Review by Krakenfang

Reviewed: 03/11/04

Anyone even mildly interested in action games should own this.

Any self-respecting gamer who's gamed for at least five years must've played Metal Gear Solid at one point or another. Other than the Final Fantasy series, and a few other hit titles, Metal Gear Solid was THE Playstation game to own. It featured an amazing and almost unheard of storyline, with acting going far beyond that of recent games. As The Legend of Zelda set the standard for adventure games, Metal Gear Solid set the standard for action games and practically created the stealth-action videogame genre. Five and a half years later, Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes arrives as the ultimate port for the Nintendo Gamecube. Why call it a ''port''? Why not a ''remake'' as it's been marketed? Because the game gives no proof that it really is a remake. A prettier look, some new moves and extras, and some tweaking here and there hardcore players will immediately notice, such as script changes. The only seemingly area that's actually new are the breathtaking cinemas that propel the game like never before.

This is one fine looking game, no doubt. Excellent, sharp and smooth textures abound. Some amazingly smooth animation, and animation in general. If you saw it in Metal Gear Solid 2, you'll most likely see it here. All of Snakes primary animations from Metal Gear Solid 2 carry over since it uses the same engine. This is not bad however, as Snake looked and moved great in Metal Gear Solid 2. Some animations have changed, and for the better. One of the best examples is that Snake no longer hits every frickin' stair step while ascending or descending. The effects are very similar to Metal Gear Solid 2. The explosions, the gunfire, and such will all be immediately recognizable to veterans. Sometimes however, the animation can get choppy, and characters switching from one animation to the nest looks downright like lazy programming.
Overall, great.

The part where the game excels, and fails, the most. The bad first. Mei Ling, Nastasha, and Naomi have all lost their sexy and personality bursting accents. Mei Ling's not bad but just sounds far too different from the Chinese telemarketer we all know and love. Naomi used to have a vibrant, sexy British accent. Now, with her American accent, she sounds like she's watching paint dry. No emotion what-so-ever. And Nastasha. Not BAD, but it just isn't Nastasha. It's very difficult to explain, but once you hear her, you'll be begging for the REAL weapons analyst to gave you your briefing on the cardboard box. The good? Nearly all of the rest of the voice-actors are on-par and sound just like the original. Except for the Cyborg Ninja, who sounds better than ever. The music has a very radical change. The game is now home to more techno beats than before. It gives it more of a badass ''your-in-the-theater'' feel. Also, unlike before, each boss has his or her own music. A very welcome change. Very cool indeed. Through out the game, you'll hear a variety of great tunes. And back to the voice acting, the greatest characters are undoubtedly Sniper Wolf, Revolver Ocelot, and Liquid Snake. They too have dramatically improved in the voice department.
9.5 overall in SOUND

You wanna know how the game plays? All right. Great. No more and no less. Just standard great, bleeding with variety. Bust out the FAMAS(machine gun) and go berserk, take it silent with the SOCOM or the M9, and make a BANG with the Nikita, the Greandes, or the Stinger. You can also simply sneak by using many clever techniques such as crawling, wall hugging or shimmying across ledges out the enemies view. Or just use a porno. Busted? Go in first person for easier one hit kills to the head or the groin, or use Snake's summersault tank your way through enemies. You'll find the occasional life recovering rations to keep you on your feet, so no worries. You can also hold up guards with your gun to grab their dog tags to unlock goodies or other items. If you haven't noticed pretty much everything you could in Metal Gear Solid 2, is available here. Good? Snake's new moves with the upgraded enemy AI makes for one challenging experience. And a fun one too. As it says on the packaging. ''Play Metal Gear Solid the way it was meant to be''. The bad? The environments are near dead on exact with the original, so Snake's new moves don't fir in too well, and neither do the soldier's AI. Hiding dead bodies, avoiding clearings and searches and radio transmissions is great, but that isn't the way the game was originally designed. It's works GOOD, but not GREAT. They’ll be able to see and hear you from farther away, so it’s smart to hide bodies (or yourself) in lockers or bathroom stalls to avoid detection. However, the overly awesome boss fights make up for this. True, the Ocelot battle is a disappointment thanks to first person shooting, but the many other bosses do not disappoint, Sniper Wolf B being my favorite. As for overall difficulty, the game seems a bit harder than that of Metal Gear Solid on PSone. The bosses are easier, but avoiding soldiers and getting to your objective can be a real mission on it’s own. It’s in times like those when you have to time your strikes right. Snake is equipped pretty heavily throughout the game with gadgets other than guns. Stun, Chaff, and Frag Grenades all make it here. The drug calming you down to help you snipe has also returned. The controls work nice, but not enough. It’s very responsive and tight, the lack of pressure sensitivity on the Gamecube pad has you holding both Y and A to keep the FAMAS held with firing. And for the SOCOM, you hold it up, and hold Y to let in down without firing. Kind of a pain, but it grows on you. To pause, you have to press Start AND B together, and for the Codec, you gotta press Start AND A to open it. I can understand the lack of buttons, but this is just clumsy. There’s always plently of ways to get the job done, and thanks to the multiple and suiting difficulty levels, the game be played by anyone with eyes and opposable thumbs.
9.0 overall in GAMEPLAY

To keep the excellent story from being spoiled, I’ll just give you the quick lowdown of Snake’s mission. He’s been assigned to infiltrate an Alaskan nuclear base, rescue some “heavy duty” hostages, and keep the terrorists that have taken over, to keep from launching a nuke. The game is overflowing with roughly three hours of amazing cinemas that tell the story in a very stylish way. Yes, the villains will still tell the hero the entire plan for the destruction of the Universe right in front of them, but due to the (mostly) great acting and story, you’ll just want to see what happens next. The game also uses a very strong and unique cast of colorful characters to get the job done. Solid Snake, with his overall badass exterior. Seriously, this guy=smells and looks and sounds like testosterone. Liquid Snake with his awesome British accent and uber-intelligence and badass sense of style, but doesn’t piss it so much as Solid Snake does. Revolver, Meryl, Sniper Wolf, Mantis, all of em’. You just gotta play it. The game’s sleek presentation is very cool indeed(Hi El Zorro!). The game’s heart beat is based around perfectly designed and thought out next-generation, near futuristic sense. Hardcore fans will be sad to see their precious Game Over screen is gone and replaced. It also helps if you know about what’s going on in the World too. Much of the game revolves around true real world events such as treaties and wars, and expands on them. So if you know these you’ll understand the game’s overall story much better. You’ll most likely be blown away by the ultra stylish moves Snake and the Ninja pack in the new cut-scenes. Everywhere from cutting guards in half to cutting bullets in half, this game has some of the coolest, most well choreographed moves out there. Even though the classic Game Over screen is gone, the 2D artistic Codec faces aren’t.

I can nearly guarantee you play through this game again once you beat it. Five difficulty settings. Two endings, hidden costumes and items, a demo theater, a boss survival mode, dozens of little easter eggs, and a huge variety of play will have this game last a while. Despite it only being six to twelve hours in length. If you have a compatible cheat device, it wouldn’t hurt to spice of its’ life even LONGER by playing around with game.
9.0 overall in REPLAY

Graphics: 9.0
Sound: 9.5
Gameplay: 9.0
Story/Presentation: 9.5
Replay: 9.0

The Good: The great gameplay of Metal Gear Solid 2 with Metal Gear Solid’s spectacular storyline. Awesome new cut-scenes. Rerecorded voices. Great graphical face lift. Plenty of replay. Very stylish overall. More than the $40 price tag. Packed with story.

The Bad: Environments could have been altered more to suit Metal Gear Solid 2 gameplay and AI better. Some control problems. Pretty short. Rerecorded voices. Sometimes it feels like I’m playing the same game I did five years ago. More extras wouldn’t hurt. PS2 owners are out of luck.

More Bad: The US box art is pretty lame.

Overall: 9.6
Rounded to 10 on Gamefaqs review scale.

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

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