Since my first play of Metal Slug in a 4-in-1 Neo Geo cabinet, I’ve played every game in the series I could get my hands on, so it’s no coincidence that a compilation of this magnitude would find its way into my hands. Metal Slug is the quintessential side-scrolling shooter that doesn’t involve space ships. I’d even go so far as to rank it above the Contra games in the grand scheme of things. Blasphemy, I know, but Metal Slug is just better.
To celebrate the franchise’s 10th anniversary, SNK has released Metal Slug Anthology, a collection of 7 incredible games – Metal Slug, Metal Slug 2, Metal Slug X, Metal Slug 3, Metal Slug 4, Metal Slug 5, and Metal Slug 6 – on one disc.
The games that make up Metal Slug Anthology are arcade-perfect ports with simple controls and clean 2D graphics that carry over perfectly to the PS2. The concept of credits doesn’t transfer so well from arcade to console, so SNK gives gamers the option of choosing limited or unlimited continues. While I have a love for [i]Metal Slug[/i], I am not very good at it, so I always select the unlimited continue route.
As a side-scrolling shooter, Metal Slug is pretty simple conceptually: run from left to right while shooting and lobbing grenades and trying to avoid the hordes of enemies. Weapon upgrades and POWs litter the levels that often end in incredible boss fights. Occasionally you will run across squatty tanks or other vehicles, most often fully loaded armored vehicles.
Without a doubt, Metal Slug fans will need to add MSA to their collections. Other gamers looking for some good shooter action will definitely want to consider MSA as it provides one heck of a value. MSA is also available for PSP and Wii if the PS2 isn’t your platform of choice. The bottom line is that [i]Metal Slug[/i] is the best 2D shooter out there and you’d be wise to add this one to your collection, especially with a $39.99 price tag.