Metal Slugging on through
Running and gunning is the name of the game! Not really, it’s Metal Slug. Metal Slug XX for the PS4 is essentially a buffed up version of Metal Slug 7.
You run through the story protecting the world from evil dictators armed with alien/interdimensional tech. XX Version has the DLC character Leona Heidern from King of Fighters as the seventh playable member in a cast of uniquely equipped individuals.
The story is done completely visually. Basically, the heroes, called the SPARROWS, are hunting down an evil general by the name of General Morden. When you first get to this military base that is apparently in a garbage dump, you face the regular military forces.
Once you defeat the first boss, a wormhole/gate of some sort appears and then Martians come in and save the jerk. Suddenly the enemy’s technology advances years. After you mow through giant mechanical worms and ride your neat SLUG vehicles you will reach the top of the garbage heap. Morden makes his last stand in a magma-proof Kraken, your only footing is floating garbage heaps.
Metal Slug – Shoot, Die, Repeat
The gameplay for Metal Slug XX is your average running around a 2D plane shooting at everything that isn’t the player characters. By saving prisoners of war, you can get a variety of benefits. They will drop everything from Turkey with a high point value to power-ups.
The different weapons you get to spice up the rather simple gameplay of the game make shooting the enemies actually fun. Traveling through the games’ levels, while beautiful was not the most fun for me. There really wasn’t any difference when I added a second player sadly. I believe the deepest issue, obviously just for me personally as I can’t speak for Metal Slug vets, is the control limitations. I understand that you have a franchise but there are two things that we should be able to do by now. One is dodging. You can not evade anything in the game and it makes dying so much easier. After one round through the main story and 25 continue slater, dying just doesn’t hold any risk so the game becomes a mindless trudge of who can get the highest score. The other is being able to aim in any direction we want with our damn weapons. It’s frustrating to have only 4 ways to shoot rather than 8. This again just leads to further death and makes surviving less worth it. On another side of the coin, I have seen gamers play through the game swiftly barely dying at all!
To simplify this; your enjoyment of the gameplay could lean on a few factors. If you are the type of person who needs progression and some kind of fleshed out intricate gameplay mechanics, then this is probably not your kind of game. Now, if you are the one always aiming for the high score, and trying to make those perfect solo runs through games then I would highly encourage you to try Metal Slug XX out.
The Training School was fun and gave the game purpose for me. Completing the different challenges finally presented me with a goal and I found myself playing the game through there than ever just going straight into the arcade mode.
The game to me looks great. I am a sucker for these pixelated beauties. I really enjoy the movement of the characters and the little nuances the creator included. The enemies and vehicle move fluid and have hilarious animations. When a character shoots their hair/headgear shakes to the rhythm of the shooting bullets. The bosses and operable vehicles were the sprites that stood out to me the most.
A Curtain of Sound
The best way I can describe the sound of the game is that it’s energetic and exactly what I’d want to match the graphics. There are constantly sound effects pinging off and people yelling their death shouts. There are so many things going on so consistently you are unlikely to get bored of the sound symphony going off through your journey to the top of the garbage heap.
The Nuts and Bolts of it
All in all, I would say that for me, this game was not very enjoyable besides testing myself in the challenge modes. However, I know for a fact that anybody who does enjoy a game where your sole purpose is a high score would love a whack at this. The variety of characters does well to add to the already high replay value of the game. If you have any inkling to get into the Metal Slug franchise, this would be the one to start with.