Review by silent hillian
""I remember. That punch!""
I, too, remember, Gray Fox. Of course, he's talking about Solid Snake and his ability to kick anyone and anything's ass. And Metal Gear Solid was a lot like Solid Snake in that respect. In fact, my idea of the perfect game was the PSOne version of Metal Gear Solid. Action and gameplay took a backseat to storyline and plot...and it actually worked! Never before or since has a game so captivated gamers with its dialogue before it grabbed them with its combat.
This generation, we enter a new era where graphics are now sometimes more important than anything else. Enter Metal Gear Solid 2. One of the most visually stunning games of this generation. Hailed by many as the greatest game since its prequel, it's clear that the Metal Gear series is one of consistent quality and sheer awesomeness.
Today, we combine the best elements of the two aforementioned games to create what many have hoped and waited for what very well may be the best game...ever. Did Nintendo and Silicon Knights succeed?
If I honestly didn't know better, I might've mistaken this game for a movie. Rarely has a game asked the gamer to put the controller in his lap and just listen for scores of minutes of end. But trust me, Twin Snakes passes this test with flying colors. How could you not with the story of Metal Gear Solid? The protagonist, Solid Snake, a one-man army with a long and dark past, is easily of the biggest bad asses in video game history. The game follows Solid Snake as he tries to thwart a terrorist group's plot to launch a nuclear weapon. But what good is a conflict without a great villain. Twin Snakes has you covered in spades. A beautiful sniper, a sadistic torturer, a giant shaman (my personal favorite) and of course, an evil twin, to name a few. The plot for Twin Snakes would make a great movie. But as is, it's a fantastic game.
I can tell you, without any hint of doubt in my mind, that this is cinematically the greatest game I've ever seen. If you've played the original like I have, you will have your breath taken away at these new cut scenes. For those of you that have no played the original...you will have your breath taken away at these new cut scenes. The in game graphics are also a very lovely sight to behold. Dare I say they are even better than than Metal Gear Solid 2? Electricity and water effects are awesome, and the blood...well, I hope you like looking at blood because it is amazing to look at in this game. Nothing wrong in this department.
Alright, this is one of those times when having played the original is NOT a good thing. First of all, let me say that the sound and sound effects are perfect. Gunshots, blood spatter, explosions, death cries. They all sounds top notch. Then why the respectable but not perfect 8, silent hillian? Well, I'll tell you loyal reader. It's the actors' voices. OK, again, the voice acting is great. But the voices. For people that played the original, I think many or all of them are going to be disappointed with the changes they made to Mei Ling's, Naomi's, Nastasha's and Raven's. To those that have never played the game before, you obviously won't notice any difference, and the sound and voices will sound perfect, because they are. But to the MGS veterans...well, it doesn't ruin game, it's just takes a little getting used to.
To answer your question before you ask it: yes, playing on a Gamecube controller does take a little getting used to. Obviously, there aren't as many buttons, but Silicon Knights really made up for this in almost unnoticeable ways. Example, I was just playing this tonight. I was sitting in a stall in the men's bathroom as guards made a sweep of the room. Suddenly, someone IMed me over AIM. Without thought, I pressed Start and B to pause the game and answered the IM. My point? You'd think that needing to press two buttons to pause the game or use the codec would get annoying, but it's really not a big difference at all. First-person shooting, while a little awkward at first, is rather easy to get used to with practice. The only beef I have with the controls is the lack of pressure-sensitivity. You see, on the PS2, you can raise your gun with X, and then lower it by easing off of the X button. You can't do that with Twin Snakes. You raise your gun with A, but when you let go of A, regardless of how soft, the gun is fired. Nothing big, just a little annoyance I had with the Gamecube version. Otherwise it's smooth sailing.
Replay Value: 9/10
Now, I don't know about you, but I could play Metal Gear Solid a million times in a row and never get sick of it. Kinda like Coldplay's Clocks. Great song. But that's not the point. The point is, I was tempted to give this area a 10, because I love MGS more than anyone or anything...with the possible exception of Bruce Willis (yes, I'm aware I have a problem.) Now, even for those people that aren't as fanatic about Twin Snakes as I am, there ARE reasons to play through this game multiple times. One well known reasons is the extra items one gets upon completion. Stealth Cammo and Infinite Ammo are very good indeed. Some new and awesome features for Twin Snakes are the Boss Battle Mode and the Demo Theatre, where you can view the breath-taking cut scenes at your leisure (I did mention they were breath-taking already, didn't I?) And for the perfectionist (or is is masochist), there's always the ''Game Over if Spotted'' option after you've beaten the game for an even greater challenge. Trust me, there's plenty of reason to play this game over and over.
Rent or Buy? Buy
You know, games this often don't come by all the time. Sure, there are ok games every other week or so, and there are games that are fun once but you never play again. Twin Snakes, though, is an awesome game that you will be playing for a long, long time. If you've played any other Metal Gear Solid game or some of game of this genre and enjoyed it, Twin Snakes is a no-brainer. Even if you aren't a big fan of tactical espionage action, I would seriously recommend AT LEAST renting it. You owe it to yourself to play such a magnificent game.
While it does not have the punch that the original MGS had, Twin Snakes is still an amazing and must-own game. The controls are far better than the original, the graphics and cut-scenes are a sight for the sorest of eyes, and the story that you've memorized and love is still there. In my experience, movies that are remade are often much worse in their more recent incarnation. But video game remakes are some of the best things people have played. Resident Evil was just a preview of great things to come. Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes is that thing, and it has come.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 03/11/04
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