It wasn’t just 80s movies I can review now, thanks to getting my wiki set up I have access to a bunch of many of my older games that I haven’t played in ages (since it also plays Game Cube games) one of these was part of a collection of games so let us look at the first Metal Slug.
First released in 1996 for arcades by Nazca Corporation and later published by SNK, Metal Slug is the first game in the Metal Slug franchise. The game is a platforming shooter as you run and gun your way through a warzone filled with enemies and face off against a sometimes very large boss at the end of the stage. You do this with a series of weapons you have as well as hand held bombs, but all those have ammo you will probably run out of while shooting the insane number of enemies resulting in you being left with your trusty hand gun.
Now if you think this is some dark gritty series, you can’t be more wrong, the art style is very cartoony and even when you shoot enemy soldiers their actions have a habit of being rather, exaggerated.
But it’s not just you fighting the rebel army of General Morden, the game lets you do two player co-op. One player will play as Cpt. Marco Rossi while the other can play as Lt. Tarma Roving for some crazy two player action. Also sometimes you aren’t on foot as you can take command of the titicular Metal Slug a tiny single driver tank.
So on to the game itself, the controls are rather simple with a button to shoot, a button to jump, directional controls and a button to throw bombs. However while you can dish out insane amounts of firepower you cannot take it. You are killed in one shot, you have lives but a small number before you have to use a continue (which thankfully most releases let you have unlimited number of) you can survive more hits while in the Metal Slug but aren’t as mobile.
My only real nit-pick is the vehicle controls, you see there is a button combination that causes your tank to self destruct. This combination is basically identity to regular button presses as it appears to be a directional button and shooting or jumping. So when I’m fighting a large boss and trying to avoid its attacks, it’s very annoying to then have to watch which buttons I’m pressing or my tank will just fly away and explode (as you can tell this has happened to me several times). Another nit-pick is if you die (not use a continue) you lose ALL your ammo and thus your new life is with just a pistol. When fighting a boss, this is very annoying, you do get 10 bombs but still only a pistol.
There is more to do than just kill everything that moves in this game, each level has a number of POWs to rescue in each level and they may drop new weapons and ammo for you, maybe health for the tank if you’re in it. Or maybe they will be annoying and just drop an item that increases your score (this was an arcade game remember).
Still the game is short and won’t take you more than an hour at most (once again, was an arcade game) so it’s good for a wee bit of silly fun. But I have news for you all! There were 6 other Metal Slug games on that collection and it only gets weirder from here, I mean, this game didn’t even have aliens.