Holidays in the Sunshine
by Tibe (2012)
Tired of their travels in Vietnam and Europe, the Marco's mercenaries band decided to make an "all-inclusive" hot countries circuit, just to stretch their rangers. The trip provides a thorough visit of the Middle East, where we will stop to visit some villages and monuments, and some famous egyptians tombs, just to have a little thrill. After a second bout bringing brand new ingredients since Metal Slug (new weapons and vehicles, new characters, new bosses) but packing by some important flaws (I of course think about its incessant slowdowns), SNK fixes this definetely with Metal Slug X. This installement is simply a remake of Metal Slug 2, but this time the baby weighs not less than 506 megas instead of 362 for its grandbrother. With this additional memory, the soft gets rid of the ugly slowdowns, and also includes a revised and updated realization at many points of view, as well as some additions slightly modifying the progress and somewhat the gameplay.
And if it's not a real brand new Metal Slug we're dealing here with, be aware that this X episode is one of the best ever in the series. Of course, it's an improved version of Metal Slug 2, but this doesn't really matter: all the great things featured in the episode two is here magnified... and the result is simply amazing. The graphics, even more colorful and varied, are a notch above the first game in terms of pure graphic quality. Animation kept the excellence that made the previous episodes remarkable, but it's even more smooth and more detailed (and yes, due to this fact, there's yet still some rare slowdowns)... As for musics, those are all new and even more punchy, it's a pure delight to gun all the way on those guitar riffs. The vocal and digitized effects have not changed much, it's just keeping the excellent work done before. Needless to draw you a picture, the realization is once again magnificent, in line with what was expected. Prisoners and other hidden bonuses are now legion, no doubt it will take hundred hours of gaming to retrieve them all, and start making good hi-scores!
The cooperative play is still the greatest and the funniest way to play Metal Slug games, and it now happens several times in the game that players have vehicles simultaneously. On the number of stages, the editor retained the six Metal Slug 2 ones, without any other changes than the addition of new enemies, bosses and weapons. Nonetheless, these levels are way much longer than those of the first episode. Metal Slug X is also a bit harder and offers a tougher challenge, which is particularly valuable for seasoned players -who were numerous to think the first Metal Slug was too easy. The gameplay doesn't stray from the recipe, of course, and the basics of the game remain unchanged. However, we can now set in full the controls and two interesting options are available. The "Vulcan Fix" keeps your canon shooting in the same direction when driving a vehicle, simply by keeping the button depressed. As for the Metal Slug Attack (sacrifice of the vehicle), this maneuver can now be triggered with D. Phew!... No more involuntary sacrifices, this should be helpful.
The vast majority of gamers that enjoyed Metal Slug and Metal Slug 2 will literally fall in love with every single of the five-hundred and six megabytes of Metal Slug X. Say adieu to the unbearable slowdowns from episode two, forgot the short stages of the first game: here, everything has been refined to perfection. As I told before, we're still dealing here with a simply re-worked episode two, but how brilliant! Near-perfect animation, graphics and colors re-arranged, new Bosses and addition of Mid-Bosses for some stages, more bonuses and extra hidden prisoners, new enemies and vehicles, new weapons (Stone, Super Grenada, etc.). So much new features, plus the fact that you don't have the same weapons, vehicles and Bosses at the same place, which modifies a little the way to play. This episode clearly makes Metal Slug 2 partially obsolete, by outclassing it technically. And yet, both titles contain many differences that the purist should appreciate. Years later, Metal Slug X still remains my favorite installment in the series...
|The fine and awesome colorful graphics are honoring the Neo Geo, with its unique cartoonish style...|
|Animation have been improved, the slowdowns are now extremely rare while the action still packs the same intensity!|
|Sound effects were upgraded, the musics are powerful and different noises worth a war movie.|
|Metal Slug X is tremendously deep. Even when you have been clearing it hundreds of times, you still come back for more!|
|SNK didn't change the winning team. Always as pure and perfect as the first, with some great new features... Happy players!|
|Correcting the minor flaws from 1 & 2, Metal Slug X stands for many gamers the best Metal Slug of the series.|
VALUE FOR MONEY (2012)
This X episode is evaluated around 500 euros for the japanese AES, and three times more for the US version. I don't remember having seen it in convert yet. It's a great arcade game however, it's a little expensive for a player who doesn't want to build a collection.