Published on February 15th, 2013 | by Chris Ramirez, Editor
Metal Slug 2 iOS Review
Developer: SNK PLAYMORE
Platform: iOS and Android Devices
Release Date: Feb. 7, 2013
The Metal Slug games are considered to be nothing less than a classic franchise. The Metal Slug series redefined the run-and-gun genre when it hit the arcades back in 1996. They have been ported onto almost every system with a single or anthology release.
One of the most popular games in the series is Metal Slug 2.
Released in 1998 on the NEOGEO arcade, Metal Slug 2 saw the return of General Morden and his army in attempt to take over the world. The Peregrine Falcon squad, with the help of Eri Kasamoto and Fiolina Germi from the Sparrow Intelligence Unit, are called into action to prevent General Morden’s new world order.
Now, 15 years later, Metal Slug 2 comes to touch screen mobile devices through the Apple App Store and Google Play Marketplace.
To the delight to many fans, SNK decided to release the original NEOGEO release without the HD upgrade. However, much like other classic arcade ports, SNK does include filter options to make Metal Slug 2 more visually appealing for today’s high-resolution screens.However the game’s cartoonish style already provides a perfect, tongue-in-cheek balance to the violence of the game, making a HD reboot unnecessary.
Similar to the original NEOGEO game, this update does suffer from slowdowns. However, most of the slowdowns were caused by notifications, switching back to the game via multitasking, or continuing after unlocking my device. Actual in-game slowdowns occurred during later levels when enemies stormed in massive waves. The lag, however, is quick and brief so, as a result, the slowdowns did not affect the overall experience. Performance was flawless when notifications were turned off and all opened applications were closed. The gameplay is what you would remember from a Metal Slug game, the biggest change comes from the controls.
One of the reasons Metal Slug worked so well is due to tight controls. Having an arcade stick or D-Pad provided the quickness and accuracy needed to complete the game. Replaced with a touch screen “stick,” the controls are still accurate even during the tougher stages. Problems did occur with the action buttons due to the default layout and inaccuracy.
The fire button is located in the middle of the three-button layout. It is oversized compared to the other buttons: the jump button to the left and grenade button to the right. Problems occurred with the smaller jump and grenade buttons, in which the touch screen does not respond very well. I also missed them because of the smaller size and placement which caused me to die. Luckily SNK included an option to be able to customize the button layout. These options helped on missing the button but some unresponsiveness still occurred.
Growing up during the actual release of the Metal Slug series, it seems unnatural to play without an actual arcade stick. However, I did eventually get used to the touch controls but it still seemed to be less accurate than what I would prefer.
SNK included additional features with the game. Along with the original Arcade Mode, SNK included a Mission Mode. As you unlock levels in Arcade, they will become available in the Mission Mode. Mission Mode is simply a level select screen. This is a small but much needed feature for mobile devices. The addition of Mission Mode allows instant replay ability of your favorite levels.
In addition to the Mission Mode, SNK included multiplayer via Bluetooth. The Bluetooth connection worked flawlessly and gameplay did not suffer during our review period. However, due to the Bluetooth, fast battery draining became an issue.
SNK should have included multiplayer via online or even a Wi-Fi to help with the fast battery draining. Especially for a mobile release, Wi-Fi multiplayer is become the norm and is almost expected on any game that supports multiple players originally.
One of Metal Slug’s infamous characteristics is the insane difficulty. SNK made this port an easy pick up and play game to anyone who is new to the series. They accomplished this by having different difficulty settings with a combination of available credits. For example, the easy difficulty level not only makes the game easy but gives players 20 credits if they do die. This insures a causal gaming experience and guarantees finishing the game easily while maintaining an authentic Metal Slug 2 experience.
Despite the lack of multiplayer options via online or Wi-Fi, Metal Slug 2 is a fun and addictive game to have available on your smart phone and or tablet. The addition of Mission Mode enhances the replay value of the game by allowing you to replay favorite missions without the need to start the game from the beginning. This is a great addition for smart phone gamers who tend to have short gaming sessions or often game in spurts during daily dead times.
+ Original NEOGEO Port
+ Mission mode
– No Online or Wi-Fi multiplayer