[PS1 Game] Metal Slug: Super Vehicle-001

Metal Slug is a 1996 run and gun arcade video game originally developed by Nazca Corporation and released by SNK for the Neo Geo MVS. It is the first installment in the eponymous series. Set in 2028, players assume the role of Peregrine Falcon Strike Force soldiers Marco Rossi and Tarma Roving on a fight against the Rebel Army led by Donald Morden and overthrow his coup d’├ętat to prevent a New World Order.

Metal Slug was conceived by the same staff who created several titles at Irem that shared similar presentation such as In the Hunt and GunForce II, with the core concept during development being a simple but exciting side-scrolling shooter featuring a very easy control scheme and visuals inspired by the works of Hayao Miyazaki. Gameplay was originally more slower-paced, revolving around players controlling the titular tank instead of soldiers across shorter and less complex missions with a darker atmosphere, before the project was heavily overhauled after poor response during location test and the length was extended at the request of SNK to make the game attractive to home players while incorporating more platform elements into its design.

Metal Slug garnered positive reception upon its initial launch from players and critics, being lauded for its sense of humor, fluid hand-drawn animation and fast-paced two-player action. The game was subsequently ported to other platforms by other third-party developers, featuring various changes and additions compared to the MVS original, in addition to being included on compilations and re-released through download services for other systems, among other ways to play it. Its success led to a franchise spawning multiple sequels, remakes and spin-offs. A direct continuation, Metal Slug 2, was released in 1998.

Metal Slug: Super Vehicle-001
Metal Slug: Super Vehicle-001

Metal Slug is a run and gun game reminiscent of Contra where players assume the role of captain Marco Rossi and lieutenant Tarma Roving of the Peregrine Falcon Strike Force, shooting constantly at a continual stream of enemies in order to complete each mission. At this point, players confront a boss, who is usually considerably larger and tougher than regular enemies. On the way through each level, players can find numerous weapon upgrades and the eponymous tanks. Known as the SV-001 and SV-002, the tanks increases the player’s offense and adds considerably to their defense.

In addition to shooting, players can perform melee attacks by using a knife. The player does not die by coming into contact with enemies, and correspondingly, many of the enemy troops have melee attacks. Much of the game’s scenery is destructible, and occasionally, this reveals extra items or power-ups. During the course of a level, the player encounters prisoners of war (POWs), who, if freed, offer the player bonuses in the form of random items or weapons. At the end of each level, the player receives a scoring bonus based on the number of freed POWs. If the player dies before the end of the level, the tally of freed POWs reverts to zero. Getting hit by enemy fire, colliding against solid stage obstacles or falling off-stage will result in losing a live and once all lives are lost, the game is over unless players insert more credits into the arcade machine to continue playing.

There are a total of six missions taking place across locations such as forests, garrisoned cities, snowy mountain valleys, canyons, and military bases. The vast majority of enemies are soldiers equipped with weaponry befitting their specific role. There are several mechanized enemies, such as tanks, mobile artillery, aircraft, armored personnel carriers and technicals. Much of the game’s humor comes from how the enemies are depicted; the player often encounters them as they are sunbathing, roasting food over a fire, or conversing. They tend to scream loudly if they see the player, and often try to either run away or fight back.

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