By , on December 19, 2012

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3 out of 5


  • METAL SLUG 1 as you remember it.
  • Tweaks give you the option of changing the visuals to your liking, as well as minor control adjustments.


  • Inadequate controls; changing them doesn't always save correctly for the aspect ratio you've selected - also too much obfuscation of the screen.


METAL SLUG deserves far better than a half-baked port of the classic shoot'em-up platformer - without better consideration to the controls and what the player can (and can't) see, you'd be better off taking a trip to the local arcade instead.

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There's one thing that has held back previous releases of the METAL SLUG franchise on the iOS platform, and that one thing is simply its 'controls'. The games are, without question, just as amazing as they were in the arcades and the perfect fodder for gamers after a hardcore side-scrolling shooter, but games like this live and die by their controls and sadly SNK PLAYMORE has missed an opportunity to come up with a novel solution.

If you've never played METAL SLUG, I thoroughly recommend getting hold of your local nerd and asking him or her to hook you up and show you what it's like - that or go to your local Arcade. In short it's almost akin to playing the most challenging of bullet hell games, but in the form of a platformer - think Contra on steroids and with a makeover.

Unfortunately the iOS release has its beautiful visuals smothered from all angles, be it from your own fingers (even in 4:3 aspect ratio you can expect some bleeding-over) or by the slow-downs that affect the game when firing more than a few bullets with smoothing and no scanlines on. At its best the game looks positively shameful and making precise maneuvers with the virtual buttons on offer is unsatisfying, even if it does work in your favor.

This, no doubt, explains the insane amount of credits you're afforded to 'continue' the game while playing - at least you'll be able to bludgeon your way through to the end, if nothing else.

METAL SLUG is a classic, not only for its time, but to this day it remains a quality side-scrolling platformer that challenges you to think carefully before diving in to the action. The iOS release is no less polished thanks to bringing the game over wholesale, but alternative solutions are needed to solve the control problem before it's recommended.


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