in battle, along with a litany of passive stat boosts that offer various situational benefits. To keep you from getting too overpowered, however, you have to install these components on a Motherboard to make use of them, and here you have to engage in some strategic puzzle-solving as you figure out how to best optimize how many pieces you can cram into limited space. Again, there’s a ton of depth to dive into here with how you load up, which keeps missions from getting stale as you continuously experiment and upgrade different build types.

Though the single-player content is more than sufficient, there’s also a multiplayer component for those who want to link up with others either in co-op missions or competitive matches. Co-op missions allow you to have some allies give you an edge in the tougher battles, while competitive matches toss you into a medium-sized arena for 3v3 deathmatches. Though this online concept is enjoyable in theory, we had a difficult time finding players to connect with, even during peak times and with crossplay enabled, and the small player pool leads to a lot of balancing issues where you aren’t being matched with others of a similar skill level.

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Captured on Nintendo Switch (Handheld/Undocked)

For example, one of the first competitive matches we participated in (with crossplay enabled) took over 10 minutes for the matchmaking to find just five other players, one of whom was a Japanese player who had no-lifed the game and almost singlehandedly annihilated our team of fresh players while their two allies got in occasional hits. Fortunately, the multiplayer feels more like a nice extra than the main focus of the experience, but we still wish the lobbies were more populated so this component could be given its chance to shine. As it stands, there simply aren’t enough logs on the fire for multiplayer to feel like something you check out a couple of times and then never return to.

As an ‘ultimate’ release that collects all the content from a few Japanese-only Megaton Musashi games, there is a lot to dive into with Megaton Musashi W, to the point that it can sometimes feel overwhelming. We were most frequently reminded of the Monster Hunter series when playing through, as there are a lot of parallels as you keep taking trips around the Ferris wheel of upgrading your character, rushing out on brief and enjoyable missions, then returning to grab more upgrades with all the stuff you got from your run so you can do it again. This is the sort of game that, if it really gets its hooks in you, will easily last you for dozens of hours as you grind out gear and clear missions.

Megaton Musashi W: Wired Review - Screenshot 6 of 6
Captured on Nintendo Switch (Handheld/Undocked)

Megaton Mushashi W does feature some microtransaction and live service elements, though these luckily aren’t too invasive. There are things like a battle pass and daily login rewards to drive player engagement, though we noted that the rewards being offered are mostly limited to upgrade materials and cosmetics. It feels a little out of place having such things in a story-driven action game like this, but it ultimately feels like their inclusion is relatively harmless.

As for its graphics, Megaton Musashi is an impressively smooth and well-animated visual feast that comfortably matches the level of quality that Level-5 has maintained with most of its releases. The visual novel sequences are characterized by high production value anime cutscenes, smoothly animated character sprites, and dynamic, comic book-esque panels, while the mech battling portions are packed with explosive skill animations that dazzle. We’re pleased to note, too, that everything runs at a smooth and consistent frame rate, and though the resolution can feel a little fuzzy around the edges in handheld mode, it’s nice to play a new Switch release that doesn't crash or drop frames all over the place.


Megaton Musashi W: Wired proves to be a strong return to form for Level-5, offering up addictive mech-battling action that feels like the most slept-on release of the year. Its heartfelt story, dumb-but-fun combat missions, and in-depth character progression offer up an experience that’s tough to put down, even if some elements—like the lackluster online—drag it down a bit. If you’re at all a fan of action RPGs or that distinct Level-5 charm you can find in all the beloved company’s games, we’d encourage you to pick up Megaton Musashi W as soon as possible.