Advance Makes It Sound Cool: Review of “Metal Slug Advance”

October 1, 2009


Metal Slug Advance is a run and gun game for the GBA that was created by SNK Playmore and canon to the Metal Slug Series. If you’re familiar with this game, then it’s clear to say those summer days in the laundromat were wasted, along with a pocketful of quarters, to this game.

I remember spending $5 to this game and not getting past the third level in the arcade version. I sucked at it.

The plot begins within a survival training ground in an uninhabited island, where new recruits are forced to live out in the wilderness with strictly limited supplies and weaponry. It is all quickly derailed when a large blimp starts to hover the island, which is being controlled by the antagonist, General Morden, who later constructs a base. Unlike the rest of the Metal Slug series, this one fortunately does not show Giant Space Fleas From Nowhere.

Gameplay has been somewhat changed for the Advance, unlike the Arcade or Anthology versions, as there is now a life bar and a Card System. The Life Bar dictates how much you can take before it’s curtains for you(different attacks take different amounts) and cards which can be found throughout levels in either hidden areas, or given by some prisoners, and in some rare cases, both. Aside from that, the gameplay still remains true to the Metal Slug series, which is really consists of you shooting through hordes of mooks, tanks and the occasional horde of killer animals and while some hardcore fans might be ok with it, others would be off-put by the fact that this gets repetitive over time, and eventually it boils down, Run, Gun, Throw Grenades, Try As Hell To Not Get Shot Repeatedly and Repeat.

The animations and the sprites look clean, and they provide generous eye candy when you watch a giant tank explode fantastically into pieces, and they still remain faithfully to how the game looks. Who knew dying in mid-air and tumbling into the ground could be so satisfying? As for sound, be prepared to hear a lot of “DAKKA DAKKA DAKKA” and “RAWKET LAWNCHAIR“, music is hardly in the game but only during the quiet periods. I personally like hearing “Rawket Lawnchair”. It makes me giggle.

Overall, to me, this feels like more of a rehash than an actual full blown game, but seeing how the Metal Slug Series has made it’s mark on arcades all across the world, there wasn’t much to go on for the Gameboy Advance version. I would honestly love to see this game on Arcades, so I can go waste $5 worth of quarters again.

Score: 2.90/5

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