This is what happens when Metal Slug goes missing for almost 10 years…
Mercenary Kinds Reloaded Edition – Nintendo Switch – Released: 2/6/18 – $19.99
Short Review (Review copy provided by Tribute Games)
When it comes to Metal Slug going missing for several years the fans pick up the pieces. This could be a good thing or a bad thing but when it comes to Mercenary Kings, it is a very good thing. Metal Slug has been gone since 2009 with no signs of it returning. Tribute Games decided in 2012 to create their own take on the series with Kickstarter and it is executed very well. The Kickstarter campaign was an amazing example on how to push for sales. It was made by the same team that did Scott Pilgrim vs the World (which we need to bring to newer consoles), solid reveal trailer, and amazing sprite animations. Mercenary Kings takes the basics of Metal Slug, adds in custom weapons you can make, and a range of missions. The game starts you off simple by just giving you a basic pistol but as you complete missions you will be able to purchase any weapon or add on for your weapon. Do you want a shotgun with dozens of rounds? Do you want a pistol rifle thing that does next to no damage? Do you want to just run and gun with a submachine gun? Well you can do any of those things but best advice is to try out your weapon before you go on your next mission. Depending on the mission you will either need to gather certain items, kill a set number of enemies, rescue people or destroy the boss. I was shocked to see how much content this game has and it has an online mode. The online is nothing to write home about but it is as simple as turning your game to public and joining someone. I always found someone playing in the morning or late at night. I am glad that I enjoy this game because Metal Slug is a series I wish came back but I will settle for Mercenary Kings 2.
Wish the logo was a bit bigger that’s about it really:
I would love to go in depth about the story of the game but man it’s a lot. First thing to cover is that the game has a set story but they included a comic strip that has a little more information. I will cover just the little bit in the opening then you can choose to read the comic which isn’t needed but a nice touch then go into other aspects of the story.
The game opens with the Kings going to stop CLAW and their leader. They find out that they have kidnapped a high profile scientist and plan on using this research to destroy the world. Things go sour when they arrive though with them being completely slaughtered. Only two members are saved by using the mandrake medicine. Before they send them out again to try once again. This little section of training and prepping is covered in the comic so check it out but not required.
Should read this little comic before you continue:
Hopefully you checked out the comic since after that point the game starts. The game starts with you having to rescue your crew members that have been scattered around the island. The main objective is to defeat the bosses, kill CLAW’s leader and recover the scientist. It is a basic story but man they put a lot of effort into each character. You should really check out the “characters” section on the website. It gives you backgrounds on all the characters that isn’t mentioned in the game.
The gameplay is a bit of a mixed bag depending on what you are looking for. The missions are nice and all but sometimes I just wanted to progress the story rather than save people or gather supplies. It is completely possible to beat the game using only one weapon and not bothering with the crafting system. The crafting allows you to build all types of weapons from shotguns, rifles, machine guns, and a range of different knifes. A bit much at first but you don’t need to do any of it outside of the missions. Missions will have you go between multiple locations to save people, kill certain enemies, or collect crafting supplies. The game does offer many missions at one time so you don’t have to do the ones you don’t like. This is the game part of the game since I didn’t like collecting pelts so I didn’t do those missions. I do wish the game had a more streamlined mode that just gave you story missions much like Metal Slug. The greatest benefit is the online since it is simple to use. You just go up to the NPC change your setting and look for someone. Every time I tried it, it was within a minute that I was connected to someone. It is great to be able to quickly find someone and get started on a mission with someone else. Sadly the game only has preset responses but it isn’t a game where you need a lot of teamwork.
I am a huge fan of the Metal Slug series so when I saw this coming to the Switch I knew I would love it. There are a few issues but the game is very solid. The missions may be a little tidiest from time to time like collecting pelts. Which always seems to take way longer than I would think as I watch the timer clock down. Takes me 7 minutes while the fastest time on the complete screen says less than 2 minutes. So I am really bad at them. The weapon choices were amazing but I general stuck with the pistol. There are so many combinations but most of the ones I tried did less damage or the clip size wasn’t a good amount. Sticking to the base weapon always yielded the best results in my opinion. The story is pretty funny with all the cutscenes that feel like they were straight out of Metal Gear Solid to just interacting with the NPCs. All of them are interesting and reading up on them on the website gave me a better understanding of what they were about.
Definitely pick this up! It is a game that I knew just looking at it would have charm and make me feel right at home. Every game does have its faults and this one doesn’t get away with it but I still wanted more once I finished it. The game is around 20 hours long depending on if you want to just beat the story or you can spend more time doing all the side mission stuff. The game is everything I could want in a Metal Slug game minus the ability to easily throw grenades which is something I wish they had a dedicated button to unlike the weapon select they have.
I would give this game a 10 out of 10!
My Gameplay Footage:
Man this game is pretty amazing! My biggest issue is that the game makes me want a new Metal Slug and a port of Scott Pilgrim vs the World on Switch…. Like why doesn’t Scott Pilgrim exist on modern consoles. It is a real shame it was a digital only and you can’t purchase the game anymore digitally. Scott Pilgrim would be a great game to have today so hopefully someone is pushing for it out there. Fun fact though apparently the game was ported to the Amstrad CPC according to the wikipeadia page… I highly doubt it is legit but funny to see how know one has changed it. I can’t find any extra information so wonder what happened with that and why it says it on the page. Anyway hopefully you enjoyed the review and check out my giveaway! If you liked this review follow me on Twitter, Subscribe on YouTube or send me a Coffee/Tea on Kofi! Thanks!