Review by NecroBallad5
"By Far the Greatest Game Ever...and I Ani't Just Saying That"
When I was born into this world, I was blessed with a father who worked for Tonka, a company that, as some of you may recall, was responsible for Sega's US sales back in the ye olde' days of the Master System. After Sega began to hold its own weight, my old man, seeing that I, a 2 1/2 year old boy, couldn't remove my hands from the control pad long enough to play with any toys, went to the hardware/software company. With a father in the business, I had lots of games, and I had a lot of love for gaming in general. Quite literally, I was raised on video games. To this day, I always buy each and every consol faithfully, even though my father has moved on to mobile home retail. I've spent more waking hours playing video games than any other activity; the runners up are walking and school. For a time, my life used to revolve around gaming. Thankfully, this isn't so now; now, playing video games is like breathing. Its an activity I've indulged in THAT much.
And in that time, I've played some damn good games.
From Donkey Kong Country (the first one) to Final Fantasy III/VI to Soul Calibur to Mario Kart 64 to Xenogears to the original MGS, I can tell you what games are the best and why. For those who remember and for those who will never forget, the above listed games are among the best in existence, and I challenge anyone to argue that.
Still, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty blows them all away.
Its safe now to compare Hideo Konjima to the master storytellers of our time; George Lucas, Jerry Brocheimer, Terry Brooks, Stephen King, and, if I was really stoned, J.R.R. Tolkein. The writer/director of the Metal Gear saga has put THAT much thought and effort into his creation, perhaps more. Every minor character has his/her own back-story and motivations that directly relate to the game's spellbinding and complex layer-upon-layer plot. Hell, right when you boot the game up, there's over 150 ''pages'' of text just covering the events of the previous MGS. Konjima cares for the Metal Gear series with all his heart, and, if ever the director catches ear of my words, I want to tell him from one writer to another; it shows.
Yet despite all this attention to detail, Metal Gear Solid 2, like MGS1, never forgets that its a video game. The cut scenes flow seamlessly with the gameplay, and you get the impression early on the a video game is truly the medium for this story to be told. A few of you may still cry out for a Metal Gear novel or flick, but at its heart, the story of MGS can only be told with with control pad in hand.
And while you have that control pad in hand, get ready for the most interactive, fluid, and rewarding experience of your gaming career. Sneaking past guards is truly a joy, and you'll find yourself in some very tense situations more often than you care to. But, if you manage to sharpen your reflexes and your wits enough to get by, I promise you that a devious smile will be splayed across your face accompanied by an undeniable sense of accomplishment.
On a side note, you gotta love those death animations. There's something devilishly satisfying about hearing your gun burst round after round into another human being, seeing those rounds explode into their chest, and gawking as a stream of blood streams from an exit wound and stains the wall behind them. And while your victim calls out in brutal agony, you can't help but hide a smile and a belly chuckle, that no one, not even yourself, realizes that you truly enjoyed the image more than you should have. Now, the head-shot animation was a little too dramatic for repeated viewing, but being able to snap an enemy's fragile neck or shooting a needle into their eyeball (or other, less merciful locations) more than makes up for this.
Buy it. Now. If you don't own a PS2, forget GameCube and X-Box and buy one, now. Then pick up this game. You won't be disappointed.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 11/18/01, Updated 11/18/01
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