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Review - Metal Gear Solid 2 (PS2) (Read 3860 times)
Nightcrawler
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Review - Metal Gear Solid 2 (PS2)
Mar 19th, 2013 at 11:52am
 
Metal Gear Solid 2

There were so many similarities between the two games, it was like a remix of the first game. As you find out toward the end of the game, the similarities were all intentional. You had nearly all the same weapons and items, game mechanics were the same with some enhancements, and the enemy soldiers were a whole heck of a lot smarter!

The voice acting, while done very well, wasn't quite up to the same level as the first game, even though some of the same voice actors reprise their roles! It was still very good though. Quality of voice acting makes orĀ  breaks a game like this for me which is heavily story driven.

The story this time around was presented nearly the same as the first game. Many of the characters, bosses, and stages all had parallels to the first game. However, it was split in two parts, one playing as Snake for 1/3 the game, and one as a new guy Raiden. Snake only had Otacon as a returning ally from the first game. Everybody else was new for Raiden except for The Colonel (kind of, I won't spoil it.).

There are two returning villains along with a number of new villains. Solidus Snake is revealed in this game and quite frankly, he was practically a good guy from my perspective. I didn't want to fight him.

Unfortunately, the last section of the game revealed some pretty crazy plot twists that became very hard to suspend disbelief on. Just like the first game, story presentation was great and characters were good until it got to some very ridiculous and unbelievable concepts. It just kills the otherwise realistic tone the game sets.

The gameplay was a refined version of the first game with a few new skills at your disposal and less clunky weapon controls. I enjoyed the mechanics a little better this time around. The guard's intelligence went up 10-fold. The things they do in this game is incredible compared to the first game. Radioing for help, sending in search teams, investigating things, etc. I found it much more challenging to sneak around.

Since this game was so similar to the first, it also came with annoyingly hard boss battles. I despised the Fatman battle and once again the Metal Gear battle was ridiculous. Even the first Vamp battle was annoyingly stupid to me.

I had fun playing much of game and then it seemed to want to throw annoying stupid things at me like some of those boss battles, underwater swimming attached a lame (physically) girl tagging behind with half of your breath. Some of those things were maddening.

So, once again, it was overall an enjoyable game, but it was sprinkled with a hefty amount of annoying things to deal with as well that took some of the fun away.

I am off to possibly play Metal Gear Solid 3 now. I'm not sure if I will play through it though because some of the major changes seem like a turn-off to me, specifically no more radar, too much emphasis on camouflage, and the stamina/food system. We'll see how it goes. In the meantime, if you've been sleeping on retro planet like me, wake up and give Metal Gear Solid a try. I'm sure it's not for everyone, but if you like story driven games, you might just like it!
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« Last Edit: Apr 4th, 2015 at 12:48pm by Nightcrawler »  

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Re: Review - Metal Gear Solid 2
Reply #1 - Mar 21st, 2013 at 12:12pm
 
I've always considered 2 to be the weakest of the mainline games. 1,2,3,4 and Peace Walker. It's a great game mechanically, but the story is so weird, and out there that it makes trying to determine what's going on in the last fifth of the game impossible. 4 tries its best to clean all of this up, and it does a fairly good job, and I have to say when I played MGS2 when it first came out, I was out and out floored by how it looked, and played.

MGS3 in my opinion, and in a lot of other peoples' opinion is considered the best in the series. If you play on the easier difficulties (up to normal) then you'll have at your disposal an sonar, and eventually a motion sensor. The sonar function very similar to the radar from MGS 1/2. If you have the option play the Subsistence version, as the free roaming camera takes the one possible negative from MGS3 (fixed camera angles which I didn't mind, but many people did) and turns it into a positive.

If you're actually collecting the games then know that MGS3 comes with the Ape Escape like minigame mission, while Subsistence doesn't, it includes Metal Gear 1 (the MSX version) and MG2 (the first official U.S. release for it).

MGS3 has a few annoyances to some, the camouflage (I like the system) the stamina system (it works well in the context of boss battles) and the older 1960's tools. That said the story is straightforward, and extremely well told, the music is awesome, if over the top. It's the apex of the series in my mind.
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Re: Review - Metal Gear Solid 2
Reply #2 - Mar 22nd, 2013 at 8:59am
 
I've nearly completed the Virtuous mission in MGS3. I haven't been all that impressed so far. I'm not super excited to play a prequel over a sequel. I wanted to continue with Patriots storyline. I don't own a PS3, so I will probably not get to play MGS4 and conclude the story for quite some time. Sad Too bad they never made a PC version.

Although you do have the Sonar, it seems like a poor substitute. It's only a small circle vs. the full area, it doesn't show structures, and it makes a noise that can alert your enemies. It's better than nothing, but I liked the way they had it. I also liked being able to see the guard's visual direction and visible area on the radar.

The story has yet to get cooking, but from what you've said and what I have read, it should get cooking shortly when I complete the virtuous mission. Unfortunately, since it's a prequel, it won't have many of the characters I already came to know from the previous two games. I miss the colonel. Major Tom is no colenel.

It's also a little weird to me that we get the same voice actor for Naked Snake (whom is Big Boss if I recall). It doesn't make sense to me unless I'm off base or they end up explaining it via story later.
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Re: Review - Metal Gear Solid 2
Reply #3 - Mar 22nd, 2013 at 2:16pm
 
Well as you know from MGS1, Solid and Liquid are both clones of Big Boss, so they use that as the basis for having the same voice actor. The justification for Liquid having a different voice is that he spent time in Europe, and various military and mercenary factions there.

Solidus is more complicated, the way I interpret it, is that he's a "perfect" clone made after Solid, and Liquid when the technology became perfected.

They did the same thing here that they did in 2, I don't know if you're supposed to be fooled into thinking you're not playing as Big Boss, or what the idea behind it was. It's never really brought up in the game proper. Much like Plisken in 2.

Also the Soliton radar doesn't really make another appearance in the series, MGS4 has a whole new system, and Peace Walker is closer to MGS3 in the gadgets. With the sonar and motion detector, as well as use of the map you can kind of get the same feel, and I also liked the cone of vision, but I also really like the feel of 3. The fact it's set in the mid 1960's, and you don't have all the modern equipment adds this awesomeness to the mission.

Also not to spoil anything, but it's sort of all connected to the Patriots storyline, MGS3 kind of had to be done, to lay the groundwork for 4.
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Re: Review - Metal Gear Solid 2
Reply #4 - Mar 25th, 2013 at 7:56am
 
That's the thing. Liquid nor Solidus shared that voice, so why did Snake? Were the voices of Big Boss and Snake the same in the Japanese versions? I think the real reason is they simply needed a vehicle to keep David Haytar coming back because he is just that damn good. I'm fine with it, I just wish they had come up with a better explanation. I guess if you look at it like only certain children get certain features from their parents, it could make some sense. Of course, we're talking cloning experimentation here, so I guess anything goes regardless!

I'm saddened by the loss of the Solidus radar. That's one of things that drew me to the series. I will give MSG3 a fair shake though. I will play it unless it gets too frustrating. I died something like 147 (I often purposely killed myself though to restart an area with full health and all ammo if I lost too much) times in MGS2, so I can probably at least put with something close to that before I throw the controller and break the disc in half! Grin
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Re: Review - Metal Gear Solid 2
Reply #5 - Mar 25th, 2013 at 11:50am
 
The VA for Snake in japan also does Naked Snake, and Solidus as well. I think MGS3 is a lot easier relatively speaking. It's not as easy if you're amazing at the game and can run through in 2 hours, but the areas are open, there's multiple routes through most of the areas, and the guards are usually spaced out.

Playing on normal, and casually, I'd expect 20-30 deaths give or take, because a few bosses are a pain until you learn their patterns. One boss in particular is really tough, but the fight's so epic that it doesn't really matter. The fact that the tranq gun runs out of silencer can also hinder people who rely heavily on it (like myself) but CQC makes up for it by allowing you to sneak up on enemies (using the d-pad to walk lightly).

I truly hope you have fun, I firmly believe it's the best in the series. It's easier to follow, it's got great voice acting, and I really like most of the changes to the system.
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