by: Lin Clark
; edited by: Michael Hartman
; updated: 4/17/2012
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Metal Slug first appeared in 1996 as a running side scrolling action game. It has been remade on the Playstation Network with a resolution revamp.
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Metal Slug Game
Metal Slug is known as a run and gun genre video game. This means that its fast paced 2D shoot’em up. It started out not as well known as other games in the genre but gained some popularity due to its fluid animation, brilliant colors, and interesting humor that had never been seen before during the mid 90’s. How does the Metal Slug port stand up to other Playstation Network games?
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Metal Slug has a basic story for today’s era, but during the time it did pique some interest. You play as the Peregrine Falcon (known as PF) Squad, a small but elite group of soldiers the army’s special operations division. PF must fight General Donald Morden, who is controlling the army’s intelligence division. The silly part is, that PF must also fight aliens, called people of mars, as well as yetis, venus fly traps, zombies, and mummies. This goes for the other games in the series as well, they all follow a similar plot.
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As a member of PF, you must shoot continuously at the wide range of enemies that will be coming your way. This can be tiresome for many gamers, but those that love a fast paced never ending shooting game will thoroughly enjoy Metal Slug’s consuming game play. As you cross the levels you can find weapon upgrades and armor that can shield you from the barrage of attacks.
You can find most of these items inside crates and bushes that can be blasted away. The easiest part about it, is that your player character will not get hurt by simply running into an enemy, the enemy must first shoot or use a melee weapon against you. After fighting a boss at the end of each level, you can also free POWs to get extra points. Another thing to note is that you can find Metal Slug tanks, the namesake of the game and use them to blast through the levels with the utmost ease.
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While going through the different environments of snow, grasslands, and urban areas, the control scheme is as basic as a shooter can get. Move your character along the screen with the analog stick or D pad and shoot your enemies with the square button, using the x button to jump. Your character moves across the screen fluidly, so there is no worrying about any choppy frame rate that has been a concern with older remakes. You automatically pick up the power ups as you go along and press the attack button while you are using the Metal Slug tank. Strategy is key when fighting against a boss, so use your quick wits and dodge as much as you can since there is no way to duck and you don't jump too high in this game. This is pretty much all you do in Metal Slug, so getting the hang of the controls is easier than other action titles.
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A local second player can join in making the game a bit easier. With two players, both can shoot at the waves of enemies that come across the screen and with team work, one can try to get the POW while the other shoots the enemies out of the way. The multiplayer does add a bit more fun to the game and maybe even make it less exhausting, the only downfall can be the internet lagging which this game can do by itself regardless of the internet connection. The biggest con to this is restart the journey if the game freezes but that can be a rare occurrence.
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With the same graphics as the original, the screen has been widened to fit onto a flat HD TV. This does make the pixels show up more but at the same time you can notice a bit more color than on a standard TV. This game had some of the best graphics and animation movements during its time and it still shows. The detail that goes into the characters is also impressive for being 2D, while the military bases, snowy mountainous regions, and lush forests still shine on this classic title.
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The music although made of sound bytes is pretty impressive for being such an old title. The constant oohs and ahhs of the enemies you shoot at may tend to be a bit annoying after awhile and it does drown out the catchy music playing in the back. Since you are shooting your way through the whole time, some players may find the constant pellet noises of the shooting a bit of an annoyance as well, but it does take some time getting used to. The different sounds throughout the game are fighting and well expected, nothing is out of the ordinary here.
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The Metal Slug game is a classic from SNK and it even built up a big enough fan base to spawn quite a few sequels. This series has always been the same with its shoot'em up flavor and the first one is the best one to play for any beginners who never seen a Metal Slug game before. As many say, nothing can beat the original and this game is well worth the download for any action side scroller lovers that want a bit of a ordeal to pass.