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Mercenary Kings Reloaded Edition

Available Platforms
Release Date

Feb 6, 2018

Developer

Tribute Games

Publisher

Tribute Games

Deals
Mercenary Kings is a side-scrolling shoot 'em up game funded from a Kickstarter campaign and was originally released in 2014.

Back for another round Mercenary Kings Reloaded Edition added some much needed new flavor to the titles previous entry, however was it enough to warrant a return?

Mercenary Kings at its heart is a through and through homage to the old Metal Slug titles made very popular in arcades back in the 90s. With excellent pixelated graphics and sounds Mercenary Kings nails that tribute exceptionally well, right down to the clunky controls and repetitiveness.

Gameplay: Different from Metal Slug, Mercenary Kings Reloaded Edition focuses a little more on an RPG element with the ability to upgrade your weapon and armor. Weapons take center stage and truly are the main focus for everything you do within the game. For guns your arsenal can range from single shot poison hand guns to full auto Cryo-freezing missiles, while Knives can take range from pizza cutters to electrified tridents.  With this much customization you will for sure find a gun or type that works best for you, however 99% of the game will be spent constantly struggling to update and customize as the game ramps up significantly in difficulty about 2/3rds through.  Not to say that having an increase in difficulty is bad, it just felt off and messed with the pacing, plus it forced me to do the one thing I hate in these types of games…grind old levels.  Thankfully the levels are designed and flow very well, the down side being that their are only 9 different levels with 5 of them used more heavily than others…with over 100 missions to play you can see how playing the same maps over and over can get stale especially as you start to repeat missions to collect more and more resources. Of course if you find yourself stuck you can always jump online and this is where Mercenary Kings Reloaded truly shines…its 4 player mayhem. Playing online is a blast, but really, getting 4 friends together to murder the shit outta things really brings back some old school memories. MOM!! CAN JON STAY OVER FOR DINNER?!?!

Gripes:
Repeat repeat repeat. I get that in these type of games the difficulty is based on your ability to find the items you need to make the weapons you want or upgrade your armor. But man oh man It was easy to get burnt out especially on some of the harder to find items (or if it was a difficult boss drop).  I am all for getting gud but jeez

There are a grip of unique enemies to this game but for whatever reason they really liked to repeat a few over and over while others only got a few showings.

When you die you return to a nearby infirmary and then have to fight back to wherever you died this is pretty normal. But trekking back to a tough boss fight only to get damaged by some stupid pit fall or scrub enemy is frustrating *git gud*

Old school aesthetic was maybe done too well done, reappearing enemies after you killed one reappear off screen can result in some cheap deaths, this shouldn’t be an issue for a 2018 game (or a feature I miss from old school titles).

Changing your load-out is cool and all but some enemies or areas require SPECIFIC gear to be ultimately successful. If you are going to place a door that cannot be passed without C4 tell me that so I can buy some before I load up the level. Or if a boss has an AOE attack that can only be blocked with the riot shield let me swap it out on the fly.

Mercenary Kings Reloaded edition is the perfect Metal Slug itch and if you are a Metal Slug fan you should without a doubt add this game to your library.  Also while the controls are a little more frustrating I found playing on my Vita to be nice surprise and will probably be a staple for personal quick games when I’m traveling.

I BEAT IT FIRST
Jason Polenick

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7.2

Good

Pros

  • Authentic Metal Slug Experience made fresh
  • Nostalgic Soundtrack and Gameplay take you right back to the 90s
  • Tons of customization

Cons

  • Archaic mushy controls
  • repeating levels and enemies increase blah factor
  • a ton of weapon combos are utter shit.