(Neo Geo)

Metal Slug 3 (Neo Geo)

Game Review

Metal Slug 3 Review

Europe PAL Version

Posted by Marcel van Duyn

Heavy metal

Due to the bevy of fighting games released for Neo Geo, it's always a refreshing sight to see a game of a different genre from the format re-released on Virtual Console. We've just about hit the jackpot this time — Metal Slug 3 can easily be considered one of the single best games the system ever got.

The first and second games in the series were already very solid games, but the third one is, surprisingly, even better. Curiously — though perhaps thankfully — D4 Enterprise has chosen to skip a release of Metal Slug X, which is a slightly retooled version of the second game that fixes the copious amounts of lag and rearranges enemy formations.

Metal Slug 3 doesn't really do anything radically different in terms of gameplay. You once again pick one of four characters, then fight and jump your way through seemingly endless hordes of enemy soldiers. Defeating a gigantic boss caps the end of each stage, and you'll most likely use a lot of continues along the way.

What it does do is add a ton more on top of the usual stuff. For the first time, levels are no longer straight paths to the end; all but one of them split up into alternate paths, usually with different enemies to deal with, before converging back into the same area shortly before the boss. There're less levels altogether than the previous games, but the last one is very long. Taking into consideration all the alternate paths in the others, there're actually a lot more places to go through — though of course it takes multiple playthroughs to see it all.

There's also a greater variety of enemies to fight against. While the first game only had regular soldiers and the second added mummies and aliens, Metal Slug 3 throws in mutant insects, zombies, yetis, fish and plenty more. It might've been getting a bit boring to mostly fight soldiers after two games, so the variety here is quite nice. Of course the bosses are great as well, with opponents including a giant half-mechanoid crab and a massive robot on treads with a claw and rocket launcher. As is pretty much tradition, all of them are huge and take up about half the screen.

While there're no new regular weapon pick ups to fight the enemies with, there are still other new ways to fight them, such as several new vehicles and even a new transformation. The transformation's got to be the highlight of the bunch — you can get turned into a zombie, after which you're able to shoot a gigantic beam of blood out of your mouth that obliterates almost anything in one shot.

Of course, a Metal Slug game isn't complete without fantastic spritework and a killer soundtrack, and this one delivers the goods. Levels and the new enemies are all beautifully detailed with loads of animation frames, and the soundtrack is just amazing, featuring nothing but CD quality tracks, and — compared to the previous two — many more awesome guitar riffs.


Metal Slug 3 doesn't really change that much from the previous games, but there're lots and lots of interesting smaller scale additions that come together to make an almost a perfect game; it's quite easily the best game in the Metal Slug series. It goes without saying that if you're even the slightest bit of a fan of action games, this is a must buy. You won't regret it!

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User Comments (43)



Marz said:

No mention that you can pick up all of the Metal Slug games on one disc with Metal Slug Anthology for 10 bucks? Bad journalism....



Weskerb said:

@Marz In my part of the world it is not possible to get Metal Slug Anthology for 10 bucks, or 10 euros or 10 pounds, or 10 anything. So I wouldn't say it was bad journalism, maybe if it was only going to be published in your country, but this is published for everyone to read on the internet.



Chunky_Droid said:

@Marz, that's not bad journalism, that's reviewing a product as is, with no need to mention past releases.

AFAIK the Metal Slug Anthology is no longer in print so the case of it being 10 bucks is only if someone else just happens to get rid of their own copy.



Chunky_Droid said:

To which, doing some research, the cheapest copy on E-Bay is $22 AUD (or 21.38 USD) and that's not even from your part of the world, it's from Britain.

Cheapest copy from America is just over 25 AUD



blackknight77 said:

I previously owned the Xbox original version which was crazy hard because you restart the levels from the beginning. At least the VC version does not do that, still Level 5 is insane, and is almost an entire game in itself.



Philip_J_Reed said:

No mention that you can pick up all of the Metal Slug games on one disc with Metal Slug Anthology for 10 bucks? Bad journalism....

Focusing on the game he's reviewing rather than some ancillary release that's no longer in print? BAD JOURNALISM YES.



shonenjump86 said:

I also had this game on Xbox, restarting in the beginning of a level was insane. I was never able to beat the game on the box. Still, Metal Slug 3 is one of the best games out there.



Drake said:

I mentioned the Anthology in my review of the first Metal Slug when that was released on VC, but yeah, it's been out of print for a while now and I don't want to keep bringing up the same thing every time.

Plus, the Anthology versions of the games aren't as well done as they are on VC, they've got some loading times, a bit of music delay (Music starting later than it should) and no Classic Controller support. And, if you play with a sideways Wii remote, you need to shake it to throw grenades, no thanks.



RVN said:

I have anthology, and won't sell it to anyone, ever
Just because of metal slug 3
this deserves 10/10, so many sideways, it's an arcade game replayable, really good, trust me



Scottie said:

Does anyone else think Metal Slug 3 is worth downloading even if you have the Metal Slug Anthology for the Wii? I am thinking about it as the classic controller cannot be used with the Metal Slug Anthology game but it can be with the Virtual Console version. Hope this post makes sense!! I do like these games though and they are better to play with the classic controller.



WaveGhoul said:

I've only played and beaten Metal Slug 2 & 7.....2 was pretty awesome, but the frame rate ruined part of the experience(Should of played 'MSX' instead on the Wii MS Collection), while 7 on the DS felt pretty bland and nowhere near as creative or interesting in comparison. I hear 3 is the imagnitive and the cream of the crop in the franchise, i'll definitly be checking this one out, along with Strider which i still haven't gotten to.



Henmii said:

It's a awesome title, but if you can you should get the Metal slug anthology on Wii. That disc has Metal slug 1, 2, 3, X, 4, 5 and 6. I love it!



Nintenbro said:

@Mickeymac, that's why I still haven't purchased any anthology or compilation discs of any kind. Virtual Console emulations are the closest you can get to experiencing the real thing. Actually, it is the real thing.




Urbanhispanic said:

At least the first three games are available to download for those who didn't get the Anthology compilation for the Wii like myself and a few other people.



SparkOfSpirit said:

Too bad X is inexplicably not on the VC.

If it was, I'd say grab 1, X, and 3, and skip the rest. Three of the best run n guns ever.



Expa0 said:

Already got the Anthology collection, so no need to buy this. I like Metal Slug 1, X and 5 better than this one.



Honved77 said:

My only complaint is that this appears to be the American home version of the game. Ie, no blood.
Except for this (and the absence of a rapid fire option, which wouldn't be bad), a wonderful game for the VC.



sinalefa said:

Thanks for the heads up with the anthology version, indeed it would be much better to use a cc on this one. Actually two, since these games are a riot with a friend.

I think I saw this one on the arcades but naturally never made it that far. May need to get this one. I don't have any of the others, and those screenshots suggest that you can tinker with the options to have tons of lives and ammo. Anyone knows if that is the case?



Honved77 said:

You can choose up to five lives per credit. The machine allows up to five credits. All in all, 25 lives.
The game also offers data load, and allows you to record and posteriorly start from any of the levels you've already won.



Darkrob said:

damn it! i have the anthology version but i´m considering this for the classic controller support... what to do!?



Darkrob said:

does anyone knows if this one has the top score saving? because i always compete with my friends and family for the top score and that could be the deal closer



WaveGhoul said:

What's wrong with MS 4-6? And what exactly is poor about the Anthology MS emulations?

I'd opt for the wii remote on it's side 'NES' style to play while shaking the wii remote to toss grenades since there's no CC support which has got to be the most bone headed decision on the developers part.

And ya.....Anthology collections never turn out as good as the actual games. Take the Mega man anniversary collection for example. MM1-6 sound quality was echoey, flat and really messed up, plus the button swap completely destroyed the experience....



alLabouTandroiD said:

Love the Anthology on the Wii. Played all the MS games there first so i don't really see them a individual titles. As far as i remember i really liked the DS game too.



luminalace said:

Really great game and the first Virtual Console game I have downloaded in absolutely ages!



Bikeage said:

I held off on Metal Slug Anthology because of the motion controls, but when I found it for too cheap to pass up realized that was a silly reason, nunchuk waggle controls are fine for MS, especially when VC MS games are $9 a pop.



gojiguy said:

This is good. because while I can play Metal Slug Anthology on wii with my Gamecube Arcade stick- when I transfer to wii U my copy of MSA is going the way of the dinosaur. I'll have to pick up the VC releases.



gojiguy said:

This is good. because while I can play Metal Slug Anthology on wii with my Gamecube Arcade stick- when I transfer to wii U my copy of MSA is going the way of the dinosaur. I'll have to pick up the VC releases.



NoOnes2 said:

Has anyone ever heard of METAL SLUG COMPLETE seriously metal slug anthology sucked the us release not only in metal slug complete is there no lag or glitches u can also use the CLASSIC CONTROLLER!



Shotgunryugan said:

I have a lot of good memories and nostalgia over this game,Metal Slug 3 was the very first Metal Slug game i played on the arcades and it introduced me to the series(which is my favorite shoot-em up).

I'll be buying/downloading this soon alongside King of Fighters '97.

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