What Is It?
People give Capcom a lot of grief for churning out annual Mega Man sequels on the Nintendo Entertainment System. It's true that Capcom was a little overzealous with the war against Dr. Wily, but they are hardly the only examples of milking a franchise. SNK did this with Metal Slug, an incredibly likable 2D shooter series on the Neo Geo. Between 1996 and 2010, SNK has been releasing the same Metal Slug adventure over and over. Sure there's a different number and a few new backgrounds, but the games are virtually identical and nobody seems to mind. At least Capcom had the decency of making new robots for each Mega Man outing.
Believe it or not, Metal Slug 3 is my favorite game in the franchise. It features zombies, flying sharks and even aliens. It embraces its over-the-top nature and offers a goofy, old-fashioned Contra-style shooter. Even when the game devolves into little more than button mashing, Metal Slug 3 it's still fun to look at the amazing animations and incredible attention to detail.
But as compelling as the game looks, it's yet more of the same. If you've already played through Metal Slug 1, 2 or X, then you already know what to expect every beat of the way. Fans of the series will enjoy the new enemies, while everybody else plays it once and then forgets it's on their console.
Does It Still Hold Up?
The gameplay is exactly what you would expect, right down to the weapons and vehicles. Players can't shoot diagonally, but that's something that still hasn't been addressed in recent Metal Slug incarnations. The sprite-based graphics are incredible, the animation and look is the most compelling reason to go through Metal Slug 3.
Is It Worth The Money?
I'll make this very easy for you: If you are only looking for one Metal Slug game to own, this is the best of the lot. However, anybody who already owns multiple versions of Metal Slug should probably ignore this Virtual Console release. There's not enough new hear to warrant an additional eight dollars. What's more, for just a few bucks more you can get the Metal Slug Anthology, which features seven Metal Slug games. Either way, it's time for people to demand more from their Metal Slug sequels.
I'm conflicted: On one hand Metal Slug 3 is the best in the series. However, it's also exactly the same as the three Metal Slugs that preceded it. Fans of the series are still getting a great game, but it's hard not to be disappointed with the lack of innovation found in the Metal Slug franchise!
This product was submitted by the publisher for review. As a rule, Defunct Games does not review games we spent money on. However, that does not always apply to classic/retro games. This specific product, however, came straight from a PR guy for the purposes of being reviewed!