Emulation is great. I doubt there are many
people who frequent this little strand of the web who would disagree.
But… well, there are a whole list of buts – starting
with the legal and moral minefield that surrounds the whole scene
and ending in the guilt-pangs that see emulator authors going
largely unpaid while unscrupulous scam-mongers rake in the cash
from selling cheaply produced disks for easy profits on Ebay.
Which leads us to the Metal Slug Collection
- the confusingly ordered Metal Slug 1, 2, X and 3 - four Metal
Slugs for less than the price of postage of a single AES cart.
It is, as you have already guessed, a licensed Neo-Geo emulator
and a short dig through the disks reveals four zip files, which
work perfectly in MAME if you don’t feel like navigating
the Korean menu system.
Metal Slug, ideal for getting rid of
Neo-Geo fans have traditionally shied away from
emulation – due in no small part to the ridiculous prices
that Neo-Geo carts cost. I suppose that when you’ve paid
more than a grand to play King Of Fighters at home, the thought
that other people have downloaded the ROM images for nothing will
rankle slightly. For the majority of us though, it’s either
emulate and be damned or wait for a completely and utterly inferior
This disk offers us a middle ground. It’s
cheap enough to satisfy the casual scrolly shooty fan and, although
(strictly speaking) it’s still illegal to use outside of
Korea, it is an officially licensed game - SNK get their license
fee and, presumably, pass some of it on to the emulator authors.
And those cheating cunts offering “hundreds of arcade classics
for only £10” get nothing. Everyone’s happy.
Er, apart from the scammer.
Watch where you stick that thing…
The games themselves, as if I have to point
this out, are brilliant – an almost perfect blend of not-too-hard
platform action and come-and-have-a-go shooting brilliance. Even
the most inept players (and I count myself among them for the
most part) will, with the addition of a few credits, be more than
able to breeze through. But there’s also plenty of mad skill-testing
depth – mostly in working out how to find and reach all
of the hidden bonuses and alternative routes. Metal Slug X is
largely superfluous (being a slightly harder remix of the first
two games), but the third instalment turns all the knobs back
up to eleven where they belong.
RODENT CASH RATING -
that, Slime Boy!"
Still not had enough Metal Slug? MS4 is available…
The best SNK fan
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