Metal Slug 3

Metal Slug 3 still provides the same crisp as it did five years back, and this time it’s even better with new Online Mission co-op mode and unlockables.

By RON, Posted 23 Feb 2014

Back in 1996, SNK Playmore did something magical that revived my perspective about platformers when they introduced the Metal Slug series. Since then, I’ve been playing every single release to Metal Slug 7 later revised to Metal Slug XX. I still, however, kept yearning for even more. It was heartbreaking when there were no real initiatives from the developer for a new release. Until earlier this month an update from SNK stated the comeback of Metal Slug 3, and this time; on Steam. After five years of hiatus, being able to refresh my memories of this remarkable Run N’ Gun 2D platformer has been nothing short of an exciting experience for me. Technically speaking, Metal Slug 3 is the same game as it was five years ago, but the amount of excitement it provides is still extraordinary.

Metal Slug 3,Steam,Review,Screenshots,Boss Fights,Cover,Boxart

Metal Slug 3 kicks in after the evil General Mordern forms an alliance with a hostile alien race, and declares rebellion against the Peregrine Falcon Strike Force that governs the world. Evidently Mordern disappears during his second coup attempt, but the plot starts to thicken when he reappears from an apparent death and continues to threaten world peace. With S.P.A.R.R.O.W.S. joining Peregrine Falcon Strike Force’s, they jointly fight their way to defeat Mordern, and eventually unveil a truth that turns out more than startling. However, during this expedition towards confining Mordern, your soldiers face an endless encounter of enemies who don’t take warfare lightly. Whether your soldiers are running, swimming or flying from one point to another, the enemies greet them with grenades, gunfire, bazooka, and as well as shooting from copters, tanks, bombing airplanes. Additionally there are hordes of the undead zombies and mummies along with man-eating plants, bugs, aliens, and massive screen-filling bosses to make your soldiers lives more hectic.

Major. Marco Rossi and Cpt. Tarma Roving from the Peregrine Falcon Strike Force, and Sgt. Eri Kasamoto and Sgt. 1st Class Fiolina Germi of S.P.A.R.R.O.W.S are the four characters in Metal Slug 3 as they blockade against General Mordern’s soldiers in five completely diverse levels. During this expedition; they tramp across the jungle, swim across the deep sea, rocket through the skies, and trek into outer space. Controlling them is fairly easy, arrow keys designated for directions while three custom assigned keys used for shooting, jumping and throwing grenades. Due to the nature of Metal Slug‘s genre, constantly moving left and right to aim and shoot, while dodging grenades and bullets makes every step of it extremely restive. It’s awfully difficult to complete a level unscathed. Each level is poised with varieties of enemy attacks, and when a level is passed, life gets more difficult. Luckily there is an option to grant unlimited continues, but each time players die they lose their collected weapons, grenades and the number of POWs they’ve freed.

Metal Slug 3,Steam,Review,Screenshots,Zombies,Eri Kasamoto,Fiolina Germi,Female Characters

Speaking of weapons, players start off with a handgun and ten grenades at the beginning of each mission. There are POWs that can be freed, and in most cases they grant players high-powered weapons but they come with limited-ammo. These weapons are generally more powerful compared to the enemy weapons, and come very handy while dealing with large assaults. They range from a simple heavy machine gun to a rocket launcher, even to go as far as a laser gun, iron lizard, and a fire breather. Adding to the enemies’ misery, players can ride powerful tanks, jets, submarines, helicopters and they all come equipped with heavy weaponry. Much like the high-powered weapons these powerful vehicles are very short lived, but if they can be kept alive with regular supply of fuel, it’s real bad news for the enemies. Metal Slug is never meant to be a pleasant walk in the park, while it is easier for players to kill the enemy soldiers, it’s not difficult for them to do the same. A single enemy bullet can kill a player causing the loss of all collectables; nothing is more frustrating than losing a favorite gun with lots of ammo left in it.

Metal Slug 3,Steam,Review,Screenshots,Final Mission,Boss Fights

While the gameplay is varied with numerous enemy types, the game offers several different modes as well. Arcade mode is for the diehard fans with their pockets filled with coins. In this mode, players start from beginning and play untill the end with unlimited continues, each play-through lasts for about an hour. In the Mission mode, players can play any particular level previously unlocked, mostly for exploring multiple branching paths to experience new areas. The Online Mission mode offers co-op play with a Steam friend, but it’s roughly the same as the Two Player co-op mode. The game can be played in four difficulty modes ranging from easy to very hard, and only the most skilled players dare to play in the harder difficulties. Though the points earned are generally a lot more generous in hard modes, players can easily stay among the top of the leaderboards, eventually, becoming the world’s No.1 soldier. There are plenty of unlockables including artwork and badges, which is a new feature introduced but they don’t come as easily as they may seem when you first start off.

Keeping the excitement aside, there are still some nagging issues with the gameplay, especially when it comes to shooting in some particular directions. It’s very difficult to shoot enemies diagonally using the arrow keys, as players depend on sheer luck shooting aimlessly around hoping they hit the targets. In addition to this, the game is extremely hard for the new comers even on the easiest difficulty, as it requires them to play longer hours to master the gameplay. For the fans, however, it’s more of a nuisance except for the lack of communication tools during an Online Mission.

Metal Slug 3,Steam,Review,Screenshots,Victory,Artwork,Cutscene

Even though Metal Slug is a retro game, it still stands tall amongst most 2D side-scrollers of this generation. Its standard of creative visuals and amusing character designs are still milestones for many modern day games. Sound effects of the weapons, enemy screams, exploding barrels and the announcer voice-over feel energizing even during the hundredth play-through. Due to its cheerful visual and comical animations, it is highly unlikely for players not coming back to the game over and over again. There may not be any noteworthy addition to this Steam version of Metal Slug 3; it’s still worth every single penny.

Sarwar Ron, NoobFeed
Twitter | +SarwarRon

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  • Man, this brings back memories... Not of anything particular mind, just the craziness that is Metal Slug... Might have to check this one out, if I can find the time.
    Posted Feb 24, 2014

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General Information

METAL SLUG 3

92/100

Platform(s): Xbox 360, PS3, PC, Mobile
Publisher(s): SNK Playmore
Developer(s): DotEmu
Genres: 2D Platformer
Themes: Run N’ Gun
Release Date: 2014-02-14

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