Metal Gear Solid Review

For PlayStation

Rating: Average
   No, your eyes are not deceiving you.  I am really rating Metal Gear 
Solid Average, not Awesome or even Good.  I'm not trying to say that MGS 
sucks (because it definitely doesn't), but I don't feel that it lives up to
the hype and I don't feel it's worth buying.
   When I first put Metal Gear Solid in my PlayStation, I went to the VR 
Training mode to become acquainted with the game.  All seemed well in the 
Training Mode, as it does a great job introducing you to the basics of the 
game.  Then everything started to fall apart when I played the game itself.
I kept thinking to myself, "I'm supposed to be drooling all over the couch.
This is supposed to be the game of the freakin' year!"       
   The basic concept of the game is that you are hugely out-numbered and 
don't stand a chance if you engage in battle with the enemy, so you have to
sneak around and avoid detection at all costs.  This sounds good in writing,
and it was very intriguing at first.  However, it becomes frustrating and 
repetitive before long, and it also makes for some very slow-paced, 
unexciting gameplay.  
   Dying in Metal Gear Solid is a very annoying experience, which is only 
made worse by the pathetically over-acted cries of "Snake?  Snake?  
Snaaaaaake!" after you die and the fact that you have to start over from 
the beginning of the area even if you saved your game two seconds before 
you died.  I had to keep going whenever I died for the sake of giving the 
game a fair chance, but most of the time I didn't want to.  Where's the 
motivation to keep trying when your death was a result of an invisible trap 
door on the floor, or the game's horrible combat?  The combat in the game 
absolutely sucks.  And some of the boss stages defy all logic.  Who's 
bright idea was it to make a boss stage in which the only way to win is to 
literally run around in circles endlessly?  In addition, MGS is very 
unbalanced and inconsistent.  For example, one minute facing two guards 
means almost certain death, the next minute there's a scene in which you 
and a female companion take out what seems like dozens of enemies with 
relative ease.  
  Calling Metal Gear Solid a "cinematic" game would be a big understatement.
The game's movie-like "qualities" are over-done to the point that it 
detracts from the game rather than adding to it.  The cut scenes are long 
enough and frequent enough that I often felt like I wasn't playing a game, 
I was watching a movie (and not a very good one at that).  Hasn't the 
industry learned anything from all the "interactive movie" distasters that 
flooded the market just a few years ago?  When I'm playing a game, I want 
to play; I don't want to watch.  
   The graphics are solid (no pun intended), but they're not awe-inspiring 
or revolutionary at all.  Most of the game is spent in an overhead 
perspective anyway, which doesn't allow for much graphical detail in the 
characters or the environments.  In addition, the music doesn't add much to
the overall experience, but the voice acting is surprisingly good.
   In the end, the two big questions concerning Metal Gear Solid are: Does 
it live up to the hype? and was it worth the wait?  In my opinion, the 
answer to both of these questions is no.  Besides, the game is way too 
short, and can be beaten in a weekend without much trouble.  Even people 
who like the game more than I do would probably be better off renting it, 
beating it in a few days, and returning it.  Paying $50 to buy Metal Gear 
Solid is a waste of money when you rent it and beat it for under $5.

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