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Metal Gear Solid 2:  Sons of Liberty


You should know that coming into this, I thought that "Metal Gear Solid" was maybe the most overrated game in the history of gaming.  Yes, it is a great game, but first, it was ridiculously easy.  Of course, if you set off an alarm, you would probably be a goner, but even doing that involved just hiding and staying out of sight for a while.  Second, the preachy cut scenes seemed to kill the game at times; if I wanted a full-length script, I would just go see a movie.  Third, replayability was not worth it.

The sequel had a number of issues to deal with, in my mind...and, I'm not sure I can say the designers thought the same thing.  As it is, we get a game that adds almost nothing to the schemes introduced in the last version, and then the designers do something unfathomable--they make us play as another character for two-thirds of the game, not Solid Snake!  Then, they make that character a little punk with relationship issues!  Nooooo!!

As a production, "Metal Gear Solid 2" is unbelievable.  The acting is great, the graphics are incredible and the score is rock-solid.  And, it is more challenging than the last game, which is a plus.  By adding a system where collecting of dog tags on opposing soldiers leads to unlockable secrets, you do have some reason to pick the game up and play it again.  Some of the ways to get around bad guys are really cool, but unfortunately, one of them is not the stupidest elements of these games, where your character carries a portable box with him to hide in and move around rooms with.  Seriously, who came up with this idea?

And, I don't even want to talk about the ending.  Jeez, this couldn't have been any worse of an end boss fight and cinema.  Poor.

Rating:  eBay


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Bellview Rating System:

"Opening Weekend":  Buy this game right away, and don't ask me any questions as to why that's a good move.  A game experience that will almost guarantee repeated controller abuse, lots of ManScreaming and high resale value, you will assuredly play this bad boy for months on end. 

"$40":  Usually after games have been out for a while, they drop in price slightly, or can be bought for slightly cheaper in combination with other new games.  Usually, that's about $40.  You'll feel good getting the game for this price, since it isn't quite run-out-and-get-it-right-now good, but it has enough game in the box for a few weeks' worth of enjoyment.

"eBay":  This game is not too bad, but you'd be better off buying it used from either or eBay.  You also might let a friend buy this game, let s/he beat it, and then try to buy it from them to make them feel better.  Yes, this does tend to feel like "Sloppy Seconds."

"Rental":  Like my cousin Ron, you should always rent games that you aren't sure about first, to make sure that your $50 is going towards something worthwhile.  For games in this category, this is the maximum amount of money ($5) and/or time (3-5 days) you'll need to either gain satisfaction from the game, or beat the game in its entirety.  Rental-rated games are also sometimes perfect for a weekend when you are going to be at home on your ass, with some time to kill.

"Dogshit":  Games like this should have never been released.  If you play this game for any reason, you will regret every second of the experience.  Further, if you can get this game for free, don't do it, because even for FREE, it will still be a negative experience for you!

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The "fine print":
All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/ except where noted
1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09