Jan 4, 2008
SNK Playmore’s previous Xbox Live Arcade effort was less than stellar, and that’s being charitable. And that’s not because the port was bad so much as the game itself just didn’t stand the test of time. Metal Slug 3 doesn’t suffer from that problem…the real issue here is that a lot of folks may never have heard of this fantastic, old-school NeoGeo shooter.
Metal Slug is like Contra if Contra had been released about a decade later and featured downright incredible hand-drawn, 2D graphics and animation. This game really is one of the prettiest shooters you’ll ever see, and has lost absolutely nothing in the translation to Microsoft’s Live Arcade service. The animation is fantastic, and the game suffers no slowdown whatsoever despite the huge, screen-filling bosses and various effects throughout.
Not only are the look and play mechanics old-school - the difficulty is as well. Metal Slug 3 is no cakewalk, and comes with a limited amount of continues to get you through the punishing missions. But old-school fans tend to thrive on this unforgiving type of gameplay, so MS3 won’t disappoint its core audience.
And of course, what would a buddy shooter like this be without a multiplayer element? Metal Slug 3 can be played by two players in co-op mode, either on a single system or over Xbox Live.
It’s strange that we’re dealing with the rare, single-release week on Live Arcade, but when that single game is as good as Metal Slug 3, it makes the blow a little easier to take. If you’ve never heard of this series, but enjoy classic stuff like Contra and its ilk, MS3 is made for you.