| paleface [sys=PS2; cat=Platformer; loc=NA] |
|It surprised me that this combo pack put the games on two separate DVDs, but I guess that was the easiest port job, since they sold separately in Japan. Suffice it to say, there are no loading times.|
Yep, these are more top-quality ports, like their predecessor, Metal Slug 3 (see entry 170). 4/5 doesn't have all the extras that 3 did, however: just galleries showing the items and prisoners you've found. Still, you can't complain about the quality of the ports themselves, and you're even treated to unedited red blood; none of that milky white stuff here.
Credits are unlimited, woohoo, and once you get through the end of the games, it tells you how many continues it took you. I think that's a great way to do it (3 did this as well), and in fact I'm rethinking the "never continue" mode I've been in with shooters lately--why not just play them all the way through, keeping track of how many continues it took, and try to do it in fewer continues the next time? That seems more fun to me than bashing your head against the first few levels all the time (since I'm not really good enough to come close to single-crediting most shooters anyway).
Not that anyone really stands a chance of single-crediting a Metal Slug--these games are still plenty hard, with some boss battles where I pretty much just have to drop in, unload all my grenades during my short period of spawn invulnerability, then get killed and repeat. The bosses in these games aren't as memorable as those in 3, and neither are the stages themselves. 5 is a bit better in this respect, and you get the feeling that maybe Noise Factory was getting a little more used to Slugging in their second effort (they took over after the apparent demise of Nazca during SNK's troubles shortly after 3), but still both games pretty much just recycle sprites and ideas from previous Metal Slugs. They still feel Sluggy, just not really inspired. They try to make up for this by offering a few new weapons, characters, and vehicles, but those only go so far. 4 in particular has some just plain awkward sequences, where the game is much more frustrating or just perplexing than it is enjoyable. Oh, and 5 is one mission shorter than 3 or 4.
But while they're no Metal Slug 3, they're still plenty of fun to blast through, especially with a buddy. A game where you run along blasting the bejeezus out of Nazis, zombies, zombie Nazis, and huge war machines really can't go that far wrong, after all.