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Old 07-26-2016, 02:14 AM
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Default You're great: Talking about the Metal Slug series

Can we talk about Metal Slug?

Unless I'm mistaken the general mood towards the series is sort of negative around here, which I can't understand. There seem to be comparisons made to Contra which is understandable but I think the Metal Slugs stand up on their own merits, all of them are worth playing I'd say. Thinking I'll post a little rundown of them.

Metal Slug

First one and my favourite on some days of the week. It's a pleasantly bare-bones thing, nice and straightforward left-to-right blast with a heavy focus on spectacle and some of the greatest sprites ever. That persists throughout the series.

Metal Slug 2

Really solid, but it does that thing where the first four levels are pretty doable then the final two are next to impossible regardless of your difficulty setting. Also riddled with slowdown - that is, the whole game is effectively in slow motion. Introduces a fair number of the elements the games became known for, but not as much as...

Metal Slug X

Basically a revision of 2, it improves on it in many ways. Some will argue that it is a step down in terms of level design, but I'm not really sure why. Adds more vehicles, more weapons and a ton of secrets. My favourite on most days of the week.

Metal Slug 3

This is the big one, it's SNK's final Metal Slug (for now) and widely considered the best one in the series. I don't agree, as I find the game laden with bullet-sponge enemies from the off, and also packed with longeurs that get tedious for me, like the widely-acclaimed second stage full of zombies. Cool as hell, but only once. Every subsequent play just leads to frustration at how the stage is effectively a straight line full of enemies that take about ten bullets (in a game with no autofire, but this is alleviated by the ports adding it in), and a zombie transformation that is definitely awesome but also serves to make you slower than mollasses, with a death animation that seems to last a full minute.

By my standards we're talking about a 9/10 where X is a 10/10. So still a great game full of visual flair and many routes through the levels - I've played 100 times and still never seen the Ostrich Slug that's apparently in there. It's just got flaws that to my mind aren't well-documented enough.

Metal Slug 4

Widely considered the worst in the series as it's mostly composed of heavily rehashed sprites and more straightforward enemies, but I'm actually okay with that as a nice refresher after the sheer excess of Metal Slug 3. Pretty short and easy but definitely not a bad game.

Metal Slug 5

Batshit insane nonsense plot-wise, pretty fun playing-the-game-wise. Adds a massively pointless Mega Man-esque sliding move, and features some of my favourite boss fights in the series, such as the tank that does wheelies and the spider harpoon thing climbing down the side of a skyscraper. Also features the single most inexplicable final boss this side of Necron.

Metal Slug 6

SNK returns for more complete overkill. Adds two new characters from the Ikari Warriors series (Ralf and Clark) and gives each playable soldier a unique special move. One of them is the ability to take an extra hit before dying, which makes them the obvious choice to anyone on the planet. Made with SNK's Atomiswave hardware, which means lots of gratuitous zooming in and out. Good, but overstuffed.

Metal Slug 7

On Nintendo DS so it looks like complete shit, but plays pretty well. Basically more Metal Slug 6. Was released on PSP (and maybe Xbox Live Arcade? Not sure) as Metal Slug XX, which is the same game except not compressed to dog shit. Worthwhile.

And that's it for the main series so far, I think. Metal Slug: 1st Mission and 2nd Mission for Neo Geo Pocket Colour are both excellent. Oh and Metal Slug Advance is an interesting game, too.

There's all my unsolicited Metal Slug opinions. Now tell me yours, unless they're "Metal Slug is shit in a toilet" in which case either do not or provide invective-free reasoning.
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Old 07-26-2016, 05:52 AM
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Metal Slug 1
I have this game on the PS2 SNK Arcade Collection. There's a little bit of input lag but it's playable. This is my favorite Metal Slug game because it's relatively easy and you can have a friend with no experience with the game play along and not get crushed. With some practice you can beat the game with only a few credits. I tend to think that these games are mainly about using your weapons in a smart way and letting those grenades fly. It's not as twitchy as Contra and that's OK.

Metal Slug 3
I own this on PS4 PSN. It's a really nice port that looks and plays great. Of course, you have to turn off the pixel smoothing. This game is really hard though. Some of the bosses take minutes to destroy. I still like it but not as much as 1.

Metal Slug 7
I used to own the DS cartridge. If I'm not mistaken, this is one of the more expensive DS games now. It's a good game, but also more difficult than 1. It's been a few years since I played it but I remember the game being pretty stingy with continues. You have to practice it a lot if you want to beat it. I can respect this though. A neat addition to this game is multiple playable characters with different attributes. (Or maybe this was introduced in an earlier game I didn't play). I think the graphics are good considering the DS screen resolution.

The SNK Arcade Collection has two games that are worth playing if you're a Metal Slug Fan. Shock Troopers is a super fun top-down run and gun with a similar military theme, and Last Resort is a shoot em up with Metal Slug-esque graphics.
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Old 07-26-2016, 06:07 AM
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I enjoyed 1, X, and 3. I mainly am familiar with X from the Playstation release. Played through it many times due to the unlimited continues and occasionally having a buddy do it in co-op.

I had picked up Metal Slug 3 on X-Box. I wasn't as fond of that version. I loved the game, to be sure, but it limited continuing, so I could only see so much of the game. While it pushed me to be better at it, I don't own that version any longer.

The Metal Slug Anthology was a great idea. The PS2 version was technically hampered, though. The Wii version was better, but whoever designed the control methods was a total moron. There's no support for classic control, the Wii Remote method forces a motion for grenade use with no reconfig option, and while the Gamecube Controller is supported, you can't play these digitally-controlled games with the Gamecube's d-pad, only with the analog stick.

I never much got into the games post-4.

The Neo Geo Pocket Color games are pretty good. 1st mission sacrifices in-game pausing, unfortunately. 2nd mission is better in every way.

I played Advance briefly and didn't care for it.

The portable games are odd exceptions in that they're the only games that are designed solely for home consumption. While the rest are good games, they're inherently still designed to suck quarters. Despite Contra's reputation for difficulty, most of the series is fairly well balanced, although many of the games almost require you to memorize everything, since there's little room for error. I generally will enjoy the Metal Slugs way more if I can just Free Play through the games.
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Old 07-26-2016, 06:16 AM
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There's an interview with Nazca developers in the Untold Story of Japanese Video Game Developers Vol. 2. Two of the anecdotes I remember from the interview

- Initially, the tanks were the playable characters of the game. It wasn't until a negative focus test that they decided to add human playable characters and make the tanks instead vehicles that you could enter.

- Nazca / SNK management thought Metal Slug was a mediocre game and shipped it with reservations. Pretty mind boggling. Although on the other hand all the managers I have had at work are pretty dim.
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Old 07-26-2016, 07:15 AM
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I appreciate how Metal Slug 3 turns the story into an urgent rescue mission at the end. It's different, and it just leaves a big impression every time I play it. It's really well told using only level design and incidental animations.

The ending to Metal Slug 3, where they are in the lifeboat and the 2nd character tosses their gun into the ocean, is one of my favorite ending sequences. After an entire game of escalation it gives you that satisfying relief. Every game does the former, but they don't always go far enough with the latter. Watching the pistol sink into the ocean is the "and the Master Sword sleeps again... FOREVER!" moment.
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Old 07-26-2016, 08:07 AM
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Most of my Metal Slug experience is with 3 because there was a machine at my uni that I played a lot (I don't remember the ending dosboot describes, though. Guess I wasn't good enough). I think it's a great game and a great series. I love the animation, I love the way it plays, I love the sound ("rocket launcher"). Having to hammer the buttons works great on an arcade cabinet, maybe not so well on a controller. Metal Slug co-op is one of the funnest games I can think of.
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Old 07-26-2016, 08:23 AM
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Metal Slug 2 is the Metal Slug I like. The PSP version removes the slowdown.
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Old 07-26-2016, 08:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LancerECNM View Post
Metal Slug 2 is the Metal Slug I like. The PSP version removes the slowdown.
It's a really good one. X kind of supplanted it, in my opinion a little unfairly, because it does differ significantly in places
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Old 07-26-2016, 09:12 AM
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I have a couple of the steam releases, but I've only ever played a bit of Metal Slug in arcades. They're fantastic. Like, it never entered my mind that there might be a general sentiment against them.

They're some of SNK's finest work. Much better then any of their fighters (oh snaaaaaaaaaaaap)
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Old 07-26-2016, 09:12 AM
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I just recall some people here not being too fond? Maybe Kishi?
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Old 07-26-2016, 09:32 AM
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Man I loves me some Metal Slug; it's too well-animated and wacky for me to not enjoy it. I used to be able to clear the first game on a single credit in college. 1, 2 and X are the best for my money, although I have mad respect for the boss sprites in 3.

Apparently someone made more Metal Slug after that? And it's not great? Whatever.
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Old 07-26-2016, 09:37 AM
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The melee knife attack in these games is so satisfying. It sounds kind of like a Wolverine *SNIKT!*.
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Old 07-26-2016, 09:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madhair60 View Post
I just recall some people here not being too fond? Maybe Kishi?
Find them and I will hit them my boxing glove backpack
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Old 07-26-2016, 09:42 AM
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I've noticed a general preference for Contra over Metal Slug, but I can't say I've ever noticed any out-right dislike.
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Old 07-26-2016, 09:47 AM
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I would posit that the actual gameplay in Contra is probably tighter than in Metal Slug. But when I can waste scores of scimitar-throwing Bedouin warriors with a vulcan-equipped camel I don't really care
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Old 07-26-2016, 09:53 AM
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These are the different playable characters in 7. Adds some variety and replay value. I pasted those character descriptions from a FAQ.



Ralf--When you pick up a weapon, it won't have much ammo, but it will do tons of damage. He can also sustain two hits per life.

Marco--Strongest handgun.

Eri--Starts with 20 grenades and will gain 20 grenades each time grenades are found. She also has control over where grenades can be thrown (i.e. she can throw them straight up, straight down, and far across the screen).

Tarma--Best with slugs. In a slug his weapon will do 1.5x damage and he can also take more damage before the slug dies. He also has the vulcan fix ability, which is used in a slug by holding down the fire button. You'll be able to fire in one direction while moving in another. He can also hop out of the slug and heal the slug by pressing L+fire.

Fio--She has the most ammo when a weapon is picked up. She also begins with a heavy machine gun.

Clarke--By pressing Up+L+fire, he can toss enemies and grenades.
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Old 07-26-2016, 09:54 AM
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I mean, Contra has you running along a stampede of space crustaceans in one of its final levels, but Metal Slug has you fight a giant Hermit crab using an entire battleship as its shell in its first level.
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Old 07-26-2016, 10:42 AM
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Metal Slug is awesome, but many of the later games ain't that good. 7 in particular is mediocre, IMO. I have a copy of the DS version and...

I just don't like it. It feels balanced more for the arcade quarter munching difficulty, and that was a big mistake for a non-arcade game. The level designs also feel generic and like they were going through the motions.

7 just makes me sad.

6, IMO, is the last one I would outright call good, but I feel it's lesser in comparison to all of its older siblings aside from 1, which I feel is a little too basic. 2 added so much that made the series what it is, and, IMO, makes 1 obsolete.
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Old 07-26-2016, 11:03 AM
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I got Metal Slug 3 as a PS+ game. How do I make it fun?

It seems like the default setting is to have infinite lives. I got bored when I noticed this.

Is there a difficulty setting that makes the game fair but challenging? Or is this one of those arcade games I should just play through it the whole way one time for the spectacle?
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Old 07-26-2016, 11:05 AM
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I love the DS and 3DS and always wish they had more action games where you're shooting bad guys and desperately dodging bullets. So I'll always have a more generous standard for those games on the system because we get so few.
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Old 07-26-2016, 11:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by estragon View Post
I got Metal Slug 3 as a PS+ game. How do I make it fun?

It seems like the default setting is to have infinite lives. I got bored when I noticed this.

Is there a difficulty setting that makes the game fair but challenging? Or is this one of those arcade games I should just play through it the whole way one time for the spectacle?
Eh, I would not let the type of game dictate this decision for you. If you want to play that way, then do it. If you want to treat it more like a console game, then limit yourself in an ad hoc way until you beat it.

I usually like to give myself a set number of continues, but I might let myself credit feed on one level if I can't beat it reasonably yet. Limiting it to one level still feels satisfying since I know that I'm basically out of luck for the next level.
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Old 07-26-2016, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by estragon View Post
I got Metal Slug 3 as a PS+ game. How do I make it fun?

It seems like the default setting is to have infinite lives. I got bored when I noticed this.

Is there a difficulty setting that makes the game fair but challenging? Or is this one of those arcade games I should just play through it the whole way one time for the spectacle?
Metal Slug 3 is my vote for the all-time best spectacle in shootyman pixel games, and you may never live to see the ending if you try to skill your way through it.
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Old 07-26-2016, 11:40 AM
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I've personally never seen past the second stage of MS3, but that means I saw the Hermit Crabattleship MANY times.

So... call that a win.
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Old 07-26-2016, 11:51 AM
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I had a great time learning to play Metal Slug 3 properly.

Don't let the idea of "playing properly = 1cc" creep into your mind with these games though. With every Metal Slug that I've played I've been immensely satisfied with far lesser clears and when I tried to get 1cc's I didn't forsee being satisfied overcoming the remaining obstacles.
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Old 07-26-2016, 11:55 AM
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RAW-KET LAWN CHAIR
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Old 07-26-2016, 11:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dosboot View Post
I had a great time learning to play Metal Slug 3 properly.

Don't let the idea of "playing properly = 1cc" creep into your mind with these games though. With every Metal Slug that I've played I've been immensely satisfied with far lesser clears and when I tried to get 1cc's I didn't forsee being satisfied overcoming the remaining obstacles.
At my best I think I got to level 2 of MSX a handful of times on one credit.
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Old 07-26-2016, 12:02 PM
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Anyone else play Steel Commando on DSi?

It was Metal Slug in every way except title (main character was a slightly recolored Marco and everything) and, inexplicably, did not result in anyone getting sued.

It wasn't as good as Metal Slug proper, but it was playable enough and, well, as noted MS7 is prohibitively expensive.
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Old 07-26-2016, 12:11 PM
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Metal Slug 1 is the least bad one. 2 is still playable, and 3 is just a slog. X fixes the slowdown in 2 but otherwise makes it as tedious as 3, so it's a wash.

The main problem is that all enemies stronger than the basic cannon fodder have entirely too much HP. If you lose your special weapon during a boss fight, you can end up plinking away for upwards of five minutes before you can move on. I wish I were exaggerating.

The screen often gets so busy with explosions and show-off animations that it's easy to die just because you can't see what's happening. Also, the only way to aim diagonally is to switch back and forth between horizontal and vertical aiming in such a way that your angle of fire awkwardly drifts around the in-between. It's all very imprecise and unsatisfying.
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Old 07-26-2016, 12:25 PM
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I made the doomguy scream when I read that post, and lunch is ashes on my tongue
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Old 07-26-2016, 12:28 PM
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How shall I give thee up, Kishi?
how shall I deliver thee?
how shall I make thee as Captain McAwesomePants?
how shall I set thee as gNam?
mine heart is turned within me, my repentings are kindled together
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