Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes is one of the Gamecube games that I’ve been actively pursuing and I finally got a copy a month ago. It’s a remake of Metal Gear Solid, a game released for the Playstation in 1998. I never got the chance to play the original game of the game, and rather than play any of it’s sequels I decided to just opt for the remake.
Why am I bothering with this 6th gen remake of a 5th gen game when I’ve got plenty of 7th generation games to play? For one thing, Metal Gear Solid was the game that popularized the stealth/action game genre. This is not the first game that emphasized stealth over action – Metal Gear, the first game in the series, was released for the Sega Master System and the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1987 (just over a decade before), required the same stealthy gameplay from players in order to succeed.
But 1987 was not a good time for the game. For one, the demographic wasn’t ready for a new concept. Video games, back then, were mainly for an audience that was not old enough to appreciate the novelty of the gameplay. We also have to consider the technology at that time: game cartridges could only store an extremely limited amount of data, and game consoles in turn had limited processing power. Simply ahead of it’s time, Metal Gear would spawn two different 8-bit sequels and skip the 16-bit consoles entirely.
Then came Metal Gear Solid on the Sony Playstation. This was the game that really launched the Metal Gear franchise, and this game in particular was critically acclaimed upon it’s release. Arguably, it made the stealth action genre popular, with games like Syphon Filter and Splinter Cell achieving good sales and some amount of popularity as well.
After getting a Gamecube several years ago, I looked at it’s extensive library and when I found out that there was a Gamecube remake of Metal Gear Solid, I tried getting my own copy. It took me years, seriously – I didn’t get my own copy until last month. I actually spent more money on Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes than I’m usually willing to spend on video games – it’s that significant.
Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes is a faithful remake of the original Metal Gear Solid. What’s immediately striking is the upgraded graphics – the character models have all been upgraded. The faces are more realistic and much more expressive. The environments show a lot more detail now, improving the overall feel of the game. However, the menus have mostly been retained, and the Codec dialogues keep the same animation used in the original game, but that part still translates well.
They’ve added new gameplay elements too, new functions that they implemented in Metal Gear Solid 2. First off, Snake can now go into first person view, which makes some of the battles easier, but not all of them. It definitely makes shooting at cameras much much easier, and I have to say that this feature helped me a lot in one of the boss battles. There’s more interaction with the environment – Snake can hang from ledges to avoid enemies for a period of time, and he can use lockers as a hiding spot for either himself or any guards that he managed to kill or knock out. There are several more minor changes and additions, but I think they’re mostly trivial.
The cutscene before the boss battle with Psycho Mantis was one of the longest in-game cutscenes that I’ve ever watched.
Based on what I’ve read about the two games, the story is almost exactly the same, with a few minor updates to the script. The voice acting was redone with mostly the same voice talents, and the cutscenes were also redone. Despite retaining the storyline, the game is still as compelling (and dare I say even more compelling with the improved graphics and cutscenes) as when it was originally released.
I’ve been playing this game for quite some time now, and I’m very close to finishing it, already at the part of the game where Solid Snake first sees Metal Gear REX. Was it worth the extra money that I spent? Yes! It’s a game released in 1998 that got an upgrade in 2004 that is still very playable and entertaining today.
I bought this game used from someone who’s been selling his collection at good bargains. Originally, he wasn’t really willing to sell this, so I had to convince him by “making an offer that he couldn’t refuse”, so even if it pained him to let this go, he just had to. And now, it’s part of my collection and will soon be part of the list of all the other video games that I’ve finished.