Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake is Two Steps Forward, Two Steps Back

Just one more game, then we can talk about the Metal Gear games people actually know again. Just gotta survive another trip into the jungle.

When a scientist capable of ending a global energy crisis is kidnapped, and his findings used to hold the world at ransom, Solid Snake is sent in to rescue him. To do so, he must infiltrate the jungle of Zanzabarland and survive against impossible odds. But there is more to this mission than meets the eye

Twist and turns, political subterfuge, all that good Metal Gear stuff. You know the drill.

Metal Gear 2’s plot is surprisingly ambitious, considering its also confined to the limitations of the MSX. While it still isn’t as complex as the later games in this franchise, it’s definitely a mark up from the first game. Characters have more depth and the plot takes some surprising turns. It’s an actual story, not just something to explain what’s going on in the game.

At least, until Big Boss shows up again. Hey, this was the early days of video games. The bad guy from the first one always came back.

Presentation wise, this game is definitely an upgrade over the first one. If only because it has more than three colors. Gone are the days of gray and brown. Now we’ve got green and blue, too!

Music is still fairly limited, though. So I hope you enjoy those few tracks. You’ll be hearing them a lot.

In terms of gameplay, this is pretty much the same game as Metal Gear 1. Sneaking around, beating up brain-dead guards, micromanaging keycards, not much has changed. Sometimes, it felt more like an expansion pack than a sequel.

Unfortunately, either as a sequel or an expansion, it isn’t very good. Because the level design is still mind-bendingly complex. What’s worse, there are several gameplay sections that boil down to trial, error, and patience. Such as the infamous scene where you’ve gotta follow a guy through the woods for a looooooong time, and one screw up meant having to redo the whole thing.

No, I’m not still mad about that, why do you ask?

Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake is an improvement over the first one in many ways. However, I’d still say it isn’t really worth your time. Sure, you can experience more of the franchise’s roots. But everything here gets covered in Metal Gear Solid anyways, so… there’s really no need to bother.

Not unless you’re a glutton for punishment. You know. Like me.

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