Metal Slug: Super Vehicle - 001

aka: Arcade Archives: Neo Geo - Metal Slug, Metal Slug, Metal Slug 1, Metaru Suraggu
Moby ID: 5005
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Description official descriptions

Metal Slug, originally released on the Neo Geo, is a side-scrolling shoot'em'up.

The player(s) takes the role of a soldier (or two) and fights a gigantic army. Every level consists of running forward blasting anything that moves, while collecting power-ups along the way (there's also a wide selection of weaponry in the game). In the end of each level the player goes up against one gigantic boss.

The PlayStation port introduces some extra features: there is a combat school where the player may fight with other players for the best time on each level and an art gallery.

Spellings

  • メタルスラッグ - Japanese spelling

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Credits (Arcade version)

17 People

Design
Planning
Sound
Program
-
  • Nazca Corporation

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 83% (based on 33 ratings)

Players

Average score: 4.1 out of 5 (based on 152 ratings with 3 reviews)

The first installment of my favorite Run 'n' Gun Series

The Good
This is my first review, so let's take a look at the first Metal Slug game.

Story:

The story, as there is one to begin with in an Arcade game, goes like this: You play as Marco Rossi and Tarma Roving from the Peregrine Falcon Strike Force. Their Mission is to reclaim or destroy the Metal Slug and to eliminate the Powerbase of the evil General Morden and his Nazi-like army.

That's the basic story of this game. Nothing special so we move on the gameplay.

Gameplay:

Metal Slug is your typical Run 'n' Gun shooter. You are going around with your character and shoot everything there is. You can get other weapons like a Rocket Launcher and a Heavy Machine Gun, which help you along the way and are stronger than your regular weapon. If you don't feel like shooting with your gun, you can use your knife and go into direct combat with your enemy. It's useful for saving bullets for your weapons. If you are going through the levels, you can use the Metal Slug. You can run over your enemies and it's easier to shoot down helicopters and tanks.

The graphics hold up pretty good even for today. I really like the cartoon feeling of this game. If you kill a soldier, he dies in different ways. If you stab him with your knife, he loses blood and falls to the ground, or the soldier is burning and turns into ashes. The backgrounds look good as well for today. The music is okay in my opinion. You hear music pieces that become staples for the series and you can hear the Main Theme or the Assault Theme in other Metal Slug games, but differently arranged. Also, this game is probably the most down to earth in the series. You only shoot soldiers, tanks and helicopters, unlike the other games, where you shoot aliens and stuff.

The Bad
The only thing I can think of is that there are only two or three songs in the soundtrack. I wish they could have added a few more songs to the soundtrack but we get better soundtracks with the other games.

The Bottom Line
If you wanna play a fun Run 'n' Gun game you can't go wrong with this one but it's better to take a look at the other games and you'll probably find your favorite Metal Slug game.

Arcade · by Lisa Müller (28) · 2018

Excellent!

The Good
The Metal Slug games helped to re-invent platform gaming as the genre was dying a slow death. The first game proved to be a success that several sequels were made. I really had fun with the first game that I didn't notice that there was actually some sort of story to it.

General Morden launches an attack against the Regular Army and succeeded due to their massive firepower, and the cities that they were supposed to protect were destroyed. A group named “Resistance” was formed by surviving members of the Regular Army and attempted to launch an counter-attack using tanks that were constructed earlier, but this counter-attack also failed. 1st Lieutenant Marco Rossi of the Regular Army Peregrine Falcons, along with the help of 2nd Lieutenant Tarma Roving of the same unit, vows to engage the Rebellion and neutralize its leader, General Morden, while reclaiming the Metal Slug tanks to aid them in battles. If the tanks were unable to be recaptured, then they would have to destroyed to prevent them from being used by the Rebellion.

The gameplay involves Marco running through six stages and destroying soldiers and tanks using a variety of weapons, and defeating bosses at the end of each stage. The weapons can be obtained by freeing POWs. The game keeps track of how many POWs you rescued and this tracking system is used to give you bonus points at the end of each stage.

Metal Slug is aptly named due to the number of SV-001s that you can hop into. Not only is riding around in a vehicle a neat feature of the game, but doing so provides extra firepower which is more effective against bosses. It also can be used for backup; it can be damaged three times before it explodes, and Marco must get out immediately or he'll get caught in the explosion.

While you are running through a stage, it is worth admiring the breathtaking graphics. In stage one, you work your way through the forest and move on to where you see a sinking ship in the distance. From there, you go through fortified cities, mountains, canyons, and military bases. Sound-wise, Metal Slug is packed with an excellent soundtrack. There is an option in the “Art Gallery” where you can listen to each piece again while viewing concept art.

The enemies in the game provide a lot of humor, in the way that most of them portray themselves. They can be doing things like talking among themselves, playing their Game Boys and having a campfire out in the open. One of the highlights is catching them off-guard by hurling a grenade at them while they are doing these things.

The game is challenging as it uses the one-hit-and-you're-dead approach, meaning that you lose a life if one of the soldiers manages to knife you. Furthermore, just when you think it is easy to destroy that soldier launching a grenade at you, tanks start to appear only seconds later to make things worse. The default number of lives you are given is three, but if that is too much for you to handle, you can change how many lives you get through the options menu. Losing a life also means that you'll also lose any POWs you rescued.

Metal Slug was successfully ported to the Neo-Geo CD and the Saturn. However, it is the PlayStation version that stands out. Not only does it have “Combat School” and the art gallery, but it also features “Another Story” which can only be unlocked by completing the game. This is a series of mini-games which are worth having a go at, and although the instructions are in Japanese it wouldn't take that much time to figure out what to do. For instance, the first of the mini-games involve you turning several POWs into cry-babies so that their captors would investigate the commotion and get beaten up by another POW that got away earlier, releasing the other ones in the process.

The Bad
During each stage the CD needs to access some data at least twice, meaning that the action will stop and whatever music is playing in the background will restart from the beginning.


The Bottom Line
Metal Slug was made at the time when platform games were fading out while first-person shooters were on the rise. The aim is to run through each stage, destroying everything that moves and defeating a gigantic boss at the very end. You can use a variety of weapons you get from rescued POWs to help make it easier. What makes this game great is the breathtaking graphics, intense action, and excellent sound; and if you are into playing platform games, then give this game a try. I find the PlayStation version superior to both the Neo-Geo and Saturn versions, due to the amount of extras it has.

PlayStation · by Katakis | カタキス (43092) · 2010

SNK and the little tank that could.

The Good
Metal Slug was a runaway hit when it came out on the arcades around 95/96, carving it's own niche and setting the grounds for a successful franchise that keeps going to this day.

Basically Metal Slug takes the run'n'gun sidescrolling gameplay first introduced by games like Contra, and then updates the graphics by adding the detailed animation SNK was known for, and basically that's it. You play as a couple of cartoony commandos sent in to destroy a Nazi-like army (complete with funky insignias and german-looking uniforms) and destroying their bases in several war movie-inspired locales such as a dense tropical jungle, bombarded eastern-europe cities, sea-bases, etc... all lovingly detailed thanks to the talented artists at SNK which also included lots of destructible areas that trigger all sorts of different gags.

Regardless of how inconsequential they might seem to a game's overall quality, the graphics are the key to Metal Slug's success, and that's because they include the most gorgeous example of SNK 2D animation prowess. Every sprite has an incredibly detailed animation, showing Capcom that there's at least one thing SNK does right. Furthermore, the graphics are also important, because they don't exactly match the tone of the gameplay. What am I talking about here? Well, Metal Slug is an incredibly furious action game, with lots of gore and lots of gunplay and explosions, but in a stellar design choice, SNK gave the game a cartoony and almost childish look that seems unfit for a game where you can slice an enemy's jugular and watch the blood spurt out from the wound. Still, the resulting combination ends up making the action/gore overdose much more bearable and the simple and clichéd gameplay remains entertaining and hardly ever becomes tiresome.

The level design is also a fantastic work of game design, with each level playing out like a mini-war movie in which the enemy soldiers pour on you by the thousands until you eventually have to face off against gigantic war machines with dozens of cannons coming out of their hulls and other powerful enemies that take hundreds of hits to defeat, a tricky feat to accomplish when you consider that only 1 hit is enough to kill your character. To even the odds somewhat you have a collection of weapon power-ups and the ability to climb on a Slug tank which is the star of the game and which gives you an energy bar and increased firepower when you are riding it. Those gimmicks along with the difficult task of releasing every hostage in the levels are enough to seal the package on what's essentially a fantastically charming action game.

Having said that, the game wouldn't have been worth jackshit unless it had been ported correctly, and while it isn't a stellar port (as it should have become obvious when you saw the words 2D and Playstation in the same place) it still manages to deliver the kickass gameplay along with most of the graphic charm while adding some value-increasing options such as the combat school game mode and some galleries and extras to browse.

Oh, and the ending is absolutely precious, with a melancholic yet tongue-in-cheek look at war that mimics the ending of a few war movies and which is simply priceless.

The Bad
2D and PSX don't go together, and you know it. Missing frames, pixellated explosions, and other problems like garbled audio make the game quite less impressive than it's arcade original. And then you have those load times.... ugh....

The Bottom Line
Metal Slug belongs to that small group of cute, itty, bitty simple games that also happen to be ultra violent action fests that you can never get enough of (See: SmashTV). SNK proves that when it directs it's efforts to something else than ripping off Capcom's then good things happen.

No action gamer can let this one pass up, and it's charming detail and animations are sure to be enough to lure reflex-allergic people to it. Yes, the PSX version is far from being a perfect port, but you could do a lot worse, so quit your whinning and go raise some hell!!

PlayStation · by Zovni (10503) · 2004

Trivia

1001 Video Games

Metal Slug appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Similarities

The development team for Metal Slug had previously worked for Irem on titles like In the Hunt and Gun Force II, with many similarities in graphics and gameplay, especially Gun Force II which some fans refer to as "Metal Slug Zero".

Tank design

The Metal Slug tank design is strikingly similar to the tank in the anime Dominion Tank Police.

Awards

  • Electronic Gaming Monthly
  • March 1997 (Issue 92) - Neo Geo Game of the Year runner-up

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Kate Jones.

PS Vita added by Fred VT. Nintendo Switch added by mars_rulez. PlayStation 3, PSP added by Lain Crowley. Arcade added by 666gonzo666. Neo Geo CD added by Rik Hideto. Gloud, Antstream added by firefang9212. Blacknut, PlayStation 4, Android, Xbox One added by Sciere. Macintosh, Windows Apps, Linux added by Foxhack. SEGA Saturn added by Kohler 86. iPhone, iPad added by Kabushi. Wii added by gamewarrior. Windows added by lights out party. Neo Geo added by Katakis | カタキス.

Additional contributors: Sciere, Alaka, Evil Ryu, BdR, samsam12, Plok, FatherJack.

Game added September 24, 2001. Last modified February 15, 2024.