Apr 29, 2016
I donâ€™t think Iâ€™ve seen better animated pixels than in the Metal Slug series. Wildly goofy gaites and exaggerated throwing motions were always the staple of the series, which was known as a brutal hard side-scrolling shooter back in the day.
Metal Slug Attack has retained the glorious and gorgeous sprite work of previous Metal slug titles but instead plays completely differently.
Boiled down, Metal Slug Attack is a card collecting game where each card represents a troop you can take into battle. Win battles and you earn more cards. More cards means you can level-up your existing army, etc, etc, you know the drill. Thereâ€™s all sorts of convoluted hooks in the game to get you to spend money on cards. Free spins of digital roulette wheels every day, coins that turn to gems, gems that turn to coins and tokens that are granted every 2nd Thursday of months ending in â€˜Yâ€™. Itâ€™s incredibly convoluted.
Luckily, you can ignore most of that and get into battle straight away. Battles are all about protecting your drop-pod and attacking the enemiesâ€™ instead. The two pods are placed at each end of the screen and you have to tap at the cards youâ€™ve taken into the fight to spawn little dudes or dudettes that will dutifully walk from the left to the right, shooting at and being shot by the enemy.
The strategy is that your different troops do different attacks. Grenadiers lob explosives whilst other troops are capable of sniping from a distance. Some characters like to get up close and personal, carrying a knife and running to the left with no regard as to their own safety. Your points slowly fill up as the game goes on and you can spend points on an upgrade that makes your points fill up quicker. You gotta spend points to make points, as they say.
So it all looks lovely. I canâ€™t stress how much I love the Metal Slug seriesâ€™ 2D style and animations. The gameplay itself is fine, with some wiggle room for you to create an army that plays just how you want. The problem is that itâ€™s all wrapped up in such a confusing and obtuse array of systems, currencies, special daily bonuses and limited-time quests. It becomes overwhelming to know what you should focus on, whether you should upgrade your characters or save them for some other poorly explained trade-in system that buried twelve menus deep.
If you can spend the time and read the wikis to get your head around how all of the meta stuff works, Metal Slug Attack might turn out to be totally engrossing and well worth getting into. As it was for me, I found it really pretty, enjoyable to play but ultimately confused me to the point of no return. As in, I played it for a week and now donâ€™t want to return to it. A shame.