At last you can enjoy every single metal slug game ever made as well as a new one. What's more, you can do so without having to save a month worth of lunch money just to get to the end of the first level down at the arcade. No, it doesn't have joystick controls, but it does have some seemingly random load times, and all the mindless Nazi/alien/zombie/robot shooting you could possibly want or need. While most of you weren't as religious about saving your lunch money for Metal Slug as I was, I'm sure a good number of readers have tossed their fair share of coins into the Metal Slug series since its first installment in 1996. For those of you who know the game, it's the same old game that it was back then, but now you can play in your living room eating chips and dip rather than worry about Moe knocking over your coke and stealing your chocolate bar.
The Sprites look just as good as they ever did, with the newest installment (Metal Slug 6) staying faithful to the series with no major difference in gameplay or art style. I believe this is a good thing, but it wouldn't hurt for them to step out of the safety zone a bit. Maybe try introducing something other than new vehicles which for the most part do the same thing as all the old vehicles. Now back to my point about load times. You may be thinking "Load times? In Meat Slug! IMPOSTIBOLE!" Alas, I am not kidding. They occasionally happen mid-level when switching environments and these aren't the fade-to-black-then-fade-back we're all used to. I am talking about honest to god loading with a tank that rides across the bottom of the screen to let you know that it's doing something. The loading isn't tragic but it does take you out of the moment, and makes you realize you spilled your coke anyway.
The sound presents nothing special. It's still fun to listen to the same few screams from the same enemies over and over as you mow through armies of them armed with nothing but a pistol and a knife. But I'd rather listen to something a bit more inspired.
The spot where this game really shines is the multiplayer. It's just plain old fun to grab a buddy (not Moe) and shoot until the sun comes up. You will want to shoot until the sun comes up because each time you beat the game you're awarded points which can be spent on unlocking extras such as art from the games, music, and an interview. Personally, I have only been unlocking the art and enjoying some of the original concepts for things like the tanks and some of the characters. It's a nice bonus for completing the sometimes long and arduous missions. While the rewards are nice, they really are just that, a bonus and nothing more.
Being that this game is on the Wii, the issue of control is a big one. Metal Slug offers a plethora of control schemes to choose from. Some of these take advantage of the motion sensing Wiimote while others stick with old school D-pad and a couple buttons. The default controls have you shaking the wiimote for grenades and running around with the D-pad. I tried several of the other options and found the default most to my liking. My partner in crime on player 2 however found that using the nun chuck analogue stick for running around and the Wiimote for shooting and grenades worked best. You can also go find your old Gamecube controller and give that a whirl. It's really up to you to find the one you like. The options are there, you've just got to do a little trial and error. The control is adequate but it's no arcade stick.
In conclusion, if you like Metal Slug, you've got a Wii, and you've got lunch money kicking around, pick this up. You know what, even if you've never played a Metal Slug game in your life, but you do like classic 2D shooters, you won't be disappointed. There is a reason this series has been around so long and when you play through any one of these games you will understand why. For the price of this game you get a lot of playtime, some replay value, and fun multiplayer. I only wish they had put a bit more time into the presentation of an otherwise great compilation title.