Nothing a Vulcan Cannon can't fix.
Gun-toting camels, fighter jets and mummies. Those are but a few highlights to Metal Slug 2, a near perfect port of the original NeoGeo classic. Released for both iOS and Android, SNK Playmore's intense shoot-em-up has action to spare, as players select one of four characters and lay waste to a variety of evildoers (even nefarious Martians) using a handful of powerful weapons, such as the Heavy Machine Gun, Laser Shot and Flame Bottles. They'll even get to hop onto and inside vehicles. The aforementioned camel, for starters, but also a bipedal tank called the Slugnoid. Does the game look dated? Absolutely, and that only adds to its retro charm.
To be fair, the virtual controls don't compare to a trusty arcade stick, but the developers took great advantage of the iPhone and iPad touchscreens. Not only are the buttons responsive, but players can also move them around the screen via the Options menu to make the analog stick and other bits more accessible.
Speaking of options, we really dig the ability to change the aspect ratio (4:3/16:9/Window), along with toggling video filtering and of course, scan-lines, just in case you prefer the game to resemble the 1998 original. It's important to note, of course, that no matter how many retro features you turn off, this title always looks its age.
Bells and whistles aside, Metal Slug 2 is all about intense arcade style carnage, and this port doesn't disappoint. There's no shortage of bad guys to slaughter, and the animations still hold up wonderfully. In particular, the brief spurt of blood that erupts from slain soldiers, but you'll also notice cloth billowing in the wind and P.O.W.s stopping to salute before leaving behind another piece of weaponry to enhance your arsenal.
After you complete the campaign, feel free to select individual stages using the Mission Mode, and if you crave companionship, you and a buddy can team up through Bluetooth and tackle the game co-operatively.
Really, the worst thing about Metal Slug 2 is the price. At $3.99, it's more expensive than most games on the App Store, but if you have the cash to burn, we feel this title would make a fantastic edition to your iOS library. That being said, jump into the warzone and come out firing.
Review code provided by SNK Playmore.
What's Hot:Non-stop action across a variety of exotic locations, old school boss fights, customizable controls, assorted video options, Bluetooth multiplayer.
What's Not:Costs $3.99, virtual controls don't compare to a tangible d-pad and buttons.