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Introduction & Characters
Metal Slug
Metal Slug 2

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Metal Slug X
Metal Slug 3
Metal Slug 4

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Metal Slug 5
Metal Slug 6
Metal Slug 7

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Metal Slug (3D)
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Metal Slug 5 (メタルスラッグ 5) - Neo Geo, Xbox, PlayStation 2, PSP, Wii, Windows (2003)

Japanese PlayStation 2 Cover

American MS 4&5 Xbox Cover

After Metal Slug 4, the next instalment was passed off to Noise Factory, who had worked on Sengoku 3. This time it's substantially better compared to Metal Slug 4, featuring plenty of cool new levels and bad guys. The main foe this time is an island native who discovers a mysterious artifact, which possesses him and sends him out of control, presumably leading him to start a cult of madmen. Trevor and Nadia have been given the boot, and Tarma and Eri have returned. The music is once again composed by Toshikazu Tanaka, featuring more rocking guitars (which sounds astounding here given the power of the Neo Geo hardware) and some nice spaghetti-western influenced music. The only real frustrating change is that you slide by holding down and pressing jump. This might not seem too bad, but for those accustomed to the controls over the other game, it's way too easy to slide accidentally to your death when you actually wanted to jump.

There are some cool parts later in the game, including the Spider Slug, a four legged machine with an orb in the middle, which has both a vulcan cannon and a really cool harpoon. WIth the final boss, Metal Slug 5 ventures into supernatural territory with a gigantic demon that has some absolutely gorgeous animation. Overall it's a decent game, but still pretty uninspired in parts. Some hackers have discovered extra graphics in the ROM, including a whole other boss that looks like a gigantic turtle, leading one to believe that a bunch of stuff was cut during development - even more than usual, anyway.

Much like its predecessor, this also received standalone releases for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox in Japan and Europe, and was bundled together along with Metal Slug 4 in the USA. Once again, there are no additional modes other than the trophy room and level select options.

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Metal Slug 5 (Neo Geo)

Metal Slug 5 (Neo Geo)


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Metal Slug 6 (メタルスラッグ 6) - Arcade, PlayStation 2, PSP, Wii, Windows (2006)

Japanese PlayStation 2 Cover

Promotional Artwork

This is the first Metal Slug made by SNK since Metal Slug 3. It shows. It's also the first (and only) entry to run on the Atomiswave platform, leaving the old Neo Geo hardware behind - which, when this was released in 2006, was over fifteen years old.

A first for this Metal Slug game is that the different playable characters have different attributes - Marco has a stronger pistol, Tarma is an expert at vehicular combat, Fio starts with a Heavy Machine Gun every time she dies, and Eri has double the amount of grenades, in addition the ability to toss them in every direction. And ever since the rebirth of SNK, the company has been very eager to please its fans (see: the entirety of The King of Fighters Maximum Impact 2 / 2006) - Ralf Steel and Clark Jones, also known as the Ikari Warriors, have been added as playable characters, bringing the total roster to six. Ralf can take two hits but has half the ammunition. He can also use his Vulcan Punch as an extremely powerful melee attack. Clark uses his Super Argentine Backbreaker suplex move, which renders him temporarily invincible and thus turns him into a close range killing machine. Additionally, all characters can now hold two weapons and can switch between them, much like Contra III - however, you still lose both of them when you die. There's a single brand new weapon called the Zantestu, a short range sword that's massively powerful.

The move to the Atomiswave is a bit of a mixed bag - on one hard, it allows for some awesome effects, as the camera zooms out during certain boss battles (think Samurai Showdown or any other SNK game that used scaling), but the backgrounds all possess a bland feel that pales compared to the pixel art of the earlier games. All of the objects now cast shadows, which I can't say was something that Metal Slug actually needed, and it looks a bit strange when you first play it. The levels themselves aren't anything special either - fight through a jungle, fight through urban China... it's still a bit uninspired. The last level features a rather boring Dig Dug-esque section where you drill through the dirt, an area which should've been left on the cutting room floor. Thankfully the boss battles are much more inspired, especially the crazy robot with a dismembered brain in a tank. General Morden and the aliens are back, although this time everyone bands together to fight a new menace - a race of creatures living underneath the Earth's crust. In one of the hidden paths, you can actually control the mother alien from Metal Slug 3 and rain destruction against the night sky. Like many much older games, playing on the easiest mode only lets you get close to the end of the game before getting a "please try harder mode" message.

The soundtrack this time was (mostly) composed by Manabu Namiki, known for other arcade shooters like Battle Garegga and Dodonpachi Daioujou. While it uses some of the musical motifs from the earlier Metal Slug games, it has a very distinct feel that draws from many different genres, including an Asian/techno fusion for the China level, and a Hitoshi Sakimoto-esque orchestral piece in the fourth stage.

Metal Slug 6 got a standalone release for the PlayStation 2 in Japan. This version included a huge gallery, featuring tons of concept art yanked from the other home ports and full soundtracks for all seven games. Also included is the return of the the Combat School mode, this time with two new instructors - Mary and Lily. The only release outside of Japan was in the Metal Slug Anthology, which includes many of the same bonuses, but lacks the Combat School mode.

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Metal Slug 6 (PlayStation 2)

Metal Slug 6 (PlayStation 2)

Metal Slug 6 (PlayStation 2)

Metal Slug 6 (PlayStation 2)


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Metal Slug 7 (メタルスラッグ 7) - Nintendo DS (2008)

Japanese Nintendo DS Cover

The announcement of Metal Slug 7 on the Nintendo DS was a stake to the heart of 2D lovers anywhere. In the arcades, it was often hailed as the epitome of spritework, and it seemed as if SNK had acknowledged that such games only belonged on portable platforms. (This just so happened to be the same conclusion that Konami came to with their Castlevania and Contra series.)

Metal Slug 7 is not the first portable Metal Slug, but it is the first portable instalment in the series proper - it is not a side game like the NGPC or GBA instalments. There are no map screens, no life bars, no concessions - it's just like the old arcade games, with all of the pros and cons that it entails. Despite the smaller screen, the characters are all roughly in proportion to their arcade/console counterparts, the animation is just as smooth, there's plenty of scattered debris and blood, and it's just as difficult as it ever was. It's obviously not quite perfect though. The sprites have just been rescaled as opposed to redrawn, so all of the characters look smudgy and pixellated. The backgrounds, too, seem to have been created to be displayed at a higher resolution, and there's a weird shimmering as the screen scrolls. There is a bit of slowdown, but it's consistent with the Neo Geo games. The only major blow is the lack of any two player mode - if Contra 4 could do it, then why not this? Toshikazu Tanaka returns for the soundtrack, but it sounds pretty scratchy coming from the DS.

Metal Slug 7

So while it does make good on its titular promise to play like a true Metal Slug game, the quality of said game is a bit more questionable. The series stumbled with the fourth and fifth instalments, but the additions to the sixth game were very much welcomed. Unfortunately, the designers have fallen back into the same rut. It carries forward all of the features from Metal Slug 6, including all six characters, their special abilities, and the scoring system.

There are multiple difficulty levels, with the easiest granting you a permanent heavy machine gun, but unlike Metal Slug 6, you can complete the whole game on the easiest level. You can also restart at any stage once you conquer it, so even though it's quite difficult, it's easily beatable with a few tries. Like the console releases, there's a Combat School option to compensate a bit.

It does not, however, add much of anything else. There are seven levels - one more than a usual Metal Slug game - but they're mostly dull retreads of everything we've seen before. Once again, the backgrounds have that rendered look that looks amazingly dull compared to the beautiful pixel art of the earlier games, and so much of the game takes place in mines and underground caverns that it feels way too dark. The new enemies include metal suit wearing soldiers from an alternate dimension that appears to have emerged out of a Stargate, but this doesn't make for any particularly interesting encounters. Some of the boss fights use impressive multi segmented sprites that animated separately through rotation effects, which are the few areas that are somewhat impressive. The sixth stage puts you in control a gigantic mech, stumbling forward and smashing over enemies, before challenging Colonel Allen mano-a-mano in a similar machine. The other interesting stage gives you a parachute, slowing your descent as you fall off cliffs into an enemy stronghold. There's a new weapon that shoots out lightning, but even the Slugs here are pretty boring.

Other than a few fleeting moments of inspiration, Metal Slug 7 is definitely a case of same-old, same-old. The appeal of playing a portable Metal Slug is somewhat lessened by the Metal Slug Anthology for the PSP, which offers a total of six (and half, counting X) Metal Slug games, a majority of which are quite a bit better than this one.

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Metal Slug 7 (Nintendo DS)

Metal Slug 7 (Nintendo DS)

Metal Slug 7 (Nintendo DS)

Metal Slug 7 (Nintendo DS)

Metal Slug 7 (Nintendo DS)


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<<< Prior Page

Next Page >>>

Page 1:
Introduction & Characters
Metal Slug
Metal Slug 2

Page 2:
Metal Slug X
Metal Slug 3
Metal Slug 4

Page 3:
Metal Slug 5
Metal Slug 6
Metal Slug 7

Page 4:
Metal Slug (3D)
Metal Slug: 1st Mission
Metal Slug: 2nd Mission

Page 5:
Metal Slug Advance
Mobile Phone Games

Page 6:
Compilations
Fighting Games
Image Gallery

Back to the Index