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Name: Metal Slug 4 (100.00% in 1 votes)
Type: ACT
Platform: Video
Company: SNK
Release date: 2002
Reviewed by: Bata-kun

Unlike "III", I have a lot to say about "Metal Slug IV". The good news is that if you're a Korean music fan, Lee Jae Jin sings a song here. Oh and there are some changes that I like this time around. The bad news is that this is the worst game of the series.

Let me give some background information. "Metal Slug 4" was brought to us last year by Mega Enterprise, a Korean company. You may think, "Okay. If there was one company switch already, then this one can't be bad, right?" That's what I thought too at the time, but in the end, it turned out to be the worst game of the series.

The story is focused on a virus that will corrupt the military's computer system if it isn't stopped. Here's where the bad parts start to begin. Eri and Tarma are assigned to track down the virus. The two new recruits that replace them are Nadia Cassel and Trevor Spacey (French and part Korean, part American [?] respectively). I will explain more as I go along.

What is new this time around? There is a new metal system which works like the points system you see in various vertical airplane shooters. The vehicle hit point system has been altered this time around. In the past games, it was three hits and the vehicle would explode. Here, the harder the shot was, the more life the vehicle would lose. Speaking of which, you can now ride on enemy vehicles. Oh and there's a new weapon in which you carry two heavy machine guns, though you can't shoot diagonally with the gun.

Fun - 4

Yeah, you still get to shoot down baddies. Yeah, I like the new vehicle system. Yeah, the game is the easiest of the bunch, which is okay after a tough job in "III". So, why do I have problems with the game?

I would have expected more than one new weapon. Maybe it should have taken a page from "Metal Slug: 2nd Mission" and have a spread shot like the Missle Pod. That would have worked.

Although riding on enemy vehicles is a weird change, it also is a dull one. Actually, the new vehicles are dull for that matter for the most part. Many, if not, most of them are useless. There's this one cat slug and it can kill you if ride on it for so long.

Finally, I miss playing with Eri, dag nab it! Eri has been my good luck soldier! Playing with Fio is fine and Nadia is okay, but I am at my best when I play with Eri!

I think I am done complaining now. Ugh. I still have five more categories to go before the final score.

Life - 4

Yeah, I would give it another whirl or two once I have finished the game, but that would be it. It's not a game I would like to play over and over again. The others? Certainly. This one? No.

Story - 5

You'd think that I would have not given a score here, but there was one detail that clinched my reason to give a score: the stories of the new characters. While the story of Nadia being a soldier to lose weight so that she can be a model is irrelevant, the story of Trevor being a computer genius isn't. If he's a computer genius, why are Eri and Tarma tracking down the virus and not him? It doesn't make any sense. At least the nice scenes make up for it.

Control - 10

The control is stll the same. For the most part, I like the new vehicle hit point system. So, it's all good, I suppose.

Audio - 10

Fio and Marco still have their seiyuu and Nadia and Trevor have good ones as well. I have not heard the song from Lee Jae Jin yet, but hopefully I'll get the chance to hear it. Other than that, you still have the same audio pretty much.

Art - 7

What has improved: the character selection screen. Though "II"-"III" had an okay select screen, this one looks more colorful.

What has dropped: for one, the boss designs. Maybe it's me, but I found the bosses to be rather...flat. They didn't carry the flair you saw in the past games.

Another part that dropped in quality was the sprites. Fio and Marco are the same, but Nadia has Fio's sprite, but with a few altercations and Trevor has Tarma's sprite, but with a few altercations as well. "III" came out two years before "IV", but then again, I have to remember that SNK had problems. Still, I know it could have been better here.

Finally, the level designs don't look as great as I hoped for. Yeah, I know that by reusing elements from the past, it would bring back some nostalgic feeling, but I just couldn't get that feeling. I tried, but I didn't get it.

Overall - 5

Yikes! The score has been cut in half. Well, truthfully, it is the weakest game of the series. If you want to give it a crack, go ahead, but you won't enjoy it as much as the past games. At least, that's how I see it.


The character selection screen art and the vehicle hit point system improved.


New characters don't feel right, the art in general is a mixed bag and majority of the new items don't help the game's experience at all.
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