Metal Slug: 1st Mission

Neo-Geo Pocket

Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 9

Sound: 6

Gameplay: 8.5

Overall: 8.5

The classic "one-man-versus-everyone-else" genre has been neglected in this 3-D era of gaming. Not a single game has come close to the all out thrill of blasting the alien menace from Contra to pieces. Metal Slug nearly takes the crown away from the classic 8-bitter, but it comes closer than any other game ever has.

Right from the start, any gamer can tell SNK pulled out all the stops to make this game look as good as it plays. The highly detailed backgrounds are filled with vibrant colors that look awe-inspiring on the small screen. Character usually consist of only 2 colors, but this is made up for with the exquisite animation. The hilarious death animations make it seem like a mini-cartoon has jumped into your NGP. The sounds consists mostly of basic beeps, but theirs an awesome soundtrack in the background. The mood is set wonderfully by the great music, but only a few tracks are present making them repeat more than a few times.

The innovative gameplay allows for players to jump inside vehicles such as the Metal Slug which allows for full 180 degree fire and moves extremely fast, putting the player at a huge advantage. A plane is also available, giving the game some much needed variety. The game is mostly comprised of on-foot missions however, but these certainly hold their own. Enemies hide behind objects and only pop their heads out when they think the coast is clear.

Any game this good has to have some glaring flaw, and of course, MS does manage to have one. The controls are touchy, but it's mostly thanks to the NGP's D-pad. Games like this require pin-point control, but this isn't possible with the Pocket. It's also annoying that you can shoot at an angle. If he can aim a gun straight up, why the hell can't he shoot at an angle???? This makes the game more difficult than it should be in certain situations. No two-player mode is present either, but actually finding another person with a NGP is hard enough.

Beyond these flaws, this is what great games are all about. Any fan of Contra must put this on their list of must-play games. Not many games can bring back memories in such a new way. If you need a reason to buy a NGP, this is it. Get it, buy it, love it.


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Last updated: Monday, September 26, 2005 05:27 PM