Review by BrakZero

Reviewed: 06/28/01 | Updated: 06/28/01

A good addition to a good game.

Metal Gear Solid: The VR Missions isn’t really a game to me. It’s just an expansion. If you’ve played Metal Gear Solid, you probably remember that there was a VR training section in the menu. This allowed you to do about 30 different missions to prepare you for the game that’s ahead of you. The VR Missions CD just expands on that by thirty times. This time, you’ve got 300 tough levels that you’re gonna have to push yourself through in order to be the best. The bad thing is, people always get this game after they complete the actual MGS. It should be the other way around, so that way you’ll perform better in MGS after training. Oh well.

The graphics are identical to the original Metal Gear Solid in every way, except for the fact that VR Missions doesn’t hold any cinematic sequences. (Which isn’t a surprise) And in case you had no clue for some odd reason, the graphics in MGS are amazing. They’re some of the best graphics to grace the Playstation. And that holds especially true for the time it was released. At the time it was released, it outmatched almost all current games with the wonderful amounts of detail put into the characters as well as the surroundings. The animations for gun firing were good too. The right amount of flash was seen, and you could see Snake reload a new magazine perfectly, seeing the empty one drop to the ground. All of the other animations, not just the gun firing, were great as well. Just take a look at some C4 explosions. Overall, the graphics were clear and sharp... very nice.

Along with the good graphics, some cool music was added. There is a surprisingly large amount of different songs, which are played during the levels. The old sneaking music returned, as well as a ton of different ones. Some of them were slow and “cautious”, and others just had a groovy beat. These actually were chosen depending on the level. The slow sneaking music was always used in levels in which you must deal with enemy genome soldiers, and the groovy beats were heard when you’re destroying targets with your chosen weapon. And when you’re faced with solving a mystery and catching a criminal, you’ve got detective type music coming from your speakers. Overall, the sound blended in nicely, and it all sounded good.

Playing the game is simple. You have a bunch of levels to choose from right in the beginning. These are all separated by different categories, such as “Sneaking Mode”, in which you sneak by enemies and/or surveillance cameras... hence the name of the mode. Once you choose your level, a text box appears, giving you the instructions to complete the mission. They often give you a hint or tip as well. As I mentioned before, there are different modes, so these missions can be completely different from one another, based on the category you are playing in. For instance, some missions require sneaking past enemies, and some want you to find a criminal who is responsible for a crime! A few more are killing enemies, destroying targets, using your brain to figure out how to destroy or get past something, or even using the Ninja! Yes, the Ninja is available in this game, as a playable character. Unfortunately, there are only three available Ninja levels, and you have to complete at least 85% of the game.

Now, you might say ”Huh? How am I supposed to know when I’m done with exactly 85%?” Well, that question has a very simple answer: The game automatically keeps track for you. Every time you go to select another level, you can look in the corner of the screen and see your completion percentage. This is your main way of finding out when certain modes are unlocked. After all, you can’t just expect to turn on a game and see every single level unlocked, right? New modes are unlocked every time you complete about 5 or 10% more of the game. The modes that are not unlocked until very late in the game are usually the most fun, unique, and challenging ones. So this gives you something to shoot for. People always want the best category, so they put the best ones at the end to encourage playing. And when they’re encouraged, they play more, and they unlock more. Believe me, I completed my 85% of the game with Ninja being the only thing on my mind.

Overall, the gameplay was good. It was fun, very challenging at times, and pretty original.

Final Word
If you’re a fan of Metal Gear Solid and you want more, then reach for Metal Gear Solid: The VR Missions. These 300 missions won’t make you bored. I don’t care how good you were at the MGS, I can still guarantee that some of these will have you frustrated and sweaty. It’s a nice addition to the Metal Gear library, even though it’s more like an expansion pack. So if you have MGS, this is definitely worth buying.

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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