Metal Slug: Reception

NeoGeo’s Metal Slug version received very positive reviews. In a retrospective review, scored the game 9 out of 10; “coming back to Metal Slug feels like returning to visit an old friend–it’s just as good as you remember it no matter how long it’s been since you last saw each other. Metal Slug is not only an insane amount of fun–it’s also one of the best games to illustrate the genre, and among the best titles on the Neo, period.”When the game was released on the Virtual Console in 2008, IGN’s Lucas M. Thomas scored it 8.5 out of 10, and awarding it an “Editor’s Choice” badge; “Metal Slug is arguably the most notable Neo Geo action game ever made. It’s an excellent game to play through yourself, and even better when tackled with a friend through its co-op mode.” Eurogamer’s Dan Whitehead wasn’t quite as impressed, scoring the game 7 out of 10. Although he praised the original game, he was critical of the port, criticizing the lack of support for online multiplayers, in comparison to the Xbox Live release, and writing “A fantastic game then, in a slightly inferior technical presentation that offers poor value compared to the other available methods of sampling this fine shooter. Truly, Nintendo giveth and Nintendo taketh away.”

However Electronic Gaming Monthly heavily criticized the game’s unfair difficulty and one-hit deaths, remarking that playing through the arcade version requires an inordinate amount of quarters, while the Neo Geo AES version’s lack of an option for limited continues means players of all skill levels can complete it in a single sitting, with no motivation to play again or improve one’s skill at the game. However, they also concurred that the game is fun, chiefly due to its smooth and humorous animations. Major Mike of GamePro agreed that the Neo Geo version suffers from low longevity, with too few levels and a complete lack of replay value, and also criticized the slowdown in the game. However, he approved of the graphics, music, and arsenal of weapons, and summarized the game as “a soldier-slamming, side-scrolling, tour de force that dwarfs recent side-scrolling Neo shoot-em-ups, including the system’s strongest platform offerings like Cyber-Lip and Top Hunter.”

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