I'm not sure a more ridiculous promo image for a video game exists. Well done, From Software.

Enlarge / I'm not sure a more ridiculous promo image for a video game exists. Well done, From Software. (credit: From Software / Devolver Digital)

Microsoft's history with Xbox consoles in Japan is legendary, well-trodden stuff, though mostly because of flops and failures. It's truly a rabbit hole of culture-clash stories, with one byproduct being a selection of "hidden gem" Japanese games—the kinds that went unnoticed or underappreciated because of Xbox's cultural mismatch.

If you made me pick one of those games in particular, however, I'd point my giant, mechanized finger—surrounded by eight comically large weapons of destruction—at Metal Wolf Chaos. The game was published in December 2004 by From Software and launched exclusively on Japan's original Xbox. Back then, From Software was better known for robot-action series like Armored Core instead of its eventual best-selling Dark Souls games.

Fifteen years later, MWC's handlers have gone to the trouble of picking up its robo-combat pieces, putting them back together, and loosing them on Western audiences in the form of today's Metal Wolf Chaos XD, out now on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Windows PC (Steam, GOG) for $24.99. If you've never heard of this game, you might wanna sit down for this sales pitch:

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