Metal Gear


Review by Dustin Galley


Stealth Action

Graphics: 5

Sound: 6

Gameplay: 8

Overall: 6

The object of Metal Gear is to sneak behind your enemy and kill them silently, a type of game, which before Metal Gear, had never been explored. Introduced in 1988 Metal Gear rocked the gaming community with a new type of gameplay, stealth gameplay, and the gaming community was in awe. It was original, it was awesome, but unfortunately it was also sloppy.

At the beginning of Metal Gear we are introduced to our alter ego, Solid Snake. Snake has parachuted into the heart of Africa to sneak into the compound, Outer Heaven, and to rescue a fellow agent, Grey Fox. Then, he is to put a stop to the deadly machine called Metal Gear, a walking nuclear capable machine with the ability of launching a nuclear warhead from any point on earth. Snake's mission is not easy, he must remain unnoticed, kill his enemies silently, and unbeknownst to him, go head to head with an ally in what can only be called one goofy plot twist.

Metal Gear was first introduced in Japan on the MSX computer. It was created by Hideo Kojima, who also created Snatcher for the Sega CD. From what I've heard Kojima had little or nothing to do with the creation of the NES Metal Gear. The NES version keeps the gameplay elements, but has changed some of the graphics, sound and story of the original. For many people the MSX version of Metal Gear is considered to be the real first entry of Solid Snake, and to those people the NES version simply doesn't count.

Somewhat recently Metal Gear has managed to regain popularity with the Metal Gear Solid series beginning on the Sony Playstation. There has also been a Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, and Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. There is also a sequel to Metal Gear for the NES called Snake's Revenge: Metal Gear 2.

Metal Gear for the NES starts off strong. The game quickly becomes engaging, though it only takes a moment before the sloppiness starts to show through. While sneaking around guards is fun, you will soon start to have just as much fun finding all the translation errors. For instance, the first time you are transported in the back of a truck you will see the words, "Uh - Oh! The truck have started to move!", appear upon entry. Improper English and translation errors are abundant in this game. Furthermore, about halfway through the game the guards become impossible to sneak up on, in fact, they will notice you when you enter a room no matter where you are relative to their position. Also, the boss fights are ridiculously easy. Last, and this is what becomes the most frustrating part of the game, are the pits that suddenly appear in your path as you walk. They are hard to dodge, and furthermore, they sometimes kill you without even appearing. To make matters worse, you are rarely able to begin anywhere near the point of your previous death and therefore must do quite a bit of backtracking, over and over again.

The graphics and sound are mediocre. Basically, the graphics serve their purpose, everything looks like it should, but there are no stunning visuals. Also, there are some catchy tunes, but probably nothing you will catch yourself humming as you drive down the road.

This game really doesn't have much replayability. In fact, unless you are replaying it because you weren't able to rescue all the hostages the first time through, then there isn't much of a reason to replay it at all.

Still, despite all it's flaws, one thing must be said about the stealth aspect of Metal Gear, it is fun and makes this game a must try for anyone with a Nintendo or at least a Nintendo emulator.

There's not much to say about tips on making it through the game. Though I can give a couple of pointers. First, you can refill your rations, ammo etc. easily by grabbing the item and then using your transceiver. The item will then reappear after you have turned off the transceiver. You can also make an appearing pit disappear by using your transceiver, but be careful, sometimes the pit may still be there even though you can't see it, and so you will die anyways. Other than that the best advise is to simply not give up, this game can be as frustrating as it is fun, but if you keep trying and work through the frustration victory will be yours!


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Last updated: Sunday, July 03, 2005 07:57 AM