Metal Slug 3, released by SNK in 2000 (and developed by former members of Irem, Nazca) is a game I’ve both looked forward to and dreaded covering since I started running this blog. Simply put, Metal Slug 3 is one of the greatest video games ever created, which automatically places it also on the pedestal for arcade and Neo Geo titles. It’s amazing that I get to share this title with more than a thousand other video game fans, some of which I pity for never having experienced this game (and envy for being able to do so for the first time.) On the other hand, what can I possibly say that can sum up the greatness of this title? Not enough, certainly, but I’m going to give it a shot.
The Metal Slug series had always been known for its quality and detail, which I mentioned while discussing Metal Slug and Metal Slug 2. But Metal Slug 3 was Nazca’s magnum opus, a masterpiece of game design. It looks, sounds and plays amazingly. The graphics have all of the rich detail, animation and style that previous games in the series carried and more. Enemies, their vehicles and the surrounding areas explode and fragment delightfully. The stages are brimming with creativity; background and foreground elements blend together well and there’s humorous and creepy little elements all over the place to be seen if you can keep your eyes open. Every stage is broken up into multiple parts, with some of those fragments being as long as entire stages in other games (including previous Metal Slug titles) and they’re all different to each other. The four screenshots I’ve got on display here? They’re all just from the first of the game’s five missions. The final mission is longer than any of the rest, and feels like a small game in itself. There’s also a “branching path” system available at various points during every stage except for the last one. You’ll have to play the game at least three times to see it all, and that’s a good thing.
It’s not just the stage visuals and paths that impress. It seems to me when playing the game that this was potentially intended to be the last entry in the series, and the Nazca team intended to send it off with a bang. The four characters of Metal Slug 2 return, and they’ve got a vast assortment of vehicles (the semi-eponymous “slugs”) to dish it to the enemies with, including six new models scattered amongst old favorites. You’ll be able to battle underwater in a submersible of destruction, pursue enemies in a helicopter, and even pilot a spaceship for when you have to take the fight into orbit. There are enemy soldiers, zombies, aliens, and mutant creatures all standing in your way. Enemy encounters are skillfully placed, and you’ll have to use careful positioning in your environment to survive just as much as a fast trigger finger. The bosses and mini-bosses are amazing, some of the best in the series. They look phenomenal considering the age of the Neo Geo hardware and pose a huge challenge.
The one arguable weak point is the final boss, which I found a little lacking, compared not only to the other bosses here but especially to the downright epic (and I don’t use that term lightly) feel of the final battle in Metal Slug 2. But it’s not enough to detract from Metal Slug 3′s brilliance. After all, the distant spiritual ancestor of this series, Contra, had an easy and relatively uninspired final boss itself and that game is still legendary today. So it is with Metal Slug 3. If you have even the mildest interest in run-and-gun games, your gaming experiences simply aren’t complete without at least a dozen tokens worth of lives spent trying to save the world here. It’s one of the crowning achievements of the Neo Geo and arcade history.
The Doom community does it again! Rottking, a longtime member of the community who has created and participated in many single and multiplayer WADs over the years (*) (Double Impact, Unidoom, 32in24 series, Back To Saturn X, and many others) has released this mod for the ZDoom-related sourceports of the Doom family.
For how long this has been in the making? Don’t ask (No, really, don’t do it) The point is, it’s finally here and it’s everything people have been dreaming of. So far, this mod has the following:
Rocket Launcher RAWKIT LAWNCHAIR
As well as the so-damn-useful-and-underrated grenades. This one has no maps, but I’m positive many members of the Doom community would gladly find a few maps and projects that might fit this mod.
(Is this mod compatible with Action Doom(the one Doom project who was heavily inspired by Metal Slug itself)? I don’t know yet! I guess I should find out!)
You can watch a short gameplay video below
(Mobile users, if the video doesn’t show up, click here)