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It's a fantastic game in its own right and would probably get a Gold Award were it not for the fact that if you look hard enough you can find the Wii version of Metal Slug Anthology, which contains this along with six other Metal Slug games, for about a tenner.
It's a shame that the nagging slowdown in the game basically drags down what would otherwise be a near-perfect run-n-gun title. It's really the only negative aspect to be found throughout the game, but sadly it's a pretty significant problem when it's all said and done. The game is still a very enjoyable action title, but it won't take you long to realize why SNK would basically create an updated version of this very same game with the release of Metal Slug X. Metal Slug X basically takes this amazing game and fixes many of the slowdown issues that plagued it. If you really want to enjoy this game to the fullest, you might want to wait for SNK to release Metal Slug X on the Virtual Console.
But sadly the same caveat that accompanied the first Metal Slug on the VC still applies. The Metal Slug Anthology collates seven games from the series on disc, and can now be bought for just over twice the price of this solitary offering. If you like frantic blasting and silly humour then I heartily recommend you seek out Metal Slug. Just don't feel obliged to do it via Virtual Console.