The Regular Army and its surrounding city is experiencing a brief moment of peace and are able to rebuild after the many battles that were fought. HQ receives a video transmission from the Regular Army's Intel that one of the Morden soldiers were spotted on Garbage Island. HQ assigns a six man covert strike-force to investigate and eliminate all Morden Forces on the island.-summary
If you're not familiar with the series, then I recommend stopping here first:
Metal Slug Anthology
Metal Slug XX:
Two years ago, SNK decided to cash in on its hit franchise by releasing the 8th sequel in the main story continuity Metal Slug 7. Although the game was pretty much true to the series in regards to fast paced and addictive game play. The game was a disappointment to me, and unlike some fans who regarded it as one of the best in the series. I felt the complete opposite. The sequel removed its two player co-op option, and it really didn't introduce anything new to the series. For the most part, this game doesn't bring anything really new to the table either, but at least the two player co-op mode has returned.
Metal Slug XX is part 7 all over again. Outside of the two player option via wireless co-op and wi-fi compatibility, there is no real difference. The game was mainly meant for those who own the PSP and nothing more I think.
Metal Slug XX remains true to its roots. The game is still a 2-D side scroller shoot'em up. The sequel uses the game engine of Metal Slug 6. The player has the option of choosing one of six characters with their own specific attributes; such as one who carries larger amounts of ammo, and another who takes down enemy vehicles a little easier and so on. The characters profiles can be read at the character select screen. The game has a difficulty select option consisting of; beginner, normal, and hard. The former begins the player with the heavy machine gun as the default weapon. The game is very easy on this option and the bosses go down rather quickly. While in the latter two, the pistol is the default weapon, the enemies have mastered the numbers game, and the bosses put up a serious fight. The player will more than likely see each of the bosses different attacks multiple times.
The player can still pick up many different weapons by freeing prisoners. Plus, there's a new weapon, in the form of a twisting laser, and it's the coolest to come around in a while. The player can still haul around two extra weapons, with the ability to swap at any time, plus discard an uninteresting one. The vehicles are still fun to use and they provide that extra amount of needed firepower, and in addition, they can help keep the player alive through some really thick situations.
The enemy troopers aren't the only threat though. Metal Slug XX borrows from standard platformers, and some of the stages have instant death traps, like falling to your end due to mis-timed jumps, or mounds of dirt and enemy tanks falling on top of you. I actually enjoy these segments in the game because they take the focus off the run and shoot for a moment. One stage even throws at the player man eating plants, and the player death segments are cool to watch.
Once again though, the game is still newbie friendly. Anyone can pick up the game and have a good time. Metal Slug XX, along with the rest of the series is not story driven in the least. Therefore, prior knowledge of the series is not even important.
I'm sure that I'm in the minority here and I really don't care, but I think the best features of this version, which happens to outshine the game play are the visuals and audio. In the DS version, I was pretty much lost in the gameplay. But the PSP's well use of the audio, especially, is very hard not to notice. First off, the graphics are a lot cleaner and crisp than the DS version. There is no grain or slight pixels at all. The graphics have a very nice and clean finish. The animation is very fluid and fast paced, without any type of slow down at all no matter how much action is taking place. The DS doesn't suffer from slow down either, but I'm just pointing it out in this case. The backgrounds are still pretty nice though, but I didn't notice much of a difference between the two outside of the small amount of grain from the DS. The character designs are still very good, and I like the attention to detail with facial expressions and movements.
The sound effects are just so in your face. There's a very good distinction between the sounds of weapons and bombs. I think the pistol shots sound a lot better for the PSP, and the sound when the bullets make contact with something metal can also be slightly heard. The detail doesn't stop there, you can also hear the clanging sound when using the knife on soldiers who are blocking with riot shields. Along with the metal clanging of soldiers kicking their beat up artillery cannons to make them fire. The music is still the weakest aspect to me. Now don't get me twisted, I'm not saying the soundtrack is bad, but I just don't enjoy it like the other games.
The controls are still as tight as always. Handling the characters movements when jumping and shooting, or hurling grenades performs nicely. Making the instant death jumps from one platform to the next handles well also. Controlling the vehicles is still a snap. When looking back at SNK's checkered past in regards to controls, I sometimes can't believe that I'm playing an SNK game.
It's way pass time for some upgrades:
SNK use to show a slight bit of progress by taking risk with the gameplay and becoming innovative. Each game introduced something different, either it was a plot twist, or a different type of shooting stage. But I think now they're just winging it. There is so much room for improvement.
SNK could have added some depth to the characters functions, by adding the ability to shoot in all eight directions like in Contra. The game could also use the ability to shoot while moving in the crouch. The heavy machine gun should be tossed in favor of the dual machine guns. This game along with Metal Slug 7 feels a bit lazy. SNK could at least start small and take care of those issues.
Bringing back the two player co-op meant a lot, to include the unlimited continues. Now folks who only love to blast their way through the stages with a partner can have fun once again. Like the DS version, the game features an extra mode, consisting of 80+ missions with certain goals that must be met to achieve a letter rating. The prisoners mode is also intact, this is when the player can go back and check which missions they haven't freed all of the prisoners, and they can go back and replay those stages. But once again, that's mainly for serious fans. I doubt casual fans will care about that.
Now as a final note. If you own both a PSP and a DS, you won't lose anything by picking up this version, and completely forgetting about the other one. If I could do it all over again, that's exactly what I would do. But if you already own the DS version, then pick this up only if two player co-op means that much to you.
Other SNK Titles:
Metal Slug 7
Art of Fighting Anthology
Fatal Fury: Battle Archives Volume One
King of Fighters 98: Ultimate Match
King of Fighters Collection: The Orochi Saga