Maken X (魔剣X?) is a game for the Dreamcast console that fits into an extremely small sub-genre of "first-person slashers". It is unique in that the main character is the weapon (Maken), rather than a person.
The word "Maken" literally translates as "demonic sword". On the title screen, the "X" is shown to stand for deus ex machina (Latin for "god outside his machine").
The player can control a number of character via 'brainjacking', which leaves the person a vegetable. The woman displayed on the boxart is the first person controlled when the facility that Maken was created at comes under attack.
The western release of Maken X: was heavily censored from its Japanese counterpart, which featured a more National-Socialist theme for some enemies (most notably, two enemies who actually had swastikas for faces), and a boss-battle against the pope set inside the Vatican.
The PlayStation 2 remake, Maken Shao: Demon Sword, retains censorship of the swastika in all versions, including the Japanese. It also contains significant differences to the gameplay, the most striking being that it is played in a third-person perspective rather than first-person.
Maken X was especially panned for its poor English localization. IGN stated in its review of the Japanese version that "the Japanese voice acting is top-notch", while stating that in their domestic review that "various problems ranging from the horrid translation to the even worse voice acting job make it hard to follow." This was part of the reason why IGN gave the US version a 'good' score of 7.9/10, while giving the Japanese import an 'outstanding' score of 9.0/10. The Japanese Dreamcast Magazine also gave it a high reviews of 9, 9, and 7.
A surreal adventure following Kei Sagami as she journeys to rescue her kidnapped father. Her father, Professor Hiromitsu Sagami, developed the Maken, a sword designed to heal people. As strange as a weapon that heals people sounds, the Maken does very little actual healing. The soul of the sword seems bent on "brainjacking," simultaneously stealing a person's knowledge and killing them, rather than saving lives. Unfortunately for Kei, unknown assailants attack her father's lab and mysteriously the Maken grafts itself to her arm. Struggling to keep her mind separate from the Maken, Kei and her childhood friend wander about leaving behind a trail of corpses.
- "Maken X Another (manga)". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2006-06-24.