Review by Moon 2
Did that get your attention? Of course it did. Of course Raiden's not in this game... well, kinda. Looks like Hideo Kojima and Konami learned from their mistake from MGS2. Anyway, MGS3 is finally here and does it live up to the hype? Of course! It's the MGS series, how could it not? MGS3 is like a game unlike any others, and is one of the few games to date that I can actually give a perfect 10 to. Words can not explain how magnificent this game is. This is a magic I have only felt before when I have played the original two, Legend of Zelda the Wind Waker, and Halo 2. Many great games have been coming out, here in the late month of November, but this one I one heck of a way to rap it up. If there is only one game you can buy this winter, and you are a loyal PS2 follower, this is a no-brainer.
The visuals from MGS2 are still some of the best the PS2 has to offer, and MGS3 goes above and beyond it's elder. Snake, and other the other cast of characters feel alive and well, giving you an epic drama rivaling that of Final Fantasy X. The character models are absolutly incredible. Seeing Snake grit his teeth as pops off shots or takes a hit is awesome. Clothes move realistically as Snake performs the HALO jump at the start of the game. And EVA? ...Oh EVA! Fantastic EVA! Ahem. Anyway, onward and upward.
The enivornment steals the show in the graphics department. Everything in the jungle feels like a living, breathing thing. The sunglight beaming through the leaves of the trees, the way the grass moves and bends as a snake passes by, grass gets mowed down by waves of bullets, the swinging bridge, and abandoned factory at the beginning of the game are incredible. Everything in this game is taken straight from real life and stuck into this game. Particle effects are incredible,especially bullets as they rip into a tree, splintering it in realistic fashion, and the animals are fantastic. Nothing beats trying to sneak up on an incredibly lifelike alligator and trying to throw a grenade down it's throat. Simply put, this forrest is to video games, the same thing Grand Theft Auto's sprawling city metropolis was.
The voice overs are everything you'd expect from the Metal Gear Solid series. David Hayter makes his return as Snake. Just the fact that gamers know this voice actors name is a tribute to what MGS has become. Once again, every character delivers a flawless performance, outdoing almost any of the high priced movies hollwood pumps out today.
The sound does in the environment creates a perfect forest ambiance. As you sneak through the grass, hearing the rustling of leaves, a bird shoots into the air, screeching as it passes over head. Bullets zip past you, and collide with trees and crates, making firefights seem all the more frantic and furied.
The music during the cutscenes is almost epic, mainly the tune that they brought back from MGS2. There isn't much in terms of tunes, but the main them song is great. Some may not like the Snake Eater song, but you can't help but be reminded of the hay-day of James Bond once you hear it.
Control is very precise, making aiming incredibly simple. Peeking around corners and popping off rounds is done with ease. As usual, to stick to a wall, all you have to do is press the left analog stick towards the wall, which I prefer to Splinter Cells, clicking the button to pop on and off the wall scheme.
Also, walking can be done with the D-pad, which I love, so you don't have to worry about how hard you press the stick.
The only thing I see people complaining about here is going to the menu to change your camo. Don't worry, this is not done very often, and you usually wear the same camo through out a large section of area. Just be glad that when you capture animals, it does it for you instead of you have to go to the menu to cage it yourself, okay?
CQC (Close Quarters Combat) has been implemented to make hand to hand combat more managable, and it succeeds with flying colors. Now, not only do you have the option to break the guards neck when you sneak up from behind, you can also slit his throat, push him to the ground to star gathering some useful items, throw him to the ground, knocking him out instantly, use him as a human shiel so other guards have second thoughts about firing, or interrogating, which can provide some rater funny info.
This is the part I love. MGS is unlike anything else out there, and they have managed to improve their formula over MGS2 by creating the large jungle environment. Snake must now not only worry about enemies, but also the forces of mother nature as well. Snakes and alligators will attack you, forcing you to pay attention to your surroundings. See that grass moving over to your left? Maybe it's a snake. Better go check. This is absolutly fantastic. Nothing's better than crawling through a patch of grass, trying to sneak up on an enemy, when suddenly you get bitten by a snake. This may sound hard, but don't worry, it's more funny than anything when you get bitten. Usually this will only happen if you are completly careless.
Using the new camo index, you can now blend in using your surrounding environment. A small meter appears at the top of the screen with a percentage. Depending on what camo and face paint you wear, this make the percentage go higher. Get it high enough, and guards will walk right past you as you stick to a wall, or lye in the grass. But don't move! Movement will cause guards to see you. You'll find yourself tensing up, as a guard walks through a patch of grass in front of you, just inches away from your face. This defines what MGS is all about. Oh yeah, the card-board box is back! Hoo-ray!! What! Raiden's back? Boo!! Anyway, Raiden's back in only relative terms. One form of the face paint that you start out with in the game is a Raiden mask for those who liked the detestable wiener. We know who you are!
The main new feature in Snake Eater is your stamina gauge, and your food rations. Gone are the days of canned rations from the first two games. Now Snake must hunt for his food. Below your life bar is a thin meter, that slowly depletes as you fight and run around (don't worry, it doesn't deplete that fast). This stamina meter affects some key things. For example, you now heal yourself by resting in place. If your stamina is low, your wounds won't heal quickly. Also, aiming is effected, as you hands start to shake more. You must re-fill this meter by eating. Eating what you ask? Let's just say it's not a steak dinner. Heck, it's not even a burrito from a 7-11. Snake is forced to eat thing like frogs, mushrooms, snakes, alligators, rats, apples, pears, etc. This is the hook of the game, and it is great. I absolutly adore this feature, and everything about it. Of course, Snake will tend to like certain foods over another, so some of his favorite foods will refill your meter faster than others. Of course, feeding him the same food over and over will force him to like it. (Tip: In the survival viewer, spin Snake around and watch what happens!)
The radar is no longer a permanent feature at your disposal. Instead, if you want a radar, you have to equip one, which slowly drains battery life. This makes the game a little more difficult for those who relied on it in the past, but a couple minutes with-out it and you'll quickly grow used to know having it, this makes the game far more enjoyable.
As mentioned above, CQC adds a layer to combat not before seen in the franchise, and the same sneaking and shooting formula is present in this game as it was in the second game. Also, Hideo Kojima has added his cute little tricks in this game as he has in the others, (the Vulcan Raven figure in MGS2 for example) and will have you playing the game through again just searching for them (look for the toy frog on the bridge).
This is for sure one of the greatest games every made, and is highly deserving of this rare perfect score. Perfect in every sense of the word. Is this game of the year material with all the Halo 2's and GTA:SA's running around? I can say with absolute certainty, that the answer is a resounding YES!! Game of the month, game of the year, and game of the century material. This is one that is not to be missed, even by the mose cynical of critics.
Replay value: High
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 11/22/04
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