Metal Slug 3 (メタルスラッグ 3) is a run and gun video game for the Neo-Geo console/arcade platform created by SNK that was released in 2000 and is the sequel to Metal Slug 2. Being the last Metal Slug that SNK was working on until the bankruptcy, it was given a lot of features, enhancements and improvements.[ The music of the game was developed by ]Noise Factory. The game was ported to the PlayStation 2 and Xbox. The game was also released for the Wii, PSP, and PS2 as part of the Metal Slug Anthology.
The rebellion orchestrated by General Morden to bring about a new global regime is now ancient history, and order and peace has begun to return to the world. Morden, brought back into power, was attempting another coup d'état, but government forces got wind of the plot beforehand and pre-empted the impending assault.
Instrumental in squashing Morden's rebel forces, Marco and Tarma of the Peregrine Falcon Strike Force are ordered to lead the team after their earlier requests for resignation were denied. Although General Morden has been written off as "missing" by his followers, they have hidden themselves throughout the world, and Marco and Tarma's abilities and experience are seen as a necessity to destroy remaining rebel strongholds, one by one. Throughout the furious fighting against the holdouts, Marco and Tarma cannot help but suspect Morden's involvement in this new evil plan for world domination.
Meanwhile, the SPARROWS, a special strike force within the government intelligence agency, have come across a series of strange events running parallel to the Peregrine's pursuit of General Morden. From trivial abductions of livestock to the disappearance of government officials and the appearance of freakishly large creatures, numerous occurrences with nothing in common point to one grim possibility. General Morden is not the only menace to worry about. Eventually it is learned that the alien menace that appeared in Metal Slug 2/Metal Slug X have returned. After defeating what appears to be General Morden, it turns to really be an alien in disguise, while the real Morden was their prisoner (again). The aliens abduct the character the player uses, and another character takes his/her place. Once again, an ad-hoc alliance is formed to combat the external threat, with Rebel Army supplying a rocket ship that allows the player to break into the aliens' mothership called Rugname. After a long battle throughout the ship's interior, the Rugname starts to collapse from all the damage. After destroying the ship's core, the player must now through green clones of the captured character and free that character. Once the captured character is freed, the clones start to die, but some have turned into zombies. The player manages to escape, but is confronted by the aliens' leader, Rootmars, when falling through the Earth's atmosphere. Rootmars is defeated and is left for dead in the ocean. Upon seeing Morden and his men celebrating, the player's character throws his/her weapon into the water in disgust.
The gameplay mechanics are the same as previous Metal Slug games. New for Metal Slug 3, however, is the branching path system; in most missions, there are forking paths for the player to choose from, each with their own obstacles, and of varying length and difficulty. All paths eventually lead to the same boss battle, but the player may have different equipment, and may have rescued more or fewer hostages depending on their choices.
In addition to the mummy form from Metal Slug 2/X, other forms are taken by the player in various circumstances:
- When doused with infectious material, the player becomes a zombie. While medication is available to reverse the effect, the zombified player can make use of a devastating vomit attack that covers most of the forward area. The player cannot crouch, jump high, or make use of heavy weaponry or vehicles, but is immune to any attacks from the Rebels (except the zombified Rebels).
- Underwater, the player equips a SCUBA apparatus with a bubble helmet. Rather than grenades, the player uses a bomb-launching system. The ordnance is affected by gravity, but not so much by water.
- Should the player lose their air vehicle, they rely on a backup jet pack. They can fire seeking missiles from the pack.
- Without the Astro Slug, the player also depends on a jet pack, as well as a breathing apparatus (but not a spacesuit, curiously). Explosives are contained in the pack, when fired it explodes in a massive fireball.
While no new weapons were added, Metal Slug 3 contains new vehicles for player use:
- The Slug Driller can be found in the undergroung part of level 4. When the player moves it you can activate its drill mowing down every enemy in front of him/her. It can also extend the drill which is much more powerful. Additionally, it can change its height making the player unreachable to enemies.
- The Slug Mariner gives some added firepower for those underwater. It fires high-mass rounds which sink to the bottom, as well as torpedoes.
- The Elephant Slug is a hulking elephant strapped with a Vulcan cannon. By picking up a Battery or a Chili Pepper, the elephant can fire a bolt of lightning or a fireball from its trunk, respectively.
- The Ostrich Slug is reminiscent of the Camel Slug. It is even faster, can jump farther, and can turn around. (However, doing so makes the rider momentarily vulnerable to enemy fire.)
- The lv Rebel Armor is a Rebel-produced vehicle, but can be captured and used by the player. It comes equipped with a heavy machine gun, which is interchangeable with other handheld weapons. (Unlike the Slugs, the Rebel Armor's main armament has limited ammo.) It also has a grenade launcher, a melee claw attack, and jump jets. The other player can stand on top of the Rebel Armor, and can receive a boost to extreme heights.
- The Slug Copter appears along with the Slug Flyer in the airborne portion of the Final Mission. Its Vulcan cannon can fire in all directions, unlike the Flyer. It is also armed with gravity bombs.
- The Astro Slug is used jointly by the players and the Rebel forces, when it is revealed that General Morden is missing. Booster rockets carry it into space, where the player makes use of its weaponry. Like the Rebel Armor, the Astro Slug can make use of infantry weapons through ports on its sides. It fires rockets as a secondary weapon.
On the console versions, ported by Playmore, once the arcade mode has been beaten, there are two additional mini-games: 'Storming the UFO Mothership' and 'Fat Island'.
Storming the UFO Mothership
This mode allows the player to control one of the soldiers of General Morden, to rescue fellow soldiers and attack the UFO forces. The player can choose between the Riot Shield Soldier, Bazooka Soldier, and Grenade Soldier. The player is given a single life; this is balanced by the number of reinforcements from fellow soldiers. Only one player can play on Storming the UFO Mothership. There is no two-player mode.
Two players compete to gain the most weight in a limited amount of time by eating various foods. They start out with 100 kg and must finish with 200. If players lose enough weight, they will return to normal size and then to a mummy state.
At the 2007 Tokyo Game Show, it was confirmed that Metal Slug 3 would be released on Xbox Live Arcade on January 2, 2008 for 800 Microsoft Points ($10 USD). The game features updated graphics and co-op online gameplay, but it does not include the extra modes from the PS2 and Xbox releases.
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- Metal Slug 3 at Museum of the Game
- 'Metal Slug 3' at MobyGames
- Metal Slug 3 at GameFAQs
- Metal Slug 3 at Neo-Geo.com (reviews) 1 2 3
- Official Metal Slug 3 Xbox.com page