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Metal Slug 6 (Arcade) artwork

Metal Slug 6 (Arcade) review


"As the wind rolls across the plains, the Peregrine Falcons Special Forces Unit ventures forth into yet another battleground. Somewhere out there in that flowing tall grass, a bunch of General Morden’s Rebel goons have set up camp. It’s not like they were careful about hiding their whereabouts; there are shell casings littering the dirt and supplies strewn about. Even the soldiers’ voices can be heard on the breeze. You’d think that getting their asses kicked so many times in the past, the Rebels..."



As the wind rolls across the plains, the Peregrine Falcons Special Forces Unit ventures forth into yet another battleground. Somewhere out there in that flowing tall grass, a bunch of General Morden’s Rebel goons have set up camp. It’s not like they were careful about hiding their whereabouts; there are shell casings littering the dirt and supplies strewn about. Even the soldiers’ voices can be heard on the breeze. You’d think that getting their asses kicked so many times in the past, the Rebels would finally accept that the crooked beliefs and fanatical ambition of their leader are lost causes. Unfortunately, it’ll take more than logical reasoning to take these guys down. With little other choice, the Peregrine Falcons shoot an unending hail of bullets into their enemies and send the plain awash in blood.

For the fans of the Metal Slug series, these kinds of scenes should sound all too familiar. After enduring five epic crusades for the world’s salvation, Marco, Tarma, Eri, and Fio have slaughtered countless legions of inept foes and murderous adversaries. Despite their most valiant efforts, however, they’ve been unable to accomplish their mission of bring peace to mankind. Their arch-nemesis, General Morden, is back after taking a brief hiatus and more ruthless than ever. Armed with his seemingly endless army of tanks, planes, tentacle aliens, and military flunkies, he’s revived his bid for world domination. On top of all that, yet another alien race has shown up to kick everyone’s ass, regardless if they’re good or evil. Needless to say, things are going to get mighty ugly.

The combat has gotten so fierce, in fact, that our heroes have been forced to expand their roster. Unlike those wimpy trainees from Metal Slug 4, however, these new allies are the best in the business. Ralf Jones and Clark Steel, the heroes of Ikari Warriors and King of Fighters fame, have stepped up to dish out some badass punishment. Not only can Clark use all the weaponry in the game, but he can also grab enemies and fling them skyward like giant hunks of pizza dough. Then there’s Ralf, the embodiment of unbridled manliness. Not only can the man take two bullets before biting the dust, but can also use his highly honed combat abilities to punch through any soldier, alien, armored tank, and whatever else he sees fit for annihilation. Such awesome power is balanced out by having his ammo halved, which makes him far tougher to use in the long run. The traditional Metal Slug crew has also gotten the same kind of treatment; each character has unique attributes to mold around your playing style. Be it Marco’s doubly powerful rounds or Eri’s ungodly supply of grenades, you’ll be sure to find a character best suited for you.

Despite these newfangled skills, Metal Slug 6 strives for the traditional gameplay established in the first three Metal Slug titles. While the last few installments in the series focused more on small groups of enemies and brief, concise levels, this game focuses more on the aspects that made its earlier predecessors so great: massive amounts of enemies (even for Metal Slug standards), ungodly difficulty, fast-paced gameplay and over-the-top epic style. This game spares no expense in sending out enemies to kill you; while you may smirk at Morden’s pathetic underlings, you won’t be laughing when you have to face an onslaught of twenty diehard aliens at once or legions of human and extraterrestrial enemies rushing from every direction. Ever see a bus-flinging, lazer-spewing 50-foot tall robot out for your blood? Didn’t think so. Don’t worry; all of the tried and true weapons of the previous Metal Slug games are present and accounted for, from the Heavy Machine Guns to the Bouncy Balls of Doom. Just grab a weapon (or two, since this game allows you to carry more multiple guns for once), shoot the hell out of everything, and pray that you don’t die in the next five seconds.

Fans of the older games will appreciate seeing Morden’s troops and the squid aliens, whose animations and attacks have been ripped directly from preceding titles. After so many years, it’s still wonderfully satisfying to equip a flamethrower and watch the nearest foe burn into a heap of charred flesh. Considering the ample amount of aliens looking to rip you into gory pieces, you’ll have many an opportunity to breakout a shotgun and litter the ground with dismembered body parts and slimy guts. The game boasts five lengthy levels of incredibly detailed environments and battlegrounds. Just imagine having to cross the Golden Gate Bridge by blasting through an entire army of killer Independence Day wannabes, or dismembering a giant tank as it barrages you with missile fire and careens down a muddy hillside. How about shooting down an entire UFO armada from the back of a packing mule? With flowing grasslands, dank and grimy sewers, and bustling inner-city ghettos to fight through, Metal Slug 6 offers the most vivid portrayal of mindless bloodshed ever seen in the entire series.

Considering the lacking quality of the last two Metal Slug titles, it’s understandable how some fans wouldn’t bother giving this latest installment a try. Fear not, wary veterans; Metal Slug 6 hearkens back to the basics that made the series so popular in the first place. There’s an unprecedented amount enemies, making for a truly brutal gunfight. The plot picks up with the classic theme of a maniacal dictatorship and alien invasion and runs with it, giving gamers even more diehard foes to take down. All the heroes from olden times are back and ready to kick ass with new abilities, offering more strategy as opposed to mere shooting. The presence of two of the biggest badasses in the SNK universe makes things far more fun than the usual run-and-gun style of gameplay. With long levels and a considerable difficulty level, you’ll be spending a fortune in quarters before you finally reach the game’s climatic ending. But considering what Metal Slug 6 offers, it’s worth it. Sixth time’s the charm.

Rating: 9/10

disco's avatar
Community review by disco (April 16, 2007)

Disco is a San Francisco Bay Area native, whose gaming repertoire spans nearly three decades and hundreds of titles. He loves fighting games, traveling the world, learning new things, writing, photography, and tea. Not necessarily in that order.

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