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Lunabean's Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes Review

Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes
Buy Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes
Strategy Guide: LB Strategy Guide
Lunabean Rating: 7.8
Platforms: GameCube
Release Date: 03.09.04
ESRB Rating: M - Mature
Official Site: Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes
Purchase Game from Amazon.com: Buy it now!
Stuck?: Lunabean's Forums
Online Play: No

Review

If you can get past controller, camera and length issues, you have yourself one kick ass renter here!


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For those who are not in the know, "Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes" is a remake of Hideo Kojima's 1998 stealth action classic for the Playstation. It has been updated with the help of Nintendo, Silcon Knights and a little "Metal Gear Solid 2" magic. I, admittedly, never played the original Playstation game, so I can't compare it to that. I did play both "Metal Gear Solid 2: The Sons of Liberty" for the PS2 and "Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance" for the Xbox. However, I have a tough time even comparing the game to these sequels as Nintendo somehow managed to turn it into their own unique product. Perhaps it was the controller, perhaps it was the graphics, perhaps it was the many Nintendo references throughout the game, but I honestly felt I was playing something completely outside the MGS realm I had come to know through the sequels. If I were forced to compare it to anything, I'd have to say it felt very similar to the "Resident Evil" remake Nintendo created a couple of years ago. But, since there's no point in even doing that, I'm going to treat the game as though it's something completely new to me.

You play as Solid Snake, a retired and damaged soldier, who has been asked to come out of retirement for one huge assignment. That assignment is to figure out the origins of a terrorist led nuclear threat, and to stop it. You make your way through Tank Hangars, Office Buildings, Warehouses, and a few outdoor locations along your way to Metal Gear Rex, the nuclear weapon the terrorist have taken over.

If you are into storylines, this is your game. The story is rich, it oozes with conspiracy, and is full of twists and deception. Usually, I curse games with long cutscenes (some surpassing the ten minute mark, and definitely the cause of making it a two disc set), yet I was able to give into this game and I actually found myself, a couple of times, playing to get to the next cutscene. I do, also, applaud the game for giving the gamer an opportunity to fast forward through all cutscenes, if they so desire.

The "Metal Gear Solid" games are touted for their stealth action. The goal is to not be seen by enemies as you infiltrate the terrorist turf. I was asked on our message boards how the stealth compared to "Splinter Cell" stealth, and, I have to say, it's much different. Even on the Hard difficulty level, the enemies are easy to evade. You have a radar at almost all times telling you where the enemies are and even what direction they are facing. If you are spotted, the game isn't over (although on harder difficulty levels you can change your settings to make this happen), and if you die because you can't fend off or hide from the onslaught of guards, the game simply continues you in the room where you were caught. So, yes, stealth is key, but the game makes it very, very easy to become a stealth expert.

On the same stealth note, a selling point of "MGS: TT" was supposed to be the inclusion of many "MGS2" abilities. One of them being the ability to drag bodies and hide them in lockers and bathroom stalls. While this was fun to do in the game, it was never necessary.

Another "MGS2" addition to this original game was a first-person view option. Don't confuse this with an ability to play through the game in first-person view, as that's not the case. You play through the game primarily in third-person, and not in normal third person, but in a "I am God looking down and what is going on below" third-person. Thank goodness for the ability to look across the room or use your aim in first-person view, or I would not have liked this game as much as I did. I would have liked it more if I could have really moved around in that first-person view.


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The clumsiness of the Gamecube controller didn't help when it came to gameplay. I will completely admit here that the Gamecube controller is my least favorite of the current console controllers, primarily because I feel as though its buttons are out of place, and I hate the "Z" button. Guess which button you need to hold to get into first person view? The "Z" button. Until I found the "toggle" option, I was going batty holding down the "Z" button while aiming by pressing "A", then shooting by releasing "A". It just didn't work for me. Oh, and, heaven forbid I didn't want to shoot off that shot by releasing "A", and I was forced to hit "Y" while holding "A" to cancel the shot. Yes, a lot was cleared up when I found that "toggle" option, but the fact that there's even a potential to make a player hold down three buttons during high action gameplay stinks, and I think it makes the game intimidating to novice players when it really shouldn't be.

Finally, there needs to be a mention of length here. It's a short game. My game time the first time through was just over thirteen hours. I'm a decent gamer, but I also take my time the first time through so I can take it all in, making the creation of a walkthrough during my second time through that much easier. Also, since I play so many games I've learned to appreciate the short game (after all, shorter games lead to shorter walkthroughs), but if I were an average gamer and I put $40.00 down for this game, I'd expect a little more than thirteen hours of gameplay. This is why I recommend this game as a renter. It is, definitely, a good time. If you are a lover of the "Metal Gear Solid" series, go ahead and buy it for your library. However if you're just a gamer looking for a solid game purchase, this one isn't it. Play it? Definitely. Buy it? Nah.

- Allison


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