Review by Vashu The Stampedo
"In the words of Julias Caesar, “Et tu, MGS?”"
Metal Gear Solid, a revered title among gamers, along with the infamous Hideo Kojima. I have played and beaten every Metal Gear game, and they are a beauty. I don’t own most of them, but the ones I do own I treasure. That isn’t true with The Twin Snakes. Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes. A remake of the original Metal Gear Solid. Does it live up to its predecessor? By all means, no.
Twin Snakes is not just a port, it is a port where Nintendo took liberties to change lines, put in their own marketing ploys, and then slap on the name “Metal Gear Solid” so people would buy it. Why do I dislike TTS, you ask? It’s a redone MGS1 with better graphics and a FPV, how could anyone in their right mind dislike it!? I’ll explain myself, and if you still hate me, oh well.
Lets start with the basics. The graphics. Wonderful! TTS’ graphics are beautiful done, with all the glamour of MGS2 and maybe a bit more. Just to see MGS like this is such a contrast from the Playstation it can only be described by saying “Wow.” The intricate details are the thing that I love. From the guard’s look in his eyes when you hold him at gunpoint, to minor facial tics, this game captures it all. But graphics can’t make a game good, now can it?
It’s sad how some newer gamers think that a game IS all about the graphics. If it were, TTS would indeed be a great addition to my collection. but now it just gathers dust as I play the original, the clasic, the true Metal Gear Solid. While I do dislike this game witha passion, on to the review.
Here’s the kicker. The gameplay. Yes, they adapted it to the Gamecube, which made the controls a smidgen awkward until you got used to it, which took a fairly small amount of time to do. Controls are like the good ole controls, etc. I actually kind of like the Gamecube controller’s feel while playing MGS. You can’t let the gun down by lightly letting off of the A button, but hey, that’s cool.
Nintendo screwed up in a few of the gameplay aspects. First, a little beef of mine with the game is they added the M9. That defeats the whole purpose of MGS1, in my opinion.
My philosophy on guns in MGS1 was that if you draw it, you had to kill everyone in the vicinity or you were going to go down trying. Not to tranq an enemy from fifty yards away, and then roam aimlessly about a nuclear complex living out your fantasies by being surrounded with warheads and no guards. In Metal Gear Solid 1, you were supposed to have to WORK to get to that elevator, WORK to get that Nikita or WORK to get in the complex in the first place. Not fire small tranquilizers (Which, mind you, would freeze out in the open just like your rations, but conveniently don’t.) into guards and then dance over their corpses as they snore unsuspecting on the ground. NO!
Okay, I finally got that off my chest. One of the other annoying attributes to Twin Snakes is the difficulty levels. Some people say that the Gamecube is a kiddy console. Well, these difficulty levels definitely verify that. Take the torture scene, for example. In TTS, that’s cake compared to the original. I remember a friend of mine complaining to me, “Why would they make the whole game dependent on an impossible button raping scenario?”. He is horrible at button mashing. And when I mean horrible, I mean horrible.
But in TTS, he beat it with his eyes closed and all his fingers chopped off. The moral of this story, is that the difficulty level of Twin Snakes is shameful. They have redifined the word “challenging” with this game. Challenging now means tranqulizing every guard, and being able to kill Mantis so easily the original would cry if he saw it.
The FPV in Twin Snakes was a nice addition, but I thought it was unnecessary. Again, here comes the difficulty thing. it made everything way to easy. Shooting out cameras, for example. In MGS1, you had to either carefully time running under a camera, or use a chaff grenade in an area where a guard wouldn’t notice the explosion. Tough? I think so. And Revolver Ocelot’s fight. Man, my grandmother could do that, and she has the worse sense of hand-eye control ever.
I like the FPV for messing around after you get the Bandana and Stealth, though. That is a fun aspect of the game.
As music-wise, I really don’t have any quibble. The music was fine. I’ve heard that they changed some music from the original, but oh well. I only play a few certain games for music, so this isn’t a very big issue here. I’ll add that the ending song is nice, though. I wish you could skip through the credits and the ending scene though. But meh, whaddya gonna do?
Story-wise, TTS is perfect. Same story as the original, so I’m not complaining. Aside from changing a few of the voice actors (Which made Mei Ling, Naomi and Nastasha’s voices sound horrible, in my opinion.) and changing bits and pieces of the dialogue (Using the term “Weapons o’ Mass Destruction too liberally), TTS gets an 11/10 in its story review. Nastasha doesn’t sounds as... I’m not sure how to put it. She doesn’t seem like Nastasha anymore. She seems like a woman that listened to one of Bush’s “nookyouler” speeches one too many times.
While they didn’t change the Codec artwork, it just doesn’t have the same feeling, the same effect it had in the original. Maybe it’s because of the changed lines or the changed voice actors I will never know. But TTS surely doesn’t pack the punch that the first did when you complete it. I didn’t cry when I played the original, but I cried when I played TTS. Can you guess why?
A small pet peeve of mine is that some of the cut scenes are a bit too Matrix-ey for my tastes. Jumping off a missile, backflipping over a door, dodging uncountable numbers of bullets... ehh. Nifty effects, but maybe a little -too- nifty. I know the matrix effect gets appeal, but come on guys, that’s way too much.
In the real world, Snake wouldn’t have done the bullet dodging, the backflipping over a door, the triple backflip off Comm Tower A, any of that. He would’ve said “Hey look, I’m not a world famous gymnast! I can do eight backflips a double twirl rear foot flopdilly! Wheeeee.” No. Just.. no.
Nintendo, you added your little gimmicks to try and get people to buy Zelda or a Gamecube and whatnot. You made Psycho Mantis say “You like Zelda, don’t you?” Added in a Mario and Yoshi doll in the MIDDLE of one of the most serious scenes in the entire game, had them basically be the spotlight in the scene where Snake and Otacon are talking, what else can you do to ruin a timeless classic? Why not just title it “Metal Gear Solid: Mario Does It All.” Combining two well known names into one, that’ll boost your sales, won’t it? You have soiled the name of Metal Gear Solid Nintendo, and I hope that Hideo kojima never lets you even get a glimpse of another MGS game, or you’ll be all over it adding mario here, Luigi there, a RPG element to it, and why not some GBA-GCN connectivity? Yes, you can only use the radar if you pay twenty dollars to get you a feature of the game that should already be included! Brilliant!
I’m not a Nintendo basher or Nintendo fanboy. I respect Nintendo for its older games, but I see no future for Nintendo now. Maybe the Nintendo Dual Screen will save you, I don’t know. I’m not writing this review to discuss the financial gain of Nintendo. I digress.
All-in-all, I think TTS is a failure. It only got a 5/10 because I love MGS1. Now you’re probably complaining about how I only compared TTS to the original. If this were the original, it would have gotten a higher score, yes. Stand alone it is good, but I find it doesn’t do justice to how magnificent the original is.
Buy or rent? Well, if you’ve played the original, rent. If you’ve never played a MGS game, rent it, and then maybe buy it. I am not going to start a campaign of boycotting TTS, as I bought it and would like to remain free from hypocrisy. But I say if you can rent it instead of buy it, do it. If you can play it at a friend’s house, do it. But I do recommend MGS veterans to not even touch it lest the disease infect you.
And I end my review with a slightly altered quote from Metal Gear Solid.
“It’s easy to forget what a sin is while remaking a classic. “ - Solid Snake.
Reviewer's Rating: 2.5 - Playable
Originally Posted: 04/10/04
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