There is a lot riding on the sequel to Metal Slug, arguably the best non-shooting game on the Neo Geo, and I am happy to say that Metal Slug 2 not only lives up to expectations, but constantly raises the high water mark.
If you have already read the Metal Slug X review you'll already be familiar with Metal Slug 2. Both games feature similar levels, bosses, and enemies. But before Metal Slug X there was this game, which in it's own rights is a brilliant example of craftsmanship. It's hard to believe that this game can get any better ... but I kept reminding myself how much fun Metal Slug X really was.
Like the original, Metal Slug 2 succeeds in giving great depth to a genre of game that are inherently limited. Characters in the foreground, background, even in the sky, some them, some your team, some hostages. The detail is amazing, and the interaction in the levels is breathtaking. Unlike the original, however, Metal Slug 2 has a really strange story. Even though very few games like this really have much of a story, the original Metal Slug had an extremely limited story ... the sequel makes up for that with a very interesting non vocal story line. From the first level on there are events in the back ground that create quite an interesting storyline ... and towards the end the game becomes something straight out of the Twilight Zone, with aliens that are from the X Files, and some that obviously aren't. And to cap it off with an ironic ending, you've got quite a game.
The game also introduces the ability to play as one of four nameless warriors. Each plays pretty much the same, and they look pretty similar, too. Being able to choose between them is nice, but it would have been cool if they had different techniques.
While it's difficult to recommend this title with Metal Slug X out invading the market, but the game still remains fun and entertaining for the hour it lasts. Not the best in the series, but well worth owning.