Review by ZFS
"It's Metal Slug ... with an X -- it must be extreme!"
Metal Slug X is possibly one of the best 2-D shooter type game I've played. It's a very fun addictive game and if you've ever played a Neo Geo it will really take your cash away if you've never played it before. The great thing about Metal Slug X is it features 4 different characters unlike the first who just featured Marco. The 4 different characters: Marco, Eri, Tarma, and Fio are a great addition to the game and allow you to complete the game as multiple characters instead of just one. The graphics of this game are great considering what system it was for. Instead of the awful horrible graphics who might expect Metal Slug X actually has pretty good graphics and features a variety of different ''death'' scenes when you shoot soldiers or enemy tanks. The coolest thing about Metal Slug X though is the ability to ride the four different vehicles, the gun mounted Camel, the Metal Slug Tank, and the Metal Slug Iron Suit, and the Aircraft. As you can probably tell Metal Slug is a code name for the two prototype weapons, which I listed above. Well anyway it's time to get onto the review to explain just how great this game is...
The graphics in Metal Slug X are actually pretty good, the character and enemy are definitely different from one another so there isn't really repetitive enemies. The background and foreground graphics are awesome as well, for instance while walking in the dirt you'll find that it leaves footprints right behind you! That's awesome for a game like this and the multiple things that you'll see with the characters will sometimes make you laugh because if you come up from behind an enemy while he's talking he'll freak out and begin to run away and it's always fun to scare them like that sometimes. Although the game runs on sprites the sprites themselves are very well done and really are not that bad. The funniest character design they did though was the U.N. Inspector who you will see frequently throughout the game and sometimes he gives you items that he leaves in a brief case. It's great to see him talking with the enemy sometimes and the graphical animations on the characters and funny. Overall the graphics in this game are truly awesome and very good for a game like this one and definite plus to the game is the graphics.
Metal Slug X features a different kind of gameplay that MS1 and 2 didn't. MSX features harder missions, different units, more prisoners of war to rescue and of course a Lt. by the name of Rumi Akumura who you can rescue in every level for big points. The basic point of MSX is to make your way through 6 different missions spanning across different parts of the middle east I suppose in search of the an evil General who is planning an attack on ''good side''. Through 6 different missions you'll play has a character and have a certain amount of credits to get through the game before you come up upon a boss that you must fight in every level to access the next level. The boss battles like in Metal Slug's are hard and will cost you multiple lives if you're not fairly well at the game. While the bosses are a lot easier in previous Metal Slugs the ones in X are actually quite hard and you might find yourself losing some Credits the first time you play through it, but nothing to much to worry about.
Now SNK really did a nice job of actually making the levels quite hard, despite the first few levels the levels toward the end of the game tend to get really hard and require to do a number of different ''skilled'' techniques in order to pass through that level instead of just run in there and start slashing and shooting. While this is a shooter/action it isn't all about running through and just firing at everything you see to make your way to the end, no, rather in some later levels you'll have to take things slower and concentrate on destroying more dangerous enemies instead of just shooting and skill everything you want. The great thing about this games comes from the fun you have ducking, running, jumping and shooting all to see yourself making it through a level and find that there is a Bazooka shot about 2 inches in front of you and you duck, while it goes straight past you. That is a feeling that makes you just want to go through and begin to shoot and slash at the enemies. The game itself though is very, very gory; unless you're playing a censored version you will see lots of gore. While this isn't exactly a good point to the game it sort of adds realism to it I guess.
Another fun part of the game is rescuing friendly soldiers that are Prisoners of War so that you can get added points to your score at the very end. It is very fun to try to search and find all of the PoW's so that you get different power-ups and items from them, because you took your time away to rescue them, this is always cool and will get you tons of points at the end of the level. A disappointment to me would have to be when you lose a life, not a credit, you lose every POW you rescued and you can't go back and re-rescue them. While it does make you not wanna lose a life sometimes you just are in that situation where no matter what you do you are going to get hit and die and sometimes you'll have a long line of PoW's that you rescued only to lose them again. This in my opinion is a disappointment, but nothing to major to make the game bad. The one MAJOR disappointment I had to have with this game is that it is way to short, I mean there are only 6 missions in which a boss is at the end of each, but once you get the hang of it it'll be really easy to go through and you can do it without losing all of your credits. But besides that no other real major complaint.
The sound and music of this game is pretty average. I mean it's not extremely good or extremely bad. While most of the music you hear isn't catchy it sort of adds a calmness or rush feeling through you when there are a lot of enemies on screen or a boss battle is coming up. This isn't the best part of the game, but it does help the game out sometimes in the music area. The sound part of the game is actually pretty good because the different explosions and tanks shells being fired is always fun to hear and sometimes when you hear a certain sound it sort of helps you out because you look for what was fired, I find that pretty cool but it doesn't make up for the average music and sound. Nothing to great here.
Overall Metal Slug X is a tremendous game that should always be played whenever you can, but I really doubt you'll ever find a Neo Geo to play it on since it wasn't released in America last time I checked so if your ever in Japan or that part of the world check at Metal Slug X and give it a try it's a great game that will keep you coming back for more. The graphics a nothing short of great, the gameplay is awesome and the sound/music is average put it all together and you have yourself one great game that really should be looked into.
Final Score: 8.0
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 10/13/02, Updated 05/30/06
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