Review by goduke1029

Reviewed: 01/03/05

Kojima Strikes Again!!!!!

Coming into this game, I had never played Metal Gear Solid for the Playstation 1, but I had seen several unbelievable reviews for it. Therefore, I decided to give this game a shot. It sure did NOT disappoint.

The graphics in this game are just absolutely, positively, drop-dead GORGEOUS! There are many parts in this game that you will literally put the controller down, yell out "Oh My God!" at the top of your lungs and continue to stare for the next half an hour. In the tanker level, the graphics are really good, but it's very dark and many things are the same color. The plant level is where the graphics really shine, literally. Since a lot of the plant level takes place outside in the middle of the day, the sun is out and shining. the lighting particles in these areas are simply amazing. The sun seems so real that when you look at it, it kind of blinds you! Also, the character animations are second to none. The move so fluid that you sometimes forget that you're playing a game.

SOUND: 8/10
Really, I have no complaints on the sound per se, it's just that Raiden is so much of a girl that you can't stand to here him talk after awhile. It's seriously almost worth tuning the T.V. sound down and just playing your radio in this section of the game. However, that's not to say that the voice acting is bad, because it's not. Actually, it's incredible, the voice itself just gets to you. Snake is much easier on the ears. Also, some of the conversations between Raiden and his girlfriend are just absolutely insane! They're really so bad it's funny.

The game play in this game is top-notch. My only complain is that the tanker level (where you play as Snake) is too short. Snake is the character that you should be used to from the first game, the supposed bad*** and you only get to play with him for about 30 minutes - and hour depending on the difficulty? It's just not right! The actual game play on the other hand, is great. The characters control perfectly and the fact that how hard or soft you push the buttons has a different affect make it more strategic. The addition of the "look ahead" trick also can help you out of some pretty big jams.

STORY: 8/10
I'm not going to give away any actual story details here, but i will say that the story, while the story was both interesting and intriguing, the way it was presented could of used some help. The codec was a nice little thing for communication between Snake and Otacon - and - Raiden and the Colonel, but it seemed like the transmissions went on ffffffffooooooooooorrrrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeeeevvvvvvvvvvvvvvveeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrr! Some cut scenes literally went on for a half an hour! I repeatedly found myself skipping through them because I just couldn't stand it! And then with Raiden's punk voice coming through every five seconds, it could get overwhelming! The story, however, was interesting enough to keep you going.

Some people play games for the action or adventure, but I really like it when you get to know the characters. In this game (maybe because of the long transmission sequences) you get to know a lot about the people that you meet and you come to care about (or hate) them. It's really good game making and it is really, really hard to do. Because of all the time spent creating characters that are interesting enough to hold your attention, this category definitely gets a 10.

Although the varying difficulties add to the replay value of the game and the dog tags help out too, there is just not many extra things you get from beating the game twice. There are no extra weapons or items that you get from just completing it and the codec sequences really hurts the feeling of needing to play it again, hence the low score.

DIFFICULTY: Average to Hard
This game, while some parts are hard, really isn't the toughest you'll find. On very easy difficulty, if you skip through the transmission sequences, you can probably finish it in under or around 4 to 5 hours (I finished it in 3 and a half). Of course on normal, hard, and extreme, it will take much longer to beat. Along with the inclusion of more dog tags, the difficulty itself is raised. The bosses become more intelligent, the enemies are more resourceful, and really, the story becomes more interesting because you feel proud that you got that far and you want to know what is happening. On very easy, it really is "too easy" and you just don't care what is happening. But when you really have to work for it, it suddenly becomes for exciting.

LENGTH: Short to Average
As I said before, the game is pretty short on very easy and easy modes, roughly 4 to 6 hours of playing. On normal difficulty it becomes a little longer because you have more enemies to face. I would estimate it taking a first time player 8 to 9 hours to finish and a more experienced player 6 to 7 hours. To finish hard mode, it would probably take about 10 to 11 hours to complete for a beginner and 9 to 10 hours for an expert. And finally expert mode. I really do not suggest a beginner to start on expert as I have had the game since the dat it came out and have not beaten it yet. For the expert player it could take anywhere from 15 to 20 hours to complete. It really gets pretty hard. The rewards for playing and completing it are very good however. If you collect all of the dog tags, you will get very nice things. That is where the replay ability comes in. The game actually offers pretty good things if you manage to perform specific tasks (I will not go into this any further though). There is one last mode you can do to. For the best players out there, try to complete the game on extreme mode, if you get seen it is a game over and no radar. I am not sure if you can put your e-mail address here so I am not going to, but I would like to know if anyone has done it. You can put my username and a sentence telling me you did it in the message boards if you want. I beat the tanker level like this but the plant is much harder. Good luck!

BOSSES: Very Good
There are some very nice boss fights during this game, all of them more fun than the next. An example of one is: There is a lady that shows up in front of the elevator you need to get to and she has a huge rail gun. She also happens to be invincible! The elevator is the only way to the top of the strut, so you decide to stall while she is blasting the heck out of everything around you. Boss fights like this really give the game a diverse feel and helps keep you interested in the story because you never know what is going to happen next. The most interesting boss by for however is a man called Vamp. As his name implies, he is a vampire. What makes him cool though, is his ability to sneak in and out of places without detection. In one cut scene (this is not a story spoiler) he is flying around the walls slicing the throats of the unsuspecting guards in this building. He kills probably 9 or 10 of them and no one notices, except for Raiden of course. It's scenes like this, where you meet one of the many bosses way before you fight them, that lets you get to know the characters. It just a fantastic game filled with fantastic characters.

+Gorgeous graphics
+Intriguing yet twisted story
+Unbelievable character development

-Raiden is too much of a punk to completely like him as much as the other characters
-Codec transmissions can get long
-Snake's part is too short
-Pretty bad replay ability

I know some of the scores don't compute to the score I gave the game, but don't get me wrong, this game is a blast to play. A definite 10 out of 10!

Although I listed more negatives than positives, you will deffinately want to pick this one up. If you can get it on Greatest Hits or used, it's an absolute steal.

Close off your computer, run to the store, and pick this game up right now!

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

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