Metal Slug 2 contains a series of useful, public service-style messages that will help you maintain a healthier lifestyle. For example, if you eat too much fish and fruit, you’ll become fat, and your bullets will, too. Another helpful tip is to avoid touching strange mummies, because you never know what stifling diseases you might contract.
These two character transformations– obesity and mummification– are what help Metal Slug 2 stand out from numerous other arcade shoot ‘em ups that also have been ported to iOS. While you can choose one of four different characters (all of whom perform identically), you can also slightly tweak their abilities through unique power-ups. Helpful POWs who fight back and the series’ titular rolling tanks are just a few more fun extras in this over-the-top game.
The clash of civilizations rages on.
Metal Slug 2 is more varied and interesting than Metal Slug 1, which was a straightforward wartime shooter with above-average animation. It’s also not quite as fun as Metal Slug 3, which includes branching pathways and a higher degree of challenge, since you’re given fewer continues. But Metal Slug 2 does contain the same great features of those other ports, namely, support for the iCade controller and Bluetooth multiplayer.
Metal Slug 2 represents an evolution of the series, when compared to installments 1 and 3. It contains more vehicles, like the machine gun-packing camel, and a few interesting locations, like a bazaar in the Middle East. Some of the Arabic-looking villains in the first level might raise some eyebrows, but it’s nothing more casually offensive than unsubtle, action-oriented TV shows or movies that treat villains like stock caricatures.
Ever heard of brushing your teeth?
If you’ve played other games in the Metal Slug series, or are looking to replicate a 1990s arcade on your iOS, Metal Slug 2 is well worth a purchase. If you own an iCade, that’s even better. But if you’re just going to buy one game in this outstanding series, make it #3, because the second game, while indicative of the series’ bright future, is still just a stepping stone.