User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 42 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 42
  2. Negative: 8 out of 42

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  1. Aug 2, 2013
    Now, I'm the first to admit that I was skeptical of this game at first, retro graphics are a bit of a fad, and, it seemed like they took some old game-play and slapped a poorly thought crafting system onto it. But even as a beta, the game is showing a lot of promise with a robust weapons crafting system, a decent soundtrack, a fair price, surprisingly good art design, and solid controls. Now, keep in mind this was written while the game is in beta. But even in beta this game is definitely worth it Expand
  2. Aug 5, 2013
    Art style is awesome, weapons and crafting is very fun, but that's about where the good things ends. The map design and mission objectives are some of the worst I've experienced in a long time in a video game. They reuse the same objectives, art assets, maps, and enemies A LOT throughout almost 70 missions. It gets boring about 5 hours into the game of repeating the same things over and over. It doesn't help that all the maps look very similar and enemies all have the same spawning points with extremely boring mechanics. The enemies feel like something out of super mario, where they wall back and forth, pop up and down, etc. Now imagine playing super mario with a machine gun that shoots heat sinking missiles and bullets that go through walls. You get an idea of how easy this game is?

    I don't recommend this game if you're looking for an action packed game like Metal Slug, this game is far from it. Of course it's still in beta, but I don't see things changing much besides bug fixes.

    I forgot to mention, at $15 this game feels a bit overpriced, and they are apparently going to selling it for $20. I feel for what I've played, this game should be no more than $10.
  3. Apr 3, 2014
    Clearly pixel retro style nostalgia or denial that they wasted their money kickstarting this game is causing most of the 'professional' game critics to significantly over rate this game. I do not have a hatred for Indie games, I love lots of them but this one is not it.... its graphics quickly become boring and the controls just feel terrible and frustrating. Some of the gameplay of what exactly you're supposed to be doing seemed to be lost on me too.... maybe I got fed up and clicked through some important tip in the barrage of text bubbles? It is free on the PS Plus service at the moment so I cannot really complain but it certainly isn't a 9 out of 10 as some reviewers are trying to suggest. Far from it! Expand
  4. Apr 6, 2014
    note that many of the reviews were written about the early access version of the game. while things haven't changed drastically, keep in mind that it was an unfinished product and the reviewers were effectively beta testers.

    the best way i could describe mercenary kings is a combination of gunstar heroes, contra, megaman, and monster hunter- some parts are more successful than others.

    the megaman aspect comes into play from battling bosses with learnable patterns. you're going to want to learn them at some point, because the bosses drop materials for crafting new weapons, armor, and items like monster hunter.

    it's a slightly slower paced side scrolling shooter with a cool mechanic reminiscent of gunstar heroes (or borderlands, for the younger crowd)- the guns you can make can have several different bullet types, from bouncing cannonballs and shotgun blasts to homing missiles, and you can add a few different elemental effects on top of it. the game is a little more forgiving than contra- you respawn in the nearest medic bay, have a few lives, and can come into the mission with healing items to revive or heal.

    on the downside, you may get sucked in to farming the same levels over and over to get the materials needed for your next upgrade, and this can get tedious (again, think monster hunter, though nowhere near as bad). that being said, this game really shines if you can play multiplayer with someone else in the room/a friend over chat, as you can break the monotony helping each other doing different missions or splitting up in the same mission to clear it faster. if you don't have someone you know to play with, it will dampen your enjoyment of the game a bit, which is not reflected in my score.

    all things considered, i had a blast reconnecting with my much younger brother (14 year age difference) and chalked up about 30 hours of playtime. there's still plenty of room for improvement, but i feel i more than got my money's worth.
  5. Fuz
    Jul 23, 2014
    Yet another game designed for consoles and gamepad users only.
    Plays terrible on a keyboard because of way too many useless keys required, most of them caused by terrible design. One example... I have to press a key for talking, then have to use enter to move the dialogue forward? Two different keys just for talking? It also get even worse in some menus, basically I need to press X to
    talk to the character, select the menu item with enter, then press Q for confirmation. What the hell devs?
    Also, the reload mechanic is annoying (guess what? Another totally different key for reloading, used just for that), the combat is underwhelming, farming the same level over and over for materials is boring and customization is kinda pointless.
    Shame, the idea behind it is cool and the art style is pretty good
  6. Apr 3, 2014
    I tried this game after seeing it compared to Metal Slug and expecting good coop fun. It's not. Enemy movements are bad (they just patrols area, not spawn by thousand as you progress like Metal Slug), controls are not responsive and the overall gameplay is just too slow. When you die you have to restart the whole missions and enemies respawned.
  7. May 1, 2014
    Retro art and soundtrack can't make up for what's an underwhelming game. Plays like a mashup of Borderlands, Contra, and River City Ransom, and doesn't do any of them effectively as a result. A cool experience if you're looking for something to co-op with a friend, especially 2 - 4 players as that's rare these days, but outside of that this is another painfully average indie-styled retro game.
  8. Apr 6, 2014
    This should have been put in the early 90's where it belongs. Slow, repetitive and too hard. Lack of clarity as to what exactly you're supposed to be doing most of the time, repetitive enemies you've just killed keep re-appearing while you wander round lost.
  9. Jul 7, 2014
    So yeah this game is hard... There is game where it is hard and fun but this game just feel punishing, really punishing. The customization looked fun but when you get around you discover that it lack depth.
  10. Apr 30, 2014
    I just now completed Mercenary Kings, including all missions. I must say, this is by far the longest side scroller/ platformer I've ever played, no exaggeration. Not necessarily a bad thing though. It shows that a great deal of work went into the game, especially in the animations. There's clearly an NES Megaman-style influence in both the music and the "8-bit" aesthetic, but with Metal Slug-style characters and Borderlands-style weaponry. There's a very wide array of customization on weapons, plenty of missions to play, and a wide variety of foes to fight. My only complaint is a minor one - you'll find yourself playing through some of the same levels multiple times, albeit with different objectives. Overall though, if you're itching for a game with retro-style pixel animations but with more modern variety, you won't be disappointed by this one. Expand
  11. Jul 14, 2014
    Plays like Metal Slug or Contra but not as hectic... unless you're running out of time! Up to 4-player CO-OP local and/or online. Unlock loot modifiers, upgrade your armor, unlock new knives, craft various combinations of guns. Put a sniper rifle barrel on your shotgun or a trombone horn on your smg, lots of weird combos. There are 100+ missions! The movement and controls are a little more deliberate and slower paced, once you get the hang of it the controls/movement aren't an issue.Some of the maps are repeats, but the missions change, and they are well paced. Expand
  12. Oct 17, 2014
    There are certain games out there that allow you to just turn your brain off and have fun. Mercenary Kings is one of those games.

    Clearly inspired by 80's action movies, and heavily influenced by the Metal Slug series game play, Mercenary Kings really infuses the best of 2D action platformers with more modern elements of RPG games, it's highlight being a rather deep crafting system. The
    story of the game, is rather predictable, but this is not one of the games you play for the story. Humor has been written rather well in what resembles a story, and paired with fun game play makes this a blast to experience.

    While the game play is fun, the controls do feel a bit tankish. Jumping and movement, in general, could be tightened up a bit, in a Rogue Legacy fashion, yet over all, this is a rather fun game. If you're looking for a good, nostalgic time through the 80's, look no further than Mercenary Kings.

Generally favorable reviews - based on 13 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 13
  2. Negative: 0 out of 13
  1. Jul 23, 2014
    All the old school charm goes to hell because of the repetitiveness. [06/2014, p.69]
  2. May 2, 2014
    When a game's content goes hand in hand with its form, it's always a pleasure. Moreover, when the old times meet the modern-day, and it works great somehow, we may call it a miracle. Such is Mercenary Kings a shooter.
  3. Apr 25, 2014
    Its high level of difficulty, catchy tunes, and pixelated graphics meld nicely with its emphasis on loot, customization, and online play.