"A Slug that Can't Continue"
SNK's Metal Slug 3 is a mobile port of the fourth title in long-running, notoriously difficult side-scrolling series. While the title has been ported faithfully and can be played with only a touch screen adequately, this port doesn't go the extra mile to make the game accessible for a mobile audience.
Taking control of one of four characters, players run from left to right to save the world from General Morden's rebellion, in addition to a strange alien force. The story is pretty much non-existent here, but it gives the game an excuse to throw the player in a number of wild levels, such as the first level having players battle humanoid crabs and then dropping them in the middle of a zombie invasion in the second before facing a group of aliens.
Metal Slug 3 is a very old-school run-and-gun type game taking place across 5 levels. There are three buttons, one for jumping, one for shooting, and the other for throwing a limited supply of bombs. The game's name refers to the vehicles occasionally available, which sacrifice speed but let players take more damage, offer powerful attacks, and have the option to be blown up in a huge explosion. In addition to piloting vehicles, certain conditions can change how the character controls and operates, such as being bitten by a Zombie (with a screen-clearing blood vomit attack!) or entering a underwater section. In addition to all of the different options occasionally available that change how the player attacks, all of the levels have branching paths. The first level has 3 alone that offer some completely different experiences!
While the base game of Metal Slug 3 offers a lot of value, the difficult gameplay when fused with the mobile nature of this port brings up a lot of glaring omissions. Metal Slug 3 is an arcade game first and foremost, designed to slug through your quarters as you quickly die from one hit, something it's actually pretty fast at. This mobile version only offers 7 credits before telling the player the game is over and throwing them back to the main menu, something that should have been fixed. This is 2012, and while this was permissible to some point with the console versions back in 2004, when it was a miracle the title was available from home without major slowdown, this isn't for a mobile title. Another fault is there are no saves available, and pressing the home button to say, do phone stuff on my phone makes the app crash on Android. Finally, the controls have a few kinks that don't make the game any easier, such as very little customization and no true use of touch in the gameplay aside from tapping the screen to continue. However, the ability to rapid fire is a welcome addition.
The version of Metal Slug 3 that has been released is a bit of an anomaly: on one hand, Metal Slug 3 has been ported faithfully to cell phones, but on the other hand, an already difficult hardcore game has made strides to become easier, even letting players easily see the ending of what they bought. Considering the non-sale price of this game, seven dollars, I would say: be aware of the uphill climb into which you will be getting yourself.
GameDynamo's Score for Metal Slug 3 (Mobile)
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