I am going out a limb here and saying that Metal Slug 3 is my favorite in the entire series! Which is really hard to say as this is a series where I actually like pretty much every game that is in it! For me, Metal Slug 3 just nails the formula and it was a fitting end to the “real” SNK before they became what we pretty much have today.
The Truth Is Out There
I swear for an arcade shooter, the Metal Slug series has a far more interesting story than it has any right to! I really like the direction that the story went with this third game. It is set many years after the events of Metal Slug 2, but once again you feel that the no-good General Morden is up to his old tricks. Well, that turns out to not exactly be the case as the story of Metal Slug 3 involves aliens and an alien mothership! It is great stuff and thanks to the amazing graphics, it is brought to life very well.
Where You Wanna Go?
The core gameplay is unchanged and I am not going to criticize the game for that at all. It does what the previous games did and it does it just as well if not better. The big improvement here is that the levels now have branching paths that you can take. You example the very first mission actually has three different routes that you can take!
This is great stuff as for me it really does improve the replayability of the game. I know the first time I ever played the PlayStation 2 version of Metal Slug 3 and heard that there were multiple paths on the levels. I knew I was going to go back and experience them all.
Fun New Additions
Metal Slug 3 does add a few fun things to the game. I really liked the transformations in the second game and that has been brought back here. This time you can turn into a zombie and even sport some really cool scuba diving gear for an underwater section.
There are even more Slugs for you to wage war with this time and they are even more over the top than in the previous game. The Elephant Slug is exactly what it sounds like, an elephant with some heavy-duty firepower. The Astro Slug lets you kick some serious alien butt and is probably my favorite. These new Slugs are not just fun to use, but SNK was very clever and made sure that many of them have an actual purpose in some of the levels.
I love Metal Slug 3 I really do. If I had to suggest just one of the original SNK made games it would without a doubt be this one here. The sprite work is the best it has ever been, the soundtrack is amazing and the game is bigger and better in every regard over the two Metal Slug games that came before it. I really cannot praise this one enough, it is an absolute must-play for any shooter fan.
- The game once again looks fantastic
- I love the new transformations
- It has more Slugs than ever before
- In single and multiplayer, it is a fantastic time
- The story takes a very interesting turn
- A little slow down here and there
- I really wish the original SNK did not go out of business
It’s cool to be old school. We’re living in technological age where just about anything is possible in the field of entertainment, but still we often look backwards for inspiration, and it’s especially true with videogames. In a bit of an ironic twist, the Xbox, the most powerful console of this generation, is getting the old school treatment with a port of a classic 2D side-scroller: Metal Slug 3.
Metal Slug 3 is all about shooting stuff before it shoots you – a game that’s true to its retro roots – but strangely enough, it doesn’t show it’s age in its gameplay. Despite it being a straight up port of a four-year-old game, Metal Slug 3 still a complete blast to play, and stranger still, it’s hard to explain just how that’s possible. There are a million side-scrolling shooters out there, but Metal Slug 3 is undoubtedly heads above them all. It never deviates from the standard side-scrolling shooter formula of throwing a million enemies on the screen so that the player can somehow find a way to compensate with quick reflexes and sharp timing, but it still feels strangely unique. There’s also this undeniable feeling of satisfaction that overcomes you when you wade through a hail of bullets to obliterate enemies, and that in itself just might be what Metal Slug 3 is all about: providing brief flashes of old school gaming nirvana that’s hard to find anywhere else nowadays.
In an age where it takes millions of intricately woven polygons filled with bump mapping to wow the masses, Metal Slug 3 is somewhat of an anomaly. It’s easy to dismiss Metal Slug 3 simply because it’s 2D, but it really does look great even if it’s not technically advanced. There haven’t been any improvements from the arcade version, but it’s a near flawless port ‘ in fact, the framerate hitches that often occurred in the arcade can’t be found in the Xbox version. Yes, the 2D sprites are in a low resolution, but that’s made up with the incredible attention to detail. Subtle and not so subtle jokes abound everywhere and make it worth running through each level a few times.
And if you plan on seeing each level, then chances are you’ll be running through each level over and over again because Metal Slug 3 is tough as nails hard. There’s nothing wrong with that in itself, but the difficulty in it is coupled with an extremely limiting continue system that makes it unbelievably hard even on the easiest difficulty setting. You’re given five lives max to complete each level and only a handful of continues that will take you back to the beginning of the stage, and for the easily frustrated, the results might be disastrous.
If you take away the smoky atmosphere, the pockets filled with quarters, and the pizza grease-laden control sticks, then what you get is Metal Slug 3 on the Xbox, a port that mirrors the arcade version in nearly every way. For some that’ll be enough to warrant the $40 price tag, and for others it won’t, especially with the unyielding difficulty level.