SNK playmore has recently decided to release a port of their 1996 game, Metal Slug, for the iOS platform. After doing some research, I’m not entirely sure it’s the same game as the one released for the old Neo-Geo console, or the SNK Arcade platform. Either way, the game seen here is something very similar anyway.
The game is presented in the classic 16 bit style with no graphic improvements. The retro feel of this game is nice for nostalgic purposes, but it does feel as though SNK was more or less being just a little lazy. The controls, or which there are three styles to choose from, work out pretty well, save for the first set: Native. Native uses the accelerometer to control the tanks directions, while the boarders of the game screen on the left and right have buttons to direct the main machine gun. Using the main screen area, you can duck, or jump by sliding your finger in the appropriate direction. While this mode works to help you keep your thumbs out of the way of the action happening on the screen, it feels a little more difficult than just using the usual D-pad set up. I, personally, keep wanting to do the opposite, drive with the arrows, and aim with the accelerometer.
This title is a great time waster, but it doesn’t feel like much more than a trip down memory lane, back to a time when I used to spend six weeks worth of allowance in one sitting at the local arcade. Truth be told, without having a universal binary for both iPhone and for iPad, I feel like I’m missing out on something. Think Geek not too long ago started selling an analog joystick for the iPad, and ten 1 designs also released a product they call “fling” that allows you to have a physical nub to control that feels like one of the playstation analog joysticks. If this game were redone to work on the iPad, without pixel doubling, I would feel that the nostalgia would be complete if I could use either of these products in conjunction with this game, and others like it.
Over all the game is the same old side scrolling shoot-em-up you probably remember. The title feels a little lazy in terms of graphics, but maybe some purists out there would feel it would shame the name of SNK to update the graphics, who knows. I, for one, am waiting for them to port over the Samurai Showdown games to the iOS platform. Today this game, however, will be receiving the 60/40 split. I’ll give them credit for the seemingly stable port of this arcade classic, but there is something to be desired in the help section, and the lack of any kind of video tutorial for those of us whom have never seen the game at all, well, it’s just a little sad there isn’t one. There is a ranking board for local scores, but no game center or open feint integration for true leader board standings around the globe. If you want to pay to play some of your childhood, you won’t be disappointed, but if you’re looking for a new game to satisfy your need to blow shtuff up, you might wanna look elsewhere.
Game receives a 6 out of 10 possible points.