Review by greyfox102

"Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence expands on what was already a phenomenal experience."

In November of 2004, the highly anticipated sequel, well, prequel to one of the most successful series in gaming history was released. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater went on to please many fans and newcomers to the series, yet some aspects of it were criticized. Especially the camera, which was limited to an overhead view. Hideo Kojima, series creator, decided to re-release the game, like he did with previous installments. Not only did he fix certain bugs from the original Snake Eater, but he also added numerous enjoyable features that are bound to give players many, many hours of enjoyment.

Graphics: 10/10

The visuals in this game are jaw dropping. Characters express realistic emotions with their faces, and each person in the game shows off fluid movements. The textures are, for the most part, great, and each little detail can be noticed. Visually, this game is simply amazing, and is definitely some of the best the PlayStation 2 has to offer.

Sound: 9.5/10

As with all Metal Gear Solid games, there are a lot of cutscenes (which isn't a bad thing, by the way) full of voice acting. The actors do a good job, mostly. Some lines seem forced, lacking in proper emotion, and sometimes cheesy, but usually they are great. Every other sound in the game is definitely worth listening to. Gun shots sounds realistic, as do water/fire effects, noises in the background, etc. The music is pretty good too. Harry Gregson-Williams returns to do (most) of it. He creates epic sounds which flow really well with the game, and they all really add to the cutscenes and gameplay.

Story: 10/10

I would be lying if I claimed the Metal Gear franchise does not have an excellent storyline. Each Metal Gear (Solid) provides some of the best narratives in the industry. Snake Eater is no different. After Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty was released, many people complained about how confusing the story was. While it really wasn't (as long as you pay attention), Kojima decided to tone it down for this game. In fact, he made it so basically anyone can understand it. While it is still great, it is definitely not as good as the previous games. But still, it is enjoyable, and has probably one of the greatest endings ever. The last few hours of this game are stunning, emotional, and nearly flawless. Snake Eater also manages to tie up some, not all, questions presented to us from Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. One thing I must say though, this is a game for people who like to think, who are patient, and don't mind long cutscenes.

Gameplay: 9.5/10

When I played through Snake Eater, I really had no problems. Sure, the camera got annoying every now and then, but I enjoyed sneaking around. The new additions to the series, such as CQC, camo/face paint, stamina and cure were executed pretty good, though sometimes changing your look, eating/hunting, and healing yourself became a tad repetitive. Still, it contributed further depth towards the gameplay. Subsistence, which features the main game, has basically the same gameplay. The only new addition is the Third Person Camera, which is sure to please countless people. It allows the player to see all around Snake, which is now ideal seeing as there is no radar like the previous games. But don't worry, with the click of a button (R3), we have access to the original camera. both are highly useful in certain situations. People who have played the previous games might need a little time to get adjusted to the new view. But other than that, I have no complaints about it.

Replay Value: 10/10

Many new features were added to increase the fun factor. The main game can last 15-25 hours (possible more, if you enjoy exploring), and has some replay value of its own. One can try to gather every face paint and uniform, and also try to get the highest ranking. There are now six difficulty levels (Very Easy, Easy, Normal, Hard, Extreme, and the new European Extreme) to further test your ability. And of course, the amazing story is enough to warrant quite a few playthroughs just to experience it again.

Main game aside, Subsistence is still full of more extras. Demo Theatre can allow the player to view every cutscene in the game, Secret Theatre is a parody of some cutscenes and they are just downright hilarious, more Snake Vs. Monkey missions, and Duel Mode, with Normal and Special modes which can test your ability to beat each boss in the game. There are also, finally, ports of the original MSX Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake. These were the games that started it all, and both are quite enjoyable even though they last only a few hours. Now everyone else in the world can play the original games fully translated (not the crappy NES port and the game that wasn't even part of the series, Snakes Revenge).

Oh yeah, I didn't forget. Metal Gear finally goes online! MGO is supposed to be highly fun and addictive, unfortunately I am unable to play due to 56K. However, if you have broadband then I'm sure it's worth the money alone.

There is also a Limited Edition available. This comes with a bonus disc (called 'Existence'), and a slip case for both the regular game and the bonus. Existence is the entire game as a 3.5 hour long movie. It edits some gameplay footage with the cutscenes. So if you prefer to watch the series rather than play, then this is the way to go. There are a few problems though: it is only available in the USA (excluding importing), and it is limited as the name implies. Chances are you won't find it in stores, and if you want it that badly then you better cough up the $100+ to pay for it on eBay. Even though it may seem cool, it's mostly for hardcore Metal Gear fans and collectors. Casual fans of the series will still have the Demo Theatre to watch everything.

Overall: 10/10 (not average)

• Excellent visuals.
• Sounds is great.
• Phenomenal story (especially the ending).
• Intriguing gameplay mechanics.
• $30 (regular edition), $40 (Limited Edition if you manage to find it in stores, a lot more if you have to order it other ways).
• Awesome box art. :)
• HIGH replay value:
-Online play
-Original, MSX versions of Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake fully translated.
-Duel Mode, Demo Theatre, Secret Theatre, more Snake Vs. Monkey missions
-Third Person/Original camera angles.
-Although serious most of the time, there are some funny moments in the main game. Secret Theatre is hilarious, so if you like to laugh, then you'll like this game.
-Six difficulty levels (ranging from "Easiest.Game.Evar." to controller breaking, hair pulling hard).
-Connectivity with Metal Gear Ac!d 2 for the PSP.

Nothing too major, but minor problems include:
• Storyline is not as complicated, which is something I love about Metal Gear Solid.
• Sometimes certain parts of gameplay can get repetitive (cure, eating etc.).
• Third Person Camera can take a while getting used to.
• Dialog is sketchy at points.
• 17 page booklet, which is surprisingly short, especially since previous games in the series had decent sized booklets.

This game is possibly one of the best for the PS2. The good really outweighs the bad. In fact, the bad things I listed really aren't too much of a problem, and are by no means detrimental to the overall experience. If you have never played the Metal Gear series, then you can start right away with this game. However, even though it is a prequel to the entire series, I recommend playing in order. Most of them are cheap, and you can probably get all of them together and start playing right from the beginning (Metal Gear up to Snake Eater )! Now what are you waiting for? Go buy this now!

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 03/20/06

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