Review by I_Need_A_Life
Probably the most impressive game of all time...
Metal Gear is my most favourite game series of all time, and now I'll share my opinions of the Metal Gear games that I've had the honor to play.
The Metal Gear series continues with Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake. In this installment of Metal Gear, Snake returns to the MSX in what I consider the most impressive game ever. Why? Because it's done on the MSX! I mean, LOOK AT IT! LISTEN TO IT! This is one incredible game if I do say so myself. The storyline here makes the original Metal Gear's story look as impressive as Paper Boy's story was. Basically, the world has come to terms and each country has disarmed it's nuclear arsenal. At the same time, the world is facing a major crisis; the amount of oil is near zero. However, a Checz biologist manages to create a micro-organism that is capable of refining pure, usable petroleum from crude oil. It has the potential to save the world, but unfortunately, the good doctor is kidnapped. During this time, nuclear weapon disposal sites are raided, and weapons of mass destruction are salvaged. The kidnapping of the Dr. and the attack on these bases are linked to a recently emerged nation; Zanzibar. With the world's only nuclear stock-pile, and unlimited amounts of oil, Zanzibar is basically the world's only super-power. Solid Snake is once again called out on a mission of life or death, and this time, it's absolutely incredible! And that's just the backstory! Also, I'll tell you now that this game is long. About on par with the length of MGS, which is long when you're playing in 2D.
The controls are practically the same here as they were in the previous installment, except for the addition of a new action; Crawling. While it doesn't seem very major, this single feature expands the gameplay to phenomenal proportions. Snake can now pick up land mines, move over noisy terrain silently, evade enemies by crawling under tables, trucks, etc. This feature adds a very large amount of depth to the gameplay. My only major complaint is that the controls seem a tad unresponsive and sluggish. Actions usually take a moment to start after you press a key, which is quite annoying while in the middle of a firefight.
The gameplay is also more intense than Metal Gear's. Enemies can now see at 45 degree angles, turn their heads, and even hear Snake run on noisy terrain or knock on walls! Hell, if the game were 3D, it might as well be MGS!!!
The sound is also improved. Snake makes different noises while moving on different terrain, the bosses have their own unique sounding weapons, etc. It's still nothing fantastic, but it's an improvement. Now the music is fantastic. There are now more than six different main tracks, three different boss battle tracks, and lots of other really good music. I really don't care for the Alert music in this game, but it's still good. In fact, anyone who has played MGS: VR Missions/MGS Integral will recognize the music in this game, as some of it had been redone for those games. Some people don't like this game's music, but I love it; it's quite catchy.
Now here is the major improvement; the graphics are awe-inspiring considering that they're only 8-bit. Everything in the game looks amazing, and the radio avatars might as well be photo-realistic. This is honestly the best-looking 8-bit I ever seen. Though this is probably the cause of the problem I'll address below...
Unfortunately, the game suffers from quite a bit of slow-down, especially during fights with guards or anywhere that has a lot of characters on screen at once. And once again, the game is a Japan-exclusive. So you'll either need to import, or emulate...but it's WELL worth it!
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
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