Review by leaderboard 1

"The original was solid. This one is incredible."

First of all, as I'm sure you know, this is a remake of Metal Gear Solid for the Playstation. This game contains MAJOR graphical and gameplay overhauls that completely changes the already great original.

The meat and potatoes of all video games, and as meat and potatoes go, this is a first-rate meal. The original game contained such moves as sidling along the walls and using creating diversions for your enemies, but that was about it. In this game, you can use bunches of new stealth moves to get from point A to point B either undetected or leaving a trail of death and destruction, depending on your preference and mood. You can hang from ledges to evade your enemies, hide in lockers, bathroom stalls, cardboard boxes,and trucks, stick up cowardly guards, and even leave naughty magazines for guards to amuse themselves with. Of course, since this is a stealth game, sneakiness is rewarded with a better ranking, whereas running and gunning gets you boatloads of enemy reinforcements. Also, the standard gameplay of snooping around a military base rarely, if ever, gets old do to a plethora of obstacles and a regular supply of bosses to keep you entertained. However, all of this gameplay only matters when you are actually PLAYING the game, which lead me to my next point...

Cut scenes-8
I normally wouldn't rate these if they didn't play such a HUGE part in the structure of the game. The cutscenes in this game are truly high-caliber material, which is what you would expect when roughly HALF THE GAME IS CUT SCENES.I could not believe how much of this game I ''played'' with the controller sitting on the floor next to me. But don't let me fool you into thinking that they are boring. You'll see some truly amazing fight scenes at the end of bosses, and long, drawn-out conversations that slowly reveal a growing conspiracy that is breathtaking in scope. Voice acting is, for the most part, superb, and Solid Snake is almost immortalized through his deeds. For example, when driving on a jeep and being fired at, he performs an outlandish series of jumps in slow motion to dodge each and every bullet. However, the plus to these long scenes is that they artfully establish character. You'll come to admire Solid Snake for his bad boy attitude and behavior, and loathe the main villain for his scheming and conniving. Just writing about him makes me clench my teeth with loathing. Also, an array of minor characters and subplots really helps every character seem all to human. Great, albeit long, stuff.

One of the only average aspects of the game. There is nothing to get too excited about here, but that doesn't mean that it's bad. Guards look like guards, trucks look like trucks, and giant walking tanks look like, well, giant walking tanks. One of my main complaints, though, is enemy's ''flickering''. It gets annoying to punch an enemy into the wall, to see his head flicker through the wall, into a void, and then get pushed down about a foot so that his head isn't in the wall. I even had this happen while fighting a helicopter. Also, to me it seemed that the characters hair, looked sort of... fake. Maybe people wear wigs in Alaska, or maybe the wind stopped blowing long hair around. Whatever the cause, something strange is afoot. But doesn't mean it's all bad. One thing I loved was the attention to detail. After alerting guards, they go through elaborate clearing procedures to find you. Nintendo and Silicon Knights paraphernalia abounds, and outdoor environments are as lush and foreboding as you would expect remote Alaska to look. Not all bad, but a little more work here definitely would have helped.

This is ridiculous. It starts off perfectly fine. Walking is easy, crawling is easy, pushing up against the wall is easy, but as soon as you lift your gun for the first time, you'll notice something is wrong. Aiming is give and take at best, but try to put the gun down and you're in for a surprise. You have to roll your thumb up to the Y button, careful not to let go of the A button before pressing Y, let go of the A button, and then let go of Y. Oh yeah, this is all while holding Z and aiming. And this is just for the pistol. I've beaten the game three times and I still mess this up from time to time. For the most part, though, you'll get used to it after an hour or so.

This is a work of art. Voice acting is great, lines are rarely cheesy, and music and sound effects beautifully establish mood. When outside in the cold, you can hear the guards ragged breaths. When inside, each gun shot delivers an ominous echo. When undetected, music is quiet and tense. If you happen to wander into enemy, sight, a loud and sudden trill of notes startles you into panic. Absolutely beautiful.

Replay Value/Length-8
Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes is a fairly short game. If you're new to the series, your first trip through will probably take only about 10 hours, and 4 of those will be cutscenes. Fortunately, this game has lots of extras and multiple endings. Beat the game once and you'll unlock one of two items, a harder difficulty, a demo theatre, and a boss survival. Beat it again and you'll get a little more. Plus, the second time through you can skip the grossly long cutscenes, if you choose to. However, this games massive enjoyability and short length makes it something you'll want to play again and again.

Overall-9(not an average)
Overall, Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes is a great game and something you'll love regardless whether you like the genre or not. It has a few shortcomings in controls and graphics, but more than makes up for it in gameplay and sound. An awesome addition to any collection, and a game the Gamecube desperately needed. Excellent.

Buy or Rent
BUY!! You'll love it, and it will love you... Well, you'll love it, and since it's only $39.99 at most stores there is little excuse for you not to buy it.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 03/21/04

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