Review by Five_Spice
"The definition of a great portable game"
I went through a few phases when I saw this game. The first phase was when I heard about it, and involved me going crazy over the idea of a Metal Gear game on the PSP. Then I heard it was card based. I admit, I was a bit skeptical at first and I was disappointed that Konami would ruin such a great series. Fortunately I was wrong. The final phase involved me renting the game, and trying it out. It was a lot of fun from beginning to end.
Well the visuals on this game were amazing, and I was blown away by the almost PS2 quality graphics. The camera can get "stuck" behind obstacles, but it's a rare problem and certainly not a serious one. The only thing I thought was lacking was the absence of an opening cut-scene. I loved the ones in the Metal Gear Solid games, and I waited for a while at the game screen to see if anything would pop up, but all I was rewarded with was a little clip of someone playing the first level. There are little clips of old games in the MGS series, as well as other works by Hideo Kojima. These are activated by using special character cards. Luckily they appear everywhere in the game. Some are very rare, but others are even included in your beginning deck. Fortunately they all include a cut scene in one way or another. I did really like those, and sometimes I would just waste a card so I could watch the little cut scene. The graphics were superb, and the textures and detailed environment were great. The normal cut-scenes for the game itself consisted of drawings. I found nothing wrong with this though, and it was a nice touch in my opinion.
Not great music, as it was basically the same stuff we have heard on old MGS games, but the quality was definitely better than what I've been used to on a portable. The FX were good, and the music did a very good job contributing to the "feel" of the game. Like the missing opening cut-scene in the graphics section, there was also something missing here. Voice-acting. Maybe I'm expecting a bit too much from the PSP, but I feel it would have made the game complete in a final sense. The sound was good, but I do think it could have been better.
Game play- 9/10
When I picked up this game, this is what I was most worried about. It's ironic, because it's also the most important aspect of pretty much any game. The game play was innovative, and very fun once you got into it. Once you acquire better cards it gets better and better. The only bad thing I have to say about it is that it had somewhat of a slow start. In the beginning you are forced to cope with a somewhat boring deck of cards. Nothing special, and a deck completely balanced cards to cater to the beginning player. That's not a bad thing, but I would have liked some interesting cards in there that really grabbed my attention. The special character cards I mentioned earlier are there, but they pale in comparison to the ones acquired later. Once you progress a bit further, you get interesting cards that are both effective and fun to use. Then the game play shines. However, it doesn't help when you are forced through a boring set of tutorials at the beginning. I have no problem with tutorials, but it's annoying if you already know what to do. A skip option would have been nice, but I hopelessly mashed buttons in an effort to get past the mundane feature.
Re-playability - 9/10
There is a lot of potential in the versus mode in Metal Gear AC!D, and it's great fun with a friend. Another great feature is the card collecting. There are regular, silver, and gold cards, and I believe there are 200 cards available in the North American version. You can play old levels with differing objectives to unlock new cards and collect extra packs along the way. You also acquire points after every mission that can be spent on cards. Collecting them can get very addicting, and easily boosts the re-playability of this game.
Final Score - 8/10
A great game, with superb graphics, game play, and re-playability. Good sound as well. It will appeal to anyone looking for a turn based game on the system, and Metal Gear Fans too. FPS gamers might not like as much however. Rent or Buy? I rented it myself, beat it, and then spent the rest of the time collecting cards. I recommend you rent it first, and see if you like it. If you do, and you have a friend that does, it is a must buy. The multi-player is extremely addictive. I got my money's worth on this one.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 04/25/05
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