Review by DarkVengeance

"Great for anyone who never played MGS, good for those who did"

So - have YOU played the original MGS?
If not, STOP reading this review (it'll spoil parts of the game for you) go buy it, play it, and beat it a few hundred times. You'll love it, I garuntee. In fact, if Twin Snakes was an entirely new game (meaning, the first one never existed) I'd give it a 10/10 without hesitation. For anyone who never played the original, it will ROCK your boxers off (and hey, why are you still reading? I told you to get the game already.)

Anyways, enough fanboy ranting. Fact is, the original MGS was made, and like many gamers, I played it... God knows how many times. I've lost track of the number, but it's a biggie. By now I, and everyone else like me, know the ins and outs of the original MGS like the back of our hands, and we love it. And it's the people like us (depending on your expectations) who may find the game falling a bit short of what we hoped it'd be.

First, let me tell you where MGS:TTS DOES excel:
For anyone who played the original, it provides plenty of nostalgic moments. More importantly, it still provides a lot of fun. The graphics are on-par with, if not better than MGS2. The all-new cinematics are generally really well done, and they're incentive enough for a veteran to go through the game a few times. Some of the re-recorded dialog lines and cutscenes further explain things that were unclear in the original, or just didn't make sense. The added gameplay elements make certain areas more challenging, which is always welcome. Finally, despite all the added gameplay elements and stylistic changes, MGS:TTS stays extremely true to the original, and somehow manages (for me, anyways) to retain the same general mood and feel throughout.

So, what's wrong? Why 8/10?
Well, like I just said, Twin Snakes somehow manages, in most places, to retain the exact same mood and feel of it's original - that's exactly why the differences are so obvious. These changes range from small to big, but it's all part of the whole.

Small things, like the new Game Over screen, and it's accompanying dialog... to me, it's pretty lame. Other small touches I missed, like not being able to use 1st-person view in the torture sequence, for example... they're easily overlooked, but if you liked them in MGS... well, whatever. On to the ''big things''.

Personally, I'm left wondering about some of the decisions made by the development team. In some aspects, like the environments, story and extras, the developers remain true to the original, to an almost obsessive degree - and it works! I'm not complaining (yet). Then we move to the audio - the music, the re-recorded dialog, the new or altered lines... some of the music works, some of the new dialog helps, but more often than not... I'm left wanting what was in the original. While some boss battles benefit from the new music (Psycho Mantis and Sniper Wolf come to mind) others lack the punch they once had.
Worse is the new voice acting - the new delivery of some of the lines... while they aren't bad at all, a lot of the characters don't seem half as vibrant. Liquid is the only character who still seems himself, with one notable exception (''Fox...'') Snake, Meryl and Campbell are nearly as good, but Naomi and Mei Ling are butchered without their accents.
Finally, the difficulty - I'm not blaming it on the new gameplay elements (which actually make the game harder in some areas, like I said before)... it just seems, especially in the boss battles... one heck of a lot easier.

Basically, I'm not sure why they opted to change things that were fine (voice acting, music) when they could have tweaked other elements (like boss battles) to better suit the new game. I don't mean totally re-vamping them, but... for example, the fight, Solid VS. Liquid on top of REX... a new animation here or there? A new attack? A different pattern? Something? While it was fun, all I could think of was the Raiden VS. Solidus battle on top of Federal Hall, and the sheer number of attacks Solidus had to throw at you... ... ...and then I see Liquid, who merely punched and headbutted during my entire fight. Alas.

As you can see, most of my gripes are based solely on personal taste, as supposed to big gameplay problems, bugs or glitches. This is an excellent game with massive production values, and I certainly wouldn't stop anybody from buying it. Heck, I bought it, and I don't plan on returning it, no matter how dumb Naomi and Mei Ling sound.

I only provide a word of caution to MGS veterans: TTS is so familiar in some areas that you might get bored after a few play-throughs, and at the same time so different in other areas that you might strongly dislike the aesthetic changes.

Or, you might just love it. Go play it and find out.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 03/10/04

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