Metal Slug; the OG game that launched a franchise

VGEsoterica

Gold Member
If there are wo things I love it's the Neo Geo and Metal Slug. Ok well I love a lot more than just those two things but you get my point. But I figured it was time to talk about it because I feel like while its still a celebrated franchise when it comes to retro gaming it's not getting as MUCH celebration as I think it deserves. Am I the one who decides what series gets X amount of praise? No...but I'd like to be lolol

But seriously it is WILD to think a game this old has so much damn detail packed into every pixel. I still remember playing it in arcades back in the day before I owned a Neo Geo (much later) and it was mind blowing just how GOOD it looked in motion. Like I'd never seen that detailed graphics before...and it just felt straight up "magic" as a kid. Hell as an adult who knows how these games get made...it still feels like maybe 10% magic.

But seriously this is the game that impressed me more gameplay wise and graphically than any other back in the day. Which makes me curious...what games did YOU play that made you say "damn I didn't realize they could make it look THAT good" because we all have them

 

nkarafo

Member
I was so impressed with the quality and quantity of animations in this game. I remember how i couldn't believe how there are so many little things animated, like the way the character reloads the pistol sometimes.

And the next couple of sequels were even better. To this day, there isn't a game using pixel art like this that has better animation and shading than Metal Slug 3. Only Gunforce 2 comes close but that's an even older game.
 

reforen

Member
this is like contra on steroids, I remember playing it in arcades and was really fun in coop, for me metal slug 1 - 3 are the best in the series
 

drganon

Member
I've only played 1-3 so far, but the first is my favorite. 3 wasn't too bad but got a little bullet spongey with some bosses and 2 was sluggish.
 

StreetsofBeige

Gold Member
Best animations and best art style for shooters during the 90s. I cant describe that art style in any way except - it's Metal Slug. Awesome sprite based explosions too.
 

zaanan

Banned
Had the series on MAME back in the day, me and the kids played the hell out of it. Have it on PS4 now, they download it sometimes when they visit. All great games!
 
Loved Metal Slug specially as a kid/teen, couldn't stop playing it on NeoRAGEx. I even got to the point of beating it with just one credit!

That only happened with the first one tho. 2 (X) and 3 are awesome too, but they felt way too hard to me.
 

Naked Lunch

Member
The Metal Slug series has the best 2d animation ever created in any media in my view. It will never be topped.
And to my eyes, I think Metal Slug has the best videogame graphics ever made. No amount of 3d rendering shenanigans will change my mind.

Every Metal Slug is a good time, but Metal Slug 1 is the best in the series. Its the most militant (no crazy aliens), its not too long, and its paced perfectly. MS1 is also fair and able to be 1 credited with skill.

Alot of people will say Metal Slug 3 is the best but its final long slog level ruins that entire game. Once I hit the last level in MS3, I turn the game off. I love the branching paths of MS3 though. I wish they made the ultimate Metal Slug with tons and tons of branching paths - not just one path here and there. It would make for some crazy replay value.
 

VGEsoterica

Gold Member
The Metal Slug series has the best 2d animation ever created in any media in my view. It will never be topped.
And to my eyes, I think Metal Slug has the best videogame graphics ever made. No amount of 3d rendering shenanigans will change my mind.

Every Metal Slug is a good time, but Metal Slug 1 is the best in the series. Its the most militant (no crazy aliens), its not too long, and its paced perfectly. MS1 is also fair and able to be 1 credited with skill.

Alot of people will say Metal Slug 3 is the best but its final long slog level ruins that entire game. Once I hit the last level in MS3, I turn the game off. I love the branching paths of MS3 though. I wish they made the ultimate Metal Slug with tons and tons of branching paths - not just one path here and there. It would make for some crazy replay value.
the only 2D animations I put at the same level as Metal Slug is some of Arc Systems work on Guilty Gear
 

Naked Lunch

Member
the only 2D animations I put at the same level as Metal Slug is some of Arc Systems work on Guilty Gear
True. Street Fighter 3 is there and Garou Mark of the Wolves - but the Metal Slug team made everything in the game move - and move with character and style. Even the Metal Slug vehicles move, bend, and shift like a living thing - and this was all animated by hand.

I always got a kick out of that one Metal Slug stage where the old lady runs out of the house at the beginning - if you were good enough you could keep up with her thru the stage.
 

VGEsoterica

Gold Member
True. Street Fighter 3 is there and Garou Mark of the Wolves - but the Metal Slug team made everything in the game move - and move with character and style. Even the Metal Slug vehicles move, bend, and shift like a living thing - and this was all animated by hand.

I always got a kick out of that one Metal Slug stage where the old lady runs out of the house at the beginning - if you were good enough you could keep up with her thru the stage.
yes every square inch of Metal Slug is filled with detail
 
I remember playing the first game in the arcades back in my homeland, India. It was such an amazing experience. Most of the games we played were fighting games such as Street Fighter 2 and Tekken and the occasional side-scroller, such as Cadillacs and Dinosaurs (what a game!). This was a very different experience because the art-style was something so fresh back then. I remember getting Metal Slug X for PS1 and playing is so much. Still do, from time to time. What a series.

 

AndrewRyan

Member
Played the crap out of Metal Slug Anthology on PS2. That disc was such a great value. Can't remember how many versions it came with but they were all fun in different ways.
 

CamHostage

Member
I LOVE Contra but I will firmly state....Metal Slug > Contra any day of the week

So, I don't know if there's really value there is for me to come in and battle with a roomful of Metal Slug fans, but...

Despite its beautiful graphics, I never liked Metal Slug simply because it was not fun to jump. There's two buttons (plus some alt stuff downstream for grenades or weapons,) and one of those buttons is IMO not that much fun to press. That's where Contra always killed Metal Slug for me, you could maneuver all over the screen and get out of close calls; Metal Slug needed a healthbar because you just can't move well enough to avoid hits sometimes. (...Okay, no damage Metal Slug runs are conceptually possible.)

...You know, maybe the reason I could never get into Metal Slug was because people compared it to Contra (and still do,) and the comparison never fit truly. Both are a run-and-gun games, but Metal Slug is really more akin to more ground-level, almost beat-em-up style "shooters" like Vectorman, Shinobi, or GnG. (Cuphead is a more modern example, albeit its platforming is much more core to the gameplay than Metal Slug.) Contra and Metal Slug both gun on the run, but they're ultimately different games.

Luckily, there's no reason to bring Turrican into this debate...
 
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VGEsoterica

Gold Member
So, I don't know what value there is for me to come in and battle with a roomful of Metal Slug fans, but...

Despite its beautiful graphics, I never liked Metal Slug simply because it was not fun to jump. There's two buttons (plus some alt stuff downstream for grenades or weapons,) and one of those buttons is not that much fun to press. That's where Contra always killed Metal Slug for me, you could maneuver all over the screen and get out of close calls; Metal Slug needed a healthbar because you just can't move well enough to avoid hits sometimes. (...Okay, no damage Metal Slug runs are conceptually possible.)

You know, maybe the reason I could never get into Metal Slug was because people compared it to Contra (and still do,) and the comparison never fit for me. Both are a run-and-gun games, but Metal Slug is really more akin to more ground-level, almost beat-em-up style "shooters" like Vectorman, Shinobi, or GnG. (Cuphead is a more modern example, albeit its platforming is much more core to the gameplay than Metal Slug.) Contra and Metal Slug both gun on the run, but they're ultimately different games.

Luckily, there's no reason to bring Turrican into this debate...
I think everyone is entitled to their opinions. Contra is a legit awesome game. I just love Slug more
 

A.Romero

Member
Great game!
Now that I think about it, it's probably the game that I've played over the most platforms counting arcade, PSX, PSP, Emulators and PC. For some reason the PC port craps out with resolution changes but I still play it from time to time.
 

isoRhythm

Banned
Awesome games, I also really liked the flash game ripoffs of them as well.

I'm looking forward to Metal Slug Tactics even though it's very different.
 
Had one of the Metal Slug games on my mobile phone once. Was a fun time shooting all over the place on that small LCD screen.
 

VGEsoterica

Gold Member
Awesome games, I also really liked the flash game ripoffs of them as well.

I'm looking forward to Metal Slug Tactics even though it's very different.
Tactics looks fun. I am glad to see SNK going back to the franchise. If Tactics sells well let’s hope that means there is consideration for a Metal Slug 8
 

VGEsoterica

Gold Member
Great game!
Now that I think about it, it's probably the game that I've played over the most platforms counting arcade, PSX, PSP, Emulators and PC. For some reason the PC port craps out with resolution changes but I still play it from time to time.
I get that. I’ve played them on basically every platform ever
 

azertydu91

Hard to Kill
Oh man the afternoons that I spent playing those games...How much coins did you guys needed to complete them ?I know I could finish metal slug 2 with around 10 coins.
They are probably the best example of games that has not aged at all.
 

VGEsoterica

Gold Member
Oh man the afternoons that I spent playing those games...How much coins did you guys needed to complete them ?I know I could finish metal slug 2 with around 10 coins.
They are probably the best example of games that has not aged at all.
Oh I can’t remember how many coins I spent back in the day. Probably too many
 

wondermega

Member
So, I don't know if there's really value there is for me to come in and battle with a roomful of Metal Slug fans, but...

Despite its beautiful graphics, I never liked Metal Slug simply because it was not fun to jump. There's two buttons (plus some alt stuff downstream for grenades or weapons,) and one of those buttons is IMO not that much fun to press. That's where Contra always killed Metal Slug for me, you could maneuver all over the screen and get out of close calls; Metal Slug needed a healthbar because you just can't move well enough to avoid hits sometimes. (...Okay, no damage Metal Slug runs are conceptually possible.)

...You know, maybe the reason I could never get into Metal Slug was because people compared it to Contra (and still do,) and the comparison never fit truly. Both are a run-and-gun games, but Metal Slug is really more akin to more ground-level, almost beat-em-up style "shooters" like Vectorman, Shinobi, or GnG. (Cuphead is a more modern example, albeit its platforming is much more core to the gameplay than Metal Slug.) Contra and Metal Slug both gun on the run, but they're ultimately different games.

Luckily, there's no reason to bring Turrican into this debate...
Agree, Contra is the much better game (in my eyes) because it simply handles better, the level designs are more fun, the way the weapons work. Even though the games are the same genre they are drastically different approaches, so I can see why one would be considered a favorite over the other in either case.

Anyway I will chime in and say that Slug is obviously a top-tier game on the NeoGeo (well, definitely an overall classic arcade legend at this point) - not sure which is my favorite, I tend to like the original entries in such games due to nostalgia at least. But the first one might be my favorite soundtrack of the series!

Also gameplay-wise Contra>Gunstar Heroes>Metal Slug (I think...)
 

kunonabi

Member
Hard to say which games really wowed me in terms of visuals. Probably the big one was seeing Virtua Fighter 3 in the arcade for the first time.
 

VGEsoterica

Gold Member
Agree, Contra is the much better game (in my eyes) because it simply handles better, the level designs are more fun, the way the weapons work. Even though the games are the same genre they are drastically different approaches, so I can see why one would be considered a favorite over the other in either case.

Anyway I will chime in and say that Slug is obviously a top-tier game on the NeoGeo (well, definitely an overall classic arcade legend at this point) - not sure which is my favorite, I tend to like the original entries in such games due to nostalgia at least. But the first one might be my favorite soundtrack of the series!

Also gameplay-wise Contra>Gunstar Heroes>Metal Slug (I think...
Metal Slug at the back? Thems fighting words
 

CamHostage

Member
I think everyone is entitled to their opinions. Contra is a legit awesome game. I just love Slug more
Agree, Contra is the much better game (in my eyes)...

Also gameplay-wise Contra>Gunstar Heroes>Metal Slug (I think...)

Well, I'll try to defuse the war I invaded myself into by saying I envy the people who love Metal Slug, because it's a gorgeous and comedic game, and it has a better chance at a future (albeit possibly in...*shudder*... 3-D) than Contra now with Konami in a retirement home or whatever's going on there.

(*Also, Gunstar Heroes is pretty f###ing good, although it's got no arcade version so it'll never get to see itself in a VGEsoterica OT.)
 
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Absolutely adore those kind of graphics! They do age very well. Also game is a lot of fun, especially in 2-player mode. I miss playing with my friends and brother.
 
Metal Slug is timeless. I remember seeing it at the arcade back in the day when I was still playing Contra on NES and I could'nt belive my eyes. 30 years later and I'm still wowed by its graphics.
 

IbizaPocholo

NeoGAFs Kent Brockman

It's Metal Slug Mania Time! A Ten Part Series dedicated to looking at the history and evolution of the mainline Metal Slug franchise from SNK! Last week we talked about Metal Slug 2 and how it was an amazing evolution on the original Metal Slug run and gun formula...but how it ran a little slow on the Neo Geo AES / MVS! Well SNK realized this too...and they gave us an enhanced remake in Metal Slug X! It's still a bit slow...but some argue this is the best Metal Slug of all time! It's retro gaming royalty after all!
 

Naked Lunch

Member
How can you check these out on today's consoles?
The ACA NeoGeo games I think are on all consoles. All the Metal Slug games are in the ACA line except for XX - I know XX was on 360 and is BC with newer Xbox consoles.

So yeah, ACA NeoGeo Metal Slug 1 2 X 3 4 5.
 

00_Zer0

Member
I love this series. I love 1, X and 3 the most. There is a patch/hack out there that removes the atrocious slow down of MS 2. There are plenty of ways to get this on today's consoles and PC. These are classic games that still has some of the best pixel art today. After KOF 15 I will be curious to see what today's SNK can do with the series. It surely won't be a pixel art game.
 
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