This is nearly an exact port of Metal Slug 7, which released in late 2008 on the DS (read the review here). However, XX corrects the DS version’s ultimate sin of lacking Metal Slug’s trademark two-player co-op. Sure, it’s only local, but I’ll take it.

These screens may make it seem like the game has been reformatted to take advantage of the PSP’s widescreen, but the image is simply expanded and stretched. Hardcore Metal Slug players will want to play on “clear” display mode, which preserves the original aspect ratio and clarity of the DS screen the game was designed for. Unfortunately, this looks like a wimpy postage stamp in the middle of the screen with borders all around it. I’d be fine with a hi-res 4:3 mode that at least fills up to the top and bottom of the PSP screen, but even this option degrades the image.

The only new character, Leona Heidern from The King of Fighters, should have been included on the UMD. Instead, you have to purchase her from the PlayStation Network Store for a dollar.

If you’re a Metal Slug fan/PSP owner who hasn’t had a way to play this entry in the series before, XX is worth checking out. It’s a tough recommendation for everyone else.