Metal Slug E3 2005 Impressions

SNK Playmore releases information on its previously unannounced GBA version of the original Metal Slug arcade shoot-'em-up, and shows some footage at E3.

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SNK Playmore has confirmed that it plans to release a version of its original Metal Slug arcade game for the Game Boy Advance. The good news for fans of the series is that, based on the company's fact sheet for the GBA game, it doesn't look like SNK Playmore is planning to make any major changes to the arcade classic. The information that we have on the game, then, might be considered old news. But we'll go ahead and share it with you anyway.

Metal Slug will feature playable characters Marco and Tarma, who'll have to blast their way through six action-packed levels. The game pits you against a number of over-the-top boss characters and allows you to commandeer the titular Metal Slug super vehicle in certain areas. Your sizable arsenal will include fan favorites, such as heavy machine guns and rocket launchers. As you make your way through the nonstop levels, shooting at just about everything that moves, you'll also have to concern yourself with hostages in need of rescue.

Though the game wasn't playable at the show, a looping trailer at SNK's booth revealed what seemed to be a build of the GBA version of the game. It looked very much near to being arcade perfect, which is a great sign for fans. Metal Slug has always been derivative of arcade shooters like the Contra series, but its unique art style and hilariously over-the-top action gave it its own identity. We'll be glad to see all that intact on the GBA, especially on the heels of the excellent Metal Slug Advance, an original Metal Slug title for the GBA. This next one promises to be a more-straightforward rendition of the arcade series.

Metal Slug for the GBA is slated for release in December, and we hope that it'll be as close to arcade perfection as possible. A two-player link mode would also be nice, since the two-player-simultaneous action was part of the appeal at the arcades. However, none of the facts or footage we've seen prove that this feature will be present...apart from a telling "push start" message in the upper-right-hand corner of the screen in the screenshots. We'll keep you posted about Metal Slug for the GBA as the title shapes up.

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