Tuesday 3 November 2020

Metal Slug: 2nd Mission (Neo Geo Pocket Color review)

Developer: SNK
Publisher: SNK
Released: 2000

Metal Slug: 2nd Mission is a run 'n' gun game that was released a year after the Neo Geo Pocket Color original.

There's 38 missions and your objective is to rescue government forces that are being held hostage by the rebel army, and stop the production of deadly weaponry. Your default attacks are a gun and knife, but temporary power-ups (e.g. a Bazooka) can be obtained, and certain scenes allow you to control a Fighter Plane, Submarine and a Tank. An excellent adjustment from the first game is that grenades are now mapped to the Option button; previously, this button simply cycled through weapons, but having it activate grenades allows for much quicker reactions during intense gameplay scenes. Additionally, the amount of missions has dramatically increased from 17 in the original game to 38 in this sequel. The best aspect is that you won't see all of the missions within a single play-through, as multiple progression routes are available depending on how you play. Also, two characters (Gimlet and Red Eye) are selectable that each have their own missions and weapons. As a whole, these ideas are amazing for replayability as they encourage you to return several times in order to see every scenario the game has to offer. The gameplay does an outstanding job of never resting on its laurels and instead the focus is clearly on offering the player as much variety as possible; this creates an epic atmosphere while simultaneously making you feel like the star of a 1980's action movie as you blow up everything in sight with your huge arsenal of weaponry! The bosses are just as fun thanks to their interesting attack patterns and diverse battles, and I love that the game lets you save your progress whenever you'd like.

Metal Slug: 2nd Mission surpasses its outstanding original by more than doubling the amount of missions, introducing new characters that have their own routes and missions, and tightening-up the secondary weapon controls. It's an almost flawless title and successfully manages to live up to the series' lofty expectations.

Random trivia: The next handheld title in the series was Metal Slug Advance, which was released on the Game Boy Advance in 2004.

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