Review by Def Freak7

"Once you get past the venom, snakes don't taste too bad!"

Men don't like soap operas, except for this.
Some of the best video games in the world can touch us in ways we never thought possible except on soap operas. But come on, we're guys. Like we're gonna watch soap operas. Anyway, in the late ‘90's, Konami released such a game in Metal Gear Solid. Soon, sequels and spin-offs (VR Missions?) would follow. Now we are at the third epic installment, and this proves to be not only one of the best in the series, but one of the best ever made. You feel caught up in this world and can't help but keep playing, as the story keeps you on the edge of your seat and every element just builds up the realism. Everything comes together so perfectly that this game becomes an instant masterpiece.

Movies don't get much better than this!
Let's get one thing straight. The Playstation 2 is definitely not considered the most powerful machine on the market. That title belongs to Xbox. However, this game is so well done in the graphics that not only does it look better than some Xbox games, it looks better than some movies! The environments in this game, especially the jungles, look like real life counterparts. Trust me, I was in the jungle last summer. They look pretty dang close to the same. Plus, everything you do has somewhat of an impact on the environment. If you move just a tiny bit, the bushes move along with you. If you just rush through, the bushes will push aside for just a second or two. Now, if you should take any damage, it will look realistic on you. For example, if you get caught in a trap, your leg gets hurt and looks kind of bloody. Should you get shot, you will not only have a hole in your body, you will constantly bleed until healed. That goes the same way with enemies. Except for bosses, for some wonky reason, until you kill or beat them. Now, the body animations look very fluid and like a real person was moving that way. Since hand-to-hand combat is now usable, it's kind of important that they nail that, which they luckily did. The best part of all of the graphics is the cut-scene production. These are the kind of scenes movies are made of. Good movies, that is. They also did a great job with the lip-syncing and the voice-overs. The people in the scenes talk like real people would. Everything combines into these cut-scenes to make one great looking game. Fluid animations, movie-like quality, great lip-syncing, lush and interactive environments are all here. This puts the PS2 to full power and use here, and the results are astounding.

SOUND: 10/10
I'm still in a dream, Snake Eater.
Those are the last lyrics in the chorus of the main theme song, “Snake Eater”. This song is basically a sort of ‘70's song and it sounds great. If you like Donna Summer, Alicia Keys, even Joss Stone, you'll like this. The other music in this game is interactive with the situation you're in during game-play. If you're still sneaking around, the music is soft and you almost can't hear it. This brings up room to hear the amazingly realistic sound effects. You can tell that Konami went to a lot of work to make sure this game sounded like real life. Now, if you're in caution, somewhat tense music keeps a pulse and also keeps you on your toes. If you're in alert, the music picks up, gets louder, and plays a steady “warning” march. Every boss you encounter also has his/her own orchestral theme. My personal favorite is Ocelot's. The last thing to bring up in the sound is the voice-over work. The actors and actresses who lend their talents to this game know what they are doing. They know how to act in every scene and it comes out like a real life soap opera (now do you get the connection from the beginning?). The way they did it is probably the way you would do it if you were in that character's situation. Another well-developed area of Snake Eater keeps proving my thesis of how this is one of the best games yet. Let's hope that story can keep it up.

STORY: 10/10
Yeah, it does by a long shot.
If you've played the other two Metal Gear Solid games, you know that the second left you with a lot of unanswered questions. Not only that, the stories themselves before the end were confusing. They were actually all setting up for this story. This story is well written and really ties up all of the unanswered questions 1 and 2 left you. This game also has one of the saddest endings I've ever seen or heard. I'm not going to spoil it, but trust me. I cried during this ending. I don't cry during any story ever! The basic story is that this is actually the prequel to the other two games. You're a younger Snake who's been assigned to find a leading scientist so he doesn't spill atomic secrets. This leads to the coolest parachute jump ever and leads you to some old friends and even new ones. Revolver Ocelot is still here, but some new characters like Eva and The Boss make their debuts. That's all I'm telling you, because it gets a lot more complicated. Let's clear something up. This whole series has had a story that has more plot twists than a soap opera (you see where I'm going with all these soap opera comparisons?). Thankfully for us, Kojima has decided to have the story all make sense in one of the best stories I've ever seen.

How am I supposed to do this category?
MGS3 has no multi-player. Thusly, I can't give it a score. So there.

This is a real surprise.
There are many things to do besides completing the game. First of all, there are many Easter eggs Kojima left behind for his last MGS game. There are some hidden cut-scenes you can find by doing certain things in the game. You can also find ways to get Raiden (you know, from MGS2) involved with the story. There's also a nightmare demo you can find. This is a simple hack-and-slash, nothing fancy. Next, there are many posters of Japanese pop stars hidden throughout. There are others that I'm not going to mention, just so you guys can play it yourself. The last big thing that really surprised me and gave this category a high score was the “Snake VS. Monkey” mini-game. Here, you've got to catch the monkeys from Ape Escape. This isn't easy, and it will take you a while to get the record in all three courses. With the regular game, the monkey madness, and Easter eggs add up to a 60+ hour experience. It will definitely keep you busy.

GAME-PLAY: 10/10
Tastes like chicken. Yeah, yeah I know it's overused but I'm pressured for time.
As the above line implies, you have to eat snakes. Boy, what a no-brainer. Anyway, eating snakes ties into the new health recovery system. Most of the time, you find rations floating around. You have to find wildlife and plants to eat to regain health. You also have to bandage wounds before you bleed to death. This adds up to more realism from all the other stuff to this. It's pretty good. Now, the basic system hasn't really changed from MGS2. You've got to be very sneaky and try to get through without being noticed so you can keep your health and your mission in tact. This can be difficult since the AI is very smart in this game. If you make a sound at the wrong time, they notice and can take you out easily. Now that you have hand-to-hand combat plus new knife skills (Now does it seem like Chaos Theory rips off MGS3 a bit?), enemies can be taken out easier. The bosses are a different story, as they are very difficult to beat. Another new system they've added is the camouflage system. This is another no-brainer since you're in the jungle. If you're wearing the wrong “camo”, you can stick out like a sore thumb, thus making you easier to spot and kill. This adds even more strategy to how you play your game. This new hand-to-hand and gun system can make you cheap in a way now. “How so?” you ask. Well, you can actually just run and gun your way through if you want, and that's kind of cheap. That doesn't work for long and people have obviously noticed, since no one really does that. All in all, the game-play elements add up to the best stealth game on the market.

Basically, should you buy or rent this game? Then again, there's the possibility of running away screaming.
This is a true masterpiece to behold on the PS2. If you have this system, you owe it to yourself to get this game. WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? GET THIS GAME NOW!!!

+Incredible graphics
+Incredible sound effects
+Incredible story
+All the unanswered questions become answered
+New mechanics in game-play make great experience
+Great music, especially opening theme
+Surprisingly fun mini-game and Easter egg hunting
+Sense of realism great
+One of the best games of the year
-I know I didn't bring this up before, but this game kind of makes you wonder if Kojima is crazy.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 04/18/05

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