Week in Arcade: Metal Slugg XX, Aqua

A double effort this week, although the pricing can be called into question.

Metal Slug XX

The second Metal Slug effort released to the Live Arcade, this one is an update to Metal Slug 7, previously released on DS. The game is classic Metal Slug. Do not expect much in the way of new features or mechanics. That’s fine.

What is not fine are the lack of visual options. The ugly, smoothed supposed “HD filter” is the only option for the visuals, robbing the sprites of their beauty. You can play the game in basic 4:3 or stretch it to 16×9. Neither look great considering the ugliness of the filter. For $15, just look around for the DS port if that is an option.

Aqua

A fun little dual analog stick shooter, although these are becoming tiring. There are some slight tactical elements in that you can “power-up” to add some AI friendlies to a minimalist squad. Missions are somewhat routine, but the shooting mechanics are smooth and satisfying. Extra bonuses add to your firepower as expected. The visual punch is appreciated, and steampunk-inspired world is well crafted. Not a bad deal for $10.

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