Review by _Spin_Cycle_
"From story to gameplay, Kojima creates another beautifully-molded masterpiece."
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Note: Considering that Snake Eater is included in the Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence package, I will be reviewing both Snake Eater and Subsistence respectively. For the Snake Eater portion, see "Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. For the Subsistence portion, see "Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence."
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Metal Gear Solid for the PlayStation is my favorite video game in my entire life. It is one of the most well-crafted, beautiful, and emotional electronic game experiences in existence, strictly by my opinion. I am positive that there are countless other individuals who can attest to this as well. When it was released in 1998, Metal Gear Solid changed my gaming habits almost instantly. I stopped being the RPG freak that I was (and still, somewhat, am) and began to explore other genres. For this reason and countless others, Metal Gear Solid is a memorable experience and influence in my gaming career.
Now, it's 2007. Metal Gear Solid is no longer a memorable experience; it's now a memorable series. Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty was another excellent story from Hideo Kojima, but the surprise of Raiden taking the main character position not even half way through the game turned off many gamers. Others, like myself, embraced the change, but still didn't know what the hell was going on by the end of the 15+ hour game. The storyline wouldn't be fully revealed until 2008, because Kojima's next MGS game took us back in time...
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
The series takes an unexpected turn. Instead of being in control of Solid Snake and co., we're now in control of Big Boss, the legendary mercenary from the 60's who establishes FOXHOUND, and the biological fathers of Solid, Liquid, and Solidus. That's not all that's new, however. Kojima stated that the theme of MGS3 would be "SCENE." From the very first scene of gameplay, it becomes apparent why. Instead of infiltrating indoor/urban environments, you'll be sneaking around a vast, deep jungle. Also, you'll have to survive on your own with a new system of food consumption. It's going to be a wild ride.
Expertly-done. I cannot believe the amount of detail that has been placed into each character's face, clothing, and weapon. The scenery of the jungle is lush, smooth, and crisp. It is very refreshing to go undercover in a beautiful jungle, despite the fact that it may be inhabited by wild (and sometimes dangerous) animals. That's another thing: the animals. They look realistic and they move in such a way that you'll literally say, "Yeah. I'll buy that."
What I've always loved about Metal Gear Solid in the graphical department is that there is no real graphical upgrade between actual gameplay and real-time cutscenes. Many games (i.e. Final Fantasy VII, VIII, IX, X, etc.) will completely change their graphical style when entering a cutscene. It's absolutely impressive, yes, but when you return to the gameplay, it makes you feel slow and sluggish. Metal Gear Solid doesn't have this aged feel to it.
I'm not alone in thinking that Hideo Kojima probably should have gotten a career writing political novels. His stories of political betrayal, double-crossing, blackmail, romance, and even science fiction are extremely addicting. The Metal Gear Solid series is one of his more notable video game storylines. It's one of those storylines that you don't want to stop reading about until you know every last bit of information that exists (as you'll discover if you ever read certain topics on the various Metal Gear Solid message boards here on GameFAQs).
Metal Gear Solid 3's story is no exception. You learn a lot about Big Boss. You'll meet incredible characters, and yet another exceptionally-awesome "terrorist" group, the Cobra Unit. This in-game story is one of my favorites in the series. Also notable, the ending to this game is one of the most emotional and beautiful endings I have ever witnessed in more than 10 years of gaming.
If you've played Metal Gear Solid 2, there's nothing new here. Everything plays as it should. You'll love the ease of slipping into first-person view to snipe some enemies from far away. The only difficulty you'll run into is if you've been playing Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes only days before, like I did. The Gamecube/PS2 controls are so different. I don't recommend playing them so close together.
The only bad thing here (and I didn't take a point off because it worked fine for me most of the time) is the camera. Ironically, the camera's attempts to aid you in completing a stealthy sneaking mission in fact create a large burden on you. Luckily, this was fixed in Subsistence (see lower review).
Again, this plays like every Metal Gear Solid game ever has, with a couple of twists.
First, you can use different Camouflages. This system allows you to blend in with your surroundings based on a percentage found in the top right corner of the screen. Try on different camouflages and see which fits the environment better. For example, you may find that the Snow camouflage works better in a snowy environment. Imagine that.
Secondly, there is the before-mentioned food consumption system. You basically hunt for live animals (snakes, birds, fish, etc.) and eat them to recover your Stamina Gauge, a new bar that has found a home underneath your Life Gauge. The lower your Stamina gets, the poorer Naked Snake will function in battle, so eat up!
Snake Eater was brilliant. That's all there was to it. However, Kojima and his crew decided that they could do better...
Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence
Finally, what you all want to know: what's new in this game?
-All camouflages once available online are actually on the disc, but it will take a whole memory card to download them all.
-Metal Gear Online, an online game based on MGS3. Unfortunately, the servers were shut down in April of 2007.
-Emulated copy of Metal Gear (MSX).
-Emulated copy of Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake (MSX).
-Special Theater, including hilarious parodies of your favorite MGS3 cutscenes.
-Demo Theater, letting you view each and every cutscene from MGS3 as well as an extra one.
-MGS3: Snake Eater - Now with an updated camera angle that allows you to rotate the camera 360 degrees around Snake. You can also switch between the new camera and the old camera with the R3 button. Also, a few new in-game camouflages have been added.
-Duel Mode, aka boss battles from MGS3.
-More Snake vs. Monkey stages.
-Connectivity with Metal Gear Ac!d 2 (PSP)
All of this in one beautiful 2-disc set for 30 bucks.
You'd have to be crazy to miss out on this one.
OVERALL/FINAL COMMENTS: 10/10
Subsistence is a great buy if you're a Metal Gear fan. The fact that it includes Snake Eater in addition to the countless extras is enough to make me want to not stop playing.
In fact, I'm going to go continue playing.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 08/10/07
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