In the 21st century, two armies called the Regular Army and the Rebellion Army are locked in a brutal war. The Regular Army are a peace keeping, anti terrorism force ran by the government. The Rebellion Army are seeking to change the world government into a military controlled one. The Rebellion Army are having their way, by pushing their foes to the brink of defeat.
In hopes of shifting the war into their favor, the Regular Army developed and stashed special tanks code named "Metal Slug" in various cache points. The Rebels located these points and took the tanks. In one last desperate attempt, the Regular Army sends two members Marco and Tarma with orders to retrieve the tanks or destroy them.-summary
Metal Slug was a game that came around at the RIGHT time, in fact, it's timing couldn't have been better. The game made its debut in arcades back in 1996. SNK must have realized the uphill battle trying to compete with both Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat for arcade supremacy in the fighting game genre. Therefore, they turned their sites on the 2-D side scroller that was pretty much all but dead. I remember these days clearly. Contra which was by Konami had already faded away, and the one hit wonder Sunset Riders, which was also by the aforementioned company disappeared about as quick as it came. The video game world needed another raw, run and gun, two-player, side scrolling shoot'em up in the arcade. The video game gods answered and Metal Slug was born. The genre was now on its way to being reborn.
Metal Slug has spawned several sequels and has developed a large following. SNK knew this and responded by releasing 7 of the 10 games on this anthology. The Metal Slug Anthology collects on one disk; Metal Slug, Metal Slug 2, Metal Slug X, Metal Slug 3, Metal Slug 4, Metal Slug 5, and Metal Slug 6. I didn't play all of these in their original arcade form, but the first three are definitely arcade perfect from what I remember. But you don't have to be a fan of the arcade games to enjoy this collection.
Although I enjoy SNK's fighting games a great deal, Metal Slug goes down as my personal favorite from the company and for only one reason, the two player co-op. This is a great game to spend a few hours blasting away with someone else. I've witnessed non video game fans call me up, and stop by the house only to spend some time on this. That's how addictive it can be.
When coming into this game, think Contra fused with Cyber-Lip, insane difficulty with unrelenting enemies and all. Metal Slug is a straight-forward, run and gun, 2-D side scrolling shooter. The player's objective is simple; kill everything in your path over six stages and defeat the end stage boss. The gameplay is incredible. The player begins with a pistol containing unlimited ammo, and will be treated to an assortment of high fire-powered weaponry, which are obtained by releasing P.O.W.'s Some of the weapons consist of heavy machine guns, rocket launchers, and flame throwers, only to name a few, but the ammo is limited though. However, this isn't really a problem because you won't travel very far until your next death dealing weapon appears, so blast away and have fun. The player can also engage in close combat with a melee attack that is performed with a knife. The player will die with only one hit, but some enemies can't kill by merely touching you, they have to use their melee attacks as well.
The gameplay is further enhanced because the player will be able to man vehicles like tanks and planes to engage in bloody combat. The game is very difficult with some very tough boss battles. You will die a whole lot until you learn the patterns, and even then, it will be impossible to avoid some attacks. However, I doubt most players will care about that since the game has unlimited continues, but you can go the limited route if you think you're good enough.
The sequels aren't much different, as they all focus on the exact same run and gun style. But what keeps the games from feeling completely repetitive happens to be all of the additional features, with SNK taking risk to enhance the gameplay even further. Metal Slug 2 and X, are pretty much the exact same game with only different enemies and two females added into the mix named Fio and Eri to beef up the roster. The new enemies are in the form of aliens with different attacks such as; a homing bullet that chases you down, to include mummies who spray you with a mist, that turns you into a slow moving mummified target, as well as zombies who do the exact same thing, by transforming you into a slow moving member of the living dead.
Metal Slug 4 features a different type of shoot'em up that comes out of nowhere later on in the game that I won't even spoil. SNK decided to experiment a little with Metal Slug 5 by adding a vehicle only stage, full of instant deaths via drop offs. Metal Slug 6 showed the best improvement to me. The game bloats the character roster by adding two new characters who happen to be the soldiers Ralf and Clark from the Ikari Warriors team of King of Fighter's. Now unlike the previous games that introduced new characters for no other reason than to add faces. This time they possess different attributes that enhances the gameplay. For example, one character's focus is on stronger pistol shots, another one focuses on longer grenade throwing range, while the other takes two hits to die instead of one. There's also a power gauge at the bottom of the screen, and when maxed out, money can be collected when enemies are killed to add to the overall score.
SNK in my view, has never really been known for tight controls. But in this case, I really can't complain about the lack of control responsiveness, because the controls perform quite nicely. The control set up is very simple with a shoot, grenade, and jump button. Any newbie can join in on Metal Slug 4 for instance and begin to have a good time.Metal Slug 6 has a new feature, where the characters can pick up two weapons and swap between them on the fly, this also performs flawlessly. Controlling the vehicles is as simple as controlling the character.
Although the game is very violent, the style of it is kind of cartoony. The character designs of the characters look to be on the chubby side a little. The female characters are on the slim side. There are various designs throughout the games with many characters having a distinct look so the player can be aware of their different abilities. The stages take place on various battlefields, with nice backgrounds such as; war torn villages, cities, caves, in the air, and even under water. The armored vehicles have some very cool designs from the tanks to submarines. The bosses can be incredibly big with some very imaginative designs.
Visually, the game improves with each sequel, with less and less of a grainy look, but none of them have a dated feel to me. The animation is pretty well detailed. You will see characters shaking from the rapid kickback of machine gun fire. There are different death animations, where characters fall shot from high places in different body positions. The enemy characters also dance a little when they're being shot up, and there would be short blood spurts from certain characters who are shot in the throat. Bodies will slump over when killed outside of tank turrets, and they will be completely obliterated when hit with laser or rocket fire. The flame throwers and explosions will send soldiers screaming in flames. Even though the game sounds overly violent, it's done in a cartoony and comical way to the point where it's hilarious. Metal Slug 6 has a new zoom out camera that I noticed during some boss battles, so the player can get a better look at some of the attacks.
There are some good sound effects too. The weapons such as rocket launchers, lasers, machine guns have a distinct and genuine sound. This also goes for the knife stabbings and bomb explosions. The soundtrack heavily backs up the style and brings you into its world. The games are no slouch in the style department.
These games have tremendous replay value as long as you have someone to play with. This is great for that girlfriend, or that relative who sucks in fighting games, and they're just sick and tired of you tearing them apart. Now for single player, the game is very challenging and you can try to beat the game without continuing much or at all. The game also has unlockable art galleries.
Metal Slug is one of those rare games that anyone can pick up and enjoy. Now, unlike the Contra series, where if all of your players die, you either start the entire mission over, or you're put a few frames back. This game starts you right in the spot you just died in. SNK's goal was not to stress anybody out here. The name of the game is no holds barred, blast away fun, and Metal Slug delivers in that area. Highly recommended.
Pros: -Great gameplay -Special weapons and vehicles -Great two player co-op -Unlimited continues
Cons: -Can be a little repetitive -Can be too difficult
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Metal Slug Anthology (called Metal Slug Complete (メタルスラッグコンプリート?) in Japan) is a video gamecompilation for the PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable and the Wii. The Wii version boasts different controller configurations, most taking advantage of the Wii Remote, but the Classic Controller is not supported. The game also marks the return of SNK Playmore as a third-party developer for a Nintendo console since the SNES era. The graphics are exactly the same as the original versions released on arcade (and the more recent titles published on PS2 and Xbox). Cooperative gameplay is enabled on the console versions of the game, while the PSP version has a wireless ad hoc mode so that two people can play together and work as a team. A downloadable version was made available on the PlayStation Store for PSP on October 1, 2009.