Review by darthfrott
"Did it translate well?"
Unless you've been living under a rock for about 10 years or so, or the last game you truly got "into" was Pac-Man or Space Invaders, then you probably already know that The Twin Snakes is basically a spruced-up version of the original Metal Gear Solid released on the PlayStation back in September of 1998.
The graphics in this version were done well, but for some reason just don't quite stand up to the PlayStation 2 version of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons Of Liberty. The one thing that always bothers me is the inside of the elbows when someone bends their arms and the way the shoulders connect to the body. They react more like a straw would react when bended rather than actual arms. However, seeing as graphics aren't my main specialty when it comes to gaming, this is easily overlooked in my case. It's just a small bump in an otherwise flawless road. As I see it, once you base graphics as your main reason for purchasing a video game, then you're not really a "gamer" at all in my opinion. With the addition of Metal Gear Solid 2's version of First Person Perspective, you can witness updated weather effects on screen, just like in Metroid Prime, if you've ever happened to see that game in motion. If you haven't, it basically means that water drips off the screen when Snake is outside in the snow, and the corners of the TV screen ice themselves over when in the extreme cold confinement of Vulcan Raven's Warehouse. Inside the Blast Furnace, the screen blurs and waves with the intense heat. Outside, the distance seems to fade out when the snow is thick. Your environment dictates your view of the area. I think it's nicely done and adds immensely to the gameplay. Perhaps if Metroid Prime would have been done more like this, I would have enjoyed it more.
Music - The old music is still here, with some new sounds exclusive to this release, and it all blends well with each other. Dramatic moments from the original release are made more dramatic than ever with some newly-added orchestrations. In the end, I feel the new musical additions not only add a nice touch and enhance the overall gameplaying experience, but I feel they weren't overdone and/or overbearing. If this was your first time playing, you wouldn't notice the new music from the old music. Silicon Knights struck a nice balance here. I salute them for taking liberties but not too many liberties in this area of the game.
Sound Effects - Almost every sound from the original release remains intact. The recognizable buzz of the incoming Codec call to the clicks and pops of the Items and Weapons Menus are all here. Playing this game has an air of familiarity that was helped along by the inclusion of these original sounds. Some might have hoped for all-new spruced-up versions of the sound effects as well, but in my opinion, if it isn't broken, why fix it?
At first, I was a little weirded out with the controls, but once you get used to them, they're quite intuitive. There will be a slight learning curve for some, especially if you're already comfortable with Metal Gear Solid 2 on the PlayStation 2 or Metal Gear Solid on the PlayStation like me. After the short initial composure period where you're getting used to "what does what" and "what is where", I think it's one of those games where you can focus on what you're doing on-screen, rather than what your hands are doing with the controller. I find this an amazing feat, since I'm not the biggest fan of the GameCube's awkward controller and bizarre button placement. I haven't found too many GameCube games that I'm comfortable playing, (especially First Person Shooters and Fighting games - but that's another story), due to the dislike of the controller. The Twin Snakes makes me think there might be hope for this lopsided controller after all.
Naaah. Scratch that :D
This game excels in this department. Ask the thousands upon thousands of fans and you'll hear the same. The overall feeling of the first game has been flawlessly translated to the GameCube with the extra benefits of Metal Gear Solid 2 thrown in. Movement is smooth and fluid, with one of the best implementations of the "wall cling" in a video game. Simply step up to wall, and Snake will put his back to it. No need for extra buttons...unless you want to knock on the wall and lure a Guard away from his patrol. Ingenious on the part of Hideo Kojima and his team.
There are gadgets and weapons galore, not to mention the newly-added Dog Tag Search from Metal Gear Solid 2, and all of your many, MANY belongings are at the touch of your fingertips with the great interface of the Metal Gear Solid series Item and Weapons Menus.
Win the game once, and there is extra incentive to replay. You can go back and get all the Dog Tags you might have missed the first time around on a particular difficulty, or start on another difficulty level and pick up all-new Dog Tags, as well as specific rewards for beating the game with a certain ending or completing the game a certain amount of times. You'll find yourself playing over and over, trying to release all of the game's hidden features just like I did in 1998 with the PlayStation and again in 2004 on the GameCube.
On the other hand, this game might not be for everyone, because it's not all "go, go, go" all the time. There are times where the story takes precedence over play time, and I understand there are some who might not appreciate the idea. However, if you enjoy deep, meaty stories with your gameplay, allow me to notify you that you just hit the mother load.
The newly-added cutscenes are truly great, bringing the coolness of the game up a notch from where it was before. Solid Snake becomes much more athletic and lots of extra eye candy was introduced that I found to be a true treat.
A lot of the original cast makes a reappearance for the game's dialogue, which was recorded brand-new for this updated version. The one glaring piece of dialogue that I used to detest has been replaced with a much better, much more appropriate version. (When Meryl is shot by Sniper Wolf, Snake used to say "Meryl!" so fast and under his breath that it would sound more like "Murl!")
Of course, the newly added dialogue isn't all great all the time, but neither was the dialogue in the first release. Overall, the fact that the game's extensive dialogue was re-recorded from the ground up with almost the same cast from the first release in the first place gets a thumbs up from me. Quite a feat!
This is a win-win situation if you ask me. One one hand, if you're a Metal Gear series fan and this is your first experience with the first Metal Gear Solid, then you'll absolutely love this game. On the other hand, if you've played through the PlayStation version and hold it in very high regards, (like I do), then you'll be thrilled to no end with this version. I don't know if I can go back to the pixelated faces and old version controls of the PlayStation game after playing this awesome rendition of Metal Gear Solid. The Metal Gear Solid 2 control elements really feel great here, although not really implemented thoroughly into the gameplay mechanics like it's sequel, Sons Of Liberty. None the less, this is a game to buy for all Metal Gear Solid fans. In the end, I feel you deserve to treat yourself with this jewel of a game.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.0 - Great
Originally Posted: 05/19/04
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