Metal Slug 3 review (iOS / Universal)

July 14, 2012

“I hear the roar of a big machine”

10 word description: Neo Geo’s 2D action shooter. Arcade & Mission modes. Game Center.

10 word review: Awesome port, great game; a detailed and gorgeous action overload.

An early branching path sends you on an entirely optional submarine mission

You will like this if you enjoy: The Metal Slug series. Run ‘n’ Gun shooters. Branching paths – yay!

The good news: It’s a very good port of an excellent original game and it runs perfectly smoothly (1st gen iPad & 4th gen Touch tested). Extremely nice graphics and animations. Lots of action with plenty of diversity, particularly if you fancy turning into a shambling zombie and projectile vomiting red streams of death all over the screen. 4 difficulty settings. Configurable controls are very good.

The bad news: I messed about with the in-game video options on my 1st gen iPad and managed to get a black screen until I navigated back to the options and reset to defaults. No problem on 4th gen Touch, so just be careful if you have a 1st gen iPad.

My tank’s bigger than yours … oh … no it isn’t!

Arcadelife verdict: Many of the old Neo Geo games were very good fun; I had the original console with the stupidly expensive cartridges and I’ve still got a Neo Geo CDZ with a handful of games, although that hasn’t been out of its box for a few years. The Metal Slug games were always some of my favourites, together with Last Resort. Now I would really love to see Last Resort ported to iOS, with the same excellent relative touch control that DotEmu included with their port of R-Type.

Metal Slug 3 on iOS is an excellent game and if you’re a Metal Slug fan you have probably already seen it and bought it. I have to balance this review a bit (do I really?) so it is worth mentioning that if you aren’t into this kind of run ‘n’ gun arcade continue-fest, this one won’t change your mind despite the excellent gameplay and fabulous visuals. There’s always a lot happening on the screen, the bosses are typically huge, bizarre or both and the branching path system adds a lot of replay value and choice to an already hugely impressive experience.

A fairly typical mid-level bomb-dodging sequence

Arcadelife rating

Visuals – 10/10
Audio – 9.5/10
Controls – 9/10
Content – 10/10
Fun – 9.5/10
Final rating – 96/100

Rating categories explained here.
Version reviewed by Arcadelife is 1.00
iTunes link

SNK Playmore website link

Arcadelife played and reviewed this game on:
4th gen iPod Touch (iOS 5.1.1)
iPad (iOS 5.1.1)

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