Review by HybridSnake
"Don't expect anything new at all, veteran MGS gamer, and let the game choke you!"
First off I will start this confirming that I am a Die Hard Metal Gear Solid fan. So you can tell my opinion is going to be biased, but I'll try my best to be fair. I as a game rate the game 8/10. As a hardcore Snake Eater I give it a ten. I always wanted to see Snake's Shadow Moses infiltration in full ''Sons of Liberty'' glory. And Silicon Knights did just that. If you don't know what company that is, it's ok. They're new and one of their first hits is Eternal Darkness--a game that I have not played but possess the knowledge of it's greatness. The Twin Snakes is their second hit, and a big one at that. It's hard and easy to fail with the concept of a Remake like this, though lately the GameCube has been successful portraying this kind of games.
If any of you know a little about PSX and gaming for the last 5 years, you will be aware of the impact the Original Metal Gear Solid had for the Playstation game console. The game was an instant hit. From it's cunning, original, stylish and action packed story; to it's incredible gameplay(revolutionary at the time) that spawned multiple wanna bes; to it's die hard sound effects and soundtrack. Metal Gear Solid pushed the PSX's hardware to the limit. Rendering a big numbe of polygons on screen in full 3D without the use of pre-rendered graphics(see RE and FF 7-9). Needless to say the game defined the Stealth Genre with the idea: ''Stealth is more successful than an all out brawl).
The game is revered as the greatest PSX game of all time, and I agree. But looking back at the game, after 5-6 years, the game has not aged the well. The graphics that once were mighty turned ugly. Alright, I know it's 5 years ago, but other game manage to keep the stunning detail(again see the FFs). The Gamecube needed Snake in it's assortment of games, and since Snake Eater was scheduled for the PS2 and the X-Box already had Substance, Kojima decided to give the original MGS a chance. Considering the GC's success with Redident Evil REmake, they choose the GC and handed the rights to work the game to Silicon Knights.
The story is still the same, which is a great thing because the story is flawless. You start as Solid Snake(a battle hardened veteran that has twice saved the world from the threat of Metal Gear) and you have 2 mission objectives: Rescue 2 hostages, find out if the terrorists have the ability to fire a nuke and stop them if they do. Obviously that sounds simple, but by the time you reach the end of the game you will be hurting yourself trying to figure out the complex thought. The game refines a cinematic gaming experience. You will engage in Sniper battles, rapel through a building in flames, fight a crazy Cybernetic Ninja among other extraordinary things. In my opinion the first MGS beats Sons of Liberty in this department. The story is much more simple, and not as confusing as it's sequel. Although I must admit I am also a fan of Sons of Liberty. The ability to watch Snake in Next-Generation graphics is definitely a must for us, MGS fans.
The new game is a hybrid of the original PSX game and the PS2's ''Sons of Liberty.''
The ending result is great, but then again it is not original. We're talking about remaking a game that was made five years with the engine of a game that was released 2-3 years ago. However, the new version is as fun to play as it's two parents. Now you face smarter Soldiers(harder, but dumb as always) with a new array of gameplay mechanics. You can hang from edges to avoid an approaching soldier when you have no where else to go. You can also use naughty magazines to distract the soldiers and strip of their ammo and supplies. Corpses won't disappear as in the original, so now you have to hide them like in MGS2. Lucky for you there are plenty of places and lockers to stuff their dead or, in the case of good hearted soldiers, asleep bodies in. You can now aim in First Person View and shoot, which makes things more interesting but surprisingly makes the game much easier than the original. It's sad, but understandable. If you're new to Metal Gear you need to learn this lesson, STAY OUT OF ENEMY SENTRIES and avoid being seen at any moment. You don't want to be assaulted by a squad of Big Boss's children, believe me. Whether you're playing the game for the 31th time, like me, or experience the game for the first time; you will love it.
The original game was a masterpiece. It rendered fully polygonal environments. No tricks with pre-rendered backgrounds to look good. But after you watch the new graphics you will realize how this remake was needed. The PSX version doesn't look good at all, not anymore. The graphics are simply breathtaking. You will know the moment you watch the first cut-scene. The cut-scenes are intimidating, to say the elast. They hired a Hong Kong flicks supervisor to direct the new cut-scenes, and it shows. I can't remember his name, though. I'm not that big a fan of Japanese Names, if you know what I mean. The cut-scenes are a little over the top, but you will be too busy slapping the drool out of your jaw to complain. It clearly shows just how good Solid Snake really was, and clearly puts Raiden in his place(for those Raiden haters out there). To be honest I like Raiden, but I just knew Snake was much, much better. And now thanks to these cut-scenes the noobies that started MGS with Raiden will understand why the MGS fans were pissed off with the silly wig wearing teenager. Some of the in-games graphics look a little...plain. Some of the textures feel as if the developers didn't take much time to deal with them, but these are few and far between. Snake looks incredible, I have to add, and so does the entire Foxhound crew. In the other hand, the game suffer a little bit of slowdown when attacked by an army of soldiers or a lot of action takes place at the same time. It drops to 30 frames per second, but the game manages to hold it's 60 FPS throughout most of it's run. It's a setback, because Konami was able to hold Son's of Liberty's frame rate consitant, but it's something we can live with. And most games won't even notice, anyways.
The Sound Effects are top notch. You won't complain here. The sounds the weapon emit as they are being fired are accurate, as are the detail behind the surrounding system of the game. You can simply stand in the middle of an area, and if you close your eyes and simply listen to the sounds you will be able to tell what is happening. This of course is limited by the sound system the gamer has at hand, but it is still great for those out there that cannot afford Surround Sound. Yes, I know there are better ways, but that's what the GC allows.
The soundtrack is as good as the original and even better. It manages to set the mood just perfect. It's also a mix of old tunes and new ones. The result is a friendly reunion of new and old. Some stubborn fans might complain, but then again they always do. Actually, the soundtrack helps the cinematic feel. It grabs you by the throat and drags you into the game as only Snake and his neck breaking skills can.
Unfortunately, the game has low Replay Value. It has 2 endings. You can get many items by finishing the game a number of times, and the Dog Tags are fun and a little challenging, but the replay value is almost non existant. The game also opens a Movie player after you beat it. However, if you are stuck with the gameplay you will find a lot of replay value as you begin to develop new strategies to make fun of the dumb soldiers. There are also a lot easter eggs out there, can you find them all?
This Remake is a nice addition to the Gamecube's scarce library. I own all 3 consoles, so I know what I'm talking about. The combination of MGS2's gameplay with MGS's grand story is a bless, and the few GC owners out there are able to experience it. Whether you're playing the game for the first time, or playing it for time number 35(I'm in my 31 :P) you won't be disappointed. Just don't expect anything new at all, veteran MGS gamer, and let the game choke you.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 03/11/04
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