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Metal Slug: 1st Mission – Neo Geo Pocket Color


Platform: Neo Geo Pocket Color

Developer: SNK

Publisher: SNK

Release: May 15, 1999

Genre: Action, Platform Shooter, Run & Gun

Nerd Rating: 65/100

Metal Slug: 1st Mission is SNK’s portable adaptation of the popular arcade run n’ gun shooter. When one first picks up the somewhat ergonomic Neo Geo Pocket Color (yes, it strangely feels pretty decent in my huge hands) to play this gem of a game, they’ll notice that they’re screen isn’t backlit and they’ll have to sit near a lamp or a light source.  This is one of the major drawbacks to the Neo Geo Pocket Color, but don’t let that keep you from enjoying any of the great games on this pocket sized system.  Note that I am reviewing the quality of gameplay for the NGPC version and not the Neo Geo AES or Arcade versions.

Before I started playing Metal Slug: 1st Mission, I switched the difficult to easy.  There is a kids version, but I wanted to see what I 015could do on easy for the purposes of this review.  I can assume that there are either more enemy sprites in higher difficulties or that the enemies might take more hits, but let’s see how “easy” the easy setting is.  The plot to this story isn’t well-defined, but this game is less about plot and more about killin’.

I breezed through the entire first stage, fighting a mini-boss helicopter, mowing down enemies while operating a tank, and then almost going shmup-style in a fighter jet plane.  It was a pretty enjoyable first level.  The main boss of this level is somewhat annoying.  It does not require much skill or difficulty to shoot down the main boss who was blasting bullets onto the ground in the slowest fashion, but it just takes too many hits.  I must have made contact with over 150 bullets before this thing went down.  A little too much for my taste, but oh well. Let’s continue.

The next mission starts me off in the same jet plane, but this time the missiles flying at me and the enemies are instantly more advanced and tougher to defeat than in the first mission.  I really enjoyed shooting the missiles in this level, but I was entirely displeased with the bombs that they force me to use at the beginning.  It’s so frustrating trying to do anything with those bombs that you’ll go out of your way to avoid collecting the square labeled “B” (which obviously increases your number of bombs).  The level progresses to better areas, especially when I’m on foot and I get to jump in and out of the trees shooting and stabbing people (which is one of my favorite things to do).


As I continued to progress in the game I found myself growing more and more frustrated at the level lay-outs, enemy difficulty (in the sense that they just won’t die! No matter how many times I shoot them!), boss difficulty, some of the control schemes, and some minor issues (like when I was too close to the edge on an elevator and got crushed by the ceiling above me).  It becomes increasingly difficult to aim your gun and go in any direction. You find yourself running and shooting forward, then having to physically stop and shoot something behind you in the vein of Contra Shattered Soldier on the Playstation 2.

Much like Metal Slug 2, it’s big brother successor on the Neo Geo AES CD, this game can be fun for a run n’ gun action shooter for only so long until you find yourself growing a little tired of doing the same thing over and over on each level, and even worse is how long it takes most of these guys to die. Does it really take 200+ bullets to kill a tank?! Apparently for Metal Slug it does.  The replay value of this game is fair, as it’s still a fun game to just pick up and play and shoot down the enemy for a while. The save feature is especially nice if you want to come back to it later.  Not the best game I’ve ever played and certainly not the worst.90811-Metal_Slug_-_1st_Mission-2

Oh, and beware of the God-awful train level (I think it’s stage 5)… Just………… Awful.


The graphics are fair, the sound is just decent (although I really do enjoy the sound of the gunshots), the game is very playable and the replayability is moderate to moderately-high.  All are just average. Nothing stands out too much but nothing is atrocious in this game (except that stupid train level… GRRRRR!!!!!!!).

Nerd Rating: 65 / 100

Submitted by NerdBerry

Written by Nerdberry


What’s up yall? David “Nerdberry” here! I am the founder of Nerd Bacon and the current co-owner (and CEO) along with partner David “theWatchman!” I hail from North Carolina, hence my love for all things pork! Oh, you’re not familiar with NC? Well I’m not 100% sure, but I am pretty confident that NC and VA lead the nation in pork production. I could be wrong, but even if I am, I still love bacon!

Come enjoy some bacon and games with us yall.


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