Metal Slug 4 & 5 (XBOX)
Release Date: August 16th, 2005
Publisher: SNK NEOGEO USA Consumer Corporation
Developer: BrezzaSoft / SNK Playmore
Genre: Action - 2D Platformer
Posted: May 17th, 2006
Last Updated: June 5th, 2006
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Written by Saucy Pants
Metal Slug is a classic arcade shooter. You advance through beautiful 2d environments and blast away pseudo-Nazis while advancing to a boss. it perfectly captures everything I love about the original NES games I grew up with as a kid. The game itself is simple and is nothing innovative. Metal Slug 1-4 are virtually the same game the only difference between the rest and 5 is that in 5 you have the new slide feature, ground breaking!
the art. I say art instead of graphics because I believe it is just that beautiful. These aren't some fancy polygons thrown together with some shadows and lights. No these are ALL 2D backgrounds and characters and it gives the game a sort of a saturday morning cartoon feel just with lots of guns. The death animations are over the top and satisfying. The vehicles are just plain cool even if they aren't anything innovative.
the bad guys. They come in waves and waves and it almost doesn't get boring repeatedly running into them guns (or knife) a' blazing. Sure you could play with some strategy but the Rambo tactics are much more fun. Gunning down robotic mustachioed Hitler look-a-likes as the flee in terror should be a new Olympic sport.
the game play. I know it is nothing new or innovative but sometimes I have days where I just want something to occupy me for 20 minutes with no story or learning curve involved. It is the kind of game where I can sit down and blast my way through a level or 2 while I pass some time.
simplicity. Simple games are sometimes the best games. Unlike the Metal Gear Solid series there is no complex story here just a 2 paragraph story in the manual that you don't even have to read. The manual itself is only 10 pages long and that covers both games. It is the kind of game my dad could jump in with me and play and I wouldn't have to spend 20 minutes explaining how to play or what is going on.
ms5's sound. The heavy guitar riffs are indescribably good and almost make up for the lack of custom soundtracks.
unlimited continues. It makes the difficulty setting completely pointless when I can continue until I win or get bored. There was a reason I kept playing this game over and over again in the arcade and that was because I kept trying to get as far as I could with as little money as possible. With the unlimited continue system I simply cannot lose the game.
two discs??? there is no way this game needed to be put on 2 discs. I beat 4 and 5 consecutively in an hour and 20 minutes. 15 of those minutes were spent changing the discs and letting the game load. Hell you could probably fit the entire metal slug series on one DVD so why did they need to split this up?
lack of swastikas. I do not remember if the arcade version had real swastikas or not. It is blatantly obvious that these are supposed to be fighting Nazis and it is one of the things I love about this game but they lose points for not having the balls to put in a real swastika.
no custom sound tracks. custom soundtracks was one of the reasons I bought the Xbox in the first place and its more than a little disappointing that SNK was unable to include this feature.
After your 40 minutes of brainless shooting you are rewarded with nothing more than an excited male congratulating you by letting you know that "MISSION ALL OVER!".
Save your quarters for the arcade version. Metal Slug 4 & 5 get a 7.5/10 but the Xbox version gets a 5/10.