Metal Slug is fast, furious and funny, but often an unforgiving all-out shooting bonanza. However, it still makes for a wonderful non-greasy appetiser. In accordance with the new healthy food guidelines, you no longer need to risk breaking your diet every time you want to go kill some one thousand and one green-backed scum. All you need is your Wii.
Metal Slug Anthology heralds the 10th anniversary (1996-2006) of this esteemed franchise. To celebrate, the cream of the crop have all been compiled into one massive collection for both veteran and newbie gamers to slog through.
In each game, the underlying premise remains unchanged. You choose your freedom fighter, you are placed in the middle of a war zone, and now you have to make sure that someone spills blood or something blows up into smithereens every two seconds or so. There’s a story in here... somewhere, but Metal Slug has been, and always will be, known for its wanton destruction rather than eloquent narratives.
But you don’t need a good story to deliver a wicked sense of humour, and in this respect Metal Slug Anthology delivers in spades.
It’s a military-themed, side-scrolling platform game. Over the course of ten years, graphics have been made sharper and sound quality has been bumped up by a couple of bits, but each sequel pretty much plays out just like the original did. That should tell you this series is as far removed as possible from the likes of modern war games such as Call of Duty and Brothers in Arms.
Exclusive to the Wii edition are a variety of control schemes that attempt to use the Wii remote and nunchuk attachment in seemingly every way possible. You can play using both components together, or just with a single nunchuk. You may opt to go for traditional pad controls with the Wii remote held at length, or you may decide to emulate an arcade joystick with the Wii remote positioned vertically.
The difficulty level is a throwback to the games of old. The casual gamer may not see what all the fuss is about here, and especially with the insane amount of bullets whizzing, rockets flying, and mutant crabs er, side-walking, death comes swiftly to those not attuned to dodging anything that is even remotely flickering.
It’s hard to recommend Metal Slug Anthology given the sheer quantity of proper next-gen games that audio-visually make a much bigger impact. However, those that were enamoured by the hi-jinks of Marco Rossi, Tarma Roving and the other lesser-known crew members over the past decade, will find that this anthology is quite possibly the best thing that anyone could ask for since good-old greasy fish’n’chips.