Players: 1 to 2 Player Game | Release Date: 04/14/01 | Genre: Shooter
Way back in the day, side-scrollers like Contra were the thing. You and a buddy worked your way from left to right wiping out hordes of enemy troops, vehicles, mangy mastiffs, and whatever else the developers had seen fit to throw at you. Metal Slug X brings all this and lots more back to life on the Playstation. While it is not a ground-breaking game by any means, it does have the really important factor to bring into the mix: it's a blast!
Starting out with your trusty pistol, you set out to rescue as many hostages as possible and terminate the baddies with extreme prejudice. Luckily you will pick up various weapon power-ups along the way, such as a machine gun, flame thrower, and a rocket launcher. The extra weapons have ammunition limits, so blast everything in sight while they last.
Unlike most games today where you can heal damage, one shot will put you down for the count as is usually the case for most side-scrollers. To add insult to injury, the enemies laugh at you when you die. Don't fret though, since you do get back at them; when you come back to life, they act terrified - and they should since you have unlimited lives at your disposal.
Revenge is sweet!
The graphics look good if a bit cartoonish, which seems to fit the game's odd sense of humor extremely well. Having become used to the expressionless or fixed expression faces you see on most game characters these days, I was happily surprised to see how much emotion these little guys could express at various times throughout the game. It lent them a personality which made it easier to get into the game. When you face off against some of the gigantic level bosses, you'll almost forget that you are holding a controller in your hands instead of a rocket launcher.
If you find yourself in need of a game that offers some good, old-fashioned fun, give Metal Slug X a try. While it might not be the best game in the world to buy, it makes for one heck of a good weekend rental. Just keep these simple words of wisdom in mind, and you'll do fine: "If it moves, frag it. If it looks like it might move, frag it!"