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Archive for the ‘Neo Geo’ Category

Retro Game Review: Metal Slug: Super Vehicle-001

Posted by ptcgaming on November 17, 2008

Everything in “Metal Slug” is bigger and badder. And that’s a really good thing.

Platform: Neo Geo
Released: 1996
Developer: Nazca Corporation

Background: “Metal Slug” is “Contra” on ‘roids. That’s about the best way I can put it. The guns are bigger, the explosions are bigger and the bosses are bigger in this game, which retained all its arcade glory on SNK’s Neo Geo home console. Most of us couldn’t afford to fork out 600 bucks-plus for a Neo Geo, let alone the 200 bucks or so each game cost, but Nintendo Wii owners can download this piece of gaming glory for just 900 Nintendo Points (9 bucks!) – and, it’s compatible with the Wii Remote, so no additional hardware is necessary! The storyline in a nutshell is you and another player (in 2-player mode) have to mow down General Morden’s Rebellion army and recapture the Metal Slug tanks (which yes, you get to drive). But the storyline won’t grab you anywhere near the game itself.

Graphics: 5/5

There’s a reason the Neo Geo was so expensive: It was the guts of an arcade cabinet inside a home console. This game features hand-drawn elements (You heard me) with vivid backgrounds that feature little to no empty space. Even though this a a 2D side-scrolling game, it still has sort of a 3D feel.

Sound: 5/5

The background music is very well-done. It’s clear and doesn’t feel like a drill into the head after five minutes. The voices are done perfectly, which can also be attributed to the Neo Geo’s technology.

Controls: 4/5

You use three face buttons – one each for jumping, shooting and grenades/cannon. The joystick/D-pad movements are fluid. However, I knocked a point off for how difficult it is to shoot straight down or on an angle.

Gameplay: 4.5/5

This is a run ‘n gun, just like “Contra.” However, like I said before, everything is bigger – much bigger. And the weapons surpass everything “Contra” has to offer (with the exception of the Spread gun, of course). You start with a single-shot pea-shooter, but you can upgrade to such weapons as a heavy machine gun, flame thrower or even a rocket launcher (You rescue POWs for weapon power-ups). If an enemy gets too close, you can slash him with a knife. And most of the scenery can be destroyed, too. You mow through cities, forests, mountains and military bases, so the game never gets old.

Overall: 4.625/5

This game has just as much replay value as “Contra,” the run ‘n gun game I’ve measured all others against. In fact, this is probably the only one I feel is better than “Contra,” which is saying a lot. One thing I forgot to mention to all the parents and censors out there is “Metal Slug” is bloody – both you and your enemies bleed when hit – but the cartoony look and humor in the game (like shooting enemy soldiers while they’re camping) makes this game tons of fun but not all that serious. I can’t stress enough how much I think you should play this one.

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