Metal Slug 3 is neither a short nor a complex game, but a massively detailed epic in the classic arcade style - a vision of what the coin-op's silver age could have looked like had it come along ten years later. The fourth game in SNK's much-lauded series (following on from 1, 2 and X), it was a bold move from the start when the developers pushed ahead into the new millennium with a 2D hand-drawn platform shooter. Fortunately for SNK, the sheer weight of high-octane passion that permeates every jagged pixel of this NeoGeo classic ensured it stood proud amidst the sea of 3D games it was born into.
And this hasn't changed - Metal Slug 3 once again gets the dust blown off its noble cartoon graphics and emerges as an unforeseen champion of another gaming realm. This time it's reminded us that a Live Arcade game doesn't have to be a two-minute retro-revival; it can be a lengthy, wonderfully gruelling adventure of non-stop violence and mature, yet cartoony circus of balletic destruction.