Like the six “Metal Slug” games SNK Playmore released prior to this one, the seventh entry in the series is a bullet-filled explosion festival that is sure to please fans of the series. The gameplay is reminiscent of past Slug games, with plenty of enemies, powerful weapons, POWs to rescue, and amazing visual style, especially for a handheld title. Is there enough to warrant a purchase though, given you can pick up six similar titles (“Metal Slug Anthology”) together for roughly the same price?

Run and gun
Ignition Entertainment
Nov. 28, 2008

There is not much to complain about when it comes to “Metal Slug 7.” Yes, the campaign is short, but you could say the same about other Slug games (and side-scrolling frenetic shooters in general) so it isn’t a surprise. The one area where you could win some points in the case against the title is in the lack of multiplayer modes, as in, the game lacks any. Part of the glory of Metal Slug has been co-op, especially with the number of foes on screen and the difficulty levels available, so not even having that option available is a negative that cuts into its value.

Besides this though, there is not much to complain about. The game has brilliant visuals that match up with anything SNK Playmore has done with the series in the past, despite its place on such a tiny screen. The characters and enemies have always been well animated, and that’s no different on the DS. The art style also retains its excellence, with giant bosses and vehicles that animate fluidly and beautifully.

The campaign mode may be short, but for those obsessed with collecting everything, there is plenty to do, as you need to save all of the prisoners of war successfully or beat through the game without using a continue in order to earn the highest scores possible. This, along with the “Combat School”, which is a game mode that gives you a specific task in a level (such as a minimum number of missed shots) gives the title plenty of replay value, in spite of its short length.

Most importantly, you will want to collect as many of the POWs as you can, or achieve new high scores, because the gameplay is excellent. Metal Slug has consistently been one of the better options in its genre since its inception 12 years ago, and this new entry in the series just adds to that rich history. If you were on the fence about whether or not Metal Slug 7 was worth it, ask yourself: How great is it to be able to carry a Metal Slug worthy of the series’ name with you anywhere you go, with the ability to blast through well-designed levels and enemies whenever you get the urge?

About The Author

Marc Normandin was gaming editor of Blast from 2008 to mid-2010. You can reach him via e-mail at marcnormandin@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter @Marc_Normandin

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