Metal Slug – Review

Sega Saturn (Japan Import)

1997 – SNK

Can you believe it? Here I am writing another review for Gametrog! I know that you know me for my reviews of fighting games and beat em ups, but today I am going to flip the script! When you think of the genre of game known as the “Run & Gun” you think of games like Contra, Heavy Barrel, and Ikari Warriors! You are a one man army (in some cases 2 when playing with a friend) against enemies of all kinds with guns, bombs and other weapons of destruction. In the 90s, one game in this genre would set the bar. Arcades across the world got the latest offering from Neo Geo. While they were known for their fighting games, they would also take some time out to bring us one of the most popular run & gun games of all time. That game would be Metal Slug. The game would not only be released in arcades, the game would also be released for the Neo Geo’s home console which were the Neo Geo AES and the Neo Geo CD while spawning a plethora of sequels still available to play today for current consoles such as the Playstation 4.. Metal Slug would also be ported to the 32 bit platforms in Japan for the Sony Playstation as well as the Sega Saturn. Today’s review is going to be about the Sega Saturn port of the game.

The Story:

In the year 2028, the devious General Morden and his rebel army launch a coup to take down the world’s governments, and the armies of the world are helpless to stop the maniacal general. General Morden also has access to an all terrain vehicle and weapon known as “Metal Slug”. Who can turn the tide against this kind of evil? The Peregrine Falcon Strike Force assign Cpt. Marco Rossi and Lt. Tarma Roving to battle their way to General Morden’s powerbase to take the base down.

The Gameplay:

You go into this game gun ablazing! ! Not only must you try to destroy all enemies in sight, you also make it your mission to save POWs throughout each level. When freed, they leave things such as additional bombs as well as weapons such as heavy machine guns, shotguns, and even flame throwers. If you survive until the end of a level without dying, you get bonus points for each POW you save, however, if you die before the end of the level, you get no bonus points. In a lot of ways, Metal Slug is no different from a lot of other games of this genre where you also have to avoid being hit because that one hit can kill you! The gameplay is fun, but even more fun with another player kicking ass along with you! The only drawback is the load time that comes with CD based games.

 

The Characters:

Captain Marcos Ross

An Italian American, who after graduating from the Military Academy, made it his mission to take out General Morden for causing the death of so many of his friends. He has a strong love for computer science and computer programming.

Lieutenant Tarma Roving

Roving is what some would call a prodigy. He is the son of a distinguished soldier, and began his education at the Special Forces Training School after junior high school. He would meet Rossi after being assigned to the P.F. Squad. The 2 would fast become best friends. His main hobby is making customized motorcycles

General Donald Morden

Morden is the nefarious leader of the evil terrorist organization The Rebel Army. He is a Regular Army Officer turned bad after his son was killed in a bombing in Central park due to a miscommunication from the Regular Army. He gathered defectors to join him in his plot for revenge against the Regular Army. His succession of victories against the Regular Army gives him more power, and he then sets his eyes on the Regular Army’s creation of The Metal Slugs which he seizes for himself.

 

The Controls:

Metal Slug for the Sega Saturn has very basic controls. A to Shoot! B to Jump! And C to Toss Bombs! You also use the directional pad to move and to shoot in all directions. Trust me, you will find yourself shooting all directions often.

 

The Graphics:

Compared to most Beat Em Ups at the time, the graphics aren’t as good. The characters are crudely drawn, and the sprites on the screen are actually pretty large. Does it really take away from the game? Not really, but just don’t expect what you would see from something released from Capcom or Konami during that same time period. It was pretty clear that Electronic Devices didn’t have the same budget as the other guys.

The Sound:

As you would expect with any CD based game, the sound quality is excellent. The game has an excellent soundtrack and wonderful character voices and sounds. Everything you would expect from a Run & Gun created by SNK.

The Difficulty:

I will say this! It is great that you can change the difficulty settings as there is nothing easy about this game. With the margin of error being so slim, you will find yourself grateful for the fact that you have Continues available to you as well as the fact that the system lets you start from the last round you made it to each time you turn on the console.

 

The Verdict:

Since Metal Slug was a Japanese exclusive for the Sega Saturn, you would need the Mega Action Replay with the 4M to make your Sega Saturn region free. You can pick one up on eBay or through Ali Express. The game is pretty pricey, however, I would advise trying to find a repro copy if you can! This is an excellent game to have in your collection, you won’t be disappointed. I give it 4 out of 5 Trogs!

4 out of 5 TROGS!

GameTrog Review By

Ultragoldenant

 

Ultragoldenant is a nerdy father of 3 from outside of Pittsburgh, PA. He also collects wrestling memorabilia, enjoys cosplay, and has a deep love for the decade known as the 90s! 

 

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