Metal Slug 2 – Neo Geo CD
Platform: Neo Geo CD
Release Date (JP): February 23rd, 1998
Genre: Run and Gun
Rating: 6.5 out of 10
Another title dug out from the depths of my unplayed games, Metal Slug 2 turned out to be quite a pleasant surprise, even if it is a copy I’ve burned for myself. Listed among the more notable and favored games of the Neo Geo CD, it made it onto my short list of “to be burned,” and I regret not digging into it sooner. In many ways this is a typical “run and gun” type game but the smooth controls, luscious graphics, and almost mindless but always fun and sometimes addictive gameplay really shows off what a wonderful system the Neo Geo CD really is.
There is perhaps a storyline present somewhere in Metal Slug 2, but it’s highly irrelevant. This game is about one thing: killing as many people as you can. A definite button-masher, Metal Slug 2 is a side-scrolling affair with smidge of jumping needed. A few differing weapons are available, but aside from the heavy machine gun they’re all located in specific places and some only appear once or twice in the game. There’s nothing much to think about or figure out here, just the instant gratification of mowing people down and destroying helicopters, boats, and even tanks, sometimes with nothing but a pistol.
The eponymous “metal slug” is a loosely termed vehicle present in each mission, usually near enough to the end that with a little caution one can fight the giant war machine bosses with increased defense, maneuverability, and firepower. As the game progresses so does the difficulty, but it doesn’t really get out of control until the 5th mission. At this point a fresh batch of continues and a modicum of luck will be needed to move forward. Despite what ultimately becomes a tempest of ill-defined projectiles, the static backgrounds look great considering the time period and the sprites are some of the most detailed and well defined I’ve ever seen.
With too much reliance on luck rather than strategy to successfully complete areas of Metal Slug 2, gameplay can become frustrating after awhile. The game is also strikingly short and there isn’t much incentive to replay over and over again due to the absence of any secret areas or hidden items. Metal Slug 2 is a nicely done piece of work from its era but in today’s videogaming world it can only be seen as somewhat obsolete and overly simplistic. A well done game that sadly doesn’t stack up against the giants of today.
Reviewed by The Cubist
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