But after you've experimented with those two set ups you're going to find that the rest range from bizarre to unwieldy. The arcade configuration, for example, makes you hold the remote straight up and down and turn it in the direction you want to move (and shoot), as if it is trying to be an arcade joystick. Not only is this incredibly hard to do, but it feels all wrong because the control isn't connected to a table or anything. Then there's the tilt remote configuration, which involves you tilting the sideways control left and right to make the character go. This is an interesting idea, but it just ends up being too difficult to move around with any precision. There is also a mode where you use the nunchuck and remote, which seems like a good idea but ended up feeling all wrong for this type of game. And while we're at it, we might as well talk about the craziest configuration of them all … the one-handed mode. This configuration allows you to use ONLY the nunchuck, so you move, jump, shoot and throw bombs with nothing more than the analog stick and two buttons found on the nunchuck. This is definitely an interesting idea, but like the rest of the wacky control schemes, it doesn't work as well as you would like it to.
With all of these different control configurations it would seem like SNK Playmore thought of everything. But they didn't. In fact, there's one omission that is extremely hard to believe. For some strange reason this Metal Slug Anthology opted to forget about the Wii's Virtual Console control, the one set up that actually makes a lot of sense. Sure the GameCube control works just fine, but it just feels wrong to make people buy a control for an outdated system to play this Wii game the way it was intended.
Along with seven pixel-perfect arcade ports, Metal Slug Anthology also has a couple of extra features. Well, it has one extra feature … an art gallery. SNK is known for their amazing artwork, and Metal Slug is no exception. As you play through the games you will be able to unlock more pictures, some of which are very detailed. Unfortunately this may not be that much of an incentive, especially when you consider that other game collections hide extra games, interviews, trailers and promotional material in their games. I personally would have preferred a couple of developer interviews, perhaps something that explains why none of the Metal Slug games allow you to shoot in a diagonal direction. Seriously, it's been ten years and you still can't shoot diagonally? Come on SNK, what are you waiting for?
All in all the Metal Slug Anthology ends up doing everything it is supposed to do. It compiles seven of the best 2D shooters onto one disc, all for a slightly cheaper price tag. Unfortunately you won't find a lot of variety in this collection, but that is more a complaint about the original games and not this compilation. This is a no frills package that gives you seven games that are still a lot of fun to play, even if the game play is a bit outdated. It would have been nice to see a little more emphasis added to the extra features, but this is one disc that Wii owning Metal Slug fans should check out.
Metal Slug Anthology sets out to compile seven of the best 2D shooters ever released on the Neo Geo. For the most part it succeeds, but why they chose not to offer Classic Control support is anybody's guess!
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