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After seeing great success with Metal Slug, SNK could have taken its elements and shifted them around to produce a sequel that would have sold well on name alone. But instead, SNK has given the sequel the full treatment while staying true to the original's gameplay. Metal Slug 2 features more enemies, more animation sequences, and more vehicles.
Two playable characters have been added to the original's roster, bringing the list up to four for this game. Starting with one of these characters armed with a pistol and a stock of grenades, players must run through a series of 2D stages set in various environments shooting anything that moves and most things that don't. Along the way players will encounter friendly prisoners of war that can be freed, and some vehicles that can be boarded for more firepower.
Prisoners of war must be freed from their ropes by shooting or slashing them. After they're freed players can touch the prisoners to cause them to drop items, as well as to get the point bonus. Some of these items give the player more points, but most are weapons upgrades. Characters can upgrade their basic pistol to other weapons like rifles, flame guns, shotguns, and rocket launchers. These weapons have a limited amount of ammunition, and once expended return the character to using his or her default pistol. Occasionally prisoners of war also drop grenade resupplies for players to pick up. In rare instances a freed prisoner even joins the player for the rest of the level, hurling homing fireballs at enemies.
The Metal Slug tank from the first game is back, and this time around it's joined by several other vehicles all bearing the slug name and big guns. The vehicles range from the fairly standard airplane to the downright bizarre Camel Slug with rotating turrets. They're all capable of taking multiple shots before being destroyed, protecting the player inside in the meanwhile. ~ Kyle Knight, All Game Guide