Because of the disregard for my own life, I was able to play through the game in around 40 minutes. While that's on par with past Metal Slug games, it feels incredibly short for a $20 game. There's no reason this should cost the same price as the Metal Slug Anthology, especially when this game feels no better or worse than any of the games in that thorough compilation. At most this should have been a $10 game, there simply isn't enough content in this package to warrant anything higher.
Perhaps this review is not the venue for this, but Metal Slug XX reminds of why I'm always a little let down by SNK's efforts. I wish that in the past fourteen years the Metal Slug developers could have figured out a way to keep this franchise fresh. Instead all they're doing is recycling levels, weapons, enemies, bosses and everything else associated with this series. Even when I jumped on the back of an ostrich, I felt like I had been there and done that before. Metal Slug XX feels interchangeable with any of the games in the Metal Slug Anthology, which is bad news for the seventh installment in a fourteen year old franchise.
It's time for a chance. I suggest you look at your strengths, such as the expressive characters and weapons. Create some over-the-top weapons that you can only pick up when you beat bosses, a la Mega Man. Or give these characters a real reason to fight. And spend that extra day developing a proper ending, it's the least you can do. And while we're at it, if you're going to make a 2D shooter in the 21st century, then let me shoot diagonally. If you do nothing else, just let me shoot diagonally!
But I digress; I hate to simply complain about all of the things Metal Slug does wrong. Behind the staleness of this franchise there is a fun action game that will keep you going for close to an hour. I'm not sure how many times I'll want to come back to it, but I suspect I'll revisit the game with a second player sooner than later. With its great presentation and solid action, it's hard not to love Metal Slug XX. I just say that there's no reason to buy this when you already have Metal Slug Anthology.
Metal Slug purists may hate me for saying this, but it's time for this franchise to evolve. Metal Slug XX is a fun action game that simultaneously reminds me why I love AND hate this series. The great graphics and expressive characters aren't enough to make this two year old port worth $20!
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