Metal Slug 3 is a run and gun style shooter that was released on SNK’s Neo Geo arcade systems back in 2000. It’s now been seventeen years since it’s original release, has it still held up? In my opinion, definitely and then some.
This instalment of the series follows the same gameplay that it’s known and loved for whilst adding a slew of new features. During gameplay you can choose which direction to take at certain intervals with the branching paths feature which allows for many ways to play through the game and adds plenty of replayability to the arcade action. It is possible that this may have been added as there is a lack of levels compared to previous instalments in the series and the game can be finished relatively quickly as it only features five levels.
Graphically it is a very pretty and colourful game to look at. The pixel graphics are very charming and feature many painstakingly yet lovingly created animations with tons of frames which still stand the test of time and are testament to the pure talent SNK and their staff had for creating video games. The game itself runs mostly at a solid 60fps although sometimes it will suffer from slowdowns when there are large explosions happening for example.
Alongside this are also many new weapons and vehicles which are a joy to use and blow things up with during your campaign against the rebels such as planes, tanks, helicopters, and even animals such as elephants with weapons mounted on them. Oh yeah that’s right, this arcade game does in fact have a plot if you’ve been able to understand what’s going on throughout the series which, if you take the time to look into, is actually quite bizarre albeit interesting.
There are a plethora of enemy types throughout the games many locations ranging from your standard enemy grunt to zombies, aliens, and everything in between. Along the way you’ll find yourself in radically changing environments, starting from a jungle, through a desert, fighting underwater and even in the sky along with all of the new vehicles this game brings to the series.
If you’ve played a Metal Slug title before you’ll be familiar with the gameplay. It’s 2D run and gun action that’s also got some verticality to it as enemies will come at you from the air as well as the ground with bullets and rockets flying everywhere, so much so that it’s almost reminiscent of a shmup. You’ll jump and duck across the screen desperate to avoid being hit by enemy fire as you’ll soon find out will kill you in one hit. Whilst to some players this may seem somewhat unfair however this is the norm for a lot of arcade games and it can be quite challenging so you’ll just need to git gud.
Control wise it’s very simplistic as you’d expect of a 2D arcade game. All you need is a joystick or d-pad and three buttons. One to shoot, one to jump and one for grenades. Don’t be fooled by the simplicity however as the Metal Slug series is known for being unforgiving to the uninitiated but don’t worry, you’ll learn. The game also features destructible scenery which is quite impressive for a game of this type and of it’s era.
All in all I give this version of Metal Slug 3 a 7/10. It has a few flaws but overall it’s graphics and animations still impress to this day with their level of detail and the classic arcade action is second to none. For best results, play it with a friend.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to email@example.com.
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