After the success of Metal Slug 3 SNK Playmore saw on iOS and Android devices, the company has now brought us the original Metal Slug to our favorite mobile gaming platforms. Ported from the NeoGeo version of the 2D game, Metal Slug brings back the side scrolling shooter action in its full original glory. The game includes all the original 6 missions and offers flexibility of setting difficulty levels and playing it in either arcade or mission mode.
Metal Slug 1 is a faithful port of the NeoGeo hit title and it's one of the best in the series. The frantic actions, quick change of weapons, jumping in and out of tanks, everything that made the original game fun is here. Even though with a touch screen, the game offers excellent controls that should feel right at home for gamers who are used to dual stick shooter games by now. The game also lets you position the control buttons wherever you wish on the screen. The controls are mostly responsive, though in rare missions it feels a bit hard to control like the anti-aircraft gun on the boat. But all in all, the controls function well.
The game offers six long levels, just as in the original game version. You can play in either arcade model which starts you from Mission and keeps going as long as you're alive. The game gives you a very generous 20-credit to start in any difficulty level, and each credit gives you three lives. In this mode, the goal is to make for as long as you can and as many missions as you can, while staying alive and accumulating high score. Once you've cleared a mission, you can replay it in Mission mode later to hone your skills or just have fun with that mission. You can start with any mission in Mission mode and move forward from there. The game offers four difficulty levels, though gameplay doesn't change much between the levels, you get higher level when you start out in higher difficulty level and the higher level gets you high score. Metal Slug 1 adds an additional playing mode from the original, multiplayer mode via Bluetooth.
Graphics & Sound
Metal Slug 1 has the signature pixel art graphics that has become the signature of the series. The six mission takes place in six themed locations including the jungle, garrison cities, snowy mountain, ocean, streets of Paris and military base. Each theme has drastically different terrain and environment, and obstacles and enemy attacking units have different design to fit in their specific environment, like the divers with rockets on their backs in the ocean mission. The graphics look good, not as groundbreaking, but keeps the charge of the original graphics alive with style and humor. Enemy units have a comical way of acting and attacking. Another fun aspect to the gameplay was the creation of SVs (Super Vehicles) and the animation look nice and run smoothly in Metal Slug 1 on the iPad with Retina Display. Bullets and explosion might look simple compared to today's more sophisticated arsenal special effects, but they make the game fun to play nonetheless.
Metal Slug 1 has both background music and sound effects to company the non-stop action gameplay. Music has World War II war movie theme that features strong and upbeat style that you usually associate with heroes and victory. Sound effects are enough to keep things interesting. Not every enemy and action garner special sound bites but there's enough there to make you feel you're not mission anything. The signature voice over is included which should make long time fans happy.
After SNK Playmore ported Metal Slug 3, the fans of the series has pushed the company to port more from the series. Metal Slug 1 was certain the natural choice for porting. What would be better than starting with what made the series popular and famous in the first place? The company also announced that following Metal Slug 1, it'd port Metal Slug 2 as well as Metal Slug X to iOS and Android. Seeing what we received in Metal Slug 1 and Metal Slug 3, we can't wait for more titles from the series to make appearance. Some classics should live on, and Metal Slug series belongs on that list. If you're looking to relive the glory of the beginning of the Metal Slug, this is the game that gives you just that.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: -4- Simple pixel art in 2D, but unmistaken unique style loved by the fans of the series. Sound: -4- Full port of background music, sound effect and voice over. Controls: -4.5- Adjustable button locations, some missions the buttons could be more responsive. Gameplay: -4.5- No matter how many times you've beaten the game in the arcade or on your NeoGeo, the gameplay still holds enough charm that you want to play and replay it over and over.
Playing Hints and Tips:
Start with Arcade mode and unlock the mission, then use Mission mode to hone your skills.