Review by Huddy
"Now you can actually take Snake on a Plane"
I am a huge, huge MGS fan (I own all games but AC!D2 which I will get after I beat AC!D) so this review might be slightly biased, but I'll do my best to be as fair as possible.
The story in this game is simply amazing like all MGS games. It has plenty of twists and turns and keeps you interested throughout the whole game. To sum it up with no spoilers the basics are, It's 1970, six years after Snake Eater. Naked Snake, now known to some as Big Boss, has retired from Fox Unit which was set up at the end of MGS3 and currently finds himself captured somewhere in South America. After escaping prison with the help of young solider named Roy Campbell (yes, the Roy Campbell) Snake learns that the Fox Unit has gone rogue and teamed up with Soviet Soldiers who were abandoned by their country in an unfinished Missile base. Snake calls home only to learn that he has been accussed of starting the revolt and Major Zero has been locked up being believed an accomplice Snake then learns that the leader of the Fox Unit, Gene, is in control and plans on creating a mercenary state (sounds alot like Outer Heaven) and plans on starting nuclear war by using a soviet designed metal gear to attack. Snake plans to clear his name by stopping Gene and the rest of Fox as well as destroying Metal Gear with the help of soldiers he recruits along the way.
My only gripes with the story is that it completely changes what we once believed about a major character in the MGS Storyline and that this was supposed to be the great tragedy that pushed Big Boss into becoming the BB we know from the Metal Gear games. Personally, I never saw what this tragedy was.
Graphics and presentation: 10
This game looks almost identical to Snake Eater on the PS2. All the characters look sharp and the levels look great (though all the areas are pretty small so you can beat them quickly as a portable game should be). This game has taken a different approach to cinema scenes then previous games in the series. Instead of long and engaging cut scenes you are treated to fairly brief comic book like scenes (the best way to describe them is Animated Comic book scenes) with voice acting. The drawings have been done by Ashley Wood who drew the MGS graphic novel and is drawing the Sons of Liberty novel too. I like the art direction here and feel that the scenes were pretty cool, though again short to keep this game fairly portable for gamers on the move.
This is where the game falls a bit. The controls are decent and it uses the Subsistence camera which makes it easier to play but due to the lack of a second analog stick you have to keep hitting L to move the camera behind you, I dont like this too much but I cant think of a better method. Also, each character (yes character) can only hold 4 items at a time. There were times where I had to give up valuable items like a shot gun in order to grab a key I needed to continue.
This game also offers a very unique approach to MGS gaming. While it's possible to sneak around as Snake throughout the whole game you can also recruit soldiers to join your side by knocking them out and taking them to your truck (at later points in the game you can just call and have them picked up). You can unlock special characters (such as Paramedic, Sigint, and few others fans can appreciate) through passwords or fulfilling certain requirements within the main game, or you can latch on to various Wifi connections and unlock them yourself. you can put each soldier into various places such as having them be spies in different areas, having them attend to your wounded in the medical unit, or building new items in tech unit, you can even play as them in the main game by putting them in your unit. basically you can take a soldier and play him in levels where other soldiers are wearing the same outfit and walk around without getting caught at all as long as you dont do anything unusual. While it's cool to be able to switch characters like this I feel that it takes a little bit out of the Stealth aspect of MGS, though I must admit playing as some of the unique characters is pretty fun. Each character has different skill levels in aspects like pistols, machine guns, cqc, medical, and tech skills ranked C,B,A, or S with C being the lowest and S being the highest as well as different jobs like doctor, or athlete (who can run faster than other characters), and spies which affect where you might wanna put them in your unit, while this offers plenty of variety to gameplay and strategy for each mission, it also seems to take some focus off of Snake in the game.
The boss fights in this game are actually very few and not even until the second half of this game. I felt that they were fairly repetive and too easy (the second to last boss was a joke) but the dialogue and moments leading up to each fight are very exciting and very well done
The missions in this game are varied and fairly basic (get from point a to point b) and are designed for a portable game since most take only 5-10 minutes. The main game should take you around 10 hours to complete though doing a ton of recruiting and many side missions can make it take much longer (my total playtime first time through was 15 hours).
Combat works fairly well and you can either go into FPS view to shoot or you can use lock on function to get your targets. I had no complaints about the system here and hope to see it stay the same in the next one, that is if there is a next one.
The music in this game is different than past MGS games since it lacks the regular composer of the series, but I feel that music was very well done and felt the ending them was very fitting to the game.
All VA's with returning characters in this game have reprised their roles and put in excellent performances as do the new VA's for the new characters, no complaints at all here. Though there isnt alot of spoken dialogue in this game (only cinema scenes) with the exception of the grunts of characters and remarks from the enemies such as "what was that?"
Overall the sound in this game is amazing and really ups the ante on what the psp can do
The main game can be played over and over again in order to unlock some characters or get more side missions as well as playing with different characters.
There is also an online death match mode which I cant play since my router is messed up but from what I hear the online mode is excellent.
Overall:9 (not exactly an average)
This is an awesome game that will keep you hooked whether you're an MGS fan or not. It's by far the best game I have played on the PSP and really shows what the system can do. I really hope there is another portable ops game, though I would like more limits on when you can use other characters. This is definitely a must have for anyone who owns a PSP and is definitely worthy of the Metal Gear in its title.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 12/18/06
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