|System: X360 (XBLA)||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: SNK Playmore||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: SNK Playmore||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Jan. 2, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Maria Montoro
Metal Slug 3, the sequel to # 2, was originally released in 2000. It's probably the best Metal Slug game out there, not only because it's more polished and detailed but also because of its innovation. The series went from WWII cartoonish fights to a more edgy warfare setting, letting in new and modern combatants. However, it never lost its awesome cartoonish feel; in fact, it's even more accentuated in the third title with beautifully detailed graphics and funny elements that will make you laugh out loud. The game has gone through multiple gaming platforms and even a few facelifts before it made it to the Xbox 360's Xbox Live Arcade.
Keep in mind the game was created for an arcade. As such, it features fun and frenzy, side-scrolling shooting-action that requires lots of button-mashing and incredible skill and reflexes to avoid the constant rain of bullets. Pushing buttons repeatedly to shoot is typical for this kind of game; if you don't mind the pain afterwards, you'll like Metal Slug 3. I have to admit it's an easy way to end up with carpal tunnel syndrome, so you might want to take breaks in between levels. However, who can resist and not play? Every old-school-gaming fan should play the game. Just like the arcade, you can play this game alone or with someone else. It's one of the best co-op games I've ever played, and the fact that the game is old doesn't change anything. If you don't check out the "Settings" menu, you'll find yourself mad and frustrated, ranting about how impossible it is to beat the game with just five credits. The game is tough and it's not like the 360 will let you pump in the quarters! (At least not that way ) Luckily, there's the Free Play option that lets you have as many "Continues" as you want so you can beat the game and be happy.
Free Play Vs. "Game Over - Start from the beginning because you run out of credits" is one of the advantages of playing this game on the Xbox 360. Who knows how many quarters you'd spend if you were playing on the arcade! Also, the game has been "remastered" to shine on an HD display, and it hides the pixilated feel you might have found in the original. Obtaining Achievement Points is another plus, although it's difficult to obtain achievements that require beating the levels without using one of the "Continues!" There's also online play: you can play with another friend who's far away using his/her own console, or even go for a co-op ride with someone you don't know; the leaderboards will let you see who ranks amongst the best. Other than that, the game is pretty much the same as it was on the Arcade, the PS2, the Wii, and the original Xbox.
One of the best things Metal Slug 3 has to offer is the character pipeline, not only the four characters you can choose from, but also the numerous amount of enemies you'll encounter depending on the paths you take. At first you'll fight the classic hordes of crazy soldiers found in previous installments, but later more wacky enemies will join the team - gooey aliens, sick zombies, hungry piranhas, suicidal Middle-Easterners, and more! They'll surprise you with funny stuff like running away in their underwear, puking on you, and other various things like that. Other times your own character will suffer transformations, like when you eat too much and become a badass fatty, or when the zombies throw orange glop at you and turn you into a "shoe-dragging" zombie. And guess what you do as a zombie instead of launching grenades? You'll puke all over your enemy and kill it with ease; it works like a charm