Metal Slug 7 (Nintendo DS) - Review by Andrew
Anyone who's spent time around arcades or even gaming, over the last decade or so, will have heard of Metal Slug. The series is famed for its non-stop action and frenetic gameplay whilst never taking itself too seriously. Like most classic titles it's also appeared on just about every format and it was one of the main reasons for buying the now defunct Neo Geo Pocket Color. What will no doubt excite fans of the series is the fact that this is a brand new adventure although, strangely, it is set before Metal Slug 4. We know the DS works well with 2D action titles but what we are most interested in is just how the developer have used the DS' unique capabilities in order to push the franchise forward.
If for some reason you've never played any of the previous Metal Slugs, just imagine an all out action shooter where the action simply never stops and you'd be getting close. It's all made it into this DS version too and, over seven levels, you'll be able to mow down the enemy using an impressive array of over the top weapons. There's the usual collection of hostages, who require rescuing, and you have the ability to use tanks and even planes during your campaign. In addition your progress is automatically saved and with a generous nine continues you are likely to complete this game in only a few sittings.
In an effort, no doubt, to expand the gameplay (remember this is only a single player game) the developers have also included a Combat School. This is not, as the name implies, a tutorial but instead a series of mini-missions which have mostly been lifted from the main game with alternative criteria. It may involve completing a level with full health, collecting all items or simply competing against a timer. Once completed there is a leader board although with no on-line facility you'll just have to keep your high scores to yourself.
Just as tight and arcade perfect as you've come to expect from the series and, just as soon as you enter the action, it needs to be too.
Visually the graphics are just as impressive as they have always been with so much going on that you occasionally have to stop just to take everything in. That said, the game does suffer from being on a small screen and gamers used to playing this in arcades or even on a home console screen will strain to see all the details.
If you've played any of the Metal Slug series before then this DS version is unlikely to throw up any surprises. Same music, sound effects and voiceover work although, as they say, 'if it ain't broke'...
Disappointingly, other than the ability to view a map of the entire level with the help of the stylus, there is absolutely nothing.
With no Multiplayer, no on-line play and not even the ability to upload your score, there's little reason to load up Metal Slug 7 after the initial play through and even that shouldn't take you too long. Yes, you could rescue more prisoners or attempt to get a high score but there's still not nearly enough to do. Obviously the developers have attempted to address this with the Boot Camp feature but this is simply a collection of scenes lifted from the main game. What Metal Slug 7 does have is the same great degree of humor it's always had, it's just a shame there isn't just a little more to it.
Pro: Brand New Storyline, Great Metal Slug Action
Con: Little Replay Value.
Final score: 7.5