Metal Slug: Second Mission

Neo-Geo Pocket

Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 8

Sound: 6

Gameplay: 9

Overall: 8.5

metalslug2ngp1.jpg (51909 bytes)It's amazing how many sequels fail. It's a really simple concept. You take what made the fist game such a hit (if it was one of course) and improve it. It's not a hard thing to do and it's been proven here by SNK. Metal Slug: Second Mission doesn't change anything, but adds to just about every segment of the original and stands out on a console nearly overloaded with quality titles.

You'll immediately select from one of two characters, each with their own intertwining storylines. They'll end up in the same location, but their paths may be completely different. Actually, there are upwards of 70 stages to complete before your truly done with the game, but to just wiz through it once you'll tackle about 20. The characters also have different weapons, but neither character is preferable over the other.

The gameplay of the Neo Geo Pocket versions of Metal Slug does vary from the arcade counterpart, but it hardly detracts from the experience. There are rarely ever more than three enemies on screen at once so the mass melee murders are absent, but there's still plenty of action to be had. The bosses are spectacular and crush those included in the first game giving it a bigger sense of style. Depending on how you choose to play these stages, you may see a variety of bosses and this increaes the replay value that is usually quite limited with gaes in this genre.

Adding even more value to this little cart, there are 100 prisoners crammed into the game, some so secluded you'll go nuts trying to find them. There's also a time attack to keep you occupied. Whetehr or not you'll take the time to actually rescue all of these guys depends on your patience, but the inclusion is more than welcome.

metalslug2ngp2.jpg (26867 bytes)Not only has the amount of play time increased over the first game, but the graphics have been completely upgraded as well. The characters still sport only a few colors a piece, but these have been used more effectively. More animations have been included breathing new life into the game so even if this is your fourth play through, you'll still find something new. The sound on the other hand, is a mixed bag if there ever was one. Voice samples have been included, but not only do they cause major slowdown problems, the music will reset once in a while when they are played. This is made worse by the measly four music tracks included which last about 40 seconds a piece.

Note that there is no 2-player mode. This is a huge part of the games success in the arcades and it's sorely missing from this rendition. Granted that actually finding someone with a Neo Geo Pocket and the game (not to mention a link cable) is a near impossiblity, but the dedicated crowd deserves better.

This is a series of games that most (ok, nearly all) AES owners will never be able to experience in their homes. This is a great way to get a piece of the real thing at around 2% of the price. No, it's not the same, but it is a more than adequate edition to this outstanding line of shoot-em-ups. Oh, and it's portable if that wasn't already obvious.


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Last updated: Monday, September 26, 2005 05:16 PM