Metal Gear Solid 2 holds the record for most anticipated game of all time. Players of this game know why. Konami has put together an amazing game, paying close attention to every detail possible. The level of quality that is seen in The Sons of Liberty is rarely seen in a game. Everyone who has not played this game needs to do so immediately. MGS2 The Sons of Liberty can now be found as a Playstation 2 Greatest Hit. The recently released MGS2 Substance (PS2) includes the original Sons of Liberty adventure and offers so much more. For an extra twenty bucks, you get so much more game. VR Missions, Snake Tails, Skateboarding and unlockables will keep the player busy for hours.
The Xbox version of MGS2 Substance is not as good as the PS2 version. First, there are more options. Second, there is no slow down. Third, the button lay out is flawless on the PS2 controller. The game makes use of all the pressure sensitive buttons. In the Xbox version, you need to click in the Right Analog to go to first person view mode as opposed to a quick tap of the R1 button in the PS2 version. This is very annoying because it is not fast enough and doesn’t always work. Plus the bulkiness of the Xbox controller doesn’t help either. The PS2 version has every option and mode that the Xbox version has, plus more.
The main game, The Sons of Liberty, remains unchanged from its early PS2 brother. Once completing the adventure in Substance, new options become unlocked. The Casting Theater Mode allows players to switch character skins around in the story and Boss Survival Mode puts players up against bosses. But the game really shines in its VR Missions. These extra missions make the player use all the items, gadgets, and maneuvers that players may not have taken full advantage of in the main game. For example, players never had to use C4 in the main game. In the VR Missions, players will make use of the C4 in everyway possible, from placing it on the ground, walls, and every strapping some to an enemy’s back. These extra missions can be played as different characters too, including Ninja Raiden.
There are several categories of VR Mission. There is Sneaking mode, where one must successfully navigate to the goal without being seen. Weapon Mode utilizes all the weapons in the game. The faster you complete a level, with the more ammo you have, the higher the score. Eliminate All mode makes the player kill or knock out all enemy guards within a specific time period. Extra points go to players that knock all enemies unconscious as opposed to killing them. In Photograph mode, you must take a picture of a specific part of a level or character. Bomb Disposal Mode makes full use of the coolant spray by sending the player on a quest to find hidden explosives throughout the Tanker and Plant. In Hold Up Mode, players must sneak up behind every enemy guard and stick them up without being seen. Players will see directly through the eyes of Snake in First Person View Mode. I found this mode to be the most frustrating because the controls are somewhat odd. Finally, in Variety mode, you will find yourself fighting gigantic soldiers, hanging from ridiculously high ledges, and protecting multiple objects from a distance by only using sniper fire. Every form of VR Missions makes full use of every object and weapon in MGS2.
Snake Tails is an answer to all the complainers out there that “didn’t get to play as Snake.” In this mode, players once again take control of Snake while he investigates happenings on the Tanker and Plant. I found the stories in the mode to be completely off the wall. Snake finds out about drug dealers that pose as ghosts, Vamp’s personal problems, and even finds a warp to another dimension. On the downfall, all these extra stories are text based. Not a word of spoken dialogue occurs in Snake Tails. The voice acting is one of the main features that make Metal Gear so legendary. Hearing the rough voice of Snake and the vast knowledge of Otacon helps move the story along. I am wondering why Komani didn’t put forth the extra effort and hire the voice actors again. The game loses a big part of the Metal Gear feel in this department.
Skateboarding is a new feature not found in the Xbox version. While playing as Raiden or Snake, players will be sent on missions to perform a certain number of tricks while maintaining a specific point level all while blowing up cyphers and setting fire to the plant. Snake was a hidden playable character in Konami’s Evolution Skateboarding. This is where the idea came from. The mode could have used a little more work, but it is still sufficient. More levels and different objectives would have been nice. But then again, Snake is a secret agent and not a professional skate boarder.
The sound and music is fantastic too. The music sets the mode for the game. A slower beat is equal to the level of stealth that Snake must perform. But if you are spotted, a quick exclamation mark pops up followed by a quick “Briiiing.” This sound effect will make you jump every time. Guns shooting and bullets piercing walls and pipes make realistic sound effects. This game is best played with surround sound. It is possible to predict where an enemy is coming from just from the sound of your speakers.
Hideo Kojima is a gaming genius and he stands right next to Miyamoto. His game took everyone’s breath away at E3 and holds its place in gaming history. The Metal Gear series is much more than a game; it is a legacy. Kojima shows a great amount of dedication in all his games and MGS is no exception. He managed to keep his game a secret from the gaming public for the two years it took to make. Metal Gear is just as much a game as it is a movie. Players will care about the characters, cinematic shots, and experience a story all its own. The level of detail that he put into this game blows my mind. He captures everything from the underside of a bridge in New York, to the way Snake’s bandana blows in the wind. Further, if a player uses the coolant spray on a mirror in the bathroom, the frost will stay for a while. But if the hand blow dryer is activated, then the frost melts instantly. Details like these are what separate a great game from a good one. The game is programmed beautifully and never experiences slow down or glitches up. Congratulations on a job well done.
If you are wondering if you should buy MGS2 Substance, then the answer is simple. Yes! If you must, you can always trade in your MGS Sons of Liberty because the entire game is in Substance. The extras are worth the little extra money. Metal Gear is more of an experience than a game, and everyone should experience it because it will never be forgotten. The only negatives that I have with Substance, are the lack of voiceovers in Snake Tails and the odd control scheme in First Person View Mode. But this game is fantastic nonetheless. These are only minor flaws to an extravagant masterpiece. If players want to see more about the game, I highly recommend the Document of Metal Gear Solid 2. Everything you could possibly want to know about Metal Gear is contained that single DVD.