1 Store414 Reviews
Pros: Interesting Story, Characters You Actually CARE About, Great Voice Acting, Very Fun
Cons: Length Of Game, Hard To Aim, Liquid Snake's Voice Acting
When I think of a game with espionage, stealth, and spy games, I'll admit it, my first reaction would be to say Goldeneye and Perfect Dark. Yes I know, Nintendo is the devil, and that's the evil spell they have cast upon me. But now there's a voice for the Sony Playstation spying community. Though the franchise was actually started on the long-dead NES, I can still remember playing the Metal Gear games. Metal Gear, followed by Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake. All were good games and though I was very young when I played them, I can remember a good deal about them all. Sheesh, I remember renting a video that showed me how to get past the Gas Room is Metal Gear. Truth is, most people think Metal Gear Solid just popped out as the Brain Child of Hideo Kojima but they're really wrong, MGS has been a long time series of games. All of them have been successful and with yet another sequel in the works, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons Of Liberty, the Metal Gear series does not seem to be slowing down.
But this isn't a history lesson
In Metal Gear Solid, which I will now refer to as "MGS", you play a covert operative with the codename 'Snake'. You've decided to take some time off and now you're living in Alaska. However, you've been called back into duty to take down a rogue terrorist group that has developed a huge, tank-like offensive military system called Metal Gear. Oh yeah, and this Metal Gear, it can shoot nuclear missiles in stealth. So it's considered a big threat, wouldn't you say so? The team that is trying to get this walking time bomb off the ground is none other than your former comrades from your old group, FOX-HOUND. Including Liquid Snake, who shares the same code-name as you. So now you've been called in to infiltrate a heavily armed base with hundreds of guards and Liquid's best men all looking for you. You must get into the base undetected and stop Metal Gear from launching any warheads anywhere in the world.
One thing I have to applaud in the game is its writers. At first, its storyline seems like a dumbed down version of a James Bond. About an hour or two into the game there are some very big plot twists that question for validity in your higher officers who are controlling the mission. You never know who is truly telling the truth or who is playing you for a fool. This really adds a sense of suspense to the game, which I really liked because I was always kept on my toes and was suspicious of everyone. You will be constantly second-guessing who to trust and whether or not you're being led into a trap. Also, the writer's made the characters in the game very developed and 3-D. Snake isn't the usual 'save the day' hero who goes against anything and does his duty. He often questions his purpose in the mission and is very bitter, not the usual humorous, casual, smooth talking spy I see often enough. He develops a more good-natured persona throughout the game and it's a good transition for him, we get to see him go through it in a great way. Very cool for the player I must say. Another example is Hal Emmerich, otherwise known as Otacon. Otacon is a very emotional guy who shows us many sides of him in the game. Sure he is a computer genius who is whiny and wants Snake to win, but we see how he hates how he's gotten involved in the construction of Metal Gear and how he feels. He breaks down and in one scene, is shown death and how he deals with it. It all seems very real in the way he reacts. All of the characters have individual personas that come alive during the game.
The best place to see this is when you talk to them via Codec. (Read: Like a Walkie-Talkie that is inserted into your body) In the Codec, there are two screens where you see your face and the face of the person you are talking to, in between is a wavelength meter to select who to talk to. Here you can talk to your Colonel, your Weapons expert, an old comrade known as Master, and Mei Ling, your person to talk to when you have to save. Anyway, You may take this feature for granted when it is one of the most innovative ways to progress a story that I've seen. You see, the story is voice acted, so we get real people doing the story and when they speak, we see their face change along with their speech. You see this and you get a better feel for the characters and the mood. Major plot points and story is brought out through this invention. The facials really help us see that the heroes feel and aren't just programmed to do commands, the voice acting helps very much also.
Why do I think Hideo Kojima is a pervert? Well, Lemme Explain...
O.k., Hideo Kojima was greatly involved in the making of this game and all the more power to him for it. He's created a great game but can the guy just stop lubing up and focus on the game? Within the first hour, there's about 4 sexual innuendoes including a long, drawn out shot of a female character named Meryl that runs down the hall. The camera focuses on Meryl's butt and it wiggles and jiggles slowly for the camera. Later on in the game, Otacon is talking to Snake about how cute Meryl's butt is and it goes into detail...yeah. Also, more Meryl news. If you watch Meryl work out in the beginning over and over, she starts to undress into her underwear. There's also some dialogue of Snake flirting with the comrades he has. Also, and I stand by this, there's a part of the game where a female gunman, Sniper Wolf goes and talks to Snake who just got captured and I could swear that her hand rubs across Snake's no-no area as they talk. The camera shows her hand go down there and it quickly turns away. This isn't just me being a blind pervert, because Sniper Wolf kisses Snake in the scene also. There's countless other connotations and innuendoes that contribute to this theory, I jest not! There's also some porno magazines and pictures of centerfolds in bikinis in the demo for MGS2 that comes with the Ps2 game, Zone Of The Enders.
In The Heat Of War, Your Visuals Are Blurred As Well As Your Senses
For the longest time I had hated Konami. I literally hated every game that they released. The only one I can remember liking was the NES release of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project and the Metal Gear Series. If anyone of you played there, you know they were awesome. But anyway, one thing I always noticed that was the graphics were rather weak in Konami's games. Finally, Metal Gear Solid has broken the mold and brings us some new and better techniques for graphics that just make the game look, for lack of a better word, exquisite. In the intro, the first thing I noticed was the water effects. I'm a sucker for effects in graphics, as you might know. As Snake travels through the water, we see ripples and fisheye views of him walking under the water and such. It looks very 'next generation' and already you can see that there's going to be great cinematics in the games after seeing this. Snake is animated in a very clean-cut way. He moves pretty well and he has some quick animations that swift his movements, I look for these especially because it makes it look much better if there were no transition animations. The only complaint I have about Snake and the other characters in the game is about the number of polygons in their sprites. Snake and Otacon especially seem very blocky and their textures seem extremely rough. Snake looks much different in his Codec than in real-time gameplay. His hair looks like broccoli stems and I don't get why his fingers look like they're pasted together. Also, I didn't like how every soldier has the same posture and moves. It sounds dumb I know but it bothered me. All of the animations look crisp and fluid.
When you go outside, since it's Alaska, the snow comes out. It's another great effect done right. The detail is pretty good as while you walk through the snow, you leave footprints. There game is chock full of great Bond like Gadgets, this makes great use of the graphics once again. There's a nifty mine detector that lights the screen up in an Infra-Red mode of sorts that makes you feel real "spy" like. It just excited me, I am not sure why. The scope can be used to focus in on extreme detail that is great for seeing how much time and effort went into the game. Don't focus on the game sprites, it's not pretty.
Possibly the best part of the game, are its cinemas. I have said it many times before and I'll say it now. Metal Gear Solid would make a very awesome movie. How do I know this? The game is like a mini-movie of sorts. These cinematic bursts that come at us quite frequently during the game seem like John Woo directed them. The detail isn't raised in them like Final Fantasy does, but just like the ones in Vagrant Story, they come off very well even without fancy CG and computer generated graphics. Konami is proving that they can once again make great games without the best tools. These scenes compel you to go further into the game and progress the story not to beat it, but you find out what happens because you like the characters.
When Infiltrating A Base, You Have To Be As Silent As A Stone
This being a game where stealth comes into play in the largest way, the sound has to be accurate, well received and done extremely cautiously. In the game there are key areas where you must pay close attention to the amount of sound you make because the guards may hear you. For instance, you can walk over a steel grated walkway and the guards will hear you and run over to investigate. The slightest bit of noise will bring the attention of multiple guards upon your presence you must try and figure out what will give you the most stealth. This where I thought the sound was paid attention to the most. You see, there is little or no background music played anytime during the game because of the constant attention to the minor sound effects. Every sound that you could ever possibly make is in here. Walking across metal grates, shooting at different materials like steel and other things, shorting out camera, missiles being launched, it's all here.
The best aspect of the game and my favorite personally, is the voice acting. Out of every game I have played, this has some of the very best. Only rivaled by The Bouncer and some other games, Metal Gear Solid provides a very solid performance in the category (No pun intended). I can't begin to say how much I was pleased with the voice acting for Snake, done by David Hayter. He truly was Solid Snake, he engulfed everything about Snake and actually BECAME him it seemed. Otacon seems right on target also, just as I would have pictured him. Everyone just nailed his or her character except for Liquid Snake. His voice seemed to pause every line, like an enraged William Shatner at a Deep Space Nine convention. It just bothered me, he had more broken speech than Dikembe Mutumbo. Now I'll stop sounding like Dennis Miller and get onto Gameplay...
Wanna Be A Spy? Then You Gotta Know How To Move Like A Spy
One thing I really loved about this game was how fun it was to play. The basic game is Snake getting from Point A to Point B completing some type of objective, it seems like it'd get old fast but no. You see, everywhere you go, there are guards, and you cannot alert any of these guards if you want to stay alive. This can sometimes be a very hard task because you want to remains stealthy all the time. You are always finding things to hide behind and means to distract the guards and luring them away from a door or other things. There's a fun little tool you can use to get around without the guards seeing you, yes the infamous Cardboard Box! Anyway, you have radar, which displays the enemy?s line of sight, and you do your best to avoid it. If you fall into an enemy's LOS, an alert goes off in your Radar dome and you have no radar. During this time you are looking for places to hide but enemies will hunt after you and kill you if you don't. When you find a hiding spot out of the guard's sight, it goes into Evasion Mode and a timer from 99.99 seconds counts down. You cannot be seen or else the Alert Mode comes back. When it gets to Zero, you are back in the regular mode.
It was very fun to go between the base and the outside trying to find items and tracking down things. The game never slowed in it?s excitement one bit. You were always occupied with something. It was such a pleasure to play through trying to sneak past the guards and find new ways to annoy them. In the first few hours of play, I found it my duty to choke every single guard to death, it added tons of replay value and provided tons of laughs. Its difficulty can be set from Easy, Moderate, and Hard. There's also an extreme difficulty level. You'll get through the game in about 10-12 hours if you play straight through it, but I fooled around more than anything so I got about 15 hours on it. Using the extra weapons and materials you get after you complete the game during your second run also adds to replay value. There are 2 different endings so some players will play again for that.
Metal Gear Solid proves to be one of the best games out for Playstation now. The only thing holding it back from 5 stars is its length. A measly 15 hours is good, but as I get better I bet I can get it down to 8 easy. I'll probably play through and get the extra stuff and other uniforms and I love toying with the guards, but other that, it's a dead game. Still Highly recommended for a rental but die-hard fans of Action/Adventure genres will want to buy this. Just like I did :)
~Aaron the KG
Copyright 2001 Kenshin-Guy Productions
Steal this and I will sic my Metal Gear Rex after you, it will deploy 5 nuclear missiles upon your head. So DON'T steal this review