Review by mr pantalones

"Metal Gear Raiden 2: Sons of Anime"

There are many good things that have come from Japan: ninjas, robots, and little toys that are made by robots in factories owned by ninjas. There are also many bad things that have come from Japan. Tiny cars that conserve gasoline, Jackie Chan, and the usage of a language I don't understand are a few things that have made my life miserable. The worst of all, however, is anime.

And so yet again another masterpiece is ruined. Metal Gear Solid 2 is the sequel to one of the greatest video games ever created. One man tactical espionage action against an army of psychotic terrorist n00bs is once again the series' premise. The lead character is Solid Snake, the bad ass unshaved cigarette smokin commando, sportin a macho mullet and skin tight stealth suit, which shows off the nice curves of his muscular buttocks. He is, by far, the greatest character of any game ever created. But Hideo Kojima doesn't like you or Solid Snake. He likes anime.

And so you play 75% of the game as a series newcomer, Raiden. He is the product of modern day Japanese anime cliches. He is in his 20's, yet he has white hair that is long and flows like a girls. His voice is feminine and instead of walking he skips around like a little school girl playing hop scotch. He doesn't like to kill people. He is a tactical espionage n00b. He has a tragic past that has scarred his self esteem, making it hard for him to express his girly emotions. He does have a girlfriend, but we all know he's just using it as a front.

For the short time you do play as Solid Snake the game is entertaining. For some reason I enjoy hearing a middle aged man grunt while diving behind a crate. Metal Gear Solid has never been about straight forward blasting the legs off psychotic terrorists. It's about running through a level, getting seen and dodging enemy fire, and then hiding in a locker or under a box until they go away. Then you run to the next level and get caught. Your operatives have all the skills they'll need to hide in lockers and under boxes, like the ability to open a locker or lift up a box. They can also ninja roll, which if I had it my way, would be the only way you could move around in the game. You can also shoot sea gulls and slip on bird poopies. The gameplay is awesome.

The most important part of any game, of course, is the graphics. And boy do they make me get excited (you know where). The bird poopies are amazingly detailed, and the curves on Snake's rock hard buns are stunning. The Metal Gears are back (huge ninja robots, if you didn't know), and they look better than I do in real life, although you may find that hard to imagine. The graphics, too, achieve a high rating on the awesomeness scale.

What's disappointing, however, is the game's story. There's way too much talking, like that girlfriend of yours who keeps calling you up and having a 4 hour rant on why she's angry her hot friend has been fooling around with me and bragging about it. I could tolerate the story through the tanker, but my God I cannot stand the codec during the plant missions. Raiden's psychotic girlfriend nags the hell out of him at 30 minute intervals, enough to make me want to stab my ears drums out with a pair of hedge clippers. Not only is there way too much talking, but during the last hour of the game you will not have the slightest clue what the hell they're talking about. One minute a person is a robot, then he's real, then it's a she, then she's pregnant, and then your running around naked grabbing your genitals (seriously). Then that person suddenly betrays you. But that person is betrayed by another person that you thought was going to betray that other guy. But that other guy is fake. But then he's real, and has been behind it all. But he's been dead for a hundred years. Then you have to fight some random guy that hasn't done anything in the last thirty minutes to finish the game. Epic anime storyline. Sweet.

Not all of the story blows, mind you. Solid Snake’s character still remains a major part of the plotline. I don’t want to spoil any of the story for you (well, actually, I do), but there are some great moments in the game. There are some Matrix rip offs, but I’d rather them rip off the Matrix than a cartoon about a mystical gnome that shoots energy balls and can turn into a huge monkey. All in all, I had very mixed feelings by the end. I noticed all the potential it had to make this the greatest game ever, and yet by the end of the game, for the first time in my video game career, I was actually pissed off at the man who created it. I hate to say it (well, actually, I don’t) but Hideo Kojima is a moron and he best hope I never see him in public, or…I might make fun of him or something.

To make up for the horrible anime influenced plot, the sound and music are great. Nice low key tracks fit nicely when sneaking around like a cat about to pounce on its prey (or mate), and when action picks up the music changes to feed the adrenaline that is rushing to your fingertips (or perhaps somewhere else). The terrorists all talk with an identical Russian accent, and when your character moves around he grunts. Excellent.

I would highly suggest this game if you are a nerd or you like anime (although they go hand in hand). If you hate anime or are normal then I would suggest a rental or buying the game and just playing the first part or skipping through all the text and cut scenes. Or steal a copy.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 12/27/02, Updated 12/27/02

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