If you miss that arcade feel from the 90’s, SNK Playmore has you covered. METAL SLUG XX is the latest offering from the METAL SLUG series dating back to 1996, and is a remake of METAL SLUG 7 which was released on the Nintendo DS back in 2008. This side-scrolling game out now for the PSP keeps the tradition of the series with cartoonish graphics and lots of action. Another great reason to pick it up is the $19.99 price tag, which is much cheaper than most PSP games. The question is, would you want to play it?
METAL SLUG XX begins with a battle with General Morden in the first level. After you defeat General Morden, a mysterious army arrives from the future to save him via a portal. They call themselves the Mars People and they are arming their future leader with special advanced weaponry to take on his enemies in the present. The METAL SLUG team consists of classic members Marco, Tarma, Fio, Eri, Ralf, and Clark, plus new character Leona. With multiple weapons and abilities, each team member brings something special to the group as they try to stop the Mars People.
Players must fight their way through soldiers, tanks, helicopters, and fortified bunkers to make their way through each of the 7 levels. Gamers arm themselves with various guns, grenades, dynamite, tanks, and rocket launchers which are really quite fun, and getting into your SLUG is one of the most enjoyable parts of the game. Constant firing from both sides results in non-stop action throughout. Weapons are not hard to find thanks to the refugees in underwear you find all over the levels. Save a refugee and they in turn hand you their underwear which turns into a weapon. Underwear for weapon sounds like a good trade to me. Hey, it’s freedom.
The controls for METAL SLUG XX can be a bit difficult at times due to the fact it would be better to have a Joystick than a controller. Movement for the characters is made by either the directional pad or analog stick which just doesn’t feel right in this type of game. One of the reasons for this gets back to the roots of 2D gaming, which only allowed a character to move in eight directions, so in METAL SLUG XX you can only fire in lines and if an enemy is not in one of these lines, then you have to move to shoot them. It’s confusing but not the end of the world.
METAL SLUG XX has three difficulties to choose from over 7 levels. The game play will of course change the way you play the game, and the choice of difficulty is a great addition. You can make it as hard as you can take. Another great feature is the unlimited continue, so don’t go throwing your PSP out the window. Game play length is around 2 hours or more depending on your difficulty selection – so don’t go into METAL SLUG XX thinking you’re going to get hours of excitement out of it because it is not happening.
A feature gamers may enjoy is the Combat School, new to the PSP version, which includes over 70 challenges to complete that give players points depending on how they complete these challenges. Players are then ranked by how well they do in the school. The challenges are basically the main campaign’s levels with gamers trying to not be hit or complete levels with certain weapons only. The challenges do extend the game play since the campaign is so short.
Overall, METAL SLUG XX can be a fun game even with its shortcomings. If you’re in for a game that is purely focused on causing as much destruction as you possibly can, then METAL SLUG XX could be for you. The graphics are pretty cool and really remind you of the great arcades back in the day, too, which was a definite plus for this writer. I enjoyed playing METAL SLUG XX and if you don’t mind beating a game in an afternoon then I suggest you run out and get it. If you like a little more of a challenge, then you had better rent it.
Title: METAL SLUG XX
Developer: SNK Playmore
Publisher: Atlus USA
Platform Reviewed: Sony PSP
Release Date: Available Now
Review Copy Info: A copy of this title was provided by the publisher to DualShockers Inc. for reviewing purposes