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November 24 2017

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Burning Fight

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  Metal Slug X - ©SNK 1999 (Page 2)
Sound

When I originally played Metal Slug X I didn't notice any real improvement in the sound at all. It was only when I went back for a quick blast on Metal Slug 2 just to refresh my memory that I began to notice that it actually *was* different. Some of the music has been remixed slightly, and made to sound a bit better and more powerful than before... and it was already very well done! Here's a sample of the music from the first stage - compare it with the same sample from MS2 (you can download it from the review page of that game), and you will hear the difference.

Stage 1 Music - MP3 Format, 44 Seconds, 519k

Other than that, it isn't a great deal different. The sound effects are pretty much the same, although there are a few added ones for the new weapons and new enemies. There isn't really much else that I can say about it, other than that the soundtrack doesn't disappoint one bit, and is as good as it ever was!


Stages

Here is a list of the six stages and bosses in the game, along with screenshots and some basic tactics to use in getting past them. If you have not played the game before you would probably be best to skip this section so you don't spoil the surprise. Unlike the other MS reviews I won't give a full rundown of each stage on this game though, as the majority of it is still quite similar to MS2.

Stage 1



Not a great deal is different on this desert stage compared to the way it was in MS2, aside from the change of the time of day from day to night. There is the addition of the Enemy Chaser weapon halfway through though, as well as the opportunity to grab the Tank Slug instead of the Camel if you want. There are a couple of other interesting surprises too... most notably the boss!

Stage 1 Boss:



The boss you faced here in MS2 was a Harrier Jet, but you now have to fight the stage 5 boss from Metal Slug 1 (Armoured Carrier). You can beat it exactly the same way as you did in MS1 though - just blast away and avoid its projectiles until it lifts up onto its 4 extendable legs; now concentrate your firepower on the turret underneath. Once that is gone, dash underneath and rescue the 3 POW's, and start blasting the Carrier for all it's worth. You'l have to shoot down any homing missiles that head your way while doing this, but this boss should be toast in no time at all.

Stage 2



While this stage looks exactly the same at first (apart from a little bit of a pallete change), there are some new enemies you'll have to face here. Once in the tomb you'll encounter some mummified dogs that bark out purple gas that will turn you into one of the undead. Most of the time you'll either have a Shotgun/Flameshot/Iron Lizard weapon though, and that will help you deal with them just as easily as the normal humanoid mummies.

Stage 2 Boss:



Pretty much the same as before - jump in the Slug Mecha and just keep jumping upwards while firing at the boss who will be coming at you from the bottom of the screen. Shouldn't cause you any major problems, but if the Mecha gets damaged so that it can't fire anymore from its turrets, just jump out (using the vehicle suicide attack) and carry on firing on foot.

Stage 3



The biggest change on stage 3 is that you can now get yourself into big mode if you eat too much food, and considering some of the weapons you can get here, this can be interesting! One of the first weapons you will get the chance to use while fat is the shotgun, and it is even more lethal in this mode as it has a slightly increased range.

After the part where you have to jump from one train to another, you'll have a nasty surprise in store - the Harrier Jet boss that was used on stage 1 of Metal Slug 2 swoops down. It is only a sub-boss however, so after defeating it you will still have to move on and fight the real boss of this level. Look out for the tanks that are sitting on top of it, as they will fall off from time to time and you really don't want to be standing underneath one of them when this happens! Once you have sent it back to the scrapheap, continue on with slaughtering Mordens troops and you will soon find two vehicles to choose from - the Bronze Slug Tank and the Slug Plane. Hop into your preferred mode of transport and you will almost be at the main boss!

Stage 3 Boss:



The hardest boss in the game so far, but it still acts the same as it did in MS2. You are probably better off using the plane to beat this boss in my opinion, although it isn't too much harder with the tank.

Stage 4



Stage 4 has been altered quite drastically, and it is now a LOT more challenging than it was before. Right from the start it is a lot more hectic, with soldiers, tanks and motorcyclists heading for you from all directions. You'll probably find it quite hard going when you first get here.

After you get past the part where the bus is blocking your way, the small section that follows has been changed a lot and theres now an almost constant stream of missiles coming out of the ground that you will need to avoid. After that you'll be fighting a number of flying aliens before you get to the boss, which is something you didn't have to contend with in MS2. You can rescue the "Hadoken" throwing hostage here though, and he is actually quite handy when it comes to taking them out.

Stage 4 Boss:



The boss isn't really any different than it was before... very easy to beat, especially when you have the Tank. Take out the small gun turrets first, then concentrate on the large cannon that comes out. It fires a shot every couple of seconds, so get it to lock onto you and then just move out of the way as it fires and keep firing. If you can't get out of the way quick enough, can use the jump out of the tank invincibility trick to avoid getting hit, but you'll need to be quick.

Stage 5



The difficulty has been ramped up on stage 5 too, and there does seem to be more enemies gunning for you throughout most of it. When you get inside the subway there are quite a few more weapons littered around than before, and in the sewer part at the end you can find the Slug Mecha once again, which was not available here previously. When fighting the mutants you can use the Mecha's jet powered jump to get out of the way before they explode and do damage to you, and also fire the cannon at them if need be.

Stage 5 Boss:



Again, this boss isn't terribly different once you know how, but it is easy to get hurt bad if you aren't careful. Hopefully you will still have the Slug Mecha, unless you suck really badly at the game that is. The mecha will help your cause quite a bit, and even if you lose it, it still means you can take a couple of hits from the projectiles that get fired at you before you die. If you get it damaged and it loses both turrets, just jump out and do the vehicle suicide attack for a bit more damage :-)

Stage 6



In MS2 this is not an easy stage to get through at all, and it is even more so in this game. You can do a couple of things to make life easier though. Jump up and shoot the sign right at the start of this mission if you want to go into big mode... this might be useful to make your attacks a bit more powerful! Also shoot the sign right before you get to the bridge that is blowing in the wind as this reveals a POW who will give you an Iron Lizard; VERY useful!

Once inside, when you get to the part with waves of aliens coming for you, you will find a new type of alien (white in colour) that fires some fast moving blue shots at you. Take these out as quickly as possible, unless you want a very quick death ;)

Stage 6 Boss:



I didn't really see any difference with the boss here at all... just keep blasting at it and make sure you grab the tank that gets wheeled out to you after a few seconds. Oh, and avoid the big laser beam that it charges up and fires... although I guess that goes without saying! ;-)

After you finish it off, just sit back and watch the very funny Independence day inspired ending! "Mission all over" once more!


Overall

While this is a game that I consider to be a must have in my collection, the most important questions to ask yourself if you are considering getting it are the following:

  • 1. Do you already own Metal Slug 2?

  • 2. Are you a hardcore MS fan?


  • If you answered yes to question 1, but no to question 2, then you might want to skip this game as it will not seem sufficiently different to make you want to own both. If you answered yes to both questions, then you will really want to have the game at all costs, and you will get a lot of enjoyment out of it. If you don't actually have either game... well, I'd still recommend playing MS2 before trying MSX as it is still a great game in its own right.

    It's all a bit confusing, but being a big fan of the genre, and of this series in particular, I had to have both. Then again the cost of this wasn't too bad for me, being an MVS owner, whereas it might prove more costly for home system owners... quite a lot more in fact!




    A lot of people still call this game a "rehash", and while that is true to a certain extent, there's no escaping from the fact that it turned a fantastic game into an even better one, or at least that is the way I look at it. The reduction in slowdown, the chance to use certain vehicles more often, and the newly added weapons add a new twist to the gameplay and make the game worth your time... just don't go into it expecting a revolution or anything!


    Graphics: 9/10
    Sound: 9/10
    Game play: 9/10
    Replay Value: 8/10

    Overall Rating: 9/10




    Outside Links:
    Related Reviews:

    Reviews @ Neo-Geo.com:


    Review by Dan Elektro
    Review by Jackal

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