Metal Slug X features Steam achievements as well, and as we know, a little meta-game is never negatively received.

By RON, Posted 14 Oct 2014

Remember the good old days when you spent half of your allowance in the arcade? Perhaps your trip down memory lane will take you to the image of the local bully hugging the machines for hours, the blisters on your fingers after a long gaming session, the nagging of your parents for spending “too much time with those games,” the eternal pursuit for change or the iconic NeoGeo music playing in the background of the place. If any of this sounds familiar to you, then you may have heard of a little game series called Metal Slug.

Nothing's better fuel for a kid’s internal Rambo than a classic dieselpunk Run n’ Gun game full of weird humor. But it didn’t stop there, for NeoGeo dominated the scene, and if they had a successful franchise, they would exploit it for years to come. And so, Metal Slug became Metal Slug 2, and eventually, that sequel had a revisited version, simply titled Metal Slug X. Metal Slug X was indeed an extreme game, and we're not just talking about the countless coins or tokens needed to beat the game or the fact that by level 3 hordes of enemies saturated the screen making it almost impossible to give a step without facing a bullet or a grenade, we're talking about the new content added to the original game.

Metal Slug X,Metal Slug 2,Review,Screenshots,Boss Fights,Tips,Tricks,Help,Guide,Achievements,Steam

The revisited version of Metal Slug 2 added a whole lot of new content including more powerful weapons, new enemies to face, more enemies in every stage, mixed music, and the obese transformation, in which the player becomes fat and slow, but their weapons and ammo do too, with the added benefit of being much more powerful than their original versions. Amongst these new additions, we can find the upgraded versions of Metal Slug 2 weapons, such as the Laser Rifle, the Heavy Machine Gun, Rocket Launcher, Flame Shot, and Shotgun. As you may think, these upgrades cause much more damage and can deal with several more enemies at once. More additions include the newcomer enemies such as the oddly placed Stones which serve as a type of bomb, the Iron Lizard, a weird animal-like ground missile, the Enemy Chaser, as powerful and useful as the Rocket Launcher, but with the added perk of auto-targeting enemies, the Drop Shot a sort of round bomb shot from the main weapon, and the fabulous Golden Metal Slug.

But wait, there’s more. Because a deadly arsenal is not everything you need to face the incoming menace, your character will be needing food as well, and there's plenty in Metal Slug X. You see, in Metal Slug 2, the fat transformation was only possible in mission four, but in Metal Slug X, your character can become fat by eating large amounts of food in any level. Not only are edibles more persistent in this revisited version of the game, but other items, POWs, and hidden objects are as well, so you may want to shoot the environment once in a while to see if you’re missing something of valor up there. Lastly, but not less important, both new and old enemies are placed in different places than before, so if you think you can play it safe by repeating your moves from Metal Slug 2, you’re in for a terrible surprise. But hey, it’s not that bad because vehicles receive a similar treatment and you’ll find them placed in more convenient locations most of the time. So, I think it's safe to say the game isn't just a carbon copy of Metal Slug 2 but a rather different gaming experience of its own.

To be honest, before this recent run, I hadn’t played any of the Metal Slug games in a very long time, and I was both excited and afraid of what was about to come. I knew I was, without any doubt, going to have a great time, but I also knew I was about to face a game that understood the meaning of the word difficult. Now, much of the iconic first level was almost mechanical for me, and I didn't lose a single life, collected all possible items, and rescued all of the POWs, but by the time I reached level three, times got much more difficult. And that’s the thing with arcade games, they were made deliberately hard, so players would continue spending money, but that’s ok, because the extra effort is worth it and it’s part of the natural charm of the game and the series.

Metal Slug X,Metal Slug 2,Review,Screenshots,Boss Fights,Tips,Tricks,Help,Guide,Achievements,Steam

One great thing about this decade we live in is that there’s a general sense of nostalgia in the air, and because of that, new generations of kids who couldn’t play these games in the past are able to purchase new ports to their favorite game system; in this case, it's PC gamers who are given the possibility to get the game through Steam. I know what you’re thinking, “these games have been online forever, haven’t you heard of emulators?” but let’s remember that piracy isn't healthy for the industry, not to mention illegal and most importantly, emulators won’t ever give the same experience as Steam does. One of the key elements of this release lay upon its multiplayer capabilities. It's one thing to play Metal Slug by yourself and a whole different gaming experience to share the adventure with a partner or three, if you want the full Metal Slug treatment. There’s no better feeling than facing the evil General Morden’s army and their extraterrestrial allies alongside your brothers-in-arms, whether they’re sitting right next to you or on the other side of the planet because this new release of the game allows you to have both local and online co-op multiplayer for up to four players. As you may think, adding more human players to the formula also increases the amount of enemies you and your allies will face, ending up  with a pandemonium of bullets, grenades and dead bodies floating through the air at any given second of gameplay.

Another important element is the inclusion of international leaderboards. it's one thing to brag about your high scores in a single arcade cabinet, but it's taken to a whole new level doing so in an international scale. Now, your clever, witty puns and naughty initials will be visible to the whole community, and that’s just a feeling no one else can give you and an achievement no one can take from you, as it happened when the machines were unplugged. Speaking of achievements, Metal Slug X features Steam achievements as well, and as we know, a little meta-game is never negatively received.

Metal Slug X,Metal Slug 2,Review,Screenshots,Boss Fights,Tips,Tricks,Help,Guide,Achievements,Steam

Probably, one of the most appreciated features in this release is the Mission Mode. As its name states, mission mode allows players to choose the mission they want to play, instead of the traditional arcade mode. So, if you’ve beaten the game and feel like killing aliens instead of mummies, you can choose the mission with the most extraterrestrial life forms and the less reanimated preserved bodies.

If you are like me and prefer the sensation of the keys beneath your fingers instead of the buttons of a controller , then you’ll stick to your keyboard, but I know there're a lot of you who'd prefer laying back playing with a controller, and for you, there's good news. Metal Slug X is compatible with a controller. 

If you played Metal Slug X or any Metal Slug game in the series, then this is a good chance to kick it old school and bring back those invaluable childhood memories. And if all of this sounds new and ludicrous to you, then it’s a perfect opportunity to see what you’ve been missing all these years. Who knows, maybe this will be a gateway into a broader gaming world - a world where shooting wasn't exclusive to FPS and war games. Not every soldier has to be the ultimate action hero and not every war has to be fought with modern warfare techniques.  To be fair, I think the $7.99 USD price tag is a bit steep, but when I think about of all those coins I spent in the arcade, I think it’s a bit of a bargain. Moreover, if you want to save a couple of bucks you can get two copies for $12.99 USD.

Metal Slug X,Metal Slug 2,Review,Screenshots,Boss Fights,Tips,Tricks,Help,Guide,Achievements,Steam

There you have it, Metal Slug X is a must play or replay if you’re into Run n’ Guns, dieselpunk, weird humor, aliens, Nazi parodies, mummies, failed and creepy scientific experiments, obesity, and probably most notable, impossibly large and terrifying war machines. Finally, as a personal commentary, whatever others could tell you, the ending of the game is not a complete rip-off of the movie Independence Day.

Sarwar Ron, NoobFeed
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General Information



Platform(s): PC, Mobile
Publisher(s): SNK Playmore
Developer(s): DotEmu
Genres: 2D Platformer
Themes: Run N’ Gun
Release Date: 2014-10-02

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