Neo Geo Pocket Games | COLOR | Metal Slug – First mission |UK version| CIB |
Neo Geo Pocket COLOR game, complete in box, very good condition, used, UK version
Out of stock
Metal Slug is, and always has been part platformer, and part shooter. In the past, the focus has been on the shooting. This time around, Metal Slug First Mission is more platformer than shooter, and it’s obvious right from the start. The most significant change in this direction is the life bar. Originally, in Metal Slug, one hit would kill the player, unless in the actual Slug tank. This change really helps adapt the game to the abilities of the portable machine, as on-screen action does not have to be as intense. The action is still there though, but now there are more platform elements in the mix. More levels feature tough jumps, or sequences where quite a bit of thinking and jumping are required in order to progress. Slug also now has many levels that sport a great deal of vertical scrolling and horizontal scrolling, which is nothing new, but is used a great deal more than I remember. Some levels are self scrolling, which adds another element of strategy to the game. Other levels require switching between sections to proceed. Things like that, among other elements shift the focus from shooting to platform game. All in all, the game made the transition beautifully, as it retains the elements which has made the series great, it just changes the balance.
One of the problems adapting the game was changing the 3 button control system to 2. SNK used an effective, predictable method. The option button changes between guns and grenades(holding option will pause). Since shooting isn’t the focus like in previous games, the switching does not cause problems. The controls are responsive, so all the switching, jumping and shooting usually work as expected.
But this isn’t just a modified Slug. SNK decided to heap on new features. While playing the game, you are taken to the map, to see your progress. After playing through the game once, it’s obvious that there are multiple paths to take, instead of just playing all the levels straight to the end. Some levels are tougher to reach than others, forcing the player to come back through the game many times to see them all. There are also clever sub-levels. Losing in some levels takes you to a prison camp, where you must slash your way out with just a knife. Crashing the Slug Flyer takes you to the wonderful and challenging parachuting sequence. On top of that, some of the actual levels feature multiple exits, leading to different levels. There are also military ranks that can be earned. SNK made it possible to earn credits by collecting coins, instead of just being stuck with the credits you are given at the start. There is also data saving so you don’t have to play through it in one shot.
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