Metal Slug 7 Updated Hands-On

It's a shooting frenzy as we grab the latest build of this arcade shooter for the Nintendo DS.

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Metal Slug continues to power on, with the latest in the franchise landing on the Nintendo DS later this year. We recently got some extended hands-on time with the game, and fans of the series will be pleased to know that it looks and plays exactly like previous entries in the series. If you're a Metal Slug fan, then this is plenty more of the same.

It's Metal Slug exactly as you remember it.
It's Metal Slug exactly as you remember it.

Six characters will be available for play, and each has specific strengths and weaknesses. Ralf, for example, is a close-quarters combat specialist whose knife attack is pretty lethal. Tarma ekes the best performance out of vehicles, while Eri has greater attack scope with explosives. The differences may seem distinct at the character selection screen, but they seem to all play similarly in-game.

Once you are in the game, it will feel like classic Metal Slug from the get-go. The franchise's core gameplay is exactly the same as it was in the very first Metal Slug--you'll be running from left to right in this side-scrolling shooter, blasting at anything that gets in your way. Enemy infantry troops will come at you in hefty numbers and will employ vehicles like tanks and helicopters to try to take you down. Along the way, you'll free POWs, who will often give you new weapons, such as shotguns, machine guns, and rocket launchers. All of the classic weapons are here, with a couple of new additions, including an electricity gun, which seems to be heat-seeking (that is, it makes a bead straight for the nearest enemy). You'll also get access to a variety of Metal Slug armored vehicles, just like in previous games. You'll use the DS's D pad and four face buttons for movement. The bottom touch screen is primarily for viewing a minimap since all of the action takes place on the DS's top screen. Five missions will initially be selectable, and you can choose any of them as a starting point.

Combat School also makes an appearance in the DS version. Metal Slug fans will recognize Combat School as the challenge-based mode of Metal Slug, in which you're asked to complete certain sections of the single-player game while meeting certain conditions (such as destroying all enemies or rescuing all POWs). Metal Slug completists will probably spend most of their time in this mode since it presents dozens of challenges to be tackled.

Metal Slug 7 is due out for the DS later in 2008.

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