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Review: Metal Slug 7 - Nintendo DS

by Steven Williamson on 25 February 2009, 13:00

Tags: Ignition Entertainment, DS, Shoot 'em up

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qaq6h

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Run-and-gun can be a lot of fun

‘Slugs’ (vehicles) can be found dotted around the landscapes, which you can jump in and run over the enemy with or use their superior fire-power to shoot them down. New additions to the series include a giant mech known as Gigant and the train-like, cannon-equipped Slug Truck which packs a powerful punch. The vehicles provide you with a great chance to rack up combos and really get your score tally up, and of course cause some mayhem and destruction along the way. And that’s really what the Metal Slug series is really all about: chaos, mayhem and over-the-top destruction; and the arcade intensity of the series has been captured extremely well in Metal Slug 7. Disappointingly though, because there's a lot of action going on at any one time, the DS hardware does occasionally struggle to keep up with the action during some of the more intense boss battles. For the most part, however, the action flows and there's barely time to pause for breath.

The visual style of the Slug series has been captured superbly, with artistically drawn and well animated sprites fighting tooth-and-nail against a backdrop of nicely detailed military-inspired locations. The upbeat soundtrack fits in nicely with the on-screen anarchy and the franchise retains its sense of humour with some over-the-top character animations, including blood that sprays from bodies when you pepper them with bullets. Also, watch out for the lady who turns into a chicken and then lays an egg. Bizarre.

For all its good points though, Metal Slug 7 doesn’t exactly take advantage of the DS capabilities. The lower screen is used for a map that you rarely need to look at - as you can only go one way anyhow - and the lack of Wi-Fi support is a glaring omission. Nevertheless, Metal Slug 7's debut on Nintendo DS is a welcome one. It expertly captures everything that the series is known for: intense gameplay, action, fluid hand-drawn animation and immersive run-and-gun entertainment. If that's what you like, you'll have a great time, and with the addition of the Combat School Mode, which has over 20 graded challenges, there's plenty of replay value to be had despite the lack of a multiplayer mode.

Metal Slug 7 is due out in Europe on February 27th. 2009.

Pros
Addictive fast-paced gameplay
Captures the spirit of the Metal Slug series
Challenging Combat School Mode adds replay value

Cons
Some slowdown in boss battles
Lack of Wi-fi

A solid and enjoyable debut of the Metal Slug franchise on the Nintendo DS (7.5/10) Turn over to view screenshots...