Yesterday afternoon I decided to dig out a bunch of PlayStation 2 games and give them all a bit of a once over. Stretch their legs after a long time dormant so to speak. One of the games I dug out was Metal Slug 6. A title in the famous and much-loved Metal Slug series that I think doesn’t quite get the recognition it so richly deserves. When you ask someone which of the Metal Slug games is their personal favourite, you will nearly always receive responses around any title except Metal Slug 6. To be honest up unitl yesterday afternoon I would very likely have delivered the same response.
After popping in the game disc and hooking up a Namco PlayStation arcade stick, I played Metal Slug 6 for a few minutes, just a trial run, see how things go. A couple of hours later I was still playing (and credit feeding) my way through the missions. Each one is more intense, action-packed and ludicrous than the last! Granted, this is a Metal Slug game, packed with the usual refinements. Big guns, big action, big explosions all wrapped up with a delicious epic battle score, topped off with wonderful hand-drawn artwork and animation. That right there though was the kicker for me. It’s the little finishing touches that just add to the overall experience of the game and make it so much fun to play over the other ‘Slug’ titles in the series.
“It’s the little things that make the difference.”
Sure, the series has always been known for it’s quirky, comedic moments and rib-tickling extra frames of character animation, but in Metal Slug 6 I think this comes to the fore even stronger, and it is all the better a game for it. Metal Slug 6 is so over the top, so wild, so overtly flamboyant that you cannot help but raise a genuine smile while playing it. Compare this to the original Metal Slug game, and it’s sequels which, in my opinion, have always had the same comedic cartoon vibe but are not anywhere near as ambitiously ludicrous as the sixth installment. Aside from a cut scene where one of the bosses ends up losing his trousers, it’s the little things that make the difference. Brain-sucking aliens, giant robots, big, burly locomotives packing scuds. Oh and my personal favourite, a fully loaded armoured donkey and carriage! The list goes on and on with each new weapon and vehicle widening the already expansive grin that will be noticably visible on your face to all and sundry.
Another neat touch that I just adored about this game is the inclusion of a horizontally scrolling STG (shoot ’em up) level featuring your chosen hero taking to the skies in a jump jet and taking on swarms of enemies that at times can get quite manic with their bullet patterns and formations. I was taken somewhat by surprise when, after being shot down, your hero ejects from the plane only to carry on via the wonder of a jet pack that would make even ‘that guy from the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics’ hang his head in shame!
I throughly enjoyed Metal Slug 6. On reflection I now hold this title in much higher regard than I used to compared to the other titles in the series. In fact I’d go so far as to say it is my favourite of all of them right now. Metal Slug 6 is an absolute joy and I would have no hesitation in recommending this game. Just make sure you pick up a Japanese copy as I understand PAL region discs have an issue with button press latency apparently.