Metal Slug Review

Metal Slug (Available on PlayStation 3 & PSP)
ESRB Rating: T
Number of Players: 1 to 2
Genre: Action
Publisher: SNK Playmore
Developer: Nazca Corporation
Release Date: December 21st, 2010

Parent Talk: Metal Slug is rated T for teen by the ESRB because of violence and animated blood and gore.  The violence is extremely over the top, but we strongly recommend you follow the ESRB guidelines with this one.

Plays Like: Contra, most 2D shooters.

Review Basis: Played through the story mode on the PS3, and tried some online co-op.

Details: PS3 version is $8.99 and PSP version is $6.99.

What’s This About: The evil dictator General Morden is hell bent on world domination and only Marco and Tarma can stop him.  Armed with a slew of weapons and a special tank called a Metal Slug, Marco and Tarma will stop at nothing to save the world.

What It’s Remembered For:

  • 2D side-scrolling shooter action that set the stage for the entire series.  Sure it’s your typical run and gun shooter, but after ten minutes with the game you can easily see why it’s so fondly remembered.  From driving the Metal Slug to launching grenades at unsuspecting enemies, you just knew this series would endure.
  • Humor is the key.  Unlike so many other shooters released back in the mid-nineties Metal Slug took the generic formula and flipped it on its head.  Here players have the ability to shoot just about everything on the screen including enemies who are sunbathing, cooking, etc.  Instead of just disappearing once they’ve been shot, these enemies animate in bizarre death sequences that are often hilarious.
  • The six levels may all have to do with fighting General Morden’s army, but their unique locations made each stage highly memorable.  The level of animation and overall quality of graphics was shocking.  While there were moments where the framerate dropped to a crawl, no one minded because of the excellent gameplay and tremendous charm.

Anything Else We Need To Know?

(Note that all Neo Geo Station games feature online play, PSP versions, region-selecting options for blood and added bounciness, visual smoothers, save states, bug editors, and command lists.)

  • Like all the first wave of Neo Geo Station releases, the online play isn’t as good as later releases.  This is a real shame for Metal Slug because having lag-free online co-op would be awesome.

Bottom Line: Who Should Download This?

This is it, the real question on everyone’s mind.  Unlike Metal Slug 2, which has vastly superior net code, the original suffers from lag while being played online.  At least that was the case while I was running the game through its paces.  The $9 asking price might also put some of the casual fans off.  The reason being this game has been released on virtually every platform known to man.  In fact there was a compilation called Metal Slug Anthology released for the PSP, PS2 and Wii that contains all the Metal Slug games from this one all the way through 6.  It also only costs $20 for a brand new copy.  Then again, you don’t get all the bells and whistles this version offers.  I’d say the bottom line is this, if you don’t own Metal Slug and want to give it a try, this is the perfect and easiest way to do so.

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