Review by Auron255
"These old bones ain't what they used to be..."
As one of the most anticipated GameCube games ever, Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes has aroused the minds of many, and skewed the minds of skeptics everywhere. This game has been at the centre of controversy since it was announced that this game was to be released exclusively on the GameCube. Certainly a frustrating moment for Ps2 owners everywhere, as it was the PSX and then Ps2 audiences which brought Hideo Kojima the fame and fourtune he deserves from his fans. Even though this game does improve upon the original, it's still on par with MGS on the original PSX, if you own one or the other, you are getting almost the same game, and if you own both, then you are in luck, and are the envy of the gaming community.
The story is superb. It's exactly as the orignal was. Some of the dialogue was altered though to suit a new and changing audience in videogames, but the overall feel of the original Metal Gear Solid is held in tact. Solid Snake is a covert operative who functions under the lead of Foxhound, which is a top secret government agency used to deploy anti-terrorist actions. As Solid Snake encounters foe upon foe, it all comes to a head when he meets his twin brother, Liquid Snake. Though the Snake moniker is somewhat fitting, the names do sound silly and out of place, though I assure you, the names do not reflect the seriousness and tone of the wonderful story. With unique underlying sub-plots scattered throughout the main story and goal, the game's story is one of a kind, and matched by none. This comes as no suprise, as the original MGS is held in the same regard.
The graphics engine is the same engine used in the game Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty for the Ps2, so you can expect no more, and no less than what you got in the Ps2 sequel to the PSX greatist hit. The character models are stunning, and an unbelievable amount of detail went into making these characters seem as life-like as possible. The mouth movements and lip syncing has fallen below the standard though, with stationary motion to the simple flap-jawed movement of a lesser quality game, this could have definately been improved upon. The textures and motion capture is spot on, and the only way you can get anymore real is if the game were on a next-gen console like the Ps3, 'N5' or 'Xbox2'. The enemy models have been completely redone, and have been equipped with an even larger arsenal of semi-automatic pistols to army-type shotguns, and some even equipped with riot shields, which prevent them from being shot. The environments are an incredible piece of work, which only scream high production values.
The game's massive story is told through dynamic camera angles and the cut-scenes are also completely revamped to fit the new tone of this game. The game is presented in an action heavy atmosphere, and the newly designed Snake is capable of doing the extraordinary when it comes to combat skills and over the top action sequences. Dodging bullets, long back-flips, and bullet-time are all added up to enhance the new tone of this game. This can go both ways for some people. Some may find this action-heavy undertone to be unique and a great addition to the series, while purists will find that this games matrix-esque feel takes away from the overall tone of comradery and friendship between Snake, Otacon and the Cyborg Ninja, some are indifferent and have a stoic point of view. What really happens is that you'll be thouroughly impressed by the over the top action, but afterward, you'll wonder about what you just saw, as it doesn't match the tone of the game at all. Either way, this disagreeance prevents this games presentation to appeal to all gamers, so it's not perfect, but it's damn near close.
The game offers a new approach to Metal Gear Solid. The abilities and controls of Solid Snake/Raiden in Metal Gear Solid 2, permeate through into this version of the game, and will make you love every minute of it. With the new abilities, there is a new emphasis on stealth, as the enemy AI has been ramped up to match you with your new found abilities.
These abilities include shooting in a first person view, hanging from ledges, peaking around corners, stunning enemies with a tranquilizer dart, and using the dodge roll ability. With this new arsenal of moves and tactics, the stealth approach becomes a lot tougher, as enemies have ways of combating you, and finding you, even when you use this stealthy approach. The enemy guards will perform a clean sweep of any area you are in if you raise suspicion by the guards. Leaving a dead or unconcious guard on the ground is also a means for other guards to spot them, and radio for help, as they now know your presence is there. Your solution: hide their bodies in lockers or thrown them away, eitherway, just get rid of the bodies. Sometimes, the biggest challenges occurr when you have no weapon, and are forced to take a complete stealth approach and slip through the guards unnoticed, and without harming them.
This type of gameplay is both fun and addictive, and fast and furious. The action hardly ever stops, and the enemies don't ever quit. The only problem, is that veterans of the Metal Gear series will already have mastered these control types, and will be able to handle anything that comes their way, which makes it a little bit too easy for them. In the end though, Metal Gear Solid is a ''Solid'' stealth action game that deserves a little credit, as it is a remake of one the most popular, best selling PSX games to date, and has a lot to live up to; not only the quality of the original game itself, but the legacy that Hideo Kojima left behind, and Silicon Knights have done just that.
With a few mini-game-ish segments squeezed inbetween the action moments, and a steady paced action/stealth shoot em' up gameplay, this game will have you hooked, and glued to your seat for hours on end. This double disc feature is both a breath of fresh air for GameCube owners, and a new lease on life for Nintendo and the popularity of their console.
Even though some of the intuitive controls of MGS2 have shone through to Silicon Knights, the GameCube controller is just so limited in what it can and can't do with the piss-poor set up of buttons. Some of the standard shoulder button FPS view intuitiveness is present, but having to press both Start and a face button just to activate the Codec, among other things is a little sad. Even so, this game still feels as fluid as the original MGS, and even MGS2, and that's all that matters.
The voice actors have returned for another go at Metal Gear Solid, only this time on a completely rewritten script. The end result is aural bliss, and you can trust me on that. Even though some of the impact of the original lines are lost, you will be thrown back by even better voice acting than before, and even some brand-new emotional impacts you weren't ready for, or didn't realise from the original game. If there is one thing wrong with the audio, it's that some dialogue is altered that should have remained unchanged, while Mei Ling and Nastasha Romanenko's accents are absent, which takes away from the aura of the original game.
The actual Soundtrack contains some new composition and some old, and old does not mean bad. In this case, it means classic, which rings true even to those seasoned gamers always looking for a good soundtrack. Even the Sons of Liberty theme is heard throughout in some parts. Even though Harry Gregson Williams isn't the lead composer of this game, this game could have fooled even the toughest critics. The new songs, new rehashes, and simple rerecordings of classic MGS music, make a score that is unparalleled, and challenged only by the best.
Replay Value 9/10
What kind of game would a Metal Gear be without a ton of replay value. There are different modes of difficulty to play on, each throwing in extra enemies, with even thougher AI in each setting, as well as a ton of secret features and easter eggs. Theres nothing like seeing Snake wear his James Bond Tux in some of the best graphics in the game that set this franchise loose upon the international market; and theres a certain level of cool that seeing Mario and Yoshi statues placed in an office, as well as seeing a GameCube sitting on an office desk that can only be found in this game. Though like I said, this game is easy for those who have mastered the MGS2 game style, so there may not be as much reason to play through on the different difficulty modes except to collect the Dog Tags of the enemy soldiers.
Final Verdict 8.3/10
This game has it all, and it will attract anyone who is slightly interested in this game. If you have a spare moment, rent this game, and if you have a spare month, buy this game, either way, enjoy it, it's not everyday that a great remake of a classic game with so much to live up to comes around. This game is a shinning example of how a remake should be done. Though the MGS/MGS2 vet will find it extremely easy, and it does have a few shortcomings, this game is still the talk of the town in Nintendo land, and probably will be unil the next generation of consoles comes out.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 03/12/04
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