Reviews: Metal Slug

Metal Slug 1

Of all the games of the saga, the one I know much better is the first one; I've forgotten how much money I've spent on the arcades attempting to end the game without continuing -never passing of the boss of the 5th stage; the 8-weeled thing-. It's a pity that was one of the very last arcade game I played, at least on an arcade machine given that when it appeared arcade saloons were becoming things of the past, at least here.

Anyway, this game is superb. Not only because of what's -a shoot'em up- and its hardness but also because of the richness of their graphics and their cartoonish, cutish, and even humoristic look. It's amusing -mostly when other is playing and you don't have to worry about dodging bullets- to examine the backgrounds looking for those small and fun details. Or, for the case, to destroy them as you can destroy parts of them.

Other strong point of the game, in my opinion, is how while most enemy vehicles have been modelled after WWII military hardware, mostly German one -in fact, infantry has been modeled after the Wehrmacht soldiers; just see their helmets-, we also get to see some modern stuff like the Apache-like helicopter, the wrecked submarine we see in the first stage, or especially your tank or the Harrier jet you control on the second game. Perhaps 'cause its Anachronism Stew, I find that quite funny.

The enemies (infantry) deserve mention for the things they do like running scared when you surprise them -for example, when they're talking while cooking- or they run out of ammo. Hell, I felt pity for those poor bastards -especially after seeing the sad one-player ending- and sometimes I left them escape.

As a side note, this should be in the Fridge section, but as commented above it seems Morden's army lacks weapons given its soldiers are often armed with just knives (and some even without that).

In all, I give it an 8 over 10. A classic game, as their sequels have shown.

Metal Slug 2: Worth sinking your tokens into it?

The second installment of Metal Slug is a wonderful part of the series, for numerous reasons. Should you meet a cabinet in your old arcade, yes, I do believe worth your while to feed the machine and enjoy a quick run. Should you own a Neo Geo, you really should consider getting the cartridge of this.

Gameplay, 8.5/10 - As with the original, MS2 is a run-and-gun platformer in the vein of classics such as Contra. The responsiveness of the controls are dependant on where you're playing it, but given a reasonably decent controller or arcade stick, the controls are quite spot-on and elemental in nature, making it easy to pick up.

Difficulty, 7.5/10 (Very Challenging) - Compared to most of the series, Metal Slug 2 is probably the easiest mission. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as this makes it a decent game to introduce newbies and younger cousins to the series without scaring them with the really difficult ones. That's not to say that this game is a cakewalk, as there are enough tricky moments and tough situations for you to shoot your way out of.

Graphics, 10/10 - Where the first Metal Slug was mostly greys, browns and greens of a mostly-faded warzone with a few splashes of colour here and there, this sequel adds more colourful (and interesting) locations to the mix. The animations of the weapons, machinery, and soldiers are as intricate and detailed as ever, as will be demonstrated when the action inevitably causes slowdown and shows you how meticulouly detailed everything is.

Audio, 8/10 - The music is excellent, especially the traditional boss battle theme. Soldiers and weapons alike have a great selection of soundclips, from the wailing of terrified soldiers running from you when surprised to the thumping report of the Metal Slug's main cannon.

Replay Value, 9.5/10 - Even when playing it in the arcades, it's worth starting new games again and again, if only to try and rescue every last POW, set a new highscore for bragging rights, or find every secret - or maybe you want to go hardcore and use only your pistol and melee attacks.

Final words: This game shares a lot with its half-sibling Metal Slug X, but is no less a member of the series, and is worth its weight in credits to play and beat in the arcades.
  • Wulf
  • 15th Jul 09
  • 4

Metal Slug Anthology: Worth Buying?

Why yes, yes it is. This review is for the PSP version, although all the others should be nearly identical.

Story: NA/10

There's an over-arching story between the games, but you'll only sort of get it if you only play the games in order without reading the manual. It's there, but it's not really important to the game.

Gameplay: 8/10

You walk to the right and shoot. Sometimes you go up. There's really not much you can do wrong with that. I will say this, though— the final level of Metal Slug 3 is hard. It's beatable, but really, really hard. Metal Slug Five (6? one of the two) as a whole is different from all the rest— you can Dual Wield and switch weapons, rather than drop whichever one you have when you pick up a new one. It's also harder than the others, since you get less lives. My only real problem with the gameplay isn't really gameplay related— Selecting characters is really, really really slow, whether at the screen or in-game. That's not really too much of a problem, since the difference between characters is purely cosmetic (with the exception of 6.) There are still points and high-score tables, since the games are all arcade ports, but you're pretty much just going to be competing against yourself.

Graphics: 9/10

Beautifully drawn sprites and backgrounds, with a realisic yet cartoony style.

Sounds & Music: 8/10

Each song is well suited to the level it plays on. The gun sounds are fine, from the "BLAM cli-click" of the shotgun, to the whiny "Neeeeeeee" sound of the laser. The screams are fairly well voiced "Aieee!"s and "Eeaauuughh!"s depending on the weapons used to kill them.

Replay value: 9/10

Although the games themselves are pretty much identical, there's all sorts of bonus material to collect— Each time you beat a game, you get tokens to unlock wallpaper or songs from the series to download onto your PSP as well as interviews and whatnots.

Overall, for fans of the series or old-school arcade games, Metal Slug Anthology is worth the 20-30$ price. You get six games for the price of one.