Hey look, it’s — wait, I’m wrong. 07 Commando and the run n’ gun genre

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07 Commander — this game looks awfully familiar to me. The level design, the enemy design, the speed at which the enemy attacks. I mean, some of it’s hard to judge from the YouTube quality video, but I can’t help shake the feeling that I’ve played this game before…This game really looks a lot like an unabashed ripoff of Metal Slug, one of the greatest run n’ gun games of all time. I went and dug up a description from IGN:

As the gun-toting hero Storm, you must put an end to an evil organisation called Rattlesnake in this side-scrolling blast-a-thon. Of course, you get to do this with a range of heavy weaponry, with plenty of different weapons and pick-ups that each have its own attack method and power. Plus, some guns can be used to find secret items. Alongside the main action-packed adventure mode, there are a variety of touch screen mini-games.

Sounds like we have trouble, here. Meet me at camera 3.

[Via GoNintendo. Thanks to CTZ for the better GameVideos quality!]

The run n’ gun genre is one of those things that I hold near and dear to me, along with by Bridget fetish and Blu-Rays. Metal Slug, specifically, was one of the few games that I would put countless numbers of quarters into just to keep playing — defeating that next boss, getting just a bit further, all up until the movie was about to start, or we were seated for dinner.

Now this comes into my house, playing with my games? Well, God only knows that I’m going to be harsh and overly-critical, all based on a one-minute trailer that’s come out. See, the thing is, watching that gameplay does tell a lot, and from what I understand of how the genre works (and from talking to Linde), I can see some problems with this game.

One of the first things that pops up is the life bar. In these run and gun types, the idea is to just not get hit. It’s understandable in some stages, like where you’re in a vehicle, to actually have a small lifebar to represent the added bulk of your character. Right now, 07 Commando has a full-on life guage — notice those 99 health packs in the top left corner.

The one-shot kill effect in the game is balanced out by the slow pace of the ammunition. Yet, when you mix a large amount of life with the slow ammunition, even the sheer insanity of Metal Slug, makes it much more simplistic to play the game.

The controls for the game are something that worry me greatly. Employing the touch screen is very unlikely to work. I played Glory Days 2 for the DS (which I don’t recommend), and it’s near impossible to play well, because of the complications of using the touch screen solely as a touch-pad, and looking at the top screen as where all the action goes on. If you’ve got to use it like that, then the game will be unplayable on the DS.

The second option they have is to completely ignore the touch screen, and instead rely solely on the buttons. All I can then say is: why bother putting it on the DS? As it is, the button pressing is likely to be fairly serious on the game, so you might as well put it on a controller — either as a budget Wii game, or onto XBLA or PSN.

This game looks way too much like Metal Slug for my own comfort. When talking with Aaron Linde, the game looked almost criminally like Metal Slug, save for the fact that the art style was slightly different. Sure, this game will get a shot from me once it comes out, but as of right now, it’s treading on some mighty serious ground. The run n’ gun genre is one that’s really easy to screw up, and I’d rather not see it happen.

For the other run n’ gun fans, what do you think makes a really successful title? From what you’ve seen of that short video, do you think this title has any chance?

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