After years of trying to piece together the entire Metal Slug collection across various platforms SNK has graced gamers with a special 10th Anniversary edition of it’s franchise in one complete package. PSP owners can now enjoy seven truly classic arcade games on the go with none of the control issues found in the recently released Wii version. While the main package is a bit barebones compared to most collections, getting seven games for the price of one is hardly an offer to scoff at.
When this collection was released back in December for Nintendo’s newest console a lot of purists were disappointed in the lack of a classic control option. Sure you could use the standard Gamecube pad, but without the ability to use the traditional d-pad the controls still felt a bit off. This also eliminated the ability to utilize any arcade sticks available for Nintendo’s extinct system.
For the most part the developers have done a great job porting these titles to Sony’s micro PlayStation, even with the less than exceptional d-pad. The real issues arise due to the limitations of the PSP hardware. For starters (and this is certainly beating a dead horse for most owners of Sony’s handheld) the loading times can be frustrating.
It can literally take you close to a minute to navigate from the core menu into one of the seven titles. There are also hiccups in each level as the screen changes from one backdrop to the next. While none of these are a deal breaker, they certainly break up the pace of this fast-moving action title.
This is due in most part to the fact that these are the original arcade ROMS on the disc, and when you combine that with the technical limitations of the PSP’s hardware you get a less-then-desirable experience all around. If you also factor in the bare-bones presentation with a generic “choose your game” menu system you may be wondering why these games were so popular in arcades. That is until you start playing one of these seven classic titles and you soon forget about technical downfalls and enjoy the simplicity of arcade fun.
All seven titles play just as good as they did in the glory days of arcade and without having to pump in new quarters every five minutes you will find yourself having more fun than you realize. The developers have also added a save anywhere feature so gamers can pop in at any time which is perfect for gaming on the go. Compile that with a nice Ad-Hoc multi-player mode and you have a well-rounded package that will satisfy even the most jaded of gamer.
Just like the Wii version you can also earn tokens that unlock items in the game. These consist of the usual concept art and music, but as an added bonus to PSP users the guys at SNK have added some specific wallpaper that you can use on your system, which is a nice touch. The best part is you decide what to unlock and when by trading in your tokens earned by beating each game, which you can do even using infinite continues. While the extras are a bit lacking they do offer more than most compilations, especially on portables.
When all is said and done SNK has done a remarkable job of bringing seven of the greatest arcade games ever created into one neatly organized package and made it affordable. Add that to the fact that you have the option to play anywhere you like and it’s a no-brainer. Fans of the series would do better to snag up this version as opposed to the recently released Wii iteration, or if you desire to play these on a home console just wait until it hits the PS2 later this month. Even with the small setbacks aside this is one of the best compilations currently available on Sony’s handheld system.