Developed by Tribute Games, Mercenary Kings: Reloaded Edition is an interesting blend between Mega Man style platforming and Monster Hunter-esque missions and upgrades. Mercenary Kings: Reloaded Edition is a re-release of the 2014 title that was simply titled – Mercenary Kings. Players take control of a member of the Mercenary Kings, the greatest warriors-for-hire on Earth, as they aim to take down a dastardly military group called CLAW. This “Reloaded” edition features two additional characters, Frigg and C-ZAR, as well as an additional mission and a few more knives and guns. The story of Mercenary Kings isn’t engrossing, but it does fit the “action movie” mold really well. The character you play as is part of a group of mercenaries who are out to stop an evil organization called CLAW. These CLAW dudes have been getting their hands dirty with biological weapons and a host of other stuff that evil organizations tend to dabble in. Your group has set up a camp at an undisclosed location where they are planning to bring down CLAW.
The first thing you’ll likely notice about Mercenary Kings: Reloaded is it’s visuals. The game is drop-dead gorgeous, especially if you consider yourself a sprite-connoisseur (I’m not talking about the soft drink). The hand-drawn environments and characters are all full of charming details that pop off of the Switch’s screen. The animation is beautiful as well. Each and every character has as a bounciness to them. The obvious comparison when it comes to Mercenary King’s visuals is Neo Geo’s Metal Slug series. Similar to that series, even the enemies look cute. Well, except for when their head is shot off and blood is gushing everywhere. Fans of retro visuals, in general, will fall in love with the sprite work presented here
Like Monster Hunter, the main draw to Mercenary Kings — for me, at least — is upgrading weapons. The main method of attack is a firearm that players can make upgrades to its stock, magazine, sight, and more. I appreciate that the customizations in Mercenary Kings were more over-the-top than realistic. Each new piece requires several different materials that players can find across a variety of missions, and each of those pieces offers different statistics that affect the gun’s rate of fire, damage, magazine size, and more. This can get pretty grindy, though, as some of the materials are harder to find than others.