Metal Slug X
The evil dictator Morden is at it again--and this time the whole world's his battlefield! Time to lock and load with SNK's latest 2D side-scroller, Metal Slug 2.
Forget about fancy polygons and high frame rates; for simple, addictive, good old-fashioned 2D side-scrolling action, Metal Slug 2 delivers the goods. Aside from occasional slowdown, the action moves at a blistering pace, espedaily in the two-player, simultaneous mode. The gameplay's still the same: never stop, and blow the hell out of anything that moves! With enough quarters, even you can save the world.
Women in the Military
Slug 2 adds a lot to the melee! Joining Slug veteran characters Marco and Tarma are two fresh female recruits. Eri and Fio. An expanded armory includes a laser gun, Molotov cocktails, and armor-piercing bazooka shells. The motorpool now has three new vehicles: the Slug Flyer (a jump jet). Slugnoid (a walking mini-mech). and the Camel Slug (a camel with a machine gun on its back).
Things That Go Boom
Slug 2's action takes place throughout many combat zones: on the back of a moving train, in an Egyptian tomb, in a secret laboratory, and so on. The game has a greater variety of enemies than its predecessor: In addition to endless waves of troops, you'll square off against mummies, sword-toting Arabs, and even hostile aliens. Some funny new touches have been included: If you collect too many fruit power-ups, you'll be turned into an obese soldier who moves slower than normal; and if you're not careful in the Egyptian tomb, the residents may transform you into a mummy!
Download Metal Slug X
Aliens from the deep regions of outer space have indoctrinated an evil foreign dictator to aid them in their master plan to conquer the world. It’s up to four of the free world's finest super soldiers to halt the alien's hostile takeover by any means necessary. With the malicious aliens backing the foreign dictator with overwhelmingly superior technology, this isn’t going to be a walk in the park for our gun crazy heroes. Grab all the ammo you can carry and strap on your combat boots cause it’s up to you to send those aliens back to whatever hell they crawled out of.
Gameplay, Controls, Interface
To begin with you choose one of four crazy super soldier characters and make your way through multiple levels, destroying anything and everything in your path. Before the game you can adjust the difficulty level as well as choosing how many heroes you start out with. I found that difficulty adjustment was a joke since in the game's primary function is to provide the player (or players) with as many continues as needed to finish the game. Since your character's ammo is replenished whenever he revives from death you can have your soldier run into combat guns blazing without concern of losing items you had acquired earlier. Though this makes gameplay easier for those who want to see the game from beginning to end, it also made it just another mindless shooting game.
As you shoot your way through multiple stages of violence, your character will stumble across a number of unique items. Most of these power-ups will increase the overall damage that your character's weapon will do while others will affect multiple opponents. On top of your main gun you have access to grenades which can also be improved by finding items throughout the stages. On more than one occasion you will be able to climb into one of four amazing vehicles of mass destruction. Each vehicle has a main turret, which you must maneuver by pointing it in the direction that you are moving and a special weapon unique to the vehicle. It takes three shots for your ride to be incapacitated, at which point a warning will appear over the vehicle reminding you to jump out before it explodes. As you make your way through each stage you will run into friendly characters who will leave power-ups for your weapons or even fight by your side. These items bring flavor to the game and will help you complete all of the stages quickly and efficiently.
Once you have completed all of the stages the first time around, you will have a number of different options at to your disposal. One of the most interesting things available is the ability to enlist in the combat school. After you enlist, you can choose one of two options to help build up your skill within the game. The first is the pinpoint training challenge where you may select any of the stages you have already completed and see how quickly you can finish the stage. The other is the survival training challenge where you see how long your character can last before the enemy gets a lucky shot. Each of these two training challenges has its own set of rules on how it is accomplished. Another option available to you after the first game is the list of other missions that are there to increase your response to hostile encounters. A number of the missions I found to be pointless and dull and hindered the enjoyment of the original game -- gauging how well I could master a specific stage was more thrilling for my taste.
Even if you thought that one gun crazy soldier was enough, you also have the option to bring along a friend to help you vanquish that evil foreign dictator and his forces. The second player option allows you to participate in combat with your partner without having to deal with those annoying split screens. Make sure though that when you have your partner playing along with you that he/she doesn’t take all the power-ups since there are only as many as there would be in a single player game.
For such a low budget game it was surprising to see how animated the scenery was throughout the whole game. Each element of the game reacted to the actions that not only the characters made but also what the enemies did. Even though most of the graphics were put together to emphasize the amount of destruction that was going on, it was appropriate to the feel of the game. Major plot in the game was represented with short bits of humorous animation that made the game just as enjoyable to watch, as it was to play.
As I played I was impressed with the amount of interactive sound effects throughout the multiple stages. Each stage had specific theme music that was appropriate for the scenery to aid in involving the player in the game. On top of that, the characters perform a variety of humorous responses to things that happen during gameplay. Overall, I felt that the sound effects along with the theme music were vital in the enjoyment of the game.
Metal Slug X is adequate if you have the hankering to pop a few rounds into some brain-sucking aliens. Unfortunately, for most of the civilized world this kind of entertainment just won’t cut it. I would suggest that you pinch your pennies and wait for one of the hotter releases to come out. As enjoyable as Metal Slug X was, with the humorous plot and senseless violence, I would only recommend it for a two-day rental.
One of the last, great Neo-Geo games has made the trip over to the PlayStation in surprisingly fine form. Sure, Metal Slug X is nothing more than a recolored, slightly revamped version of Metal Slug 2 (a remix of sorts), but it's still one of the best games in its genre. You know, the 2D hand-drawn side-scrolling shooting/action one. Sure, the game doesn't exactly push the PlayStation to its graphical limits--even though the animation is damn nice--but really now, these kinds of games aren't about the visuals. Instead Metal Slug X concentrates on delivering fun chaos, the kind normally reserved for overhead shooters and the like. It's an arcade game, one that has you (and a friend, if you want some crazy two player action) leaping like mad over enemy fire, gunning through hordes of foes, and fighting bosses so huge they often fill the screen. You can pick from four main characters, use over five different weapons, and ride in four different powerful vehicles, otherwise known as Metal Slugs. And man, is it fun--not to mention hard. Thankfully there are unlimited continues, which, I'm not ashamed to admit, I used often. Fans of the Neo-Geo original have plenty of reasons to check this version out also, thanks to exclusive features like an art gallery, a Combat School where you'll be graded on your skill, and extra training missions. Great stuff, even moreso if you enjoy classic gameplay and visuals.
Metal Slug was one of the best reasons to own a Neo-Geo back in the day. Its high-speed mayhem coupled with cartoony looks and subtle humor made it an instant fave, and X keeps most of that intact for the PS. The Neo-Geo version handled the graphics and animation a little better, but it's hard to fault this cool port to the PS much beyond that. For newbies to the series, think Contra Hard Corps Gunstar Heroes with a more military feel and tons of junk flying all over the screen--and with little to no slowdown! Yes, it rocks, especially when you get two players involved. With the PS on the outs, MSX is an awesome way to milk that 32-bit baby a little longer.
I'd love to say this is a perfect port of the original Neo-Geo version, but the animation and explosions just don't measure up. Luckily the same frantic old-school action/platformer gameplay (think Contra) that made the series a fan favorite remains. Fun weapons, cool vehicles, simultaneous two-player play, and a wicked sense of humor--Metal Slug is a nice package. Unfortunately the unlimited continues start you back right where you left off, making MSX a quick rental for most gamers. But if you're a true diehard game fan and suddenly find yourself with lots of time on your hands, you can spend plenty here mastering all the levels on all four difficulties.