Cloned from the two-year old Metal Slug 7 on DS, Metal Slug XX (pronounced Double X) is just another installment in the high action but always entertaining platforming shooter – even though the series starting to show its age.
XX plays just like Metal Slugs of the past: trying to dodge a ton of bullets and explosions, fighting large bosses, controlling tank-like vehicles, saving hostages, obtaining weapon power ups…it is all here. Yup, it is just another Metal Slug.
Metal Slug is a traditional 2D platforming shooter built in the shadow of classic games like Contra or even Gun Star Heroes. This series always stood out with its highly animated and comedic 2D sprites and light hearted plotlines. However, despite being over a decade old, this 2D shooter has not evolved.
Originally designed for arcades, Metal Slug was built to suck all your quarters out of your pocket. It is usually almost impossible to survive for longer than a moment in any Metal Slug game. But the game does not penalize the player for continuing. Once all lives are lost, the player can simply respawn from the exact location of death, complete with a newly replenished supply of grenades. This always keeps the game fast paced and entertaining. However, with constant continues, the game can be beaten in under an hour.
The biggest pill to swallow is the fact that this game sells for $20, the same price as the Metal Slug Anthology, which had seven games in one package. And since Metal Slug XX really isn’t better or worse than any Metal Slug before it, it makes the $20 price tag seem a bit high.
Even though there are a ton of Metal Slug games, they are all entertaining thanks to their high level of action, comedic value, and simple gameplay. But after 14 years, why can I still not shoot on an angle? True, many of the game’s enemies would have to be redesigned and this factor would have to be considered into level design, but not being able to shoot on an angle has been the game’s biggest flaw since day one. The Metal Slug series has probably been one of the least evolving series in the history of video games, but I think it is about time that players should be able to shoot on an angle. There are many things this series can do to evolve: update the graphics, introduce online multiplayer (maybe even 4 player co-op), create a new death/continue system, etc. But if the developers can only update one thing, I would take angled shooting over anything.
Metal Slug XX is definitely not a bad game. Ad-Hoc multiplayer is fun, the combat school is a nice break from the main game, and the main quest is surely enjoyable. But for $20, you are way better off purchasing Metal Slug Anthology. The King of Fighters character available as DLC is a nice touch, but there really is no reason why this extra was not included with the full retail purchase of this game. Even though Metal Slug has not evolved, it is a still a fun game, but game design changes would definitely be welcomed in the inevitable Metal Slug 8.
Better Than: Guerilla War
On Par With: Just about every Metal Slug that came before it
Wait For It: Metal Slug XXX – The Naughty Version
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