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  Release Date:
  March 9th, 2004
  Silicon Knights / KCEJ


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Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes
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I was also disappointed by the fact that the new moves don't appear to have as significant an effect on the overall gameplay as they did in the sequel. Perhaps my standards were set a bit too high? I'll admit that the new first-person view feature definitely makes it a lot easier to dispatch Genome Soldiers and even helps a few boss battles, as in the case of Revolver Ocelot. Nevertheless, one can use the same techniques and tactics from the original and complete the game with ease. The weapons however, are a different story altogether. The M9, for example, which I consider to be a godsend, makes tactical espionage an art (and a lot less bloody too).

Keep in mind, that I am not suggesting that the moves are entirely insignificant. I recognize their inclusion is intended to simplify your objectives and it's a safe bet to say they'll definitely come in handy on a more advanced difficulty setting. Especially since the enemies aren't as dense as they were back in the day. You'll encounter guard patrols that will immediately respond to any sudden movement or sound. Yes, that includes an unexpected sneeze. Gesundheit.

"Huh? I heard something . . ."

I heard from a few sources that the AI behaviors were programmed to be substantially more difficult than in Sons of Liberty, and I'd have to say they are to some extent. I picked up on this during numerous situations when I triggered an alert near an access point (read: a door). Much to my surprise, I was attacked by a random guard who literally seemed to pop out of nowhere. This usually occurred just after I cleared a room, which generally always had one way in and out. Obviously, I found this a bit unsettling and unrealistic from a gameplay standpoint, since they don't register on the radar. Another area overlooked by the QA process? We'll never know, but overall, I am still fond of the increased challenge factor, since it definitely makes the updated installment a lot more enjoyable than its predecessor. But one thing's for sure, I am finding myself getting killed a lot more often. (After awhile, I get sort of tired of hearing those strange voices, randomly screaming my name like I can't return at the press of a button.)

And speaking of voices, I am greatly saddened by the alterations made to Mei Ling, Natasha Romaneko, and Naomi Hunter. Well, mainly Mei Ling. She still sounds just as cute as before, but I miss the accent. Now she sounds all American and a lot more articulate than before (which I assume was their objective). Unless you're a diehard fanboy, most of you won't care either way. It's not that bad, really, but I wish they would've trained Jennifer Hale to deliver a more dynamic performance; she basically comes across flat as a board!

All criticisms aside, I am absolutely in love with the game; graphically it's a gem to be marveled at. I can never look at the PlayStation version the same way again. Not even the Bleem or PC versions can measure up to the caliber of Twin Snakes. Yeah, it looks that good. And the cinematic sequences, masterfully led by Japanese film director and writer Ryuhei Kitamura, are bound to leave you impressed, one after another. Ryuhei definitely knows how to create a sensational atmosphere, even if it does come across as a bit over-the-top, like something right out of a Matrix film. For instance, why is it that the guard in the hangar bay freaks out when his commanding officer sternly informs him that there's an intruder? His exaggerated reaction doesn't seem appropriate for the scene as it was originally depicted. But enough of that . . .

"Colonel, disengaging fanboy codec transmissions."

"Are you an Otaku, too?"

It's unfortunate that after seventeen years, a Metal Gear game finally graces a Nintendo console, and yet it doesn't even contain a whole lot of hidden bonuses. Granted, you've got some cool extras thrown in there and all of the original tricks of the trade from the original (that includes being able to see Meryl's panties, you perverts). There are even a few Nintendo bonuses thrown in there for the diligent players to discover. But, for me, that wasn't enough. I would've liked something more like a sound test, a couple of VR missions, artwork, or maybe even the original NES classic (or even better, the MSX version released exclusively in Japan). Little bonuses like that would have truly put this package over the top, making it a true collector's item.

I realize that this is all wishful thinking, but when you've bested the ultimate enemy, collected every dog tag, and squeezed out every ounce of replay value that the game has to offer, what's there left to do? In any case, fans will embrace Twin Snakes for everything its worth; they aren't the ones who need to be told to buy the game. They own it, and they'll continue to enjoy anything Hideo Kojima and his development team throw at them. It's the rest of society that needs to be brought into the loop. So if you're among that group of people still sitting at home pondering whether this is worth your time and cash, buy the game. Buy it today and experience the definitive game that put tactical espionage action on the map.

Okay, I am ready to go . . .

Article originally published on The Next Level


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