That's because, despite its brilliance, Metal Slug X is a little bit on the shortish side. The five or six levels can be blazed through in a long evening. Every second is packed with action, though, and if you actually want to build your skills and beat the game on one credit, instead of abusing the continues like a weak wimpy girly-mon, you could be playing through the game dozens of times.
And that is the appropriate spirit in which to play a classic 2D shooter, of which genre Slug X is one of the premier specimens. The Slug style is far more straightforward than something like the better Contras or Gunstar Heroes -- the emphasis is on hectic action and visual gosh-wow rather than complex patterns and original enemy designs -- but it makes up for what some might consider a dearth of invention with a seemingly unending parade of enemies, weapons, and special vehicles to destroy and destroy with. If you go more than, say, 20 seconds without blowing up something really big in this game, you must be doing something wrong.
Even if you get a little tired of the weapons selection (heavy machineguns, shotguns, flamethrowers, lasers, rocket launchers, a strange remote-controlled toy, and more), there's always a Slug to hop into, be it the Slugnoid, Slug Flyer, Camel Slug, or original Metal Slug tank. The vehicles are all of them very cute, and they provide a pleasant change from just running back and forth. The vulcan cannons mow down the bad guys like nobody's business, and the sight of a hopping prehensile-treaded tank remains terribly amusing.
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