Review by THAguyINgta3
"Second Best Game Ever... Right After MGS2: Substance"
Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes is not just a game, it is a work of art. The Metal Gear series is famous worldwide. MGS for PSX pretty much started the whole stealth-action thing, and it was a spectacular game. Totally revolutionary and it re-invented a spectacular franchise into the 3-D world. The MGS series is, in my opinion, the best series out there, and MGS:TTS is probably the second-best game in the series, which says a lot. Easily in my top 3 games of all time, maybe under MGS2: Substance and Grand Theft Auto III, which are both spectacular, but that's another story and another review.
The controls are pretty damn hard to get used to, to be quite honest. There's lots of combinations that are overly complicated. To hold someone up in the PS2 version of MGS2, you pressed R1, held Square, let go of R1, and pressed L1. In this game, you have to hold down Z and A, let go off Z (the smallest button ever), and press B. It's a pain considering where the controls are placed. It took me about a quarter of the game (2 hours+) to get used to them but it might take you a shorter or longer amount of time. Basically, you have a button to move, get in first person view, shoot, pick items in your inventory of weapons, pick items in your equipment, and a button that lets you crouch, lay down, hang from rails, and open doors. Overall, they take a while to get used to, but they get a little easier over time.
The gameplay is awesome. The Metal Gear series is famous for it's stealthy gameplay, and MGS for PSX started it all. There are many tactics at your disposal to stay under the enemy's radar. Some examples are the ability to lay down, hang from rails, get against walls, and more. The game really gives you a rush when you are playing. It is just something about being unknown to the enemy that makes it so great. You just get a real adrenaline rush. Most of these tactics are new to the game and weren't in the PSX version. The new tactics include wall hanging, first person shooting, going into lockers, and a few more things.
The enemy artificial intelligence is pretty great. If you kill someone and leave a body laying around and a guard finds it, they will radio for help and send in back-ups. If an enemy sees you and they are alone, they will try to fight you until they get shot once. Once they get shot, they high tail it away and radio for help. Overall, the artificial intelligence is great.
The weaponry is pretty good. The weapons are placed in a menu that you can easily access at any time. The weapons all have a certain purpose. If you are trying to keep yourself unknown to the enemy, you might want to take care of someone without a gun. This might call for kicking ass with hand-to-hand combat or just going up behind someone and snapping their neck in two. For example, if an enemy did not know you were behind him, you can go up to him and press square. This will cause you to wrap your arms around his neck and cut off his circulation. Now, if you do not want to kill him, you can simply put him to sleep after a while. If you did want to kill him, you could continuously tap square and snap his neck.
If you decide you want to shoot an enemy, be careful where you shoot them because you don't want to have to waste time shooting someone five times in the arm to kill them while you have guards on your trail. Say you shoot a guard in the arm, they will not be able to use that arm to fire at you ever again. Shoot him in the leg and he will have to walk while dragging his bum leg behind him. Shoot him in his radio, and he can no longer radio for help! Remember how a head shot usually doesn't kill people in some games? Well in the MGS series, they automatically die from it, which makes me starve for headshots. Pow. Pow. Dead. This really shows how detailed the game is and is an awesome thing. The weapons you can use range from a FAMAS assault rifle, a tranquelizer pistol, a SOCOM .45 pistol, and a PGS1 sniper rifles to grenades, RPGs, and a Nikita guided missile. The weapons are all fun to use.
One of the items you must use throughout the game is the Codec. The Codec lets you stay in touch with key support characters in the game like General Roy Campbell, a grizzeled military vet, Mei Ling, the creator of it, Natasha, a weapons expert, and Master Miller, a master of battle techniques. You'll also talk to other characters that you meet along the way in the game.
The game takes place in a huge, Alaskan facility. I can't say what type because that would kind of ruin it the latter part of the story. Oh well, find out for yourself. Anyway, the game has lots of indoor and outdoor environments, in which it is always snowing outdoors. It's fun as hell to navigate the huge parts of the level, sneaking around guards and killing (or not killing) people. I shouldn't say people though considering you can also kill dog-wolf hybrids, which is probably more fun than it's supposed to be.
So now we are coming to the characters. I'm sure you all know who Solid Snake is. He is the bad ass with bandana around his head who doesn't take **** from anyone, especially people who he doesn't believe have the ability to kill him. This guy is the definition of bad ass. Think you're cool? He's cooler. Think you get the ladies? He gets more ladies. He's probably even had your sister. Yep, he's that good.
The bosses in the game are just amazing. There are several and they all have their own unique characteristics and abilities. For example, there's a huge black guy named Vulcan Raven who could snap you in half with his thumbs, a woman sniper named Sniper Fox who could shoot a beer can off your head from five miles away, only with her back turned. Yup. It happened! Wait... It didn't. But it could. There's also Revolver Ocelot, an expert pistol shooter, Psycho Mantis, a telekinetic psychopath, and many more. They all have their own little story and background and stuff. Oh, did I mention a kick ass ninja? Yeah, no game's complete without a ninja. MGS:TTS is no exception. The normal characters are also well designed.
If you played the first MGS, you'll notice a significant change in the way you can play boss fights. Going into first-person seems to make a lot of them a lot easier. A great example is the Revolver Ocelot fight. You can just stand in place and shoot him in first person mode while he runs around, although if you want to enjoy the fight, you should stay out of first person.
The replayability is average. To add replayability, they put dog tags on each enemy in the game. The thing is, in the second game, you got rewards like Stealth Camo and a Bandana that gave infinite ammo. In this one, as far as I know, dog tags reward nothing pertaining to gameplay. They're just kind of there. They're still pretty fun to get, and it's difficulty to get them all. Other than that, you can unlock stealth camo and infinite ammo bandanas by beating the game under certain circumstances, and you can also unlock a casting theatre, which acts as an FMV viewer, among other things, and you have a Boss Survival mode where you play bosses until you die. That is really the only replayability unless you just love this type of game. If you do, you could probably play through this countless times, which is what I do.
Overall, the gameplay is awesome. Everything is good and the only real flaw is the hard-to-learn control scheme. If you played the PSX version, it will sort of seem like a whole new game since there are so many new elements to the gameplay. It's really great.
The storyline is great. There are lots of twists and turns in the plot and it is pretty entertaining. You are always trying to guess what will happen next. The story starts out when Solid Snake is called out of retirement to rid an Alaskan facility of a terrorist threat. From there, the story gets extraordinarily deep and it's amazing. Period. One of the best stories a video game has told. Ever.
The graphics are beautiful, but still have some flaws. They don't even look better than MGS2, which was disappointing considering the more advanced GCN hardware, but that can be overlooked with ease. Just look at how much better it looks than the original version. The transformation is really amazing. Even still, there are jaggies on the character model's clothing and some of the environments. You can tell pretty easily, and some of the clothes look flat on characters. An example is Meryl's tanktop. It looks painted on or something, which wouldn't be too bad... Ermm.... Wait. Uhh... Yeah, the graphics are great, but could've been better. The cut scenes have been redone, too, and most of the time it's for the better. A thing I didn't like, however, was how in a few of the redone cut scenes there are implemented bullet-time sequences. The whole bullet-time thing really annoys me.
The sound is great. The codec sequences, cut scenes, and more voice acting have all been totally redone. Some of the downsides though are that Mei Ling and Natasha sound slightly different. Mei Ling is obviously missing her accent. Just a small thing, but it matters. The music in the game, like all MGS games, is fantastic. Enough said.
To buy or to rent? Easily a buy. The best game on GameCube by far and one of the best games ever, in my opinion. It's a must-own for any action game fan. If you played the first one to death on the PSX, then you might want to rent it first. You may not want to re-buy it just for the enhanced gameplay, although I'd recommend it. It's, like I said, a totally different, amazing, and satisfying experience. Great job, SK. You've made a great game even better.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 03/16/04, Updated 03/16/04
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