Review by wolverinefan

"One of the best games I've played in years."

Let me start this review with some facts. Fact number 1: I did not like the original Metal Gear Solid. Fact Number 2: I actually enjoyed Metal Gear Solid 2. Fact number 3: This was my first time playing Snake Eater. Now that I have that information out of the way lets talk about the game. I had heard nothing but good things about Snake Eater but I was waiting on a price drop. By the time that happened Subsistence was announced so I figured that I might as well get it while it's around. MGS2: Substance is rather rare for the PS2 where I live.

The Metal Gear Solid series is a hard series when it comes to the story. You really can't say a lot as it can spoil the twists and turns that they all contain. So, the basic idea of Snake Eater is that Snake has been dropped in a jungle. He has limited supplies, needs to capture food to keep his stamina. It's not an "official" mission so he can't be spotted. His goal is to rescue a researcher who is working on something. That's the basic outline of the plot. It advances a lot from there but I have a few problems with it. The bad guys this time around just aren't all that interesting. Sure, they are neat to fight and all but there is almost zero background on them besides one or two.

Graphic wise the game is stunning. The cut scenes all look amazing. Very impressive CGI. Character models are highly detailed. The final few cut scenes in the game are just breath taking. As for the in game engine it's also just as good. Maybe a bit less detailed than the CGI but still amazingly pleasing to the eyes. Enemy variety is lacking but that can be expected I guess when it comes to a military based game. The environments are also nicely done. This game could seriously pass as an Xbox title in the graphics department.

Fans of the series will be glad to know that all returning characters, for the most part, have the same voice actors. So yes, Snake still has the same voice actor. The voice actors all do a fantastic job. Its movie quality voice acting but sometimes I felt like the dialog itself messed something's up. If you don't have knowledge of films then a few things may slip by you and by that I don't mean the little stuff that the Medic tells you about but that's also entertaining as well. Music wise the game ahs a very 60's spy movie feel going on. It has three or four vocal songs and the rest is just instrumental. It's all nicely done and the vocal selections are placed rather nicely within the game. Sound effects are top notch as well. Shouts, alarms, dogs barking, guns sound different ect. It's all nicely done. The sound area is top notch all around.

Thankfully the control has been changed a bit since Metal Gear Solid 2 but it still has some minor flaws. New in Subsistence is the new 3D camera. I didn't really care a lot for this as sometimes I couldn't get a decent view and during the final boss it was a pain in my butt. As for the actual game control I found it very intuitive and easy to get the hang of. What's the problem though? Well, the problem comes in with crawling. Sometimes it went a bit wacky on me and I couldn't move into the place I want to but it didn't happen often. Also, I really liked how the game tells you in the tiny window of each weapon the controls for it as most control differently. For those who hated swimming in the past games I'm happy to say that this time around it has been perfected and is much easier.

Metal Gear Solid 3 offers a new twist on the old Metal Gear Solid game play. New to the series is the camo and face paint. You start with a few basic ones, unless you picked a certain option at the start of the game. Now, you need to use the best camo and face paint for the area that you are in. Some face paints are more like hats, like the crocodile head. While this adds a new flavor to the series, I just didn't find it that hard to pick the best and it kind of felt like it was tacked on. During the game you can find new face paints and camos hidden and if you miss them than some of the later areas may be harder.

Now, as always the main focus is to sneak from area to area and not be seen. I found it fairly easy as the AI wasn't as good this time around but I only played on the normal setting. The game offers around 5 difficulty settings. Now the thing that is different in this game is that the game takes place mostly out doors. There are some inside moments but not a lot. The thing is that each little bit of the jungle has to load. SO imagine a square box, or roughly like that and there are two, sometimes three exits. You kind of just go along and maybe that was my pain problem. It just felt like I was being hand lead through the game. That's a shame because the other games felt more open and this is a freaking jungle!

The previous games had amazing boss fights. This game really didn't offer a whole lot for me in the intense boss fight area besides the final boss which I just stunk at trying to kill. The other bosses just felt like they were thrown in and really didn't require a lot of thought to kill. Also, the game likes to throw them in one after another. Heck, the game throws too many bosses at once at you near the end.

The gun selection is nice but I found myself using the knife for most of my kills. Someone told me I wasn't suppose to kill guys and the point was to sneak in. Well, I found it easier to sneak up to someone and then kill them. That's just me so maybe while the game itself feels linear in where to do; it does offer a number of different ways to going about that linear path.

The game features a stamina bar which is near to the series. See, the more you run around the more stamina you use up. This makes sense so you need to hunt wild life and eat it. The food can spoil and some Snake just doesn't like. This keeps things interesting at times but there are a few things that can affect your flow of stamina. Now, stamina refills your life so there isn't any healing items, well any that I found at least. So, what's holding you back in the game? Well, if you get shot, fall too far ect you will notice that you're not being healed while your stamina is still going down. You can now cure your body. You use bandages, a cigar and whatever to get rid of leaches, fix broken bones, dig out bullets, and fix cuts and what not. It works well but if you stick to the main idea of stealth then you won't use this a lot.

Now, Subsistence is the way to go if you're trying to decide which version of Metal Gear Solid 3 to get. I've only played Subsistence but it has a ton of extras to mess around with while the original release had very few. Now, Subsistence also comes in a Limited Edition version which has a bonus disc that contains all of the cut scenes from Metal Gear Solid 3 and makes them into a movie. A decent feature but the Limited Edition was very limited and the day after it came out it was going for over $100 on EBay. Now, I didn't get a chance to mess with all of the things that Subsistence has to offer.

Now there is a secret theater which has some very fun things in it to watch and I some how lost two hours of my life watching a few of these. Also, the game has Snake VS Monkey mini game. It was in the original release. It was decent. The game also features the original Metal gear games. Not the Solid games but the original games that came out on the MSX. They are a decent emulation. The game also features online play but I wasn't able to mess with that due to my Cable Internet not be supported by the Playstation 2. I have heard that it's very fun, features auto aim which takes away from the overall game. It also has small bouts of lag but no real cheaters as of yet. Also, the online play as your typical four modes of play. Death match, flag, hide and I think something else. The game only offers 4 vs. 4 or maybe it's just four. Check other reviews on that cause I really don't know.

So, what version should a person get? Well, Subsistence is only $20 more and features a ton of new features that are great. Throw in the online play; if you're able to sue it, then you'll love. I really think that Subsistence is the way to go but if you've never played a Metal Gear Solid game then maybe you should rent Snake Eater as I don't think the rental stores are carrying Subsistence. Either way it's a solid game all around and one of the most entertaining for me in a while. Just a fare warning, the game has many moments of hour long cut scenes.

Story - 9/10
Graphics - 10/10
Sound - 10/10
Control - 8/10
Game Play - 9/10
Replay Value - 10/10

Final Score - 10/10

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 03/24/06

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