If you’re a fan of the Metal Slug series, then you know what it’s like to have all the odds stacked up against you. Whether it’s dodging zombie vomit or getting stuck in absurd crossfires, running with guns blazing into the impossible has never lost its appeal… until now.
Metal Slug XX for the PSP includes all the elements that we know and love from the series, plus added visual pop (in the form of greater graphic detail and brighter colors) and co-op play. The problem, outside of that, is we’ve already played the same game more than a year ago on the Nintendo DS.
With identical maps, enemies and story as Metal Slug 7, Metal Slug XX makes it very hard for gamers to avoid a feeling of déjà vu as they run and gun through each mission. To make matters worse, the few changes that are present end up cheapening the experience . Continues are now infinite – leaving no real consequence for death except a low score that no one really cares about anyway, and the Slug Jet (one of my favorites) has been noticeably left out entirely. The ability to respawn countless times may seem pretty sweet, but with a story mode that barely lasts an hour as it is, you’ll end up wondering where your twenty bucks went.
Making a return appearance are the six characters that joined us for the last title: Marco, Eri, Clark, Tarma, Fio and Ralf. If you’re interested in learning more about them, a miniature bio for each is available at the character select screen – listing everything from age to blood type. Leona from the King of Fighters series is also available via download at the Playstation Network for $0.99, but to be honest, you’re better off saving your dollar for a breakfast burrito.
A “network” mode allows players to connect with a friend wirelessly for some much-needed backup and extra firepower. While this definitely brings back the arcade feel lacking from the DS version, finding a friend with a PSP and game copy will prove much more difficult than just playing the game on your own. If you are forced into solo play and the story mode gets stale, there’s still a “Combat School” menu that allows you to play through over 70 mission-based trials. With a different goal for each mission, replay value will be there for the more devoted fans.
To be fair, Metal Slug XX, will definitely entertain those who are unfamiliar with the DS title. With noticeable tweaks to graphic detail, brighter color schemes and the insane weapons that have made the series such a success, it’s a polished remake worth picking up if it’s your first go around. However, if you’re like me and your copy of Metal Slug 7 is sitting in the dust, there’s no reason to waste your money just to give it company.
You can buy Metal Slug XX at Amazon.com for $19.99.