Review by Godai-Kun
"The Last MSX2 Game Ever?"
ABSTRACT: July 20, 1990. Three years after the release of MG1, Kojima and Co. made a sequel for the MSX2 called Metal Gear 2. It was released during the dying days of the MSX2 and was never ported to any other console and thus was released in Japan (unlike MG1 for the MSX2, which was released in Europe and in the U.S for the NES). Instead, Western countries had to settle with Snake's Revenge, a Metal Gear sequel made specifically for the NES, which was good, but wasn't made by Hideo Kojima and lacks the Kojima-flavor that made his games great. It's a shame too, because this is the best in the series.
STORYLINE: Four years after the events of MG1, the whole world became peaceful and several countries started disarming their weapons at disposal sites. However, some countries were not happy about this and among them was Zanzibar Land. Zanzibar Land has raided Nuclear Disposal Sites and stolen weapons that hasn't been disposed yet. They also kidnapped Dr.Kio Marv, who just created a new kind of energy supply called Oilix. So it's up to Solid Snake (who was bought out of retirement by Col. Campbell) to retrieve Dr.Marv and the formula of Oilix. It starts out very simple, but as you progresses in the game, you'll learn that some of the characters from the first game are involved in this game too, but are they on Snake's side or Zanzibar Land's?
GAMEPLAY: MG2 takes the play mechanic of part 1 and adds some features that were later used in MGS. New to MG2 is the Radar system, which detects your current position and that of the enemies. Speaking of enemies, the enemy soldier in this game are much smarter than those in MG1 and can detect noises like gunshots, punch in the wall and floors that makes noise. When you're discovered, the game goes to Danger Mode, where all the enemies tries to kill you until they lose sight of you, then it goes to Escape Mode, which is when the enemy is looking for you and after passing that, it's back to Infiltration Mode. Snake now has the ability to duck and crawl, which allows him to hide under desks or avoid making noises.
You no longer rescue prisoners like in MG1. Instead rank is increase by defeating a boss. The bosses in this game are more creative than those from MG1, but they still suffer from awful names. Running Man sounds like a rejected Mega Man villain while Black Color sounds more like a Crayon's name than anything else.
The Arsenal from MG2 is similar to that from MG1, with the addition of the Stinger Misiles (which is only useful agaisnt the Hind D boss). There are some really weird items and weapons like a Camouflage Floor and Robotic Mouses.
The Radio System has improved, allowing you to use the Number Keys. You can also dial to more frequencies like Master Miller (Item Tips), Yozef Norder (Animal-related Tips) and Holly White (Fortress Guide) among other. Unlike MG1, which had pre-empted messages (i.e: Messages are programmed for certain screens), MG2 has real time messages that actually helps you with the situation you're in.
Also, there a few puzzles that requires the use of the manual and your ear. Make sure you have a copy of it around.
THE GOOD: Just about everything in this game is awesome. The graphics were awesome by MSX2' standards and the game makes the best use of Konami's SCC chip for excellent audio (next to Snatcher and SD Snatcher). This is the best MSX2 game ever.
THE BAD: Not much, although it gets a bit boring near the end of the game and the puzzles becomes too obvious (especially if you played MGS). Plus I found the game a bit too short and easy, especially the battle agaisnt Metal Gear D. They shoud have made it a bit longer or add extra bosses (like the Goliath Tank or the unfinished Metal Gear Gustav). The only real flaw about this game is that it was released in Japan only for the MSX2. It should had been ported to the SNES in my opinion.
VERDICT: MG2 is a really rare game for MSX2, especially due to it's late release. If you find a complete copy of this game for cheap and you don't have an MSX2, don't think about it, buy it immediately. Of course, you can always download the ROM and a emulator ;).
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 08/12/00, Updated 08/12/00
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