Reviewed: March 16, 2007
Released: November 30, 2006
Arcades, for the most part, have become a thing of the past. At one time theses gamer heavens had the latest and greatest in gaming technology. Arcades had the coolest games around. You couldnít find these games anywhere but in an arcade.
Unfortunately those days have passed. The home console market has caught up with and surpassed the arcade world. At one time arcade machines had the best graphics and controls around. Most of the old arcade games can now be played on a console in the convenience of your own home. The technology of newer console games has well surpassed those of arcades. Graphics and controls are now perfected on the home consoles, and there isnít really a need to go to the arcade and play games anymore. Your favorite games can be played from your living room.
In 1996 Metal Slug hit arcades. It was packed full of action and weaponry including machine guns, rocket launchers, grenades. It even had blood and occasional cursing. It was a huge success. It was so big that there have been seven Metal Slug games to date.
Developers Terminal Reality and SNK Playmore have finally brought the Metal Slug series to our living rooms with Metal Slug Anthology. Although many of these games were also brought to major consoles in the past, this is the first time that all of them are available on one disk and for the Wii. The Wii has been up and down as far as its controls go. Would Metal Slug Anthology utilize these controls to their fullest? To answer that I would say that it hardly uses the controls at all.
If you were a huge fan of the arcade versions of Metal Slug than youíll be right at home here. These games are perfect ports of the arcade versions. Complete with the guns, grunts, and blood. On the other hand, like many arcade ports donít expect anything new.
Once you start this game up, youíll realize right away that they didnít put much into the menus. The only thing special is some music playing and what looks like a repeating battle going on in the background. The presentation is about as simple as it gets. You can scroll through the games and options using the D-pad on the remote. You pick the game you want to play and thatís it. You can pick from the following:
Like I said the games are perfectly intact right down to the slicing of the knife. Side-scrolling action will never get old and this game is just as addicting now as it was when it first hit arcades. You can pick up machine guns, shotguns, and rocket launchers throughout each game. You can drive tanks, shoot down buildings, and everything else that the originals permitted. Nothing was left out.
Of course if you get bored of playing by yourself there is multiplayer available for each game just like in the arcade versions. This is where the game really shines. The multiplayer available adds hours of gameplay to an already lengthy game. Nothing is more enjoyable than killing countless numbers of enemies with your three closest friends.
Now for my major complaint, the controls are a little on the frustrating side. I played through the entire first game before I learned how to the throw a grenade! The problem is that you must turn the remote sideways to control your player. There is no face button to throw a grenade. Instead you must flick the remote to throw one. You can change this control scheme, but the only one that works well enough to bother with is just using a GameCube controller. It actually feels more natural to use the GameCube controller even though this isn't a Virtual Console game.
For whatever reason, you canít use the Wii classic controller, only the GameCube controller. I wanted some kind of implemented motion sensing with the Wii remote, but there is none, beyond throwing the grenade. There are other control options but none are even worth trying. There is even an option to just use the nunchuk by itself. This is the only major complaint that I have about the gameplay.
There isnít much I can say besides, like the gameplay, the graphics are completely intact from the original arcade games. These graphics have actually held up over time. If you have never played the original arcade version you will be surprised that some of these games arenít from this century. It even has blood that spurts out. Although they are good, you canít really compare them to todayís graphics though.
Adrenaline fueled war music, the occasional curse word, the sound of a rocket destroying an enemy; itís all here. There is the occasional grunt or scream as your mutilating your enemies too. Again, everything is just like the originals and if youíve heard one youíve heard them all.
If you canít get enough of the Metal Slug series, and you want to bring it home to your living room, then there is no better way than the Metal Slug Anthology. All seven of the original games can be yours for only $39. If you can deal with using a GameCube, which is the best control method, then this game should be in your library. If youíre looking for a good multiplayer game for the Wii, this will not disappoint you. Just donít expect much motion-sensing controls.
There are quite a few Wii games out there that just tack the motion-sensing controls on. They just feel out of place. In this case the producers just decided to skip the controls almost completely and offer a fun multiplayer game. Iím not saying that you have to play it multiplayer, but it is definitely a lot of fun with some friends. I personally had a blast playing through it and even if it is just a compilation of some older games, itís better than some of the games that developers are throwing out there for the Wii.