Metal Black (メタルブラック) is a shoot-'em-up developed by Taito and released in arcades 1991. It was subsequently updated and brought to the Sega Saturn in 1996. The Saturn version was only released in Japan.
The game is also titled Project Gun Frontier 2, although there are no connections to Gun Frontier content wise. Alegdly content from a canceled Darius sequel was also reused for this game, supported by fish and crustecan enemies found in the game.
In the future, earth is attacked by aliens that possess the ability to harness the power of "Newalone", a strange, molecule like structure. Earth counters by buidling it's own fleet also based on "Newalone" technology, but freezes the project on favour of peace with the alien. The contract is very oneside and earth is dying. A single solider breaks into a military complex and manages to steal a "Black Fly", a space ship designed to use "Newalone"
In typical shooting game manner, Metal Black uses a two button setup, with one being used for standard shots, and the onther one for beam attacks. Both attacks can be powered up by collecting Newalone, which floats around freely in stages.
The beam weapon becomes a screen covering burst attack when the maximum amount of Newalone has been collected. The Burst can be refocused to a beam by holding down the beam button.
Bosses also use beam attacks, and one can duel with the bosses by countering with a beam attack. The outcome of these duels depends on the accumulated Newalone.
Two special stages exist where one has to lock onto enemies in a pseudo 3D space and fire missiles. The random nature of these stages, combined with the fact that score largely depends on fast lockons, has been the target of criticism.
An alternative ending can be viewed by dying and not continuing on the last stage.
The game was a major inspiration for Border Down, both games also had the same composer.
The beam mechanic was also used in G Darius, which was not released on SEGA hardware
Aside from unavoidable loading times, this appears to be a perfect portation.
Project Gun Frontier 2
Producer: Senba Takatsuna, Hori Takamasa
Game Design: Senba Takatsuna, Hori Takamasa, Kuroki Naoya, Ohno Tomohiro, Seguchi Takashi, Mizobe Kumi, Watanabe Yasuhisa, Sawaki Jun, Katsuhisa Ishikawa