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METAL SLUG ATTACK RELOADED | REVIEW | NINTENDO SWITCH

''A TAD BIT SLUGGISH''

 

Developed: SNK

Published: SNK

Genre: Gacha Tower Defense

Release Date: June 18th, 2024

Platforms: Switch/PC/PS4/PS5/Xbox Series X|S


*PRODUCT PROVIDED TO ME BY NINTENDO


Metal Slug is back but in a different way, in a title that is developed and published by SNK. With the original Metal Slug Attack releasing in 2016 and shutting down in 2023 on mobile, SNK now decides 2024 is the year to bring us an offline version of the title. But was this a wise move bringing the tower defense game to a wider audience? or should they have stuck to a more traditional chaotic fun run and gun Metal Slug entry? Only one way to find out, so lets go!


''MOMENTS BEFORE YOUR RAGE STARTS''

 

GAMEPLAY:


Right off the bat, I got to say, I've never been heavily into tower defense games or deck building titles. Sure, I've dabbled in the genre here and there with several titles holding my enjoyment with trying to figure out which decks to roll with and monsters or characters to keep in the fold to determine what works best for specific scenarios I might need to prepare for. But again, while I've played them here and there, I never actively seek out the next big deck builder. Platformers on the other hand, they're my obsession and I'll stalk them out like I'm Michael Meyers being a creep and hiding behind trees and bushes then just teleporting away. But were not here for platformers, were here to see if SNK managed to fix Metal Slug Attack from its mobile counterpart and the results for me personally are quite mixed. Once more you are part of the Falcon Squad, which is helped by the one and only Marco Rossi and your goal is to stop the evil General Donald Morden and his Rebel Army before he pulls a Cobra and takes out all GI Joes. Rebel Army? sounds close enough to Red Ribbon Army, might as well just get Goku to finish the job while were at it.. little kid was a menace. Needless to say, its par for course with the games storyline and you shouldn't expect anything more from a Metal Slug title. That's not a bad thing in the very least, don't take it that way, its just that Metal Slug as a series has never really been one that takes itself TOO seriously, so its all about the over the top un-serious nature that can help draw you into it, so it works. As originally stated, Metal Slug Attack Reloaded is a remastered or rather reimagined tower defense game of the original mobile gacha game. Uh Oh, gacha, yikes, those usually bring along a pretty negative stigma, but not all is lost as the original microtransaction's of the previous title are not present here from the 2016 edition.. but grinding upon grinding is. You will do HOURS of grinding to make up for that fact. While that can ruin some of the fun, for me, growing up on RPG's, spending hours grinding EXP with examples like when I would level my character in Crawlers Nest on Final Fantasy 11 and spend like 7 hours grinding out 1 million EXP to level up ONCE, only to then die and LOSE half that EXP. So what did I do? I did it, ALL. OVER. AGAIN. So yeah, grinding for a few hours here and there for this title? the game needs to know there's no danger in annoying me with that, because, I AM. THE DANGER.

But while its a great thing microtransactions are a thing of the past in this game, it still demands a pretty big grind in order to advance in the story and even when you do advance into the story heading into Area 5 of the game, you're told you cannot advance until you complete other side stories, which take away your deck and leave you with starter deck units to summon, making you have to grind out more medals to use in the mode ''Call To Arms'' where you use the Gacha system to randomly get new units to use in your deck, then use MSP currency you've obtained in in regular story missions to pay for each upgrade level for troops, any evolution from items dropped, build up your base, quicker deployment time upgrade, faster AP build upgrade and then your secondary special attacks that let you summon a take to rush the field to blow people up, heal entire party or allows everyone to use special attacks at once. Phew. Saying all that makes me feel as winded as Ace Ventura, ''Do NOT, GO IN THERE''. But where it is tedious and semi annoying, it does have quite an addicting effect on you that is a game that NEEDS to be played in short bursts of fun for a few hours here and there and not done like me where I got mad that I lost in a level in the China section and proceeded to stop recording my playthrough and sit for like 4 hours grinding out one level, getting like 1,100 MSP every 21 seconds and then ending up with over 130,000 points to spend and maxing out everything until the game is like ''yo, girl, Im gonna let you finish, but, you need to level the base player level before you can even level anymore, so chill''. Action mixed with tedium, that's the name of the game here. Why only those? well the story in Metal Slug Reloaded is pretty paper thin, like our boy Paper Mario or even Paper Me. The too long, don't care version of this for people just wanting game play is simple, Marco and his crew fight against the Rebel Army with characters going back on forth with no real direction on if they want to strategically place troops to win the day or just rush in use brute force to defeat the enemy... pretty similar to the way Cloud and Barret think when they want to infiltrate Shinra Headquarters, only with less swear words. Through the games story, each cutscene that plays is a prelude to the action of sending out droves of your fellow units to try to steam roll the enemy and blow up their base or take down the enemy boss. Same holds true for the other unlockable mode called ''Another Story'', which really, if were being honest, doesnt add much dept and is even more thin on story or plot the main games story scenarios... but for me, much harder due to you losing your deck you've had built up for hours. Another story? that sounds familiar though.

 

''DONT THINK, RUSH IN!''

 

So what of this gameplay I keep speaking of? good question. Metal Slug Attack Reloaded's gameplay involves you as the player purchasing units using your Action Points in order to send them into battle for you and to take down anyone in your way. This is done by the constant refilling of the Action Point gauge that manually reloads over time or when enemies are killed, with the stronger the unit costing the most Action Points compared to the other scrubs. Simple right? on paper yes. Its all about management and timing and pick and choose when is the right time to sit and take damage so that you can summon your strongest army. That's really the core of the entire game right there with you occasionally using a unique special skill from your units to do heavy damage, but in the end, you're still fighting wave after wave of enemy troops and hope your power and timing is enough to win and the only real change in combat is if you get more units from Call To Arms using Medals, otherwise you'll never advance, even if you grinded your heart out for MSP. Grinding annoyances aside, choosing the right units to send out is a key strategy to use because if you're facing a threat that fires long distances, sometimes its best to send grunts who throw bombs, if theres an annoying ground enemies, pick something that flies and if they have flying enemies, pick something that counters their strategy. By completing all your missions in timely fashions with higher ranks, you'll be awarded Medals and Tickets with Tickets upgrading both units and base stats as I touched upon earlier, while Medals give life like frankenstein to his monster to the games Gacha mechanics, letting you roll the dice and hopefully get a RARE character. This is actually harder than it sounds due to there being like over 300 characters to potentially obtain or cycle through, so it can become a bit confusing trying to determine who does what in a timely fashion, but there also lies the problem, with the focus now more locked onto the Gacha system and less about Microtransactions, you're now exposed to the cold hard truth. No the one you're thinking of, the one I'm referring to is the frustratingly painful difficulty spike that happens out of nowhere that leaves you scratching your head and questioning the games balance system. No, I'm not about go into an IGN rant of ''The game is hard, old school hard'' and then rip on it for 10 minutes and then say ''its got a little something for everyone'' after that. But it is hard and grinding really doesnt alleviate that.

At the very least during the tedium, you arent subjected to just using boring ol human soldiers at the time. The more you use the Gacha system, the more unit types you'll be able to obtain, with unit types pertaining to regular soldiers, mummies and even aliens.. and then even this huge guy I got and use just because he looks crazy. He barely fits on the screen and has one big ol eye, worlds ugliest bro but he's my best friend because he does super damage, so he's invited to the pizza party at Peter Piper. But doesn't that make things more confusing? you're fighting all these Rebel Armies to save the world but here, lets send out a giant slug like were Tsunade from Naruto or a weird alien ship that has protection ball projectiles or a Samurai mech. Like... what?. But to be fair, would it really be as interesting to play WITHOUT them? I dont think it would, and I for one welcome our new insect overlords. Beyond the story mode tedious nature, there is a multiplayer for both local and online battles, but if you end up against people who have no life like me and end up against a player who loves more grinding than Tony Hawk, then you're going to end up fighting against someone who has a god level tier deck that beats the crap out of you within seconds and that's no good. So to combat that, either take your beating and ''get good bro', get no life and join us in a grind fest or your third option, stay away from it and be saved a headache.

 

''AN EXPLOSIVE DEVELOPMENT''

 

OVERALL:


At the end of the day, Metal Slug Attack Reloaded is a very mixed bag for me. On one hand it nails the pixelated art style that is well in line with the Metal Slug series and it looks fantastic. There's also a very big roster to choose from and make use of, game runs smooth and even with all the chaos going on with the Nintendo Switch version, there's no frame drops or lag going on, the game itself being potentially over 10 hours or more depending on how much you grind out, an online multiplayer that does allow you to test your deck against other players while you hope for a competitive match, Another Story mode that allows for multitude of cutscenes from each factions perspective and harder boss fights, etc, those are all good things. However, one cant push aside the tedious nature of this game either, that one, being me. Did I have fun playing this title? sure, I can say so, but I also have to factor in that a lot of this might not be the cup of tea that people want to drink either. With strong focus on Gacha luck system to get stronger unit types, which is never a guarantee you'll get them, a difficulty spike that has you max level early on at level 10, maxed bases and support at 10, all characters equipped fully upgraded and evolved and STILL lose within 30 seconds to an enemy is pretty absurd and this doesnt even change at level 20 plus either. The levels of grinding makes you feel at times that you are making no progress and that's not something thats fun for the average player. On top of that, the main story is also objective locked, so if you're grinding and fighting your way through the main story and enjoying it, the game then tells you, sorry, you cant advance unless you beat a FULL chapter in Another Story mode, which each chapter having 11 missions and harder than the actual main campaign mode that strips you of your deck, BIG YIKES. So how do I judge this? well on one hand, if you're a hardcore Metal Slug fan, regardless of genre, you're more than likely gonna love this, but if you're a normal average player, chances are you are going to get very bored and verry annoyed, really fast. Keeping both those points in mind, even with the title being only $10, which usually saves games with my verdicts, I gotta say, I can't really recommend this one to people who ARENT big fans of the series, sad to say. So with all that having been said, my verdict is clear, GameNChick says, Its got a little something for everyone. No no, I'm just kidding, my bad. For real this time, so with all this having been said, my verdict is clear, GameNChick says WAIT


 




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