Review by: Patrick Tan
Metal Slug for Saturn is a perfect port of the arcade version of the same game. This is a sprite-based 2D side scrolling platform shooting game (like Contra and Gunstar Hero) with the emphasis on blasting action, no exploration or whatsoever is required. There are a total of 6 long mind-blowing levels for you to blast your way through. In addition to the arcade mode, the Saturn version adds a Combat School mode where you can choose to play Survival Attack or Pinpoint Attack: Survival Attack tracks how far you can achieve with just one life while Pinpoint Attack tracks how fast you can finish a level. Both Attack modes save the best results in the system memory.
SNK arcade system so far still has the best 2D graphics games. Their 2D games are famous for having lots of explosion and background animations in addition to the main game’s action, Metal Slug is no exception. In fact, Metal Slug main attraction is the beautiful and detail sprite graphics together with tons of animations/explosions going on at one time. The game easily attracts lots of observers when someone is playing it in the arcades. The Saturn version, with the help of the RAM cart, is the exact duplication of the arcade version in the graphics department, animation and game speed. Although there are some slowdown like the arcade, it is nothing to worry about. To sum up, Metal Slug has the best 2D hand drawn graphics and animation of such game genre.
There is nothing to talk about the control, it is responsive and does what it suppose to do. The only gripe I have is that you can’t fire diagonal direction, but that is not the control’s fault, it’s the way the game is design, to make it more challenging.
This game is very fun to play and visually very nice to watch. It is always fun to play a game that blasts away everything in sight, plus the fact that the explosions/animations created are visually stunning, you know you can’t go wrong with this game. Furthermore, the action is very intense and the control is tight. With the addition of the Combat School mode that saves your best scores, the lastability is ensured as well.
This is the best game of such genre on any system at moment (it beats the Contra series with its huge explosions and detailed animations). Although it is a 2D game, I highly recommend this game to anyone that likes action games. The 2D graphics is better than most 3D graphics. In fact, this is one game genre that I hope game developer will leave it at 2D (Saturn and Playstation version of Contra has proved that moving this kind of game to 3D is bad, it makes that game unplayable). The only problem is this game requires the RAM cart to play, which make it difficult for US Saturn to play the game (the swap method is the only way). Luckily it has been announced that this game will be launched in US as well, so no action fans should miss this.