Metal Slug: 1st Mission

Metal Slug - 1st mission

Format- Neo Geo Pocket Color

Genre- 2d platformer/shooter

Although i’m not the biggest fan of rock hard shooters in general, the Metal Slug series is a major exception to that rule.

Metal Slug - 1st mission

For the most part they’re incredibly slick and superb looking action titles, with explosions and bullets flying all over the place. The character and vehicle animations are just another bonus –  Metal Slug is the only game i’ve found that’s made a tank adorable.

I can usual overlook the difficulty of the games as well, due to their arcade infinite lives sensibilities.

So you might imagine that a Neo Geo Pocket game would be a rather pointless venture. Lacking home console/arcade machine style power, the game’s graphics would be blunted and the game would be nothing more than a muted mess.

Metal Slug - 1st mission

I like 1st Mission though. It gets a fair bit of stick for being a underwhelming entry in the series by many, good for the NGP but little else.

It’s better than that though. The game still retains the basic thrill of spraying loads of ammo across the screen, with the bullets rotating to give a quite cool off-the-cuff nature to the game.

Enemies are still animated enough to be amusing, and the levels are a fairly varied bunch, with vehicle missions thrown in at regular intervals.

Metal Slug - 1st mission

In fact the game’s main problem is how it structures its levels. Various circumstances (usually involving dying at a certain point) can leave you in random levels over and over again, such as the jail stage.

Level progression is not set along a linear path, and although this might be an interesting concept for a home console iteration, here it just feels frustrating. Especially as I only pick up and play it every now and then – it’s not a structure that’s ideal for a portable system.

Still, this is one of my favorite NGPC games, although I haven’t yet played the sequel. That will be rectified soon enough though. Another bonus for potential buyers of 1st Mission is that it is one of the easiest and cheaper titles available on SNK’s admirable portable system.

Ninja Loves Pirate Interview

Ninja Loves Pirate

This is an interview with the team responsible for the Ninja Loves Pirate game. An interview with people who still create games the way the gods of gaming intended. People who also got NLP a nice official site.

1. Ninja Loves Pirate is both original and old-fashioned. How did you come up with the idea for this game?
Patrik Liljecrantz: The idea of ninja loves pirate is a sort of spinn-off of things Emanuel Garnheim and I have been discussing during our years studying together. What actually made us put a game together was the Four elements competition at It had rules requiring ninjas, pirates and zombies, so that gave us the right push. We won the contest btw 😉

2. Are you sure a Pirate can actually (and deeply) love a Ninja?
Patrik Liljecrantz: Yes, they actually can! The bonds of love grow deeper than any ancient disputes.

3. What’s more dangerous? A zombie or a robot?
Patrik Liljecrantz: In a one on one situation I would say the robot (Without underestimating the zombie). Zombies work in packs, that’s what makes them dangerous. And the fact that they always seem to be in the right place at the right time. Even though you hide on the roofs, the legless zombies are always waiting for you.

4. Ok. Enough with being weird. NLP has excellent pixel-artsy graphics and a distinctly retro look. What was your inspiration? Why did you choose such a (beautiful) style?
Emanuel Garnheim: Our inspiration was from NES and SNES-games such as Contraand (Super) Metroid, as well as games such as the holy grail of pixel-art, Metal Slug. All these games have beautiful pixel graphics, which suggest more than the pixels that are there and leave some of the art open to interpretation and imagination, a trait that in my opinion lifts pixel-art above modern 3d graphics. This was the main reason, aside from pure nostalgia, that we chose this style for Ninja Loves Pirate

5. Perfect music too. Care to tell us a bit more about it?
Magnus Alm: We work with a really talented musician called Antonio Tublén who also works as a director in Denmark. You should really check out if you want to hear more of his stuff.

Ninja Loves Pirate
The team: Emanuel (concept & pixel artist), Jimmy (designer), Magnus (producer) and Patrik (programmer).

6. How did you manage to fine-tune the gameplay?

Jimmy Öman: I wasn’t involved in the demo design, as I am part of the development of the full version taken up by Muskedunder Interactive. As far as game play tuning for the demo though, I think it’s safe to say there wasn’t much tuning. The demo was made under a lot of time pressure and I think the main goal was to make it playable but not excellent. My work with the full development will make sure the ninja and the pirate are a lot more interesting to play, especially in co-op. I’ve emphazied their unique features to make them asymmetrical, both in fighting and in other abilities. The enemies and the fights in general will be a lot more fun, with smarter and tougher enemies, f.e. trying to flee when hurt and cannibalize to regain hit points. We will also change the intensity of encounters to follow a dramaturgical curve, thus varying the encounters and the game play. There will also be event fights, where the camera will stop to anticipate an incoming fight. You have to beat whatever goals we set for the player before continuing, giving the events a mini-boss feeling.

7. What do you consider your greatest success in NLP?
Jimmy Öman: For the concept as a whole, I think that would be the achievement to make something great from the seemingly chaotic mix of ninjas, pirates, zombies and robots. It could as well have crashed and burned, but instead it’s a success so far, thanks to careful work and talent.

8. When should we expect the full game release? Any ideas for Deluxe, boxed, Xboxed etc versions?
Magnus Alm: The release date of the full game isn’t decided yet, since we are currently discussing with publishers. Also I should mention that the platform of the game isn’t final just yet. As soon as anything is decided and signed, we’ll announce it.

9. Care to reveal some of the team’s future plans?

Magnus Alm:
We are working on two other titles right now, they will be showcased to publishers further on this year. They differ a lot from Ninja Loves Pirate and belong to different game genres. But they remain funny, cute and will be sure to get a smile on your face, just like Ninja Loves Pirate. So, we do have other stuff going right now, but we aren’t ready to announce anything just yet.
Ninja Loves Pirate
10. Thanks a lot and good luck. (not a question really… more of a wish)



E3 2011: Classic Gaming Museum

Classic Gaming Museum - E3 2011

My eyes lit up like a LED screen when I came across this section at E3 2011. Normally, there would be a small section with a few games, but this place was huge. On the back wall were a ton of classic video games from Dig Dug to Killer Instinct and a few even broke down so you know they were authentic.

Classic Gaming Museum - E3 2011

They had what I called a 80’s living room complete with a couch, a radiation level 6 television and an Atari 2600 and best of all you could sit down and play. Now, while I was still just a baby when the 2600 launched I remember setups that looked exactly like this.

Classic Gaming Museum - E3 2011

There were a ton of classic game systems, add-ons and games spread out for display. I recognized many of the systems, but there were a number I did not recognize. I was totally shocked by how huge the cartridge was for Metal Slug. We met a couple of guys from SNK there and they were totally cool so watch for some articles about them coming soon.

Classic Gaming Museum - E3 2011

Not only did they have the boxes and items to view there were many classic game systems setup that you could play for yourself including an Atari 2600, N64, Sega Master System and Intelivision and more.

What classic gaming museum exhibit would complete without music. There were two different bands there that played classic music. We were able to record a bit from 8-bit weapon, a duo that plays classic music from Commodore 64, Gameboy and more.

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All in all it was great to see classic gaming displayed in such a way at E3 2011 and we hope we will see more in the future.

Check out all our E3 pictures on our Facebook page.