Metal Slug 3 Review

Life can get pretty complicated sometimes and the same goes for video games. The more technologically sophisticated we become the greater the risk that we could be losing some of the fundamentals. With games now hitting the consoles regularly that can require a huge investment in learning the control scheme, understanding the nuances of the gameplay, and just in general being very involved it’s nice to remember a simpler time (Jeez, I sound like my parents!). Well with that in mind I give you Metal Slug 3. Now let’s see if the good ole days were any good…

Metal Slug 3 (MS3) is a port of the arcade game from the late 1990’s and for fans of the series this was arguably the best of the bunch. For those not familiar with the games here’s all you need to know: shoot everything. Yes, this is a side-scrolling shooter in the truest sense of the word. Think along the lines of Contra and you’ll know what you’re dealing with. MS3 is all about the fun of shooting a lot of different things very quickly. While there may be a story to MS3, the instruction book had 3 pages of background information, it really doesn’t matter and would only get in the way of blowing stuff up anyway! No, all you need to worry about is what can you shoot next.

As I said, the game is a side scrolling shooter where your character runs from the left side towards the right side. Pretty basic 2D stuff. You typically have two types of attack: guns and bombs. Both are upgradeable from items that you’ll find as you go along. Throughout the levels, there are 5 in all, you will run across scruffy looking POWs that look a little like Tom Hanks in Cast Away. Once you free one of these guys they will show their gratitude by not only saying “Thanks”, but also by giving you some sort of weapon upgrade. There are lots of other items to pick up for points during the game like coins, letters and food. One of the funnier things that can happen is that if you pick up too many food items your character will balloon in size for a few minutes.

The main attraction to the game is the Arcade mission although there are a few more modes thrown in that are more like mini-games. You have the ability in the Mission select mode to go to any level directly that you have already completed in the Arcade mode. A couple of the modes are only playable after you fully complete the Arcade mission, including Fat Island where you try to not only defeat the bad guys but to also eat and weigh as much as possible. One thing MS3 has going for it is a great sense of humor. This is apparent throughout the game from the levels that you play, to the type of enemies you encounter, to the type of power ups you get. For example, Level 2 has you playing though some sort of zombie-filled wasteland. Not only are the enemies mostly zombies, but also you can turn into one yourself. Best part about that is when you try your “bomb” attack it comes out as you spewing a huge stream of blood out of your mouth that wipes out everyone in its path. Sure, it sounds kind of gross but it’s really pretty funny. There are a lot of little touches to this game that make you appreciate it the more you play. Most deal with the humor of the character animations and their reactions. Like the diaper wearing, gun toting orangutan that is more likely to pick its nose than to help you in a fire fight. Or the suit-wearing-government-looking guy that you rescue who thanks you buy having a couple of shady looking agents drop off a suitcase full of weapons. There is just a ton of these little details like this.