Metal Slug 5 PS2 Review

We have got to question as to why those living in the states could purchase Metal Slug 4 and 5 as a single package, whilst such a deal wasn’t available in the UK and fans had to settle for purchasing both titles instead. It’s certainly maddening, but what can you do about it? Moaning like us certainly doesn‘t get you anywhere.

It’s true that all the Metal Slug games feel exactly the same, bar a few changes here and there, but they’re certainly a lot of fun if you are in the right frame of mind. You know the score, choose your military figure and blast your way through level after level of relentless colourful cartoon action, not stopping until the premature finale allows your battered and bruised fingers some deserved recuperating time. There’s an assortment of weapons too, and sometimes you’ll find yourself hopping into vehicles, which isn’t so much a break in the action, but another way to cause your enemies some pain.

Yes, even if the back of the box informs you that the game has 5 “massive stages”, which boast the occasional alternative route, Metal Slug 5 still comes up short in completion time, and it will take the vast majority under an hour to complete. It’s engaging enough mind you, and to be fair we wouldn’t want to be playing this for hours on end, simply because the non-stop action would surely grow repetitive over extended periods of time.

New on Slug 5 is the ability to slide out of harms way, and even coolly shoot at your enemies whilst you are doing it. It’s stylish and helpful, on what is a very difficult game, and you’ll want to make use of it when enemy bullets are flying in your direction.

You can’t die, as the skill is surviving as long as possible (doing what you can with your first three lives if you are pretending you are in the arcades) and rescuing the bearded POW‘s. If you do come a cropper you’ll just land back at the exact place you dropped, which doesn’t exactly fill you with enthusiasm to run out to the store – with a spring in your step -and slap £20 on the counter in exchange for a copy (it can be found much cheaper on the internet of course), given that the game could be completed in under an hour upon returning home to your waiting PS2 or Xbox.

But this is retro, and such games were about impressing others – as well as yourself – with notching up ego boosting scores. It’s a time that we miss and have often craved, and it’s one of the reasons why Xbox Live Arcade is such a big draw, in fact Metal Slug and Live Arcade would certainly be a workable partnership. But for now, if you really must have a Metal Slug fix, take your pick, if that is indeed possible from a mostly undistinguishable – although fun – series of games.