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May 21, 2001
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 Overall Score: *76*ESRB Rating: Teen (T)

Metal Slug X [Sony Playstation] 

by Agetec  Reviewed by: Ben Piazza  


ScreenshotOverview

Aliens from the deep regions of outer space have indoctrinated an evil foreign dictator to aid them in their master plan to conquer the world. It’s up to four of the free world's finest super soldiers to halt the alien's hostile takeover by any means necessary. With the malicious aliens backing the foreign dictator with overwhelmingly superior technology, this isn’t going to be a walk in the park for our gun crazy heroes. Grab all the ammo you can carry and strap on your combat boots cause it’s up to you to send those aliens back to whatever hell they crawled out of.

Gameplay, Controls, Interface

To begin with you choose one of four crazy super soldier characters and make your way through multiple levels, destroying anything and everything in your path. Before the game you can adjust the difficulty level as well as choosing how many heroes you start out with. I found that difficulty adjustment was a joke since in the game's primary function is to provide the player (or players) with as many continues as needed to finish the game. Since your character's ammo is replenished whenever he revives from death you can have your soldier run into combat guns blazing without concern of losing items you had acquired earlier. Though this makes gameplay easier for those who want to see the game from beginning to end, it also made it just another mindless shooting game.

As you shoot your way through multiple stages of violence, your character will stumble across a number of unique items. Most of these power-ups will increase the overall damage that your character's weapon will do while others will affect multiple opponents. On top of your main gun you have access to grenades which can also be improved by finding items throughout the stages. On more than one occasion you will be able to climb into one of four amazing vehicles of mass destruction. Each vehicle has a main turret, which you must maneuver by pointing it in the direction that you are moving and a special weapon unique to the vehicle. It takes three shots for your ride to be incapacitated, at which point a warning will appear over the vehicle reminding you to jump out before it explodes. As you make your way through each stage you will run into friendly characters who will leave power-ups for your weapons or even fight by your side. These items bring flavor to the game and will help you complete all of the stages quickly and efficiently.

ScreenshotOnce you have completed all of the stages the first time around, you will have a number of different options at to your disposal. One of the most interesting things available is the ability to enlist in the combat school. After you enlist, you can choose one of two options to help build up your skill within the game. The first is the pinpoint training challenge where you may select any of the stages you have already completed and see how quickly you can finish the stage. The other is the survival training challenge where you see how long your character can last before the enemy gets a lucky shot. Each of these two training challenges has its own set of rules on how it is accomplished. Another option available to you after the first game is the list of other missions that are there to increase your response to hostile encounters. A number of the missions I found to be pointless and dull and hindered the enjoyment of the original game -- gauging how well I could master a specific stage was more thrilling for my taste.

Multiplayer

Even if you thought that one gun crazy soldier was enough, you also have the option to bring along a friend to help you vanquish that evil foreign dictator and his forces. The second player option allows you to participate in combat with your partner without having to deal with those annoying split screens. Make sure though that when you have your partner playing along with you that he/she doesn’t take all the power-ups since there are only as many as there would be in a single player game.

Graphics

For such a low budget game it was surprising to see how animated the scenery was throughout the whole game. Each element of the game reacted to the actions that not only the characters made but also what the enemies did. Even though most of the graphics were put together to emphasize the amount of destruction that was going on, it was appropriate to the feel of the game. Major plot in the game was represented with short bits of humorous animation that made the game just as enjoyable to watch, as it was to play.

ScreenshotAudio

As I played I was impressed with the amount of interactive sound effects throughout the multiple stages. Each stage had specific theme music that was appropriate for the scenery to aid in involving the player in the game. On top of that, the characters perform a variety of humorous responses to things that happen during gameplay. Overall, I felt that the sound effects along with the theme music were vital in the enjoyment of the game.

Bottom Line

Metal Slug X is adequate if you have the hankering to pop a few rounds into some brain-sucking aliens. Unfortunately, for most of the civilized world this kind of entertainment just won’t cut it. I would suggest that you pinch your pennies and wait for one of the hotter releases to come out. As enjoyable as Metal Slug X was, with the humorous plot and senseless violence, I would only recommend it for a two-day rental.

Review Posted On 14 May 2001.

 
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