Yup, just announced for the Atomiswave arcade hardware system is the newest installment of the legendary run-n-gun Metal Slug series. I’m expecting the game to stick to it’s tried and tested formula of being a demonstration of fine pixel-art whilst being hard as nails. I guess 6 earlier installments (don’t forget Metal Slug X) of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality means we can expect more of the same frenzied, cramp-inducing shooting action we’ve come to expect from the series.

Gamespot have a dozen or so pictures of the title running including one image showing the player select screen featuring Ralf and Clark from SNKs King of Fighter games. I guess it makes sense that these self-styled ‘nam veterans should appear in Metal Slug games. It appears that even some of their signature fighting moves will be available in the game too.

It does still make me wonder what’s happened to the PS2 version of the game that was going to be presented in 3D-o-vision.

A change of pace now.

For some inexplicable reason I decided to fire up the original PlayStation 2 version of Prince of Persia: Sands of Time. Don’t ask me why, I can’t tell you. What struck me was just how well produced this game was when compared to it’s sequel. Warrior Within seems dirty by comparison.

One thing that really stands out is the way the game succeeds in having the well-spoken Prince telling you the story by way of voiceover. I particularly like the post save statement of “Very well, I shall continue the story from here in the future”. It’s all very evocative and suited the atmosphere and setting of the game perfectly.

From playing PoP I also realised that I actually like it when games give you a progress indicator. Games are huge these days, even the simpler ones tied into the latest Pixar movie. Having an idea of just how much of a time commitment you’re expected to pledge can make a difference to my opinion of the game. Few games seem to do this (which is why it stuck out when PoP did). Now that I think about it, games like Burnout 3 and SSX3 give a progress meter. Obviously, some games don’t need it (Tetris), some games are deliberately open-ended (Sim City) and others have you collecting X amount of items or going on Z number of dungeons which mean the player can determine their own progress. I know that there’s many a game that I’ve played almost begrudgingly just to get it finished. It felt more like work than fun sometimes.

Depending on the time I have available later today I’ll be making a long post about the X360 and some information I have on it that, to me, is a hundred times more appealing than anything about it’s silicon. I’m really liking Microsoft’s attitude to gaming right now.

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