Metal Slug 1 by SNK Playmore is a port of a 90’s Arcade shooter that offers simple yet challenging gameplay with great graphics and animation even today. Check it out and find out why NeoGeo gamers keep playing this classic even today.
Metal Slug 1 is a perfect Arcade port of the classic Neo-Geo war game. Here you take control of soldiers Marco and Tarma who must defeat an evil army from taking over the world. The touch controls are simple, you have an 8-Direction virtual joystick to run around, get down and aim up, and 3 buttons, A for shooting, B for jumping and C for throwin granades. If you’re close to an enemy when pushing ‘A’, you’ll do a combat knife attack instead of shooting.
Like classic Run ‘N’ Guns, the objective of each Mission is to shoot all enemies on the screen until you reach the end of the level, and defeat the boss. In the way you’ll find Prisioners of War that you can free and they’ll give you items, such as gems and jewels for points, granades or new weapons. You start out with a HandGun that has infinite ammo, but you can get the Heavy MachineGun, which can shoot diagonally, the Laser, that can go through rival soldiers and hit behind them, Flame Shot which sets enemies on fire, Shotgun, with short range but very powerful, and the Rocket Launcher, that shoots missiles.
The name of the game comes from the tank you can ride, called “Metal Slug”. When you find it, you can enter and exit from it at will. It has 2 machine guns to attack, and can take up to 3 hits before exploding. If the tank gets damage, you can repair it by finding Gas containers. Sometimes an attack will destroy one of the tanks guns, but you can fire the cannon by pressing “C”. Also, if you press Down+C, the tanks cannon will lower and you’ll throw regular hand granades.
Enemies can be normal soldiers, tanks, planes and more war machines. In some levels you’ll encounter mid-bosses that can take lots of hits, like a Super Soldier carrying a VulcanGun, a Heavily Armored Train and so on. At the end of each level, you’ll get extra points depending on your time, POWs rescued, and a Bonus if you beat the level with the Metal Slug.
Metal Slug is a game from 20 years ago, and still holds up to this day. In modern display devices looks a little pixelated, but the design is a colorful cartoony look with great animation that doesn’t have anything to envy nowadays 2D titles coming up.
The soldiers are very expresive and have a variety of moves such as throwing bombs, attacking with a knife, shooting with rifles, and they can even crawl to avoid shots, jump around platforms and get down building ceilings. They have a lot of death animations depending on the weapon you use against them and if they were standing up of ducking. There’s one scene where you demolish a building and the soldiers go flying at the screen.
Vehicles also feature great animation, with each mechanical part moving independenly, giving a great “ilusion of life”, and the huge bosses also look awesome. Even if the game has certainly aged, it doesn’t take the fact that it offers great visual experience for Mobile players.
Production Quality 75%
Since Metal Slug is originally an Arcade title, it should have some extras to offer in the iOS and Android version, but it only has a few changes, and nothing really noteworthy if you’re a long time fan.
In the controls, you have “automatic shooting” so you’ll only need to keep your thumb on the button to shoot, and on the Menu you have “Mission Select” so you don’t have to play from the beginning all the time, and that’s about it. It would’ve been nice that the game offered some extra challenges like Time Attack, Boss Rush, beating a level using only a certain weapon, or having to complete a Mission meeting certain conditions.
Other games of the genre such as Contra 4 offer such bonus games, and they expand replayability for quite a while once you finish Story Mode, so it’s a shame something like of the like wasn’t included here. Still, is Metal Slug on the go, and for long time fans, it should be enough.
Value for your Money (90%)
You can get Metal Slug 1 for $2.99 on Google Play and the App Store. For players that fondly remember dropping quarters into the NeoGeo, it’s totally worth it, even if it’s just a port without many changes, but most mobile gamers not used to buying Apps over a couple of dollars, may want to wait for a discount, specially considering that there’s not much to do once you finish the main mode, and that can be done in about an hour.
A perfect port of the classic cartoony shooter, Metal Slug 1 appeals both retro gamers and new fans of the genre alike. Great graphics and gameplay make for a experience worth having even 20 years after the original Arcade came out.