590th played so far
Genre: Shoot ‘Em Up
Platform: Neo Geo
Year of Release: 1996
Developer: Nazca Corporation
Publisher: Nazca Corporation/SNK
One of the difficulties I’m starting to face with this list is that a bunch of games blur together. Metal Slug is a run and gun platform shooter, It looks a bit like Ghosts ‘n Goblins or, to stick to the genre slightly better, Green Beret.
Metal Slug is ten years newer, which shows in the graphics and should in the gameplay. Beyond that, the book doesn’t add more on what makes it unique, other than being well balanced in its setup.
I don’t think I’ve ever really goten this genre. I don’t enjoy being overwhelmed by enemies this way – I prefer more deliberate play – and beyond that it can feel like there’s little in the game that interests me.
The graphics and environment are the two things that impress the most, and in a way that links the two together. The game has its cartoonish elements. It’s quite colourful and varied, not just from taking you many places, but from the details that are present in the environments. These aren’t the clean, simple houses from earlier games. They’re ramshackle, patched up where needed and with plenty of loose items. These same items also prove useful – you can shoot them, making them fall, then dropping them on enemies or unlocking the path forward. There’s a bunch of different versions of this, and often the fact that it happens is enough of a nice surprise.
That’s where the game continued to keep me going. The rush of new environments gives me a reason to keep going, but it gets hard. You can find and free prisoners of war, but dying removes those from your list, never giving me the bonus points.
While I see this as one of the better games of its type, the difficulty and speed required clearly don’t sit that well with me as far as playing it goes. Still, the amount of time it entertained me says how well the game actually does its job.