Format reviewed: Arcade
Developer: Nazca Corporation
Submitted by: Scott Mckerral
One word, unforgiving, this game is hard, oh so very hard. The amout of swearing that will go on while you hammer away at this shooter would make even Christian Bale blush. That doesn't make it bad though, it just makes you want to put more money in the machine, you keep thinking you can beat it, you try and you try, and when you eventually do manage it, you've spent your life savings and SNK is rich. Anyway, let's talk about the game itself, and let me say, it is beautiful. Very typical of games on the Neo Geo, with big graphics and colourful enviroments, theres plenty to keep your eyes busy. Sound is also great, being able to hear when something is coming very easily, even in a crowded arcade. Overall, I would highly recommend this game, grab the Metal Slug Anthology for Wii, or get the recent port on the PS3 if you don't want to shell out to get it on the AES. But if you can find a cab somewhere, play it, as it should be played.
Format reviewed: Sega Saturn
Submitted by: Steve L.
Although I had some good times with Mario on the 8-bit Nintendo, it was Konami's Contra that made me a gamer for life: the music, enemies, the gun-shooting alien atmosphere – there was nothing like it. The overwhelming sense of vanquishing evil and restoring order to the universe provided grounds for a mega jam-packed adrenaline rush like none other.
Many moons later, Metal Slug strolled onto the scene. And it had gamers claiming of a return to the good old days of ''go-right action,'' ''two player 2D shooting bliss,'' insert other like-cliche here.
The memories I have of Contra – the endless nights spent destroying alien monsters alongside my brother and uncle… feels like a different lifetime. Perhaps Metal Slug will take me back, just like it did those many other gamers…
What can I say? From the start I became a believer. Suddenly I was thrust into
the shoes of one, Marco Rossi. Blasting my first enemy soldier, he crumpled to the ground bleeding a horrible yet satisfying death. Oh yes, there will be blood, and lots of it! Bad guy up in your grill? Pull out the knife and BLAM! Talk about a reality check.
Without question a Sega Saturn import classic and treasure. Every game library needs a title like this. Metal Slug definitely took me back to the good old days and then some. Remember… come back a hero or don't come back at all!
For full review see my website RVGFANATIC
Format reviewed: Arcade
Developer: Nazca Corporation / SNK Corporation / D4 Enterprise / Inc
Submitted by: Gabe McGrath
For over a decade, they were places “old school gamers” felt welcome. From dingy little arcades your mother warned you about… to brightly lit family centres your mother STILL warned you about. But then, something went wrong.
In the mid 90’s, driving games and redemption machines were taking over. The only new games with joysticks were an endless parade of Streetfighter 2 clones. Hmm… maybe it was time to give up on arcades, stay home and buy one of those “Playstation” things…?
Then, out of nowhere… Metal Slug arrived. No fibreglass cockpit. No complicated moves list. No 3D. Yes, it was 1996, but it felt like a better version of 1986.
Metal Slug mixed the gameplay of Contra/Gryzor, the graphical style of In the Hunt, the music of great war films and a Pixar-like attention to animation detail.
Gameplay was similar to many horizontal Run ‘n’ Gun games. Most levels scrolled right to left, although there were exceptions, like the brilliant snowy climb of level 3. You mostly fought enemy infantry, tanks and helicopters on foot. But every now & then, you’d get the chance to drive a Metal Slug tank. Tough, cute, armed with a rotating laser and a powerful shell. Fantastic.
The graphical style and details are incredible. In the first 30 seconds of the game, you saw distant Mayan temples, colourful parrots flying past, and a perfect reflection of yourself in a puddle. None are necessary. All are beautiful. All were added by people who love games.
Whilst Metal Slug's music is magnificent, one sonic bugbear is the repetition of the enemy’s “death scream” sound effect. You’ll be sick of it by the time you take down the evil General Morden.
Metal Slug X was a great sequel, Metal Slug 3 was a mixture of brilliance & frustration, then everything went bad. Later sequels were big on recycling, slow-moving stages & credit-swallowing multiple deaths.
A Metal Slug MVS (arcade) cartridge will cost you around £40/US$70. A single-slot Neo Geo board is around the same price again. If you’re after an AES (home) cart, you’ll be spending at least £100/US$175.
Format reviewed: Neo Geo
Submitted by: Alex Holmes
The "run and gun" genre has always been a favorite amongst gamers. Players have the chance to gun down literally hundreds of enemies and cause destruction on a grand scale, usually at a fair old speed.
And when SNK created Metal Slug, they spawned one of the most popular franchises in gaming history. The game itself is very tongue in cheek, with strong elements of humour amid the carnage. The first thing that grabs players attention are the large, colourful sprites and nicely animated backgrounds. The end of level bosses encountered fill the majority of the screen and are vivid and well designed.
Players take the role of crack soilders Marco and Tarma, and have the task of destroying the evil rebelion which has taken over the world.
At the start of each life they are equiped with a pistol and ten grenades, but many different weapons are scattered throughout the game, including the flame shot, rocket launcher and the ever popular heavy machine gun. Mostly, weapons and extra ammunition are obtained from releasing the many hostages that are tied up and sometimes hidden from view. But the timeless "metal slug" (SV-001) itself is the main weapon in the game. The tank is found several times throughout the game and can do incredible damage with its machine gun and rocket launcher. And can make short work of even the huge end of level gaurdians.
Metal Slug is definitely a button basher, but also incorporates skill and timing in order to clear the six stages and defeat General Morden and restore peace.
A landmark title, which still see's sequels released now, and the main gameplay has remained relativley unchanged from the first outing. And that speaks for itself !