SNK addressed a few issues with the Playstation 3 release of Metal Slug 2. When it first appeared on the Neo-Geo back in 1998, it suffered from slowdown when too many sprites appeared on-screen. To remedy this problem in the Playstation 3 release, SNK included a CPU over-clock feature. This eliminates any slowdown that would normally occur during the original game.
The default game setting is the censored ‘English’ version with ‘white’ blood, but selecting ‘Japanese’ as the default language unlocks the blood and gore of the arcade version. Just about everything in the game remains in English.
Metal Slug 2 is a major improvement over the original Metal Slug. A new selection of ‘Slugs’ make their debut, including the Camel Slug (a camel with dual canons with a basket on its back) and a Slug mech suit. Tarma and Marco, the heroes of the original Metal Slug, are joined by two female companions — Eio and Fio. Even General Morden – the evil dictator from the original game – has returned for another try at world domination.
Metal Slug 2’s gameplay is just as fast and unforgiving as the original. When you’re not shooting enemy soldiers, you’re rescuing prisoners and collecting the weapon upgrades, grenades, and items they drop.
The biggest improvement to Metal Slug 2 is the sheer scale of destruction that can be done to the environments. Just about everything can be destroyed, including buildings, cars, crates, signs, and light poles. Objects like doors and bricks will fly at the screen when a building explodes, and even the occasional soldier will follow.
MS2 is an extremely difficult game. Even when the game’s difficulty is set to easy, the sheer number of soldiers and tanks that appear on-screen is staggering. The bosses are a challenge regardless of the game’s difficulty. Not only do they fill half the screen, but they can take a considerable amount of damage.
Like most Neo-Geo games, you are given four continues and three lives (the number of lives can be increased in the options menu before starting the game), but expect to continue often regardless. The trick to surviving in Metal Slug 2 – especially when you’re out of continues – is to continue the game as player 2. This will only work if you have a second Playstation 3 controller, however.
Metal Slug 2 includes six chapters, new weapons like the Laser, and a unique cast of creatures that includes aliens and zombies. SNK spent a considerable amount of effort making this sequel every bit as good as the original.
Metal Slug 2 looks beautiful in HD even when the graphic smoothing option is not on. This is just a testament to the Neo-Geo’s hardware capabilities. Even the sound effects – which range from screams to loud explosions – sound absolutely incredible. The classic Metal Slug music is also a plus, adding to the game’s frantic atmosphere.
While it may not be Metal Slug X (which was a technical upgrade to MS2, with less slowdown and additional features), Metal Slug 2 plays incredibly well thanks to the options that were included with its release. Fans of the genre who haven’t played Metal Slug 2 are missing out. You haven’t experienced anything quite like this.
Platform: Playstation 3 (Available on PSN)
ESRB: T (Teen)
Price: $8.99 ($7.19 Playstation Plus)
|The classic 2D graphics are breathtaking in HD.|
|Loud explosions, screams, and great music enhance the experience.|
|Metal Slug 2 is not an easy shooter to complete.|
|This is one shooter that gamers will enjoy.|