Metal Slug X (Virtual Console Neo-Geo)
This is something of a strange game in the Metal Slug series: it’s more-or-less a re-skin of Metal Slug 2, but it has game sections and mechanics that are more fully-developed in Metal Slug 3. Consequently I feel it’s worth having in your Metal Slug collection.
Metal Slug 3 (Virtual Console Neo-Geo)
The third and arguably best of the Metal Slug franchise (the zombie sequence is a personal favourite). I’m frankly surprised this could be offered in the Wii Shop, because it’s pretty lengthy for an arcade game, but clearly some impressive work was done to compress the game’s soundtrack in order to make it possible.
As with other games in the series this is a fairly simple run-and-gun side-scrolling action game like Contra or a ton of other games from the 1980s-1990s. What has always set the Metal Slug series apart is outstanding animations, outrageous bosses and a healthy dose of humour. This third instalment takes elements of the previous games and turns it all the way up to eleven with an epic ending that has proved impossible to follow-up successfully.
Pretty much the definition of “quarter-sucker” – in the American parlance – the difficulty is such that it’s not really a question of whether you’ll need to continue, but how many continues you can complete the game in. A must-have for fans of classic arcade games.
Retro City Rampage (WiiWare)
To say this game is a labour of love would be an understatement. Largely the vision of a single individual’s desire to create what on the surface is an 8-bit version of the original Grand Theft Auto and years in the making, Retro City Rampage is a love letter to classic videogames. It’s small in size due to the pixellated retro graphics (surprisingly less than 60 blocks), but massive in scope with more jokes referencing game history and 80s movies than you can shake a stick at.
Any description I give wouldn’t do it justice, but let me just say that the GTA-meets-“Back to the Future” storyline provides a set-up for a raft of classic gaming nods that will provide you with hours of entertainment. If you’ve been playing games for more than 20 years this is an automatic purchase; if you’re a younger gamer this might well make you curious about gaming history. Either way it’s a lot of fun and well worth dusting off a Wii points card for.