Thursday, 15 May 2014

Metal Slug Defence (iOS)

Watch her hat when you hit the screen...

Normally, I don't like this kind of game. You know the type, the Tower Defence games. Or Defence games in general. The idea for the most part that you can put down a few items without really knowing your opponents and hope that somehow, what you made and placed will be perfectly suited to kill the enemies of which you have no clue as to how many there are, nor what they have, nor what they can do. Some might argue "That's the point" or "That's what war is like" I would to take this moment to respond that for the most part, it's very unfulfilling and bores me to the point that I want to puke BLOOD in your faces! Having said that, I gave Metal Slug Defence a shot because I heard it was a little like Army of Darkness Defence and I quite enjoyed hearing Bruce Campbell sound bytes while playing.

It doesn't take long before the game becomes utter mayhem while you're spewing out units left and right

Let's get this straight first of all, you'll enjoy this game a LITTLE more if you're a fan of the Metal Slug series. It's got the graphics from the games, most of the characters and enemies and uses them all in a sort of rolling tower defence strategy.

How much? For how little?

The game itself runs on this basis, you get points by simply sitting there. When you've accrued enough points you can spend them on a unit to deploy, said unit then runs right until it gets to an enemy unit and then they fight. The loser dies, the winner goes on with reduced (usually) health until they die. You keep doing this until you're attacking their base (or they're attacking yours) and someone's base is blown up. Game over, move on.

He makes a return, he'll kill your units very quickly. Better pump out some more by now.

Progression through levels (of which there are 3-5 per area), will net bigger and bigger challenges, while gaining more and more in-game cash to spend on upgrades and improvements. There's also the Prisoners of War to rescue akin to the original series though they seem to be only found on chance when the game deems you've played enough to earn them. There might be conditions behind it but I'll be damned if I can work out what they are from here. In unlocking all the prisoners from an area you can gain boosts to specific units, to all units, to the rate at which you charge points, even down to just getting new units and items to use in battle.

So many units you really shouldn't buy. You don't need them.

Pointless items to get you to spunk money at the system. I've loads and paid for none as you win many in the game anyway.

Other nods to the game are the use of backgrounds from the games, key and recognisable bosses that have been fought across the series from the giant hermit crab to the aliens from the meteor, a giant robot with laser cannon eyes and even (almost as synonymous with the game as the main characters are) Mr "Come on, Boy" Allen O'Neil with his heavy machinegun and usual vocal insults. It reeks of nostalgia and it's loved for it.

The background is red, this is clearly hard mode now.

And that's it. However what this game does have, which a lot of similar games do not, is style. The added bonus to this kind of game is that each character has a special move which highlights even more of the series. Marco has his Heavy Machine Gun, Tarma has his Shotgun, Fio has a Rawket Lawncher (yes with the original odd accent) and Eri has a laser. Other weapons and units come in from various games including the Metal Slug Tank itself, an Ostrich with a gun mounted on its wing and an Elephant. Other units include virtually ALL the enemies but you're not going to get those straight away and I'll happily tell you as to why.

Another welcome return boss!

In-App Purchases. They're here and they don't exactly help. You win credits in the game, but stars are used to buy extra units and items to boost your abilities in the game. You can win SOME stars during the game but then these become more valuable than gold dust and by the time you've enough to get something really big like the giant tanks or walking crab monsters, you're likely upgraded enough to be able to one-shot most levels and bosses even on the hardest setting. There's a whole 2nd world at least (only played for a week, sod off) offering the same levels as before but with more P.O.Ws to rescue and harder enemies and bosses. Along with that, other bonuses too from beating the levels, new enemies to buy with REAL CASH stars and so on and so forth. But you can get to this point easily if you play through the older levels repeatedly until you unlock all the P.O.Ws, get their bonus effects and you can breeze most of the boss levels by that point in the harder worlds. The only annoying part is that you've got a Sortie points level that determines which levels you can do and each attempt costs points, but you regain one point every minute. A full refill costs about 30 stars... or you wait about 2 hours i.e. FOOADS, (Fuck Off Outside And Do Something).

Or play another time based waiting game.


There is also a Vs Mode for people to play with friendly games and full rank versus games. The linking up is reasonable for the game itself, assuming people are still playing it by the time you get to play. You get to see what they're taking into the game from their deck of characters/soldiers/tanks and you play from your own point of the game onwards. Becomes amusing when you see what they focused on and what they actually bought and you're slapping the shit out of them with you game-won items rather than paying real cash and STILL WINNING, so I'm seeing even less of an incentive to pay for items I just destroyed while keeping all my cash-monies to blow on Jelly-Babies.

They're only memorable because they're weird.

It's good to play as a quick pick-up, as something you can come back to every now and then between work shifts, over lunch breaks etc and the multiplayer is fairly innocuous to the point of being a chuckle seeing how badly you're doing or how over powered you are compared to some other equally sad prick on the internet. It's an ok game with little depth but a lot of upgrade potential for those that want to get ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING marred by the flagrant abuse of the in-app purchases but the game itself is free (for now) perhaps if it was worth a little but had none of the in-app purchasing, I'd be more appreciative of this system and the dynamics of multiple units and the tactics behind those.

Nearly every original series, game enemy, makes an appearance here.

However it doesn't, so I'm not. An ok game that you'll get tired of eventually, likely before you beat everything and unlock everything.