ACA NeoGeo: Metal Slug 3 (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Adam Riley 27.03.2017 8

Review for ACA NeoGeo: Metal Slug 3 on Nintendo Switch

Metal Slug is a series of side-scrolling arcade shooters that has achieved cult status over the years, with seven main entries and a fantastic Anthology package on Wii. Nintendo fans do not always have the benefit of receiving most of SNK's long-running series, but Hamster Corporation has now brought what is generally regarded as the best of the bunch, Metal Slug 3, to Nintendo Switch as part of its ACA NeoGeo line, a line that includes other past treasures, such as Shock Troopers, World Heroes Perfect, Waku Waku 7, and more. How does the third Metal Slug from 2000 hold up after all these years, though?

In today's world of HD and 4K visuals, it could be argued that there is no real place for 2D graphics, with them appearing rather outdated. Looking at the beauty of Metal Slug 3, though, despite it being 17 years old now, should quieten a lot of naysayers. The sheer attention to detail on not just the main environments, but the whole host of characters within, is simply astounding. Considering how much is thrown about during the intense action scenes, it is all the more impressive how smoothly this runs, given its emulated form. The intricacy of the artwork produced by the artists involved is definitely to be applauded. Throw in some extremely over-the-top sound effects, plenty of sampled speech snippets, as well as a varied soundtrack that pumps through in the background, and the presentation is pretty top notch, whether it is played in handheld mode or on the big screen.

For those that have not sampled the delights of Metal Slug before, think along the lines of Super Probotector or Ghosts 'N Ghoblins, and that might give a vague idea how it all works. Basically, it is a two-dimensional, side-scrolling action shooter, where one of a handful of quirky characters is guided through numerous treacherous locations, blasting away at anything and everything with whatever armoury is at your disposal.

Screenshot for ACA NeoGeo: Metal Slug 3 on Nintendo Switch

There are even special bonuses dropped by enemies at times, as well as prisoners that can be freed along the way, who reward generously (why they have such items…well, best to not over think things, right?). The concept may sound rather simple and repetitive, but that could not be further from the truth, as there is no time to stop and breathe, with each second passing by being another chance for incoming death. The fact that action is going on all around you so quickly, with bullets being launched from every possible angle, means there is no time for boredom as you will be on the edge of your seat, with nerves tingling all the way through.

For those less hardcore, unable to blast through on one credit, thankfully there are options to give newcomers the chance to experience the goodness of Metal Slug 3, and the ability to add extra credits actually during play means that when that Game Over countdown inevitably pops up (be prepared for repeated deaths), simply continue and carry on blasting away to your heart's content. This freedom is what helps to prevent the experience from growing stale for anyone that cannot handle the intensity of the regular difficulty.

It also means everyone can be witness to the branching paths, various types of metal slugs - armoured vehicles that take the form of numerous things, such as normal tanks, helicopters and even elephants and camels - different play styles (including even a shmup-like section), as well as the amazing boss battles that fill the screen and can literally leave you sweating due to the level of concentration required to despatch them...yes, even with infinite credits! Add in two-player, online leaderboards, and various extra modes for those wanting a tougher challenge, and this is a very tasty package indeed.

Screenshot for ACA NeoGeo: Metal Slug 3 on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Without a doubt this is one of the most enjoyable arcade experiences on Nintendo Switch right now. Sure, it may be a classic and shunned by some purely on that basis, but the core gameplay of ACA NeoGeo: Metal Slug 3 has held strong over time, and proves to be just as addictive and challenging as it ever, it still looks mighty fine indeed. With the added benefit of other versions of the game included right from the off, a selection of control options, special extra challenge modes, and online leaderboards, the only thing that could top this is an anthology collection, similar to the one found on Wii years ago.


SNK Playmore




Run and Gun



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


was any features added in this port?

It's just a straight up port, but with online leaderboards, various screen size and filter options, caravan mode, two-player, etc. The core game's exactly as it was back in the day.

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

pretty disappointing considering the price

Then sadly you'll probably be disappointed by the entire ACA range, since they're all the same deal, and all ~£6. Personally, there's more than enough in MS3 to warrant dropping six quid on it. Plenty of replayability, even just for the online scores and two-player fun.

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

maybe if they were all bundled together in a single package i could be more interested.

Smilie I somehow think Hamster wouldn't have bothered with the conversion and if that was the deal.

There's more info on the Arcade Archives line here:

Seems the prices for these MVS emulated releases is cheaper than the AES emulations that were on the Wii Shop.

( Edited 28.03.2017 07:41 by Adam Riley )

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

is it 1080 when docked?

Without the correct tech, we can't tell. I don't have any testing kit, so as long as a game runs smoothly, which is does, then sadly that's all I can offer you in that regard.

EDIT: Don't know if this is of any use, but a similar topic seems to be being discussed over on GAF:

( Edited 28.03.2017 23:18 by Adam Riley )

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

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