Sunday, April 12, 2009

Games to Own #4 - Metal Slug Anthology

Here's the first handheld game to join the "Games to Own" ranks. Compilations often fail to satisfy, often with stingy collections of games, games that show their age or poor ports/emulation bringing down the experience. I'm glad to say that Metal Slug Anthology does not follow this tradition and SNK Playmore have done a stellar job in bringing the arcade games to the PSP.

I have fond memories of playing Metal Slug with a friend at the arcades, back when arcades were still alive in the west. For me, it was the perfect pickup and play game for the arcades. In fact, the Metal Slug series are some of my favorite arcade games ever. You're a one man (or women) army against an actual army and one hit kills and deaths is the name of the game. The massive boss machines on the other hand, require a lot more punishment.

The PSP collection contains seven Metal Slug games, yes that's correct, SEVEN. It's a very generous and good value collection indeed! Included is Metal Slug, Metal Slug 2, Metal Slug X, Metal Slug 3, Metal Slug 4, Metal Slug 5 and Metal Slug 6. My favorite game being Metal Slug X, which is a sort of directors cut or upgrade of Metal Slug 2. It features new enemies and some level design improvements/upgrades. Metal Slug 3 was the last game the original SNK team made and none of the latter ones by SNK Playmore compare even to the first three, but they're still good fun.

Each game plays well on the PSP and looks good even in the stretched widescreen mode, although you can play it in its original 4:3 ratio if you want to. Metal Slug can also be played with two players and the co-op with wireless works great. Make sure to pick up another copy if you have two PSP's and a friend to play with. I give this Anthology 9 Heavy Machine Gun's out of 10.

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