Metal Slug Advance (2004)

by Christopher
7 minutes read


With its classic arcade action, strategic depth, and the introduction of the E-card system, Metal Slug Advance is a standout title in the Game Boy Advance library and a must-play for fans of the series and action gaming enthusiasts.


Metal Slug Advance combines the fast-paced arcade action of the Metal Slug series with the portability of the Game Boy Advance, delivering an unforgettable gaming experience.


“Metal Slug Advance” is a run-and-gun video game for the Game Boy Advance handheld system, created by SNK Playmore in 2004. The game is canon to the Metal Slug series and introduces a survival training camp for new Peregrine Falcon (PF) Squad recruits.

The storyline begins with a survival training camp for new recruits of the special ops squad Peregrine Falcons (PF Squad), known for demanding the best of its members in any situation. The recruits must survive on an unnamed island with limited supplies and weaponry. The stage for this drill is a remote island in the South Pacific.

Two recent recruits, Walter and Tyra, must land on this island with only a minimum of provisions. Once they make it off the island through their own devices, the drill will end successfully. However, the recruits have not been provided with any intel on the island’s flora, fauna, and geography, making it difficult to imagine what obstacles await them.

Just as the recruits disappear into the jungle, a sinister ship approaches. A large blimp begins to hover above the island, as General Morden’s troops parachute down and attempt to build a new base, while successfully capturing many of the new recruits. The survival training soon becomes a full-fledged assignment for the remaining recruits as they pierce through enemy lines.

Players play as either Walter Ryan or Tyra Elson. The terrifying trial that will test their abilities to survive has begun. Little do the two new PF Squad recruits know, but their first drill is going to become their first taste of combat. The training unfolds under gathering clouds of war.

The gameplay in Metal Slug Advance is very similar to any other Metal Slug game, but with two new systems; the life system, and the card system. The life system is simply a life bar for players, as it replaces the extra lives from all the other Metal Slug games. As players take damage, the life bar depletes (different attacks cause different amounts of damage). Collecting food items can restore health, and players instantly die from being crushed or falling down a pit.

The Card system is a card collecting part of the game. Cards can be found from shooting certain parts of the background, and by obtaining it from certain hostages, and sometimes by doing both. The cards have many different purposes, from giving detailed info on items and characters from the Metal Slug series to boosting player abilities, and even unlocking special (and new) slugs. There are 100 cards to collect, and collecting them all becomes the main objective to anyone who defeats the final boss.

In conclusion, “Metal Slug Advance” is a thrilling game that tests the survival skills of the players, offering a unique blend of action and strategy. The game’s plot, which starts as a simple training exercise and escalates into a full-blown combat scenario, provides an engaging backdrop for the gameplay. The introduction of the life and card systems adds a new layer of complexity, making “Metal Slug Advance” a standout entry in the Metal Slug series.


Players can choose from iconic characters of the Metal Slug series, each with unique abilities. The game also introduces a wide array of enemy types, from soldiers to larger-than-life bosses, set against the backdrop of meticulously designed levels.


The gameplay retains the series’ beloved run-and-gun style but introduces a collectible E-card system that enhances player abilities. This mechanic adds a strategic element to the game, encouraging exploration and replayability.


Metal Slug Advance stands as a testament to the enduring appeal of the Metal Slug series, successfully translating its high-octane action to the Game Boy Advance while introducing new gameplay elements to engage both veterans and newcomers.

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