Friday, May 28, 2010

Metal Slug XX | Review

Synopsis: Metal Slug is back, this time in the form of an XBLA release toting an XX suffix. Of course we got a review copy from our friends at SNK Playmore to take me back to the days of arcades, quarters, and Neo Geo. This time around, we get two additional characters to choose from, Ralf and Clark from King of Fighters to help the returning cast of warriors. On top of seven stages, each with multiple paths to play through, there is a combat school which is loaded with more than 70 missions to complete. Multiplayer is also available in this release to play through the missions side by side with a partner, and what is a Metal Slug game without the Slug vehicles; as you have six to use throughout the missions. To preface the review, I’m a huge fan of Neo Geo titles, run and gun shooters, and nostalgic remakes, so the Metal Slug series holds a place in my heart along with taking loads of money from me to get the number of releases across multiple platforms. It’s time to storm the beaches of Garbage Island and take on Morden’s forces in another off the wall shooter which is Metal Slug.

Praise: There is a huge amount of replay value from the available characters, each with their own special weapons and moves; on top of that, there are a variety of Slug vehicles which help with blowing stuff up. While Metal Slug titles have always been true to its roots, XX seems to add more than games I grew up on, with a longer game, multiplayer coop, and combat school missions. Each of the seven levels has multiple paths, so it is easy to go back and play through multiple times and experience things not seen in the first playthrough. For those new to Metal Slug, you can expect to find a satirical cartoon looking 2D platformer with a variety of weapons and large bosses to take down while playing through only takes about an hour, but you WILL play it again, especially with a friend and a second controller. Combat school is what I probably enjoyed the most; because it is easy to pick up and play through the missions, but combat school provides a number of trials to complete in order to rank up.

Gripes: It is always fun to play coop from time to time and Metal Slug XX gives you that option, unfortunately every time I try to find or create a match, I am sitting waiting for five minutes before I give up and go back to single player. Like my issue with the Mega Man games, your range of fire is extremely limited, being that you can only shoot horizontally and vertically, unless you are in a Slug vehicle. The other Metal Slug titles are ten dollars or 800 Microsoft Points, but this new entry is fifteen dollars or 1200 Microsoft Points, and while this does have some additional content over previous releases, it still doesn’t feel like it warrants the increase in price.

Overall, Metal Slug XX is rather entertaining, while not perfect, it holds enough replay value to keep you playing for a while. Unfortunately, due to the price tag and lack of people playing online, you may want to rethink purchasing if online play is important to you. This does stick to its roots, so anyone familiar with the series should consider adding XX to their library, and with the download being pretty small, you will not need to clear up space on your hard drive to download and start the running and gunning. With the multiple paths on each level, the replay value is there and will keep you coming back, whether you want to play through over and over again or just to pick up and kill some time. gives Metal Slug XX 7 out of 10.

Metal Slug XX is available now for the Xbox Live Arcade.

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