Review by El Greco

"This game only costs $5!!"

Metal Gear Solid: VR Missions is just basically an expansion of the original 1998 smash-hit Metal Gear Solid. It basically consists of over 300 missions for you to hone your infiltration and espionage skills to a much higher level. There is weapons training, puzzle to solve, sneaking mission, and of course missions where all you have to do is create as much carnage as you can. They are a worthy addition to the series but there are a few shortfalls. Read on to find out.

I’ll start with the good things first. The game is very, very fun and addicting for any fan of the series and just plain fun for anybody else. There is a very wide range of missions for you to go through: weapons training, photography missions, variety mode, 1v1 battle, 1 minute battle, sneaking missions, vs. 12 battle, and the fabled ninja missions (I’ll get to these later). I know that these names aren’t very clear but I think that you can get the basic idea of what they are about if you think a little bit. These will all work on enhancing your infiltration and espionage skills and also make you use your head and all your resources to finish the mission.

The sound is okay at best. There are a few musical pieces that sound pretty good but they repeat themselves over and over and over again throughout the entire game. It gets very annoying after a while.

As for graphics… the graphics are pretty much on par with the standards set by the original game. Blood spurts out of your enemies when you fire a shot into them, footsteps make wet prints after being tracked through water, when there is snow on the ground Snake will make footsteps that will attract the enemy attention, and so on. You know how it is if you have played the original game.

The character models in this game are simply amazing; I was quite impressed by them, considering that they were on a PSX game that came out 5 years ago. Most of them really are quite nice. The enemy designs are good, they are somewhat unvaried and typical but they look good, which is best.

Even though the PSX has tendencies for ‘jaggies’ in the games it runs, Metal Gear Solid shows very few of them throughout the entire game.

One nice feature in this game is the inclusion of the game show trailers shown at TGS and E3 for Metal Gear Solid. They are in Japanese even on the English version of the game but I’ll let that slide. They were pretty interesting for a big fan of the series like me. Seeing as how I had never seen them before it was a completely new experience. There is one available from the start of the game and then the other two are unlocked as you complete the missions in the game.

For those of you who don’t know yet, Metal Gear Solid is a stealth game (in the truest sense it is “Tactical Espionage Action”). This means that you must avoid your enemies instead of the typical Rambo action style games. You must use your head and when necessary your weapons to make your way through the enemy base and accomplish your mission. If you happen to be found the enemy will surround and attack you and if you have hidden yourself they will search for you. Stealth is your best option since the odds are greatly stacked up against you if you are found or choose to disregard the necessity of stealth. Of course there are some modes that will give you a prompt Game Over if you are seen but there are some that will play just like the original game did.

For the type of game that it is and how the game plays out the controls do work out nicely even if they do take some getting used to.

One of the few cons of this game is that there is no story whatsoever. You are just zipping through VR missions one after another. This was a bit of a disappointment after what the original game gave us in terms of story but then again it wasn’t so much of one because I wasn’t expecting there to be in a game like this.

Perhaps the biggest disappointment in this game is the fact that the ninja missions were only numbering three in length. They are incredibly fun but in the end you are left thinking, “Only three!? What the hell…?” It is an unnecessary disappointment.

Pros
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* fun gameplay
* gives you rewards to work towards (though some are unfulfilling)
* controls take some getting used to

Cons
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* no story
* short lived
* somewhat monotonous

Final Word

I got this game for only $5 so I would say that it is definitely worth the investment of money. And also… you will not find this as a rental ANYWHERE, so buying is your best option if you want to play this game. Just so you know… all the missions in this game are included on the PC version of Metal Gear Solid. So perhaps that would be the best investment of your money.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 04/07/04


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