The Metal Slug series is one of the most consistently enjoyable the gaming world has ever seen, and despite SNK's apparent refusal to adhere to release chronology, Metal Slug 2 continues in that same vein.
This is an arcade classic in your pocket, and while it faces some of the same problems as the already released Metal Slug 3, its cartoon violence is still entertaining enough that you're not going to mind too much.Metal thrashing mad
The game is a side-scrolling platform shooter in which running and gunning are very much the order of the day. You play as a lone soldier, or one of a pair if you link to a friend's device over Bluetooth, taking on an vast array of creatures and combatants in order to stop the evil General Morden.
A floating stick controls your movement and three buttons let you fire your weapon, throw grenades, and jump into the air. There are hostages to rescue, who drop weapons and points boosts for you, and vehicles to drive that increase your destructive power.
You'll battle against mummies in underground tombs, blast helicopters as you sprint along a moving train, and pilot giant, laser-firing tanks through suburban streets as you make your way through the six missions the game has to offer.
Throw in a rich vein of slapstick humour, a Mission mode that lets you replay levels from the main campaign out of sequence, and four difficulty levels that mean anyone can have a go at being a hero, and you're left with a thrilling experience.Slug it to me
There are problems, though. The controls, while better than they were in the first couple of instalments, still aren't good enough to recreate the feeling of a real joystick and some chunky buttons, and there are slowdown issues too when the screen is full of sprites.
And it's tough - a fact compounded by the imperfect controls. Even on the easiest difficulty setting you're going to find yourself dying a lot.Metal Slug 2 isn't perfect, then, but when it gets things right it's still head and shoulders above all the games it inspired. You might grumble about the controls, but you'll still laugh and gasp in equal measures as you blast your way through this arcade treat.