With gorgeous 2D graphics, and humor like no other, do yourself a favor and try this game out if you see it.
The original Metal Slug is one of, if not, the greatest video game ever created. It certainly is one of the most entertaining. It even does my fondest Street Fighter 2 Champion Edition memories justice. It's just that good! Four years ago, SNK went out of their way to try to create a full-fledged sequel to their original monster, and in some ways they succeeded.
If you have ever played Contra or the original Metal Slug, the object of the game is very simple. Choose a soldier and help save the world from the evil General Morden's clutches, while blasting everything in site. Now if that doesn't sound like a good time, what does? This time around, you get to pick from 4 different world warriors. Marco (my favorite) and Tarma return from the original, as well as 2 new female characters, Fio and Eri. (Fio likes to cook and Eri does not like not being able to drive alone.) Anyhow, as well as the 2 new characters, you are also blessed with some new weapons. Once again, we see the heavy machine gun, rocket launcher, and shotgun. You even get a laser gun to top that off! And that's not all, folks! In the original, you only had the option to drive one vehicle, the movable tank, Metal Slug. Now you are blessed with 3 more vehicles: the Camel Slug, a camel with a cannon strapped to its back; the Slugnoid, a robot outfit; and the Slug Flyer, an airplane! Wooo! To top that off, there is also a prisoner who helps you out along the way by shooting fireballs at the enemies!
Now, I could sit here and rant and rave about how gorgeous the side-scrolling, 2D hand drawn, animation-choked, blast e'm up visuals are... but I won't. This is a game you have to see to believe. The detail on the visuals is amazing. It even outdoes the original, which was incredible to begin with!
Another thing that makes Metal Slug 2 so great is it's sense of humor. You'll laugh as you see the pseudo-Nazi's laugh at you when you are killed, as well as scream in terror as you re-spawn. Amazing! This helps make Metal Slug 2 one of those games that is as much fun to watch as it is to play. It's that darn great!
Metal Slug 2 is plauged with one rather large problem... slowdown and plenty of it. This game definitley shows that its getting harder and harder for the Neo*Geo to keep up with the incredible amount of detail that fill the screen. (You have to remember that the Neo*Geo hardware is 8 years old when this game was made! You must also remember it was created on a 16-bit system.) Slowdown occurs most often when the screen is filled with enemies, at a boss character, or during giant explosions. It's bearable in single-player mode, however its extremely annoying when playing with a buddy. In 2-player mode, there are times during the game where the frame rate drops so much, you can actually count the number of frames!!! Annoying? Very. Enough to make me stop playing? Not quite!
Slowdown aside, what you are left with here is one of the best shooters to ever grace the Neo*Geo. Granted that the other four versions of this game (Metal Slug, Metal Slug X, Metal Slug 3) are better than this one, its still a hoot to play. If the slowdown bugs you too much, be sure to check out Metal Slug X, the update to Metal Slug 2. It features new weapons as well as no slowdown problems. Regardless, if you see this game, or any of the Metal Slug series, in a local MVS cabinet (they are red and say Neo*Geo on them...), do yourself a favor and at least give it a try. You may not love it, but you will not say that this game sucks!