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Sunday, May 5, 2013

Emerald City Comic Con 2013 recap

Hey everyone.  Have you ever been to a comic con?  I have been to the Emerald City Comic Con 2 times now and went to the comic con this year back in March.  I was there for most of the day, took pictures, saw celebrities (such as Adam West from the Classic Batman movie), got pictures of people dressed up as super heroes, and others. Below are a bunch of the pictures I took (using my Windows phone).

2 Boba Fetts Posing for the Camera (including a white Boba Fett)

Me Posing with "Captain America" and a random imperial moff

Battle Droid?

Michael Rooker and Danai Gurira from "Talking Dead" Panel discussion.

Here is a funny picture of 2 business men posing as Darth Vader and Boba Fett

Darth Vader "force choking" (not really of course) a random jedi character

Random booth at the comic con

It's gumby

Justin with a random person dressed up as a robot (he got a bunch of pictures too)

Isn't this impressive: a huge lego castle.  The person who built this  definitely has talent.  I wouldn't know how to do something like this myself.

Natalia Tena at the Comic Con.  She is one of the support characters from the Harry Potter films.

Star Trek Improv.  Yes, there was an entertaining Star Trek Improv at the Emerald City Comic Con.  Pretty funny too.  

Adam West and Burt Ward at the comic con.  If you are ever looking to   see celebrities in person, comic cons (like the one in Seattle) are a good place to look.  You probably won't meet them in person unless if you pay to get an autograph with them, though.

Here are some people posing as Batman (pretty authentic costume if you ask me), Loki (from the Avengers and Thor), and Hallie from Batman
There was a section at the comic con where a bunch of the Star Wars characters congregated., such as  Darth Sidious (aka Emperor Palpatine), a Storm Trooper, tuskan raiders, etc).
It is Darth Maul and a random female Sith (not sure who she is trying to portray)
Galactus Posing for the camera.  Can't you imagine if Galactus was real?  No planet would be safe from his ravenous appetite (including Earth).  
Add caption
Justin posing with Super girl.  Like in this picture, Justin taught me that comic cons can actually good places to meet people (especially people of the opposite gender) as he was able to meet some cute (not sure how else to put it) women this way too.  I will have to try that out myself next year.
Justin and Wonder Woman?  
It's Luigi and Zelda!  Link and Zelda probably gone together better though in my opinion.

Random Lady posing with R2 (the R2 unit looks pretty authentic).
Hey, do any of you like the power rangers?  At the comic con , there were a group of people who were dressed up as the power rangers.  They looked almost like the real thing too (costume and all).  Note: this picture can also be found at www.rangerboard.com.  I actually got a picture of them too before leaving the comic con (they were posing close to where some of the celebrity panels were) on Justin's camera, but he forgot to post the picture, but this picture will do.  By the way they look almost like the real thing from the TV shows (though I doubt that they are the same actors, though I did not see who was behind the masks either).  By the way, I have been watching some of the episodes from the original power rangers series for old times' sake, so getting a picture of them was pretty cool.  By the way (especially to you fellow guys), who all used to have a crush on the pink ranger?  I know I did back in the day.

Those are a bunch of the pictures from the comic con (not all inclusive, but I am sure you can find more pictures and videos from others on the net).

Overview of the Emerald City Comic Con

I went to the comic con with Justin (my brother) on Saturday (back in March) and we were there for almost the whole day (longer than we were last year).  It was a fun filled day and we did quite a bit.  We walked around, took pictures, saw all of the different booths and stations people set up.  We also sat in several panel discussions, including: one that offered tips on dating and relationships (I probably could have benefited from it myself considering that I am still single, at least at at the time of this posting, will update you if that ever changes of course), a star trek improv (which was pretty funny skit where a bunch of dudes pretend to be from the original Star trek series and venture to worlds that visitors come up with and they do a star trek style episode), various celebrity panels (such as Natalia from Harry Potter, Adam West / Burt Ward, along with several others).  We did quite of other things too, including trying out a new mech warrior style game coming out in the near future (can't remember the name of it), took pictures of people dressed up as super heroes, star wars characters, etc.  By the way, there were some celebrities at the comic con I did not see, including Patrick Stewart, the guy who played "Alpha 5" from power rangers, Billy Dee Williams (Lando from Star Wars Empire Strikes back), Will Wheaton, the lady from X-files, and several others, but I am sure you can find them on youtube and elsewhere on the net.  By the way, when I saw the "talking dead" panel, it was originally supposed to be a panel for Carrie Fisher (Leia from Star Wars), but she was a no show (unfortunately).

Highlights of our visit includes:
- Watching a panel discussion on meeting women for nerds (at least from male perspective)
- Watched a Star Trek improve episode
- Saw several celebrity panels, including Natalia Tena (from Harry Potter), Burt Ward, Adam West, Michael Rooker and Danai Gurira
- Checked out the many different exhibits and booths
- Tried out a new mech warrior style game coming out in the next few months (online based)
- Took pictures of a bunch of people in costubes (like the ones in the pictures above).  There were a bunch of other people in costumes too and I wish I could have gotten them all, but I am sure you can find more cosplay pictures on google and bing.
- Along with a bunch of other things.

This year, I did not dress up, but next year, I probably will try to dress up.  Some ideas I am kicking around includes:
- Spiderman
- Deadpool
- Nick Fury (btw, before Samuel Jackson's version of Nick Fury, he wasn't always protrayed as an African American as was the case, for example in Marvel Ultimate Alliances 1 and 2).
- Power Ranger character (probably the red ranger), though I bet those costumes would be expensive to buy.
- Superman
or whatever.

Well, that is all for now.  Were any of you at the comic con?  Feel free to share your experiences.  Also, feel free to like and share this post with others and your support would be most appreciated.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Microsoft confirms E3 2013 media conference | Xbox 360 News at New Game Network

Microsoft confirms E3 2013 media conference | Xbox 360 News at New Game Network

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Spider Man Shattered Dimensions (Xbox 360) - Definitely an excellent game for Spiderman fans and super hero lovers. Official Review of Spider Man Shattered Dimensions

Hey everyone, who likes super heroes?  I know I do (been watching shows like Spider Man and Power Rangers lately) and today I am going to talk about the game Spider Man, Shattered Dimensions for the Xbox 360.

Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions 2099_06

My Rating: A-

Overview  / Story-

Ah, Spiderman has been around for a long time (at least since the 1960s) and one of my favorite spider man series was probably the one shown on Fox Kids back in the 1990's (I was sad to see it go), and recently I have gotten my hands on Spider Man Shattered Dimensions and did at least one round through already and it reminds me of the 1990's style Spider Man cartoons (at least in a way) with all of the classic voice overs, characters and elements.  In Spider Man Shattered Dimensions, the game starts with Amazing Spider Man confronting the evil Mysterio (the game's main evil genius) who manages to steal a mysterious fragment that can give people supernatural powers and abilities.  To make matters worse, the fragment shatters and is sent across 4 different spider man dimensions and falls into the hands not only of Mysterio, but many other super villians as well and  a lady named Madame web (she watches over Spiderman) literally recruits 4 different Spiderman (from 4 different realities) to track down the shattered pieces of the mysterious fragments and stop the super villians before they can use them and bring about chaos in each reality.  The game is 13 levels long (with a 4 part final confrontation with Mysterio at the end) and is divided into 3 parts (consisting of 4 levels each).  You also control all 4 of the different spider men (one per level) in their own unique dimentsions.  The 4 different realities includes:
1. Ultimate Spider Man (present day and has Peter Parket donning the dark symbiotic suit, though he seems to be able to control it).  In this dimension, Parker is up against the Sandman, Deadpool, and Carnage (who manages to take over a S.H.I.E.L.D base).
2. Noir Spider Man - this is supposedly Spiderman from the 1930s and the levels here take on a black and white feel to them and brings back memories from the 1930's.  Noir is pretty unique in that it feels a bit like Splinter Cell or Perfect Dark Zero, where your character is supposed to sneak around, take out enemies when they are not looking, rescuing people in danger, as well as taking on super villians such as Hammerhead, the Vulture and later a classic version of Norman Osborn (the green goblin).
3. Amazing Spiderman.  Similar to Ultimate Spider man, but somewhat younger and has less abilities than Ultimate.  He is up against the likes of Juggernaut, Kraven the Hunter, and Electro.
4. 2099 Spiderman - takes place in the distant future and is the only spider man not played by Peter Parker (I think his name is Miguel).  This version of spider man has a New World Order (global dictatorship) feel, Miguel is not only up against evil super villians (Hobgoblin, the Scorpion, and a female version of Dr Octopus), but he is also up against a corrupt global government that wants to capture and/or kill spiderman (I guess they don't like super heroes).  One cool thing about this spiderman is the slow motion mode that you can activate if needed (which reminds me a bit of how it is on the Matrix, slow motion and all) and makes it easier to take on villians and corrupt agents alike.

Things I like about Spiderman Shattered Dimensions:

1. Feels almost like some of the Spiderman cartoons and tv shows you see.
2. Great villian line up, just like in the comics.  Almost all of the villians in the game are pretty well known in the spiderman universe (not sure if Deadpool is or not).
3. Great voice acting (almost like the Spiderman in cartoons).
4. Excellent comic book style graphics
5. I liked the variety in the levels.  Better than doing the same old thing over and over again.
6. Lots of cut scenes and videos
7. Epic final boss (Mysterio is huge and almost like a god in the final confrontation.
8. Good length too (not too short, and not too long either).  Each level is pretty long too (usually took me at least 2 hours per level on averages).
9. Challenges too.  Adds replay value (for example finding hidden spiders and emblems will definitely appeal to diehard fans).

Downsides to Spiderman Shattered Dimensions:

1. Some redundancy (the level patterns are somewhat similar)
2. I thought that the controls were a bit choppy.  For example, I remember one level where you were going up against Deadpool and you had to get across several dams (with Deadpool sending deady tidal waves against Spiderman) and it took several tries partly due to the choppy controls (for example the web swing and double jump abilities did not always work properly).
3. Cartooney look - appeals more to younger audiences.  Older crowds might not like this as much.  I liked it though.

Final thoughts:

Personally, I was a fan of this game and I've always been a Spiderman fan myself and this game will definitely appeal to spiderman fans and super hero fans in general alike and makes for a pretty good super hero game. I also liked it more than edge of time (which is another spiderman title I have, though I will save that game for another review).  Now, some people might be turned off by the cartoony feel to the game (especially older crowds), but this will defintely be very appealing to younger audiences (especially people that like Super heroes).  I definitely recommend this game to just about any superhero fan out there. That is all for now.

Have you thought about getting Spider Man Shattered Dimensions (or similar games)?  You can probably pick up a copy for pretty cheap at Amazon.com or Walmart.


Spiderman Shattered Dimen (Xbox 360) - Pre-Owned
Have any of you played Spiderman Shattered Dimensions before and want to add your take to the game?  Please be sure to leave a comment below.  Did you agree with my review?  What did you like about the game or didn't like about the game?  Feel free to share your thoughts below.  By the way, there is also a version of this game on the Playstation 3, but I haven't tried that version yet (though I am assuming they are pretty much the same game).

Friday, April 26, 2013

Hey, what do you all think of the new background for my site? I think it is awesome myself

I just changed the layout and background for this blog.  It now has a Halo themed wall paper and will make it look much more video game oriented than a generalized video game blog. I think I will keep the halo themed background for the time being (at least until I come up with a better one).  I will also updating my tabs, pages and ads on the site (such as making the affiliate offers on this site beg more related to the video game niche, like he Amazon.com ad I have for the Xbox 360. Stay tuned for more updates.

Just merged this site with my Xbox 360 fan site

Hey everyone, in case if you have not noticed, I decided to merge this blog with my Xbox 360 fan site (formerly at www.xboxfreak.ws).  It has proven to be difficult to maintain both sites and both this blog and my Xbox 360 fan site pretty much cover the same kind of niche (video games, xbox 360, etc) and so I decided that merging the two websites into one site would be the best way to go.  By the way, I did transfer some of the content from my other site (such as the links page from my original site).  I will also rewrite my reviews of the Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, and the Kinect as time allows.  Also a nice thing about having a blog is that it is easier for people to comment, share content, as well as subscribe to the feed on my site.  Stay tuned for more posts. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Mass Effect 3 - is it worth playing? Ryan's Review of Mass Effect 3

Well, the epic finale to the Mass Effect series is here and assuming you have not played the game, or maybe you have but want a different take to the game, you are in luck.  I will share with you my experience with playing Mass Effect 3.


Overview / Story of Mass Effect 3

Ah, it is officially War of the Worlds, Mass Effect style.  I got Mass Effect 3 about a month after it came out and I was definitely looking forward to the game, especially after beating Mass Effect 2 twice not long before Mass Effect 3 came out and so I still had Mass Effect 2 still fresh in my memory when playing ME 3.  Storywise, as it turns out the first 2 games in the series seemed to have served to set the stage for the events in the 3rd game.  Saren from Mass Effect 1 and the Collectors from Mass Effect 2 were merely pawns of the reapers, which is an evil alien race basically bent of a genocidal war against the human race and other races they don't like and now in Mass Effect 3, the reapers have arrived and have launched a full scale war across the galaxy (which will definitely remind you of movies and books like Independence Day, War of the Worlds and even Power Rangers, where you get evil alien races trying to conquer the universe), and even Earth is facing possible destruction by the reapers.  Initially commander Shepard was relieved of his duties and was grounded on earth after the events of Mass Effect 2, as well as the expansion pack "The Arrival", namely his temporary alliance with Cerberus (the Alliance did not take kindly to Shepard's involvement with Cerberus) as well as an incident where he destroyed a warp drive in the Batarian sector of space and accidently killing Batarians when trying to keep the reapers from entering the Batarian sector and wreaking havoc early on.  However, once the reapers invade Earth, Shepard is once again called back to duty and it is basically up to him to amass a huge army of all of the races across the galaxy and create the ultimate weapon known as the Catalyst that can be used to stop the reapers.  To make matters worse, Shepard's former allies at Cerberus have gone rogue and the Illusive Man (who was possibly indoctrinated by the reapers) has launched a scheme to control the reapers as well as hinder Shepard's efforts to unite the galaxy against the reapers, forcing Shepard to both take on the Reapers as well as Cerberus (though luckily some Cerberus agents like Miranda and Jacob do remain loyal to Shepard).
Mass Effect 3 - Shepard vs Reaper machine

 Highlights of the game includes but not limited to:

- Curing or sabatoging the genophage, thus drawing Shepard into the middle of a lenthy conflict between the Salarians and the Krogan races.
- Defending the citadel from attacks by Cerberus
- Regaining the trust of Ashley/Kaiden (their trust of Shepard had been shaken by Shepard's tenure at Cerberus during the events of Mass Effect 2) and Shepard maybe be forced to kill Ashley/Kaiden if he fails to regain their trust.
- Getting involved with the conflict between the Geth and the Quarians
- Lots of side missions too, including defending a biotic academy from Cerberus, diffusing a nuclear bomb on the Krogan homeworld, and many others
- Romance options.  In my renegade game, my guy dated Tali, but it is also possible to strike up a romance (at least from male perspective) with Liara, Miranda, Jack, Ashley, and some of the other female members of the crew.  Also, if you have dated 2 different people during the series, jealousy does ensue too and Shepard is forced into a love triangle.
- Massive Multiplayer mode (by the way, playing multiplayer can help improve your readiness rating.

General review of Mass Effect 3


The good:

1. Great storyline.  It is also darker than the previous two installments and is much more epic too.
2. I like how you can make choices in the game and how they impact how things play out.  By the way, the Mass Effect series is very unique in a way that choices you make in Mass Effects 1 and 2 can have a profound impact in Mass Effect 3 too .  For example, if any of your squad mates die in the first 2 games, they are dead for good and do not return in Mass Effect 3.  In Mass Effect 1, Kaiden or Ashley will have been killed off (if you played Mass Effect 1, there was a point where you had to save one or the other, but you could not save both) and the surviving character will appear in Mass Effect 3 (ultimately as a squad mate).  It is also possible to have Wrex killed off in the first game too (he will be replaced by his brother Wrev in that scenario).  In Mass Effect 2, characters who die in the suicide mission (btw, it is possible to keep everyone alive in Mass Effect 2 depending on how well you prepare for the suicide mission and how you did choice wise on the final mission, such as choosing the right specialists for the missions, upgrading weapons, shields and engines before launching the suicide mission as well as how well you were able to keep the loyalty of your crew).  By the way if you want to have romances in Mass Effect 3, for some of the characters, the relationship will have to have been started in ME 2 (such as Tali and Miranda).  Choices can also impact how people perceive you (were you a total jerk or were you a nice guy), who is on the council, and ultimately how the game plays out.  You also have big choices to make in Mass Effect 3 too that will also dictate how things play out too (one example is when you get involved in the war between the geth and the quarians, and at the end of that mission, you can either choose to bring peace to the two races or anhilation to one of the two races).  I've never seen anything like the choice system from the Mass Effect series where choices from one game can affect the other (even the Star Wars Knights of the Republic games did not have this).
3. The game is pretty long too.  Seems to be a little bit shorter than Mass Effect 2 and you don't have nearly as many side missions as you did in Mass Effect 1 or 2, but the story line will take you several days to play through.  By the way, there are expansion packs and additional missions that you can download from Xbox live, but it does cost extra to use them, but they can extend the game quite nicely.
4. Smooth controls
5. Multiple difficulty levels.  Casual players will probably like the easy mode difficulties, while more advanced players and diehard gamers will probably like the harder mode difficulties. 
6. Great voice acting.  I thought that the actors did a pretty good job portraying their roles
7. Lots of suspense and the game will keep you on edge. 
8. I liked the final showdown against the reapers as well as Cerberus.  Even the final confrontation against the Illusive man was pretty cool.
9. Great shooter elements too.  I like how you can customize your weapons as well as the selections of the weapons and abilities you can use.  I remember in Mass Effect 2, the selection was a bit more limited.
10. Excllent Grapics too - just as you would expect from an Xbox 360 game


The Bad

1. Like others, I thought that the endings could have been better, though the extended cut expansion pack does make them better and expands on each of the endings. Also I do have to admit that the final confrontation against the Harbinger and the Illusive man were a bit anticlimactic, a good final boss battle would have been awesome.  It would have been awesome to take on the Harbinger in an epic boss battle as well as the Illusive man being turned into a reaper monster that you have to fight.
2. This game might be too dark for some people.  If you thought that Mass Effect 2 was dark (especially during the final mission when you take on the collectors), Mass Effect 3 is significantly darker.  Even towards the beginning of the game when the reapers invade earth, it was pretty much "hell on earth" (much like a scene you would see in the game, Saving Private Ryan with onslaught from the reapers) and there is a scene where a kid (who Commander Shepard tries to help) and a bunch of other people try to escape in a shuttle only to be shot down and destroyed by one of the huge reaper machines (and that is just the beginning of the game).  Also, the entire galaxy is one giant battlefield.
3. I remember having to change disks frequently.  I liked it more in Mass Effect 2 where you only have to change disks twice (once after the horizon mission and once just before you start the final mission).
4. The multiplayer missions do get redundant after a while I know some people will probably like playing alone more.

Final thoughts about Mass Effect 3:
All and all I think Mass Effect 3 was a great game and I bet most if not all fans of the Mass Effect series will enjoy the third and final chapter of the series.  Obviously one can't make everyone happy and there are some downsides to the game too, such as the fact that the game is significantly darker than the previous 2 entries of the series, and the fact that the endings could have been better, but the game definitely has a lot to offer and makes a pretty good conclusion to the series in my opinion.  I found my self playing through the game twice myself and there are several incentives to do multiple playthroughs, such as trying to see how the outcome changes based on the choices you make, having Shepard get in relationships with fellow squad mates (my guy dated Tali in my second playthough, and I thought that was pretty cool).  The game is pretty long too and it will definitely keep you busy for hours if not days. 

Thinking about getting Mass Effect 3?  You can pick up a copy at Amazon.com here!

Mass Effect 4 Sequel? 
I have thought that Mass Effect 3 was the final game in the series, but it seems like there might be another game in the works (at least I have seen articles and rumors on it).  Not really sure what the next game will be about or whether Commander Shepard will be in it, but I suppose there are some sequel ideas I have:
- Prequels trilogy.  I know the Mass Effect series has an extensive back story (such as the story behind the protheans, who fell victim to the reapers long before the main games take place).  Also, the Krogan rebellion would make an interesting game.  There also seem to be events that take place between the games (such as Cerberus taking over Omega sometime between Mass Effects 2 and 3).  I suppose they can also do a "next generation" version of Mass Effect that takes place a whole generation or 2 after the events of Mass Effect 3.  I suppose only time will tell, but I guess we will find out soon enough about upcoming games.  By the way, I don't work for EA games or Bioware, so I have no idea what they are planning so I can only speculate for now.

Ryan Jones
Fellow Xbox 360 Gamer and Amazon.com Affiliate
Want to check out more games?  Be sure to visit my Amazon Associate store.  Here are some hot offers from the store below

What do you think about Mass Effect 3?  Feel free to share your experiences in the comments below.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Ryan's Review of Metal Slug XX for the Xbox 360

Hey guys, today I am going to be posting my review on the Xbox Live game, Metal Slug XX (also known as Metal Slug 7).

Overall Score (based on my experience): A-

By the way, here is a short video from Youtube showing off the first 2 levels in the game.

Overview and story (warning, this section contains spoilers, as I have played the game already and don't know if you have or not) -

Side by side comparison: doesn't General Morden from the Metal Slug Series look eerily similar to the former dictator, Saddam Hussein (long before he was executed several years back)?

Saddam Hussein
Picture of Saddam Hussein (found on Flickr)
Stock Photo of General Morden from the Metal Slug Series (picture found at http://www.gamekult.com/blog/bigbossff/)

Metal Slug XX (aka Metal Slug 7 for the Gameboy DS system) is the latest addition to the hit Metal Slug series and presumably takes place after the events of Metal Slug 6 (which was featured in Metal Slug Anthology for the Playstation 2 as well as the Nintndo Wii).  In Metal Slug XX, the evil General Mordin (the Saddam Hussein look alike that is the main antagonist of the series) is back and is up to his old tricks again, and even recruits soliders from the distant future to his cause and it is up tp Marco, Fio, and all of the other Metal Slug crew to foil Mordin's schemes once again.  Unlike many of the previous installments of the series, were Mordin is merely a pawn of a more sinister plot (such as the alien invasions that took place in Metal Slugs 2, X and 3, a corrupt business man in Metal Slug 4, a shadowy terroist organization in Metal Slug 5, and now mutant man eating insects in Metal Slug 6), Mordin is officially the main villian once again and will also fuction as the final boss character you fight (a first in the series since the first Metal Slug game).  It is also worth mentioning that the super solider, Allen (the Mr T look alike from Metal Slugs 1-4 that you fight) is back and will once again challenge the heros in a fight to the death, this time in a mech warrior style duel in one of the levels of the game.  Also, like in Metal Slug 6, there are several players available (along with a downloadable character if you are willing to pay a little extra) and each of them have their own unique moves and abilities.  Marco can shoot 2 handguns machine gun style when you hit the y button (based on default controls).  Fio (the lady with the orange hair and hat) is automatically equipped with a machine gun instead of the regular hand gun and can't lose the machine gun whenever she dies like the other characters do whenever they die in the game.  Eri has an extra arsenal of grenades and can throw them in almost any direction (up, down, diagonal, straight, etc) and can be extra useful against tough enemies (like boss fights, especially the one at the end of level 4 as you will find out as you play the game) as well as crowd conrol (and there are plenty of times where you will be outnumbered).  Also, the game is 7 missions long (which is actually longer than the average Metal Slug game, which is usually 5 or 6 missions long, which varies by game throughout the series) and it does come with a built in level select feature, which can be useful if you don't want to (or can't) play through the entire game in one setting (which is roughly about 2 hours along if played on the medium difficulty).  Like previous reviews, I will rate this game in a letter grade format (where an F is the worst and an A is the best) and you are free to agree or disagree with me.

Gameplay - B

Metal Slug XX plays out much like any other title in the series.  The game is a classic 2D style shooter that plays out much like a typical Contra game, where it is a side scroller shooter where you you go through the levels, shooting bad guys, avoiding bullets, as well as using special vehicles (scattered in various stages) as you play through each level (mission).  Most of the missions are big and fairly long and have a huge boss or boss machine that you have to fight at the end.  Like all Metal Slug and Contra games, one hit kills you (unless if you are driving one of the many vehicles in the game, in which case it usually takes several hits to kill you) and you do get 3 lives before you get a game over (though the game does come with a continue system).  You can also do 2 players and the Xbox 360 version does come with an Xbox live mode as well (though I haven't played it yet).  The game also comes with a "combat school" where you replay through the different missions of the game and try to meet certain goals (such as getting 100% accuracy when shooting enemies, not gettign killed, etc) for extra achievements and bragging rights.  By the way, I have read other reviews for this game, and I am actually surprised that some people find this game to be too short, even though it is actually 7 missions long (most Metal Slug games are only 5 or 6 missions long) and does take a little while to beat.  Of course, if you are looking for a much longer game, you might try other shooters like the Mass Effect Series, the Call of Duty series, etc). 

Difficulty - C

If you are a typical player when it come to games like Metal Slug and Contra, you will probably die ALOT in this game, even on easy mode.  Like other games in the series, one hit usually kills your character (btw, if you play as Ralph, you can usually take 2 hits before dying) and the levels do get progressively harder as you play through the game, especially levels 4 - 7 where death is nearly impossible to avoid unless if you have extremely good reflexes and can predict the enemies' movies (though I have seen Youtube videos of people playing through games like Metal Slug XX where they never die, let along get a game over, which is definitely an impressive feat to accomplish).  And there are places, where you are bound to die alot, especially in a section in level 4 where you battle man eating plants, soldiers and overhead man eating plants at the same time.  Also, I found the final level to be extra challenging, especially towards the end. By the way, if you have special weapons, you usually lose them when you die (with the exception of Fio's machine guns).  Luckily, when you almost inevitably run out of lives, the game does come with a continue system where you can continue in the mission and you do get infinite continues in the game as far as I can tell (which can be a good thing or bad thing depending on how you look at it).  Obviously, if you are looking for a much more challenging Metal Slug game, I recommend you get yourself a copy of Metal Slug 3 for the original Xbox (now that one is extra brutal as far as lives and continues are concerned, especially on the final mission) or even Metal Slug Anthology and turn off the unlimited continues mode (which is on by default, at least in the Playstation 2 version).  Anyways, the game is challenging, but it is definitely beatable (though you will probably go through lots of lives and continues by the end of hte game).

Sound-  A

Personally, I loved the sound and background music in the game.  Also, like in many of the newer installments, the boss music has changed again (at least for the regular bosses), though they did bring back the classic final boss theme at the final boss (the one from Metal Slug 2 when you fight the mothership).  Also, the voice acting and narrating is pretty nice too.

General - A

Personally, this game was pretty fun for me and where there are some things I didn't like, I definitely recommend this game to any of you who are into arcade style shooters and are a fan of the Metal Slug series.  Also, old time fans of the Metal Slug series will be pleased to see some of the recurring themes this game has to offer, including:

1) General Morden returns and is the main villian this time around.  Also, for the first time since Metal Slug 1, you will fight him as the final boss, and this time it is a much more epic boss fight and comes in 3 stages (unlike the anti-climatic battle against him in the first Metal Slug game).

2) Allen is back for the first time since Metal Slug 4.  If you missed him from Metal Slugs 4-6 you will be delighted to hear that he is definitely back and once again he will challenge you to a fight to the death once again (this time in a classic mech warrior style boss battle).

3) The final boss music from most of the Metal Slug games is back as well. 

Anyways, that is all for now.  You can find Metal Slug XX on Xbox live if you are looking for it and it is relatively cheap to download.  By the way, I have not played Metal Slug 7 on the Gameboy DS yet, so I don't really know how the two versions compare, though if you have played the other versions, feel free to share your experiences with them.

Things I like to see in the sequel (assuming they make another Metal Slug game):
1) Some next gen elements (such as 2.5D graphics and comic book style feel similar to that from Mega Man X8 and Castlevania Dracula X Chronicles).
2) Cut scenes and voice acting (that would be cool, especially if they have good voice actors for the characters).
3) 10 levels would be ideal
4) Some roleplaying elements might be cool as well (kind of like how it is in the Mass Effect series).
5) They should also have more stages with alternate routes and exits (like how it was in Metal Slug 3 where most of the levels had alterate routes that yu can take for some extra variety and replay value).
6) Aliens would be nice to have again, like the ones from Metal Slugs 2 and 3.
7) Cater to both casual gamers and hard core gamers (such as making so people can choose to have limited continues or unlimited continues as was the case in metal slug anthology).

Have you played Metal Slug XX yet?  Feel free to share your experiences in the game.  Did you like the game, did you not like the game?  What would you like to see in Metal Slug 8 (whenever they release it) and no I don't work for SNK, so I wouldn't know anything about the sequel, though I am assuming another sequel is in the works.

Other games you might like:
Metal Slug 7 for the DS - this is the gameboy ds version of this game
Metal Slug Anthology (Playstation 2) and Metal Slug Anthology (Nintendo Wii) (there is also a version for the PSP as well).  Metal Slug Anthology is definitely a must have fore Metal Slug series fans (though sadly they did not make a version for the Xbox 360, so you will have to get a Wii or Playstation 2 if you want to play that game) and features Metal Slugs 1-6 along with Metal Slug X (which is basically an alternate version of Metal Slug 2), and also has special artwork and interviews that you can unlock as you play the game.  The game collection also caters both to casual players and hardcore gamers with variable difficulty modes, variable starting lives, as well as the option to either have unlimited continues (which is on by default) or limited continues (up to 20 continues) if you think you are up to the the challenge.