TOKYO--At the 43rd Amusement Machine Show taking place in Japan today, SNK Playmore showed off Metal Slug 6, which was on playable display at Sega's booth. The seventh installment in the series (if one counts Metal Slug X) is being developed for Sammy's Atomiswave platform, which marks Metal Slug's first arcade appearance away from the confines of the NeoGeo-based MVS arcade system.
Although SNK Playmore had previously announced it was working on a 3D version of Metal Slug for the PlayStation 2, Metal Slug 6 sticks with the series' traditional side-scrolling 2D formula. Despite the additional processing horsepower provided by the Atomiswave, the graphics in the game seem fundamentally similar to those in previous Metal Slugs.
The demo at the AM Show only allowed for the first stage to be played, but there was a noticeable lack of gameplay slowdown (even against the huge bosses), which is a definite improvement over the outdated MVS platform. There were also some changes with the game's controls. In addition to the A, B, and C buttons that were respectively used for shooting, jumping, and throwing grenades, Metal Slug 6 uses D and E buttons. The D button is used in combination with the A button to do a special close-up attack (which seems to be different from the automatic knife slashes when an enemy is nearby), and it can also be used in combination with the C button to throw away the weapon you're holding, while the E button is used for weapon changing.
The biggest surprise in Metal Slug 6 is probably its character roster. In addition to the usual selection of four soldiers (Marco, Tarma, Fio, Eri) the game features Ralf and Clark from the King of Fighters series. The new enlistees even have their trademark attacks from KOF: Ralf can pull off rapid vulcan punches when you press on a combination of buttons, while Clark can flip enemy soldiers into the air with a super Argentina backbreaker.