A random person reviews Metal Gear Solid 3

The Metal Gear series always played an oddly big role in my life for one reason or another. This is bizarre when you consider that I haven't actually played a game in the series until fairly recently, and it never had a chance to leave a major impression on my gaming tastes; my first gaming experience outside edutainment adventure games was Pokemon Yellow, and it was Sonic 3 that really made me a gamer. From then on I played mostly platformers and the periodic JRPG or Zelda game my brother had lying around, along with the occasional fighter or FPS when I got with a friend (co-op Halo, good times...). Really, nothing in my gaming library indicated that I played mature, relatively gritty games, largely because I didn't. Despite that, I was oddly fascinated by the series.

There are several possible reasons for this. For one thing, I read up on basic gaming history, giving me the bragging rights of knowing what a Fairchild Channel F was in elementary school. A major side-effect of this was early exposure to the "gaming pantheon," which in addition to instilling the value of buying teh Haloz taught me about the series. My Wikipedia addiction and my built-in penchant for intricate stories reinforced my initial liking, and I probably found the rather abstract official art cool-looking. Also, I was probably gay for Solid Snake/Big Boss, even when I was just understanding what that "special hug" my dad went on about was.

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But really, who isn't?

Introductory filler out of the way, the game starts with a briefing about the "Virtuous Mission," an operation to rescue Russian scientist Sokolov, who was forced to work on the Shagohod, and get him back to the west. This is accompanied by Cold War footage and a discussion about the Cuban Missile Crisis; as someone who was interested in the Cold War since my dad read Bloom County to me, I strongly approved. You then parachute into Russia to start you mission, being reminded your mere presence is a war crime, hence starting your first section of gameplay.

As you'd expect, it's a basic tutorial section to get you acquainted with the controls, menus, the Codec, and other things I'll go into more detail on. You start out finding your pack, which was somewhat difficult for me (it's a little hard to see), but overall seems to get you acquainted with the jungle and general foresty environments you'll be seeing. You're also indirectly taught about killing animals for food (I think its emphasized later, though), including the opportunity to kill several Indian Gavials (aka crocodiles).

A little aside since I initially had difficulty with this area; don't try to crawl to get low enough to stab them, you'll only get tail-whacked hard. Just lightly crouch (probably not even that) and stab them, while standing next to them so they don't try to kill you.

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Not so tough now, huh?

Camouflage is another aspect that gets introduced somewhere around this section. Basically, you choose a suit and facepaint that maxes your camo index, your percentage indicator of visibility. While pausing to change your camouflage can get rather annoying, its ultimately a good system as it lets you collect new camouflage and fits in better with the setting.

To elaborate on the latter, the game takes place in generally naturalistic environments, as I mentioned earlier. Due to this, the grass-to-wall ratio is rather high, and as such hiding behind corners doesn't work like in the first game. Instead, you can blend into the grass or shrubbery, a much better way of hiding in a jungle. Or the UN, if you unlock flag facepaint.

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Can you spot Big Boss in this picture?

Of course, a lot of this stuff is taught through the Codec, which perfectly segues into my next topic. Throughout the game, you have a handful of characters to talk to via codec, whether for advice, plot advancement, saving, or side conversations (like giant town-destroying turds, for example). Some of these characters are Major Tom, who leads the operation and gives general advice, Para-Medic, a medic (almost thought she was a brick-layer, didn't you?) who saves your game while talking about movies, and The Boss, a tough woman who taught you CQC and makes another segue into my next topic.

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An important tool for every writer.

CQC will initially appear redundant. After all, you have guns to kill dudes with, and the most it seems to do is a: do a punch-and-kick combo that comically flips the guard over but is ultimately useless, or b: grab a guard and slit his throat, which is the most advanced actually-useful CQC technique you'll use. Once you actually look into CQC, however, you discover some pretty awesome shit you can do, ranging from slamming a guard unconscious, to holding a guard and shooting from behind him (given a one-handed weapon, of course), to even throwing a guard onto the ground and sticking him up; if you're willing to waste a few bullets, you can get more loot than dragging a body ever did. It's also more effective than knocking him out, since he won't get back up and alert guards. Hell, the only way it could be more awesome is if you gave a hot-blooded speech and filled the guard with heroic shonen passion.

Of course, for all the awesome stuff you can do, The Boss will still kick your ass whenever you meet her, pissing off any men's rights activists who are watching.

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Seriously, fuck this guy.

Along Virtuous Mission you'll meet a young Revolver Ocelot (just called Ocelot, but it's not exactly subtle), Sokolov (almost forgot about him, no?), and Bond girl Eva (I'd make another obvious picture joke, but this is the first sentence). In the process, you have a gunfight with Ocelot's men, which is rather interesting in a game about stealth (though its still advised that you sneak up when you can). I can't say any more, though, as that would start spoiling things. Let's just say it's convoluted yet awesome, as you'd expect from a Metal Gear game.

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Eh, what the hell?

To suddenly lose coherency between paragraphs, the Boss Fights are, at the very least, rather fun, as you get to fight Spiderman, the Pyro, and a photosynthetic sniper. Granted, I ran around like an idiot with the last guy, but it's still an essential part of the experience.

Ironically, even though it's a stealth game, the boss fights are some of the best parts. Perhaps it's that they're decent characters, or perhaps it's the change of pace from sneaking around. I think it's a mixture of the two, but I know this: the fight against the Shagohod (not a spoiler, since you probably guessed you were gonna fight it) is pretty dang awesome.

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I dig giant robots!

As this is a review of a Metal Gear game, I inevitably have to address the cutscenes. While they have some length to them, I found myself looking forward to and enjoying them, rather than groaning and being frustrated with the wait. Overall, they're entertaining, rather well directed, often reveal something interesting, and strangely enough, break up the action. That last part was by no means a criticism, quite the opposite; for all the flak the series gets over its cutscenes, I'd probably go insane if the tactical espionage action went undivided.

To elaborate, as it's a stealth game, you have to be conscious of enemies and how to avoid them. This is pretty damn challenging (though keep my suckiness in account for this claim), especially since at parts you absolutely can't be in alert or evasion phase to do a certain task. Means of detecting enemies are also limited by series standards, something I'll get into in another paragraph. Simply put, make whatever quip about cutscene-to-gameplay ratio's you like, the gameplay that's there is rather intense and best broken up.

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Besides, it can't be much more annoying than my constant pictures.

Hell, speaking of potentially frustrating gameplay, I'll go ahead and save you a headache right now: during a certain part of the game, you have to take a characters clothing to disguise yourself, and said character needs to be in the locker room while unconscious to do so. You are only told this after you knock him out. However, there are rather a few guards, dragging a body slows you down substantially, and if you and a guard are on the stairs at the same time (makes sense in context), you will be caught. Said character will go into the locker room unattended, though, so wait for him to get there and knock him out.

Getting to the enemy detection, you don't have the Soliton Radar System. Instead, you have a variety of devices that detect enemies in varying, not as accurate ways. This is both good and bad; it's good in that it puts more emphasis on scouting the area and watching your back, but it's problematic for the same reasons. Also, said devices detect animals too, which led to one or two cases of me hiding from a snake. This becomes less of a problem not too much later, though, for a reason I won't disclose (not really a spoiler, but I won't tell).

Initially, I was gonna recommend this for anyone with a PS2. I then realized everyone and their dog has a PS2, so instead I recommend this game to everyone, even if I didn't really convey that in my review. It's a thrilling stealth game and spy story, including the James Bond motifs you'd expect from a spy game taking place in the 60's. Get the Subsistence version if you can, as it has better controllable camera that fits the environments better and makes things easier to see, not to mention other bonuses. You also probably need to play it more than once; spoilers weren't the only reason I was trying to avoid story details. Thankfully you get bonuses when you beat the game, which should make your second run easier.

I was gonna criticize you pointing out your segues, but the visual pun made me forgive you.

Gotta say, the only Metal Gear game I played was Twin Snakes, and while that was fun, it didn't sell me to the genre as a whole. I think I've reconsidered that stance, now...

mgs3 did have some of the best boss fights of the series and maybe the best gfx on ps2 ever.

fan service in mgs4 was off the charts tho.

still "hardcore gamers" and some some trolls will say mgs is not a game but an interactive movie, so i dunno if i would ever recommend mgs for "everyone" its a game style and series you either get or do not get. me i loved them all all the way back to the nes and then to the ps1 then to the ps2 and the ps3.

I loved MGS3, the sniper battle was so fun and the fact the you could make him die of old age always made me laugh.
Nice review and thank you for the song at the end.

SNAAAAKKKKEEEEE EEEAATTTEEERRRRR.
snake eater

NeutralDrow:
I was gonna criticize you pointing out your segues, but the visual pun made me forgive you.

Gotta say, the only Metal Gear game I played was Twin Snakes, and while that was fun, it didn't sell me to the genre as a whole. I think I've reconsidered that stance, now...

I was kinda aware that I couldn't smoothly transition from gameplay to characters, so I used that visual pun to lampshade/save my bad writing. Glad to see it worked.

As for Twin Snakes, I admit I only somewhat liked it (though I plan to replay it). Really, if it wasn't obvious, this is what really sold me on the series (aside from the beginning padding, of course).

NeutralDrow:
Gotta say, the only Metal Gear game I played was Twin Snakes, and while that was fun, it didn't sell me to the genre as a whole. I think I've reconsidered that stance, now...

Never played Twin Snakes, but I will say that MGS1 was probably my least favorite... I still love it but I just didn't like it as much as I did 2 or 3. And while 4 was pretty much made for fans of MGS, I still liked it a whole lot.

On topic, nice review. It reminds me of what I was thinking when I played it. I'm a huge fan of Metal Gear Solid even though I suck at stealth. You should do MGS2 next, if you haven't already... and if you have, would you mind linking me to it?

ProfessorLayton:

On topic, nice review. It reminds me of what I was thinking when I played it. I'm a huge fan of Metal Gear Solid even though I suck at stealth. You should do MGS2 next, if you haven't already... and if you have, would you mind linking me to it?

After replaying Twin Snakes (just to refresh my memory), I was planning to get to 2, so then I could play that copy of 4 I have lying around. On another Metal Gear-related note, I tried Portable Ops, but what little I played of it didn't leave a good impression. Should I persist, or just skip to Peace Walker?

Oh, almost forgot, I made a Metal Gear group here.

MGS3:Sub is the best MGS. Not as batshit as MGS2, but the jungle gameplay is my favourite part of the whole series.

A random person:
After replaying Twin Snakes (just to refresh my memory), I was planning to get to 2, so then I could play that copy of 4 I have lying around. On another Metal Gear-related note, I tried Portable Ops, but what little I played of it didn't leave a good impression. Should I persist, or just skip to Peace Walker?

Oh, almost forgot, I made a Metal Gear group here.

Unfortunately, I only have a DS and never got around to getting a PSP (though I'm planning on it for Poratble Ops and Peace Walker and so I can play FFVII on the go) but from what I know about Metal Gear Solid I would play it for the story's sake. And Portable Ops takes place before Peace Walker so why not.

And don't even think about playing Metal Gear Solid 4 until you've beaten 1, 2, and 3 because it's spoiler-tastic and the story would make even less sense. I played them in a weird order... I started on 2 but didn't get far, started on 4 and didn't get far, finished 2, played a bit more of 4, bought and finished 3, played a bit more of 4, and bought and finished 1 and then finished 4... So the story for 4 didn't make much sense to me but that was my own mistake. 2 was the best game in the series though I know people will disagree with me (Raiden isn't as bad as people say he is) and the story just blew my mind. I stayed up all night just to finish it and I couldn't believe how awesome it was.

And what all Metal Gear games have you played? Just Twin Snakes and 3?

ProfessorLayton:

And what all Metal Gear games have you played? Just Twin Snakes and 3?

Yes; as you might have guessed from my beginning filler, I haven't actually started on the series until relatively recently. Part of the reason I went with Twin Snakes instead of the PS1 original was because I'd get more out of the Psycho Mantis fight.

A random person:
Yes; as you might have guessed from my beginning filler, I haven't actually started on the series until relatively recently. Part of the reason I went with Twin Snakes instead of the PS1 original was because I'd get more out of the Psycho Mantis fight.

I bought the game on the PSN because it was only $10 and otherwise it would have been $20 and a PS1 memory card to play on my PS2 and I figured it wasn't worth it. And since Metal Gear Solid 4 often references MGS1 instead of Twin Snakes, I decided that I would understand it better if I actually played the original on the system it was made for. Graphics and controls weren't really a problem. Now I just have to get a PSP/NES to play all the other games...

ProfessorLayton:

A random person:
Yes; as you might have guessed from my beginning filler, I haven't actually started on the series until relatively recently. Part of the reason I went with Twin Snakes instead of the PS1 original was because I'd get more out of the Psycho Mantis fight.

I bought the game on the PSN because it was only $10 and otherwise it would have been $20 and a PS1 memory card to play on my PS2 and I figured it wasn't worth it. And since Metal Gear Solid 4 often references MGS1 instead of Twin Snakes, I decided that I would understand it better if I actually played the original on the system it was made for. Graphics and controls weren't really a problem. Now I just have to get a PSP/NES to play all the other games...

Twin Snakes is a remake, so I figured canon wasn't an issue (unless choreography is significant, in which case I'm screwed).

The main complaints I've heard about Twin Snakes is that first-person aiming makes some things too easy, and the cutscene choreography (i.e that during cutscenes, Snake is a goddamn ninja).

A random person:
Twin Snakes is a remake, so I figured canon wasn't an issue (unless choreography is significant, in which case I'm screwed).

The main complaints I've heard about Twin Snakes is that first-person aiming makes some things too easy, and the cutscene choreography (i.e that during cutscenes, Snake is a goddamn ninja).

I actually did see a video on YouTube of a scene from Twin Snakes and some things were different but nothing major. But when MGS4 references Mantis, it shows scenes directly from MGS1 and... I don't know, there's something special about playing the original game... like why I would rather go out and buy an NES and Metal Gear instead of using an emulator... And since the game was made without first person aiming in mind, I guess it would make things a bit too easy because I died more in MGS1 than I have in all the other games combined. I will say that you will probably be able to get used to MGS2 faster because you've already experienced the engine.

ProfessorLayton:

A random person:
Twin Snakes is a remake, so I figured canon wasn't an issue (unless choreography is significant, in which case I'm screwed).

The main complaints I've heard about Twin Snakes is that first-person aiming makes some things too easy, and the cutscene choreography (i.e that during cutscenes, Snake is a goddamn ninja).

I actually did see a video on YouTube of a scene from Twin Snakes and some things were different but nothing major. But when MGS4 references Mantis, it shows scenes directly from MGS1 and... I don't know, there's something special about playing the original game... like why I would rather go out and buy an NES and Metal Gear instead of using an emulator.

You are aware that Kojima was not fond of the NES Metal Gear port, correct? Your best options would be to use an MSX emulator or play the unlockable version on Subsistence (which is a problem for me; my copy is used and only has the first disk).

A random person:
You are aware that Kojima was not fond of the NES Metal Gear port, correct? Your best options would be to use an MSX emulator or play the unlockable version on Subsistence (which is a problem for me; my copy is used and only has the first disk).

Well that's a shame because I decided that it wasn't worth the extra money to get Subsistence... I'm probably going to go back and buy the MGS collection that comes with the Subsistence version of 2 and 3 just so I can have them.

This game was the first Metal Gear Solid game I played. I think it really sells the series and invites new players easily. Good review, I was amused

 

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