Review by Yeuh Fei Long

"Almost unrecognizable."

Metal Gear Solid, one of the most diverse games that ever graced the Playstation, much less any console. It rose up throughout the ranks as being a game that had such an elaborate plot with entertaining gameplay and strategy to boot. It hit home on just about all levels of gaming bliss. It's no wonder why it was remade, dubbed, The Twin Snakes. Does it stack up to the original? No, not really. Not to condone that it doesn't have it's moments of nostalgia, but a lot of things were scrapped making it feel almost unrecognizable. Let the biasedness begin.

Bang up job with the graphics. Excellent pre-rends that really do the game and re-telling justice. The locales look spot-on, it's interesting to see the character's in their new glorified polygons. Although, a few just don't really look right in comparison, but that's just ascribing to the MGS original in terms of design which don't show much detail upon the face. No complaints otherwise.

No conflicting issues with the effects, as they bring out every respect very well. Everything is definitely done with clarity in the sound effects department. It's a different story with the VA's and the music, to some dismay. The voice actors, much of which comprise of the originals with a few exceptions, have all come back to give their talent to their roles, yet again, and somehow give a very sub-par performance. Just about every conversation seems forced, lacking any real emotion and quite a few of said convo's have changed quite dramatically that end up butchering the moment completely. Lastly, the music. The select few of originals that have been maintained, granted they've been remixed, are fine, but one of the biggest complaints is the MGS main boss theme was completely scrapped, which couldn't have been more of a testament of what NOT to do. That main theme provided such a driving point to send the boss's to their graves, it was the essence of the game, really. For some reason, Konami/SK implemented these pure mundane boss battle themes that couldn't warrant a fight as much as it could tearing out the inner eardrum due to the horridness that are these extremely disappointing soundtracks. Additionally, it wasn't much of a surprise hearing the theme of MGS2 in alert mode, why they have this ambiguous obsession with this theme is beyond me, and questions the very notion as to why they couldn't have kept the original theme if it obviously wasn't too hard to implement the sequel's.

No real need to delve into this too much, considering everyone and their relatives have played MGS-MGS2. Nothing's really changed, other than the integration of MGS2's mechanics (surprise, surprise), Snake can execute the roll, hanging, the hiding of body's, etc. All the previous weapons are here, including the well-known bandana and optic camo. Maneuvering around the locations and the events that transpire outside of the cut scenes are relatively the same.

When you get down to the crux of the gameplay, there really is none, because the amount of communications and cut scenes completely overshadow the gameplay. Really, the gameplay is just the filler until you reach the unfolding story events. MGS: TTS is the epitome of an interactive movie of sorts. One of which is pretty damn convoluted, yet very intriguing and somewhat monotonous.

Upon witnessing the new breed of cut scenes, you almost have to question, Why, what kind of limiting genetic microbes, nanomachines, phages is Naomi controlling Snake with that prevents him of doing any of the insane acrobatic, martial ability, and master marksmanship outside of the cut scenes? It would surely be a different game, had they thrown in those abilities in-game, but it would be nice if they could find an engine that would be able to do so, it's too tempting to see Snake able to consecutively backflip when descending off a rope, jump off missiles and follow up with a stinger, dodge flurries of bullets and lightning fast Chokuto slashes in slow motion, and then being denied of that with the pitiful comparison of skills which are left when actually playing the game. It's way out of place, and is simply there to glorify our diety, Snake. Most of these are exhibited in every battle and other scenes following that make it very contrived.

It doesn't provide much in the way of anything new, the same old replay is included, bandana, stealth, although there are demo's of both Otacon and Meryl now, along with their new costumes, other than this, it doesn't promote any other rewarding play.

Over All, The Twin Snakes just doesn't hold true to it's predecessor by incorporating brazenly superfluous cinematic's, new music, graphics, MGS2 gameplay and thereby scrapping the over all originality of MGS with new dialogue, devoid emotion, losing the accents and some of the personality of the characters as a whole. Going from the original to this equates this experience to be a let down, although those who haven't, this may be a rewarding one.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 03/11/04

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