Review by PlayItBogart
"For the last time, Kojima had NOTHING to do with this!"
In reference to the title of this review, Hideo Kojima had nothing to do with the NES port of the MSX classic, Metal Gear. That was tasked to Ultra Games, a subsidiary of Nintendo and Konami. Research the title at http://www.thesnakesoup.com to learn more.
Metal Gear for the NES is a seriously downgraded version of the MSX's Metal Gear. It's like porting SNES to the Genesis. A LOT of things are going to be lost in the translation.
Obviously, the graphics take a hit, because the NES simply doesn't have that kind of power. It's not too much of an eyesore, but most of the indoor complexes are SERIOUS eye-gouging graphics. Just too many darn vertical lines and squares for me to be able to handle. Everything else looks just fine though.
The music isn't bad for an NES title. It's standard Konami/Ultra Games style tunes, which means it structures mostly on sounding futuristic, in the NES sense. Sound effects work well as well, but the wailing codec sound could have been replaced.
I know what the MSX's Metal Gear story is. Frankly I'm not too sure about the one for the NES. The game's translation is horrible, and the story given in the instruction manual doesn't match up at ALL with what we're told about the Outer Heaven incident. But basically, Snake is sent in to kick the crap out of these bad guys and "destroy final weapon Metal Gear".
Here is an actual sample from the game's manual, just to let you know what I'm talking about.
Colonel Vermon CaTaffy, a once tranquil shepard boy, who grew up on the remote banks of the Sam Sam River in outer Mongolia with his 27 sisters, turned to terrorism at an early age.
Now, after years of pillaging innocent people, he has taken control of Outer Heaven, a small nation on the outskirts of South Africa. Here he is sole tyrant and radical dictator. He rules with bullets and bombs, and in only a few month he has outlawed democracy and turned harmless villagers into mercenaries for a global terrorist network.
If I didn't know better, I'd say this is Rambo meets Super Mario Bros.
The actual sneaking gameplay is hard. I don't mean playing MGS2 on European Extreme without Stealth Camouflage hard. I mean unacceptably hard. See, it's not exactly the gamer's fault the sneaking system that was made by Ultra Games is just so darn flawed. You have to be like Ray Charles with a NES controller (Or a keyboard, if you're cheap) to avoid being spotted by enemy troops, and about 50% of the time it's virtually impossible to do so. It's actually a better idea to play this via an emulator - you can save states. Because you'll be dying. A lot. And you'll start back so far away that you'll almost refuse to play the game. Actually, you may very well just refuse to go at it again.
The transceiver/codec isn't that easy to work either. There's times where I'm getting calls from people, and unless it's Big Boss giving me little tips, I just can't figure out how to receive them. I suppose I could try every single frequency (about 200 of them) to see which one the punk is calling me from, but that wailing noise gets too darn annoying.
Saving is achieved by dying and getting a passcode. But just like dying, that code might start you back almost twenty minutes behind in your gameplay. And going twenty minutes in this game without dying is a BIG feat.
The only reason this game is so popular is that it has Metal Gear slapped onto it. Remove that, and this game is nothing. It's the same deal with Snake's Revenge. They're insults to the legacy.
Hideo Kojima has said himself that he refuses to remake Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake for the next-gen consoles, because he finds them embarrassing and well, bad. And this NES port of Metal Gear is even WORSE than that. What does that tell you?
If you come across it cheap at a yard sale or a game shop, you can buy it just for bragging rights - You won't actually be playing it much, if at all. If the owner is charging any more than $10 for it, don't even bother.
Reviewer's Rating: 2.5 - Playable
Originally Posted: 02/01/05
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