Review by LegendaryFrog
"Snake gets a face lift, but little has changed.."
MGS is hailed as one of the best games for the PSX, and one of the best games that generation. It was ground breaking in the design: a fully cinematic game with movie quality values. Dispite what flaws it had, it didn’t really matter... this game wasn’t quite anything else before. Even the game’s PS2 sequel couldn’t live up to its quality. And in what seems to be the trend nowadays, the original MGS got a face lift... for the Gamecube.. and by Silicon Knights. Since I never played the original, this was a real treat.
Gameplay (8/10) and design (8/10)
MGS is a sneaking game. Instead of fighting guards you are encouraged to simply avoid them. That’s the best course of action anyway. Because if you ARE spotted and the guards called reinforcements, your pretty much screwed. You could fight but at a great hit to your health. That’s because fighting is chunky and awkward most of the time.
You’re off best to sneak around corners and catch the enemy off guard. There are many ways to do this. You could just knock them out with a tranquilizer or hold them at gun point and watch them squirm. You distract them with empty magazines, girly books, or knocks on the walls.. or even hide in boxes. However, you’ll be using the hide behind pillars and hide in box tactic the most... You CAN do the others, but I never used the wall-tapping tactic ONCE because I never saw the need to. But this allows the player to experiment and try new things. MGS2 did a better going of sneaking tactics in that regard.
Twin Snakes takes the original game and mixes it with Sons of Liberty Gameplay wise. Everything you could do in the sequel you can now do in the original. Snake can now hang of ledges and enter first person mode. Lockers have been added in various places so that he could escape form the soldiers or even hide them in them so they don’t get noticed by passing guards.
The problem with these new additions? You rarely use them. You’ll find yourself hiding in lockers a good amount of times, but everything else seems to be there but not be used. You can hang of ledges but I never did so tactically in the game. You can hide guards in lockers but I only did that once, (it was a bathroom stall actually.). You can drag guards, but again, I only did that once. Maybe on Hard difficult there would be use for these, but in normal they’re just there to show people they can if you want to.
After you avoid guards for a room or two you’ll be greeting with a cutscene and sometimes a boss fight. If you know about MGS cut scenes, then you know you’ll be spending alot of time watching them. TO much time if you ask me. Twin Snakes suffers from the same problem as Sons of Liberty. Much of the game is “played” by watching Codec conversations or watching cut scenes. It’s nowhere as bad as the sequel, but its still a flaw.
As a remake, Twin Snakes is just that: A remake, Nothing has changed, only tweaked. This isn’t Resident Evil or Metroid Zero Mission. This game is a facelift... not a re-imagining. If your looking for a “Extended Edition” of MGS, this isn’t it.
Overall, I say MGS plays better on the PS2. It works out fine, but just some of the button combos seem awkward on the purple controller. For example, junping form corners could accidentally open a item menu because they both use the L and R button. (Peering is a press, item menu is a click.) First person mode is the Z button.. but as we all know the Z button is oddly placed. To open the Codec or map, you do a button combo. First you press start and then you press A or B respectively. The problem? If you have a weapon equipped and your not careful, you’ll press A first and shoot the weapon. Great, everyone knows where I am now because the Gamecube controller doesn’t have a Select button. They could have thought it out better.
Dispite what interviews have said, Twin Snakes is not quite up to par with Sons of Liberty. But it comes pretty darn close. Nearly everything is almost there, but not quite. There are plenty of blurry textures and some of the models don’t seem as detailed. Those are the only areas though. Animation is great, and a few even have the CG quality that the sequel had. (Remember when Ray escaped in MGS2? There are a few moments like that here) But being a PSX remake, most things don’t take advantage of the Gamecubes hardware.
The cutscens have been reworked and redone. Since I never played the original game I can’t say if its for the better, but the defiantly kick ass. My only complain is Twins Snakes suffers from “Woohoo! Bullet time!” syndrome. Make it a drinking game! Everything the camera slows down, take a shot. You’ll be hammered by the time you finish this game. These are defiantly up to MGS2 standards. And even if you played the original to death these new additions will be reason enough to play this game.
Voice acting is friggin excellent, and also redone for Twin Snakes. The cast is excellent, on par with a real movie or cartoon.
Music is also good, but one thing I noticed that the MGS theme is rarely rarely used. There are hints of it in places, but you only hear the full blown theme three times... and one was the continue screen.
I think the reason for much of MGS popularity is its story. The premise is basic: Stop the terrorist, save the world. However the way it unfolds is interesting, and near the end it takes some nice turns. Snake is a great character, and the supporting cast is also excellent. There are so many great characters, but my favorite is the nerdy, anime loving, Hal Emmerich aka “Otacon”. And the battle with Psycho Mantis is very unique and memorable. There are so many great lines and concept, it’s really like a action movie. There’s even one part were you really get caught up in the moment... tears may not be far away.
Twin Snakes makes many references to the first two Metal Gear gams... one in which was never released in the States. (Metal Gear 2: Snakes Revenge released for the NES is not considered an official part of the series. The real Metal Gear 2 is called “Solid Snake” and was released for a computer system called the MSX) The game documents these 2 games well in both the manual and the game itself. And even if you didn’t read those, you get the basic idea on what happened when you play the game.
Oh, and in case you don’t know. Metal Gear is a giant walking tank capable of launching nuclear warheads.
Twin Snakes lacks VR missions like MGS2: Substance so replay is far less. There are some extras, but replaying the game in different costumes really is good for giggles but not anything new. You can unlock an extra hard mode, which sounds to friggin’ hard for my own good. (If a guard sees you... you lose!) So replaying the game means you want to experience the story again and try new techniques on sneaking.
Uneven Gameplay / Cutscene ratio. MGS2 features are not implemented it their fullest. Short playtime. No fault of the developer... this is a remake. Controls are showing their age. The Codec uses the orginal art desins and not #d models. While is looks fine, it just look dated.
In all honesty, this game should get a 8 for a few reasons. 1) As a remake it doesn’t offer much new in terms of additions and changes. 2) The additions they do add Gameplay wise don’t really fit in very well, save for the lockers. 3) It feels more like a movie.
However, I must consider how the game made be feel while playing it. This is one of those games that, dispite it’s faults, you can’t help but really enjoy it. The story is excellent, the cut scenes are exciting... and overall the gameplay is fun. If your a Metal Gear fan that’s already played the original, then Twin Snakes is defiantly worth a look. Just be warned that your going to be playing “Metal Gear Pretty” instead of a whole new experience like Resident Evil remake. But if you’ve never played the game that make Solid Snake one of the greatest heroes in gaming history... then you shouldn’t pass up Twin Snakes.
Hey, and at $40, your even getting it cheaper!
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 03/25/04
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