Developer: SNK Playmore
Price: $3.99
Version Reviewed: 1.00
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★½☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

The Metal Slug family of classic 2D side-scrolling shooter games was originally designed for the Neo Geo game console back in the ‘90s. The developers clearly saw the need to bring these games to the iOS platform and have done so with great detail and quality. Although the control layout on the iPhone poses some problems, Metal Slug X is a high-quality port.

All the Metal Slug games have the same objective: shoot and destroy any and every foe that crosses the character’s path. Metal Slug X is advertised as a remake of Metal Slug 2, and it’s clear that there aren’t too many differences between the two games. There are some new enemies and other subtle changes but overall I’d have to say it’s pretty similar.

Metal Slug X has both campaign and arcade modes but each mode follows the same maps and foes. There is also a multiplayer mode that allows players to link up with friends via Bluetooth. The gameplay is fairly consistent with other side-scrolling shooters, which can get a tad repetitive since all there is to it is to jump around and shoot. There is a certain classic element and cleverness to the game, though, that make it attractive.

Despite the quality of this game, I do have one problem with it. Metal Slug was originally designed for a console to be played with a physical controller. The iOS platform clearly relies on on-screen touch controls which poses a problem since fingers need to occupy space on the screen. There is a lot going on in this game–bombs and other deadly objects are constantly flying through the air are hard to avoid because a finger blocks the view. This results in a lot of frustrating deaths. While the game is an excellent port, it’s marred by the fact that it was designed for a physical controller.

I can’t really fault the developers too much for the incompatibility of the iOS platform with their game. However, for $3.99 I think it could have been a little better adapted to the iPhone. There was a lot of detail and attention given to port the game and for that I think Metal Slug X is a great addition to the Metal Slug family. Anyone familiar with the other games will not be disappointed by this addition.

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