Review by eggrolll45

"Raiden goes Tony Hawk"

Metal Gear Solid 2: A great game.
Metal Gear Solid: VR Missions: another great game.

Combine these for a game with hours and hours of unlock able replay ability. That is what Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance is.

The original MGS2 had a great story, great concept, great game play, yet it was lacking quite a bit in the replay ability department. Now, Konami has added in a ton of VR missions for MGS2 and it is awesome.

There are many different kinds of VR missions, such as weapons, sneaking, and a brand-spankin-new bomb disarm mode where you find bombs and disarm them. There are also secret modes that you can only unlock after finishing all of the others. Some of these unlock able modes include firing away at some real big baddies and snapping some pictures as well. Each mode has different sub-modes. For instance, in Weapons, there is a mode for each weapon in your arsenal, including the all-new katana.

And yet another twist- since there are two characters, there are two different modes. Each character, Raiden, the whiny newcomer, and Snake, the veteran hero, has different moves. So, every level is different for both. But, obliviously, Snake cannot use the Katana.

There are also the ever challenging Snake Tales, where you play as Snake in a series of Levels as Snake, when if you were playing the normal game you would be playing as Raiden. There is no soliton radar, which really sucks. I kind of liked it. It is quite challenging due to this, which makes it even more fun. This way, it's a little more like real life. But still a good feature. I guess this is to make up for the fact that Snake can't slash the baddies.

Another sort of cool thing is the Casting Theater, which can actually be pretty funny if you put the old ladies in for all the big bad guys. This is fun for a little bit of laughter, but it will get boring after a while.

Also, the big one: Skateboarding!!!
Yes, it's true. You are either Raiden or Snake and you sneak around the Big Shell on a skateboard. You must try to complete certain objectives and hit some huge air. The objectives are pretty hard to accomplish most of the time, but the most fun you'll get out of it is the tricks. This is a good feature, but I didn't buy this game just to hit big air with Raiden or Snake.

And another awesome feature is the opportunity to blow the bosses to smithereens any time you like. The only thing is, you do them in succession. After the first few bosses it starts to get real tough, even on Easy. All in all, the Boss Survival mode is a fun and challenging new feature for Substance.

Okay, now for the regular game play features!

Story: Many years after the infamous Shadow Moses operation in Alaska, Snake returns to his old ways, sneakin' around and kickin' some ass along the way. He is no longer working for anyone but himself. Otacon is back again, with all of his nerdy tech tips and old sayings. ''No Mei Ling this time'', as Otacon puts it. Too bad. And if you don't save a bunch of times, Otacon will not stick his tongue out at you this time, either. I really miss pissing off Mei Ling... Anyway, there are two stories now.

You also play as Raiden, who is a newcomer to the world of sneaking around a suspicious facility. He will often be the whiniest video game hero you know, and he is very naive. But hey, I can't do a no handed cartwheel, so I can't complain. Oh, yeah, if it's not obvious to you by now, Raiden is a very acrobatic guy. He does no handed cartwheels, back flips, front flips, spinning karate kicks... To name a few. Now that's gotta be fun, right? It is.

Also, the old fun of hiding in the trademark cardboard box is back! Though, it's not very functional...

There is also the new aspect of collecting the soldier's dogtags. You do this by holding them up, which you do by sneaking up behind an enemy soldier and pointing your gun at them. If you've finished the game, try to get all of these dogtags for an extra challenge!

The infinite ammo Bandana and the sneaky Stealth suit are now back. To get them, you will have to get dog tags- a lot of dog tags. It is very enjoyable to go around making all sorts of noises in your stealth suit and play with the guards' dim minds. The problem is, it doesn't work on bosses.

Another fun thing is that you can dress up as an enemy soldier. You can only use it in one part of the game, though.

The graphics and sound for this game are awesome. The awesome graphics are accented by the awesome sound. I especially like the opening number. This part is beyond words.

All in all, an awesome game. If you liked MGS2, or didn't play MGS2, I still recommend that you buy it now. This is too good to miss out on.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 11/20/03

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