Metal Slug 4 & 5 (Xbox) review
"Metal Slug 4 is HARD, therefore it deserves an introduction. For the last couple of years, I've heard a lot of negative things about this game, like how totally different it is from previous Slugs, or that it's too easy. Now that I've finally had the chance to play the title in this double pack, I'm stumped. It's not the plague that almost everyone seems to claim it is, and for the most part, it's basically on par with its predecessors. "
Metal Slug 4 is HARD, therefore it deserves an introduction. For the last couple of years, I've heard a lot of negative things about this game, like how totally different it is from previous Slugs, or that it's too easy. Now that I've finally had the chance to play the title in this double pack, I'm stumped. It's not the plague that almost everyone seems to claim it is, and for the most part, it's basically on par with its predecessors.
Keeping with the chaotic tone of the series, you'll get to pick one (or two) of four PF Squad soldiers (Marco and Fio *swoons*, and two newcomers, ex-model Nadia and Trevor, the Dracula killer reject) and go up against the entire terrorist-group Amadeus. Over the span of six missions, you'll gun your way through the usual green-wearing soldiers on city streets, knife snow monsters in ice caves, blow up pirates with a rocket launcher on a ship at sea, and so on. Yes, it's basically more of the same, especially when you enter areas with exact backdrops from previous titles, but there's enough new stuff here to satisfy. Like the pirates. I mentioned the pirates, right? Because pirates rock.
The thing that really makes it stand out from the rest is its tough difficulty. Hell, they should have named this Masochist Slug. In almost every mission, you are constantly in danger of dying if you screw up just a little bit because of the enemy's relentlessness to knock you into next Wednesday. This is great for people wanting a challenge and attempt to one credit the game, but it can be overwhelming at times, specifically in the later missions where it's butt-clenchingly hard. This can be a turnoff for some gamers, especially to the newcomers, and that's why I am thankful for the inclusion of infinite continues.
Those who don't have a brain will call this an abomination, but you get the best of both worlds with this feature: if you want to one credit (or whatever you consider a challenge), just restart the whole game when the continue screen pops up, and if you want a quick, fun playthrough (with a friend, no less), then you don't have to worry about getting pushed back to the beginning of a mission when you lose, like the US Xbox version of Metal Slug 3.
Metal Slug 5, the other game in this obviously-named compilation, is quite refreshing, from a graphical point of view that is. Ever since the first Metal Slug, you've been fighting against the same enemy, with little additions in each sequel, but in this sequel, all of that has been replaced with a new threat, and with that comes new types of foes. Marco, Fio *swoons*, Tarma, and Eri (am I the only one that thinks she looks like a female Link?) will have to battle giant mask-wearing natives inside an ancient ruin, storm a Metal Slug factory filled with archaeologists and ninjas, and dive underwater to take on humongous squids, among other things. Like I said, it's a nice change of pace from what you'd normally see in a Slug sequel.
The action is basically what you'd come to expect and love, but it's such a simple game to play this time around, especially after MS4's masochist gameplay. Sounds like a bad thing, but you'll probably enjoy this more than that title. It has plenty of cool moments, like mission three's boss battle where you're pitted against a giant, robotic spider sticking to the windows of a skyscraper, and in mission 5, you'll tear enemy ass inside a..... spider slug in a subway station. And the ninjas. I mentioned the ninjas, right? Because ninjas rock.
Overall, it's a pretty good compilation, despite only having two games. If say, it was a compilation of a fighting game that has been released a thousand times before and the third version of its sequel, then yeah, I would be upset. But these two "shameful" sequels pack enough chaotic action to satisfy anyone willing to give it a fair shot. Hey, it's either this or Metal Slug 3D..... unless that actually turns out good.
Community review by dementedhut (September 05, 2005)
Alternative header: Rock and a Hard Place
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