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Metal Slug Anthology (PlayStation 2) artwork

Metal Slug Anthology (PlayStation 2) review



I've read nonsense on the back of a lot of game boxes, but this has to be in the top five. SNK Playmore must have a lax interpretation of what an arcade perfect port means. So, does this mean we should take out our pitchforks, march to their offices, and burn the entire place down, just to restore the mighty Super Vehicle's honor?

Put the pitchforks back in the closet, and save them for the day they try to make another 3D Metal Slug. Only the hardest of the hardcore and people who like to whine will have major issues with Metal Slug Anthology, a compilation title that, at the time of its release, included every game in the main series. This was a big deal, because up until that point, it was quite difficult to play any of these games at home. The first Metal Slug came out on the Sega Saturn and PlayStation in Japan only, Metal Slug 2 was completely skipped over in favor of releasing Metal Slug X on the PlayStation, and American gamers received a screwed up port, thanks to a slight change to the continue system, of Metal Slug 3 on the Xbox... four years after its original, arcade debut. Sadly, the best ports we managed to get were for Metal Slug 4 and 5 for the Xbox. Really, the only other legal method of playing these games back then were to buy a Neo-Geo and those expensive cartridges.

That's why Metal Slug Anthology is such a dream come true, finally giving us the ability to play all these Metal Slugs on one disc, on a single console. Experiencing the chaos, destruction, humor, and the detailed and fluid animations in one of these titles is one thing, experiencing it in all seven games is something else. Constantly dealing with General Morden's cannon fodder of an army, jumping into a variety of Metal Slugs, from the classic Super Vehicle-001 to the mech-like Slug Gunner, turning into a zombie that projectile vomits blood, fighting aliens, and dealing with the always awesome Allen O'Neil... it brings back a lot of fun times that was had with the series in the arcades. Thankfully, the continue system wasn't tampered with in this collection, and actually gives the player the option of picking from either a set amount of continues or free play. Not only that, but they included some nice extras, like art work, as well as music from all of the Metal Slugs.

Now, as I've mentioned, this isn't really an arcade perfect compilation. The slowdown has mostly been eliminated, only showing up just a tiny bit during intense moments. Yeah, that's an odd thing to nitpick about, but for fans who've been with the series since the beginning, it will be missed. In another series, the slowdown would have been dreadful, but for Metal Slug, it actually felt like part of the gameplay. It also made it possible to see how impressive the series' animation was, letting you witness just how well animated and detailed every character, vehicle, and explosion was. Would've been neat if they included a slow motion mode that emulated the slowdown when things got crazy. We'll live, though. Also, you'll have to get use to each game stopping to load every time it goes to a new stage or screen. Just be thankful it only lasts about three or four seconds, and not more. You actually get the hang of it after awhile.

There's also the factor that not everyone is going to like specific Metal Slug games as much as others in Metal Slug Anthology. Metal Slug 4 automatically comes to mind for some, as well as others preferring Metal Slug 2 over Metal Slug X, and vice versa. But, come on, you're getting all seven games on a single disc, for a reasonable price. It's a great deal no matter how you look at it.

pickhut's avatar
Featured community review by pickhut (May 12, 2009)

Alternative tagline: Hit the Road, Jack.

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