Review by Godai-Kun

"Better than the NES version!"

ABSTRACT: During the 1980s, a young man called Hideo Kojima started working for Konami to make computer games. In the 13th of July of 1987, Konami released Kojima's first work to Japan (and eventually Europe). It was an Overhead Action game with RPG elements, but what set Metal Gear apart was it's unique use of stealth.

STORYLINE: You're Solid Snake, a rookie agent working for a group called Fox-Hound ('a group of Modern-Day Ninjas' as described in the Japanese manual). You're mission is to infiltrate Outer Heaven to rescue your lost comrade, Grey Fox. However, when you save Fox, you'll realize that Outer Heaven is developing a new type of0 weapon called Metal Gear that is capable of changing warfare forever. So it's up to you to save Metal Gear's creator, Dr.Petrovich and find a way to destroy Metal Gear. Pretty baisc stuff compared to the later games.

GAMEPLAY:The game takes place from an overhead perpecstive. You move to all four directions with either the keyboard or a joypad. The main two actions consist of Punching and Using your Weapon. And the F1-5 keys are used to change items, use the radio or save your game.

Your goal is to collect items and weapons that helps you with your progress (keycards, guns, ect.), while avoiding to be seen by enemy soldiers. Weapons consists of Guns, Explosives and Launchers.

If you are seen by a troop (which is indicated by a white word balloon with a exclamation mark), you enter Danger Level.1 and you must either kill him and anyone around or run away. However, if you're discovered by a camera (or a sensor) or seen by certain kinds of soldier (which is indicated with a yellow word balloon with 2 exclamation marks), you must kill a certain amount of enemies or keep running until they lose track of you.

Once in a while, you'll rescue prisoners that usually gives out valuable hints. If you save a certain of prisoners, your rank will increase by one star, your life meter increase and you'll be able to carry more items and ammo. But if you kill a prisoner, your rank decrease by one star.

You can also stay in touch with Big Boss who gives advice opn the usage of weapons and items. There are also Members of the Outer Heaven Resistance, which gives specific advice. Schneider (Frequency 120.79) gives advice on the structure of the Fortress, while Diane gives boss tips. Keeping in touch with your comrades is vital to your mission success.

Once in a while, you will encounter a boss that can only be killed in a specific.

THE GOOD: Metal Gear for the MSX2 has a balanced difficulty setting. While it starts simple, it gets harder while you progress in the game. The graphics were good for it's time (1987) and the music adds to the suspence. The gameplay was very original for it's time.

THE BAD:The Saving System sucks. In order to save your progress, since you need to use casettes to save your progress. While they can be easily emulated with fMSX, but on most MSX2 computers (the MSX required to play Metal Gear) don't have casette input, which means that you have to start from beggining to end in one sitting. The Graphics can get a bit repetive and the storyline is rather weak compared to the later games of the series.

VERDICT: MG1 for the MSX2 is the best version of the original ever. It's a shame that the European version was edited and the Famicom/NES version is not quite as good. The only way to play MG1 is with an MSX2 in raw Japanese. Thankfully, their ain't no fancy kanji here, just katakana.


Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 08/12/00, Updated 08/12/00


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