Home
Twitter
RSS
Newsletter
Matt Bassos
14 Jan, 2005

Metal Slug 3 Review

Xbox Review | PALGN scrambles for the Heavy Machine-Gun power-up.
Make no mistake about it; Metal Slug 3 is a true arcade game. Forget about stiff learning curves, Metal Slug 3 is as about as complicated as blasting every thing on screen without blinking. While you’re at it, you may as well forget those fancy 3D visuals that you have been so accustomed to as well, because Metal Slug 3 is about as 2D as they come. There’s one thing that you should keep however, and that is fast reflexes and your finger on the button.


Not everyone is going to enjoy the gameplay mechanics of Metal Slug 3, as stated previously it’s a side-scrolling 2D shooter. With that in mind, the game can also be finished within an hour, if you are very talented and don’t mind having swollen hands. However there is one positive going for the game in this regard and that’s, it’s a budget title, going for a low AU$ 49.95

Lock and Load… without the quarters that is

For those who have never heard of the Metal Slug series, then let me explain. It’s 2D shooting at its finest, inspired by such classics as Contra. But what makes the Metal Slug series so popular is its own colourful art design, its wicked sense of humour and unbelievable difficultly. Being an arcade game, Metal Slug 3 is short and to the point, being quite limited to what you would expect in a normal priced retail game. Metal Slug 3 isn’t even the latest sequel in the series (Metal Slug 5 is in the arcades) so why would anyone want to spend they hard earned cash, (even if it is only $49.95) on a short, limited arcade game, which only existed to pump coins out of gamers, in the arcades? The reason is you won’t find a better face-paced, wacky, 2D shooter for the Xbox.

Where's the beach party?

Where's the beach party?
Close
It is quite ironic that a simple game like Metal Slug 3 would consist of such a complex storyline involving government conspiracies, backstabbing and aliens! This storyline really isn’t ever shown throughout the game however, so the only thing you will have to understand is how to shoot and most preferably do it with a second player, as it’s always a blast to kick ass with a friend.

Time to Slug it out

The game consist of five missions and if you have ever played Metal Slug 3 in the arcades then you will pleased to know that the Xbox version is a perfect conversion and in some ways better, as it delivers a steady framerate no matter what’s going on. Metal Slug 3 is easy to control, as you move left to right literally firing at everything on screen. You’ll start each mission with the basic handgun and a handful of German-like stick grenades, but as you progress through each enemy filled environment you’re going to realise that the handgun just isn’t going to cut it. Thankfully Metal Slug 3 gives players the opportunity to use a large array of powerful weapons, which makes carving through enemies much easier. As silly as it might seem, a large majority of these power-ups will materialize from prisoner of war’s (POW’s) trousers, which are scattered throughout each mission and are willing to exchange these trousers goodies if you rescue them. There defiantly is a nice variety of weapons, from shotguns to flamethrowers and even more wacky weapons such as the iron lizard, which will launch ground-hugging lizard missiles!

Of course what would a Metal Slug game without the slugs that makes it famous for? Slugs are armoured tanks, jets and other weird contraptions that players can jump into and lay waste to everything on screen. However not only are there mechanical slugs, but also a range of bizarre animal slugs, which offer their services.

Animal testing gone too far.

Animal testing gone too far.
Close
One Tough Cookie

Anyone who has played Metal Slug 3 in the arcades knows that this game is one of the toughest 2D side-scrolling shooters ever. You see in the Slug series, there is no life bar, or vitality meter – one hit and you’re dead, plain and simple. So then becomes the problem with the delicate balancing of the game, so it’s not frustrating for gamers, yet doesn’t offer ten minutes of gameplay before it’s over. Before the PAL release, Metal Slug 3 for the Xbox, incorporated a continue system which forced players to restart each level from the beginning (rather than the spot they died at) in an attempt to up the challenge. This change however, was met by massive backlash by Slug fans and since it’s PAL release, Metal Slug 3 for the Xbox has gone back to the old continue system of the arcades. While diminishing some of the difficulty in the game (as you start with ten credits) it allows the game to be more accessible to all gamers and do not for one minute start thinking that playing with ten credits is going to make the ride through the game easy, it’s still one tough cookie, especially mission five which could be one of the hardest, longest 2D shooting levels ever.

All the pretty colours

Visually Metal Slug 3 is one of the best hand drawn 2D games ever. The range of animation for each character is outstanding, as well as the environments and backgrounds. Furthermore, the animation is smooth and well presented. There defiantly is plenty of artistic appeal to discover in Metal Slug 3; including each mission, which are packed with their own personality and flavour. While this simplistic 2D animation won’t win over all gamers, those who can appreciate that every sprite in the game was hand drawn will start to realize that some real talent went behind Metal Slug 3’s visual department.

Great balls of fire.

Great balls of fire.
Close
The sound and music also co-exist with the Metal Slug 3’s beautiful animation. The music in the game fits each mission’s theme perfectly, gearing you ready for some fast trigger action as you run rampart blasting things, left, right and centre. The sound effects are good, from the dynamic explosions, the enemy screams and best of all, the over-the-top game announcer who bellows such things as “Rockit Lawncha” when you pick up power-ups.

The main criticism for Metal Slug 3 on the Xbox however, comes from its lack of extra content. The game includes, a mission select, (replay levels you have completed) three difficult levels, (easy, normal, hard) Xbox Live online scoreboard access, and two extra, minute game modes – Storming the Mother Ship, and Fat Island. It’s a shame more wasn’t done with Xbox Live, such as cooperative play, but as it stands you can compete for top score, from anyone around the world, which helps add some length to the game. Storming the Mother Ship is unique, as it involves you playing as the enemy and attempting to storm the fifth mission’s alien mother ship. Fat Island on the other hand, allows players to go head to head against a friend to see who can eat the most food in a small enemy infested arena. Both modes are unlocked once you finish the main game, but really don’t add much to the overall content to the game. It would have been nice to see more extras, or even to see another Metal Slug game packaged along side Metal Slug 3, even at a budget price.

One slugger coming right up

If you like old school shooters and don’t mind a bit of 2D repetitive shooting that require God-like reflexes, than Metal Slug 3 will be a blast. Its own artistic flare and simple yet enthralling gameplay will keep you coming back just for one more go. Metal Slug 3 for the Xbox as it stands is the best port of the game to date, despite its disappointing lack of extra content and presently is the best 2D side-scrolling shooting game that you will find for the console with the added bonus of a budget price. Bring on Metal Slug 4/5.
The Score
Not only the best Metal Slug 3 port to date, but also the best 2D side-scrolling shooter for the Xbox. 7
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

Related Content

Metal Slug extravaganza planned for Europe.
26 Jun, 2004 European owners of Playstation 2, XBox and Game Boy Advance are set for some SNK goodness...
New Metal Gear Solid 3 Information
05 Jun, 2003 In an interview with Hideo Kojima, many details on the next Metal Gear Solid game are revealed.
Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes confirmed! - Updated!!
01 May, 2003 Under development at Silicon Knights under the watchful eyes of Hideo Kojima and Shigeru Miyamoto. - Press release, art, and a few other tidbits.
20 Comments
9 years ago
Nice review but honestly I dont think its fair they can abuse a title and hardly even aprove on the original Playstation graphics..
9 years ago
Eve6 wrote
Nice review but honestly I dont think its fair they can abuse a title and hardly even aprove on the original Playstation graphics..
Yeah, because well all know Gameplay can only be as good as Graphics icon_rolleyes.gif
9 years ago
The graphics in MS give it a nice cartoony feel to it, which is really good, if they went too far and made them all 3D it wouldn't have the same effect.
9 years ago
mr_sockochris wrote
Eve6 wrote
Nice review but honestly I dont think its fair they can abuse a title and hardly even aprove on the original Playstation graphics..
Yeah, because well all know Gameplay can only be as good as Graphics icon_rolleyes.gif
I didnt say anything about gameplay, although it seems not to have changed much at all and its such a short game - they could have expanded on it so much more BUT the fact of the matter is many people will be drawn to this game because of the originals - abuse.

And the graphics havent improved much neither and thats why I didnt agree with the 8.0, its called opinion icon_wink.gif
9 years ago
If you compare Metal Slug 3, to other 2D animation it is one of the best there is, in my opinion.
9 years ago
Who cares about the graphics anyway, it's Metal Slug 3, it's about time they released it. It's been 4 years already since it was released in the arcade.

It is a port of a 4 year old game, didn't really expect them to make it look better than the arcade version myself. Just glad that it is a good port.
9 years ago
First Paragraph wrote
While you’re at it, you may as well forget those fancy 3D visuals that you have been so accustom to as well
I do come across as a bit picky and overly evil highlighting this stuff every now and then, but everytime I skim through a review or article I see all kinds of mistakes which don't need to be there. The ideas are good and the content is there, but the validation system needs to be fully utilised to up the professionalism. For a good example check out the tag line on the main page for the kingdom hearts review, that's not exactly helping your credibility icon_wink.gif
9 years ago
Ashmaran wrote
First Paragraph wrote
While you’re at it, you may as well forget those fancy 3D visuals that you have been so accustom to as well
I do come across as a bit picky and overly evil highlighting this stuff every now and then, but everytime I skim through a review or article I see all kinds of mistakes which don't need to be there. The ideas are good and the content is there, but the validation system needs to be fully utilised to up the professionalism. For a good example check out the tag line on the main page for the kingdom hearts review, that's not exactly helping your credibility icon_wink.gif
I try really hard not to say anything too ... icon_neutral.gif
If PALGN is trying to look at all professional, it needs to sort this out ><

Staff: Use the validation system! Really! Use it to validate for content, grammar, spelling, and article accuracy and not just as another obstacle to getting the thing up for public viewing icon_razz.gif There is a reason why it's there icon_razz.gif
9 years ago
Oh come on guys, I know PALGN is trying to be proffesional and your trying to point it out, but little spelling mistakes like that icon_razz.gif
9 years ago
spelling errors are worse than grammar errors IMO... at least a spell-checker should get this and sqaure on the other article...
9 years ago
It was a grammar mistake and it has been fixed.
9 years ago
Mistakes happen, and things like that won't even be picked up by the Spell Checker in Word as it is actually a word, just not used in the proper way. I know when I've written reviews I tend to start them off by writing down bits and pieces before I actually put the whole thing together - mistakes are bound to happen when you're chopping and changing things around, especially when you're typing as apposed to writing things by hand where you automatically know how to spell a word when you're actually writing it. Besides, even the biggest websites like IGN have spelling errors in their reviews from time to time.
9 years ago
mr_sockochris wrote
Mistakes happen, and things like that won't even be picked up by the Spell Checker in Word as it is actually a word, just not used in the proper way. I know when I've written reviews I tend to start them off by writing down bits and pieces before I actually put the whole thing together - mistakes are bound to happen when you're chopping and changing things around, especially when you're typing as apposed to writing things by hand where you automatically know how to spell a word when you're actually writing it. Besides, even the biggest websites like IGN have spelling errors in their reviews from time to time.
True; I saw a couple the other day in fact. icon_lol.gif
They are substantially more common here though, and many times more annoying. (I still have a Savebox copy of a really badly written article put up recently which I had to PM Quin about if you want to doubt that icon_neutral.gif)
Typing a word correctly is no more difficult than writing it correctly if you're actually concentrating on the job, looking at the words you're typing as you type them, and watching whether or not they're coming out spelt right. Yes, you can make typing mistakes, but if you're actually concentrating properly they should be backspaced over about half a second after making them icon_razz.gif
After it's finished, if necessary, re-read the whole article you just wrote, check it for grammar and spelling and see that it all makes sense, then submit, and the validators should double-check the grammar and spelling and the accuracy of the article before approving it to go on the site. icon_kero.gif

I don't think I've submitted a single one of my last thousand-odd posts without previewing it and checking it first. You don't need to go that far necessarily, but at least for the articles that appear on the main site you should take that kind of care about what you write icon_kero.gif

IMHO.

*and leave thread. hopefully.*
9 years ago
Hyperworm wrote
mr_sockochris wrote
Mistakes happen, and things like that won't even be picked up by the Spell Checker in Word as it is actually a word, just not used in the proper way. I know when I've written reviews I tend to start them off by writing down bits and pieces before I actually put the whole thing together - mistakes are bound to happen when you're chopping and changing things around, especially when you're typing as apposed to writing things by hand where you automatically know how to spell a word when you're actually writing it. Besides, even the biggest websites like IGN have spelling errors in their reviews from time to time.
True; I saw a couple the other day in fact. icon_lol.gif
They are substantially more common here though, and many times more annoying. (I still have a Savebox copy of a really badly written article put up recently which I had to PM Quin about if you want to doubt that icon_neutral.gif)
Typing a word correctly is no more difficult than writing it correctly if you're actually concentrating on the job, looking at the words you're typing as you type them, and watching whether or not they're coming out spelt right. Yes, you can make typing mistakes, but if you're actually concentrating properly they should be backspaced over about half a second after making them icon_razz.gif
After it's finished, if necessary, re-read the whole article you just wrote, check it for grammar and spelling and see that it all makes sense, then submit, and the validators should double-check the grammar and spelling and the accuracy of the article before approving it to go on the site. icon_kero.gif

I don't think I've submitted a single one of my last thousand-odd posts without previewing it and checking it first. You don't need to go that far necessarily, but at least for the articles that appear on the main site you should take that kind of care about what you write icon_kero.gif

IMHO.

*and leave thread. hopefully.*
Well I don't know about other writers, but most of my reviews are written at about 2am in the morning as it's the only time I get to do them. It'd be different if writing for PALGN was a paid job as I wouldn't need to work and I could write during the day when i'm wide awake and alert, but none of us are getting paid to do this so I'd expect that most of what is written here is by someone who's just had a long day at work and are spending their own spare time in writing for the site. While this doesn't excuse the errors (bad spelling shouldn't happen, I now put everything I do through an Online spellchecker before I submit it) and these things shouldn't be getting through Validation, mistakes will happen.
9 years ago
TBH, saying you write main site articles at 2AM is no excuse.. icon_neutral.gif
9 years ago
I didn't say it was an excuse, I was just trying to convey the amount of effort people put in here to keep the site full of up to date news and reviews. I don't speak for everyone, but for me finding the time to write really isn't easy between working and playing the games enough to write about them. We're not IGN or a games magazine with all day every day to play and write about games and getting paid to do so, and we're not professional writers. We're just a bunch of guys putting as much of our spare time as we can into this site for the benefit of people who love games as much as we do. Spelling mistakes are a shame and they shouldn't happen, but they do. If you take a look over at IGN , they have spelt the word 'aggravating' inncorrectly in their RE4 review, and they get paid for what they do.
9 years ago
Yes, I think altogether at IGN i've seen about 5 spelling mistakes across the site.. Or at least in articles I've read.

Well, I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Me and Hyper have both offered to be validators. We can't be full staff members (I've been denied as a writer 3 times over already, and Hyper's too busy to write full articles), but we'd happily address the distinct problems in grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

EDIT: Yes, sorry, I don't mean to sound ungrateful, there are some really dedicated writers here, and I greatly appreciate that. icon_smile.gif
9 years ago
I'm very grateful for the effort put in by all the Staff for reviews and news and content. Don't get me wrong on that. You all do a great job content-wise, seriously icon_biggrin.gif
It just surprises me that given all the effort put in, a little extra time isn't spent to give it a final polish. But oh well.

Shame to hear you're working at 2AM icon_eek.gif

(mm, GTPod).
9 years ago
2am is nothing, my GTA:SA and Metroid Prime 2 reviews were actually finished at about 5am icon_surprised.gif icon_razz.gif
9 years ago
man, now i feel bad for pointing out such minor mistakes...
Add Comment
Like this review?
Share it with this tiny url: http://palg.nu/1CL

N4G : News for Gamers         Twitter This!

Digg!     Stumble This!

| More
  Pre-order or buy:
    PALGN recommends: www.Play-Asia.com

Australian Release Date:
  Out Now
Publisher:
  SNK Playmore
Developer:
  SNK Playmore
Players:
  1-2

Extra:
Online Leaderboard

Read more...
Currently Popular on PALGN
Australian Gaming Bargains - 08/12/11
'Tis the season to be bargaining.
R18+ Legislation
R18+ Legislation
Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations Preview
Hands on time with the game. Chat time with the CEO of CyberConnect 2.
PALGN's Most Anticipated Games of 2007
24 titles to keep an eye on during 2007.
PALGN's Most Anticipated Games of 2008
And you thought 2007 was populated.