Make a journey again in time to Shadow Moses Island in Alaska’s Fox Archipelago…
In 1998, legendary recreation designer Hideo Kojima introduced the world Metallic Gear Strong on Sony’s PlayStation. The recreation was a watershed second for the business. Its fully-voiced dialogue, cinematic-heavy storyline, and ingenious stealth-action gameplay made it an on the spot basic. Six years later in 2004, Konami returned to MGS within the type of Metallic Gear Strong: The Twin Snakes on Nintendo GameCube. Konami partnered with Nintendo and Silicon Knights (of Everlasting Darkness fame) to supply this remake of the PlayStation unique and the outcomes have been astounding.
I sadly didn’t get to play Twin Snakes when it launched. I ended up borrowing it from my uncle Michael a few years later, as an alternative. I keep in mind Nintendo Energy and a handful of different magazines like EGM making an enormous deal out of the title main as much as and when it dropped, however it wasn’t till that fateful, random day years later once I determined to exit on a limb and provides it a shot. Speak about a tradition shock. My early life not often strayed past the Nintendo ecosystem, so titles like Metallic Gear Strong have been largely unknown portions to me. Twin Snakes was the type of recreation that represented the extra… grown-up, or refined, aspect of gaming that PlayStation represented in my thoughts (on the time).
Outdoors of a handful of installments throughout the corporate’s numerous consoles through the years, Metallic Gear Strong as a franchise sometimes isn’t as well-known to most Nintendo followers. The collection tends to be perceived as a PlayStation property, which is how I nonetheless consider it to today, no matter the truth that it has been multi-platform for years. Due to this, Twin Snakes felt recent and thrilling to me. It was the prospect to play one thing darker and edgier on a Nintendo platform. I’ve all the time discovered our army fascinating, so the truth that the sport dabbled in espionage and warfare made it much more engaging.
I wasn’t disenchanted. Booting up Twin Snakes, its dramatic title display made me really feel like I used to be interacting with a secret spy doc on some sort of tremendous pc. The sound results have been good, to not point out the “high tech” design of the menus themselves. I discovered myself beginning off with the debrief, the place a collection of cinematics unfolded between lead character Strong Snake, his commander Colonel Roy Campbell, and Physician Naomi Hunter. It’s attainable to launch into the sport right away, however to not watch the debrief is to overlook out on a ton of fascinating story materials. It actually units the tone for what’s to return.
The Metallic Gear Strong franchise has a notoriously difficult, convoluted, and typically downright complicated narrative throughout its quite a few installments, however Twin Snakes is arguably the tightest and most gratifying story within the collection. Previous to MGS on PlayStation, the final Metallic Gear recreation was Metallic Gear 2: Strong Snake on the MSX system in Japan in 1990. Western followers obtained an “unofficial” (which means, not made by Kojima) sequel to Metallic Gear on NES within the type of Snake’s Revenge that very same yr. It will be eight years earlier than Kojima returned to the franchise with MGS, and he’s reiterated numerous occasions that he approaches each Metallic Gear Strong installment as if it’s the final.
As a byproduct of this, I typically marvel if MGS/Twin Snakes has such a satisfying storyline as a result of Kojima genuinely wrote it considering (this isn’t an actual quote), “this is the last shot I’m going to have with this character, so I better say what I have to say now.” Positive, it’s ridiculous at occasions, with some insanely over-the-top dialogue and plot twists, however general MGS, and by extension Twin Snakes, had me riveted the entire time. Liquid, Snake’s beforehand unknown “twin,” was a terrifically badass counterpart. I’ve all the time been drawn to mild and darkish variations of characters, and the juxtaposition of Strong’s cool, collected character towards Liquid’s loud, unrestrained demeanor was a pleasure to soak in.
There’s extra to Twin Snakes than simply Strong versus Liquid, although. Characters like Hal Emmerich and rookie soldier Meryl Silverburgh inject a number of humanity into the chilly, brutal world that Snake calls residence. Additionally they assist to remind Snake who he’s preventing for, a helpful lesson that powers him via the remainder of the collection. Enemies like Revolver Ocelot, Sniper Wolf, and the opposite rogue members of FOXHOUND present a ton of enjoyable character moments and intense motion scenes, as nicely. Twin Snakes feels just like the type of blockbuster that Hollywood doesn’t make anymore.
Talking of, veteran Japanese motion movie director Ryuhei Kitamura was referred to as in to deal with the cinema scenes in Twin Snakes. Coupled with the horsepower of GameCube, the resultant battle scenes in Twin Snakes have been daring, kinetic, and visceral. None extra so than the encounter between Snake and the Cyborg Ninja. I gained’t spoil it right here, however the scenes with Ninja are nuts. He’s an unsettling determine when he first seems, however because the story unfolds and extra of his backstory is revealed, odds are that your notion of him will change prefer it did for me. It’s clear that The Matrix had a reasonably large influence on Kitamura as he put collectively these cinematics, however except for some arbitrary bullet-time sluggish movement, that is some killer choreography.
Rather a lot was made from Metallic Gear Strong 2: Sons of Liberty when it launched on PlayStation 2. I can keep in mind no less than one media outlet derisively declared that the water physics of GameCube’s Wave Race: Bluestorm have been simply part of the general package deal of MGS2. Properly, the joke was on them, as a result of when MGS2 lastly did hit PS2, followers have been largely horrified to find that Snake was solely playable within the opening Tanker state of affairs and never the remainder of the sport. Ha! I jest— MGS2 continues to be an distinctive recreation, however what I’m driving at right here is that the identical tech that powered MGS2 was mockingly tailored for Twin Snakes. Which means the gorgeous graphics and extra play mechanics in that sequel have been included into this remake of MGS.
The result’s a shocking feat of design and play management. Snake’s preliminary insertion into the closely fortified Shadow Moses Island nuclear disposal website in Alaska’s Fox Archipelago was tense and exhilarating to me. Every little thing seemed so beautiful and reasonable. I might virtually really feel the chilly as Snake emerged from frigid waters (thank goodness for that anti-freezing peptide!). It was the gameplay, although, that impressed much more. The emphasis in any Metallic Gear Strong recreation is on not partaking the enemy until completely needed. Regardless of being on a battlefield, killing foes isn’t introduced as the one option to proceed— certainly, gamers are sometimes rewarded for going via the sport beautiful baddies as an alternative of offing them. It was so uncommon, but it was due to this quirkiness that I discovered myself utterly drawn into the motion.
Plus, Snake is as cool because it will get. His sneaking go well with on this recreation is, so far as I’m involved, nonetheless his greatest. Voice actor David Hayter was the right selection for Snake and it’s a criminal offense that he was eliminated as of Metallic Gear Strong V. His efficiency in Twin Snakes revealed a person who’s assured but in addition clearly weary of the countless video games of subterfuge and warfare that unfold round him. I discovered Snake very straightforward to root for and rely him as one in every of my favourite characters in any type of media to this present day. He continually views himself among the many scum of the world due to the lives he’s taken as a soldier, however his the Aristocracy and selflessness make him a real hero no matter his protestations.
There’s some debate about how additions like first-person capturing decreased the problem degree of some of the boss fights (like when Snake takes on Ocelot, as an example), however these are minor grievances so far as I’m involved. The extra complicated AI of the guards makes sneaking round so much harder in Twin Snakes than within the unique MGS. It’s additionally key to cover guards after killing or knocking them out, as in Twin Snakes their our bodies don’t disappear as they do within the PlayStation MGS. There could be some softened encounters with FOXHOUND in Twin Snakes, however they’re balanced with the overarching increase in problem as an entire.
Earlier than I’m going, I’d wish to level out that the Psycho Mantis boss battle stays probably the most entertaining in all of video video games. I gained’t spoil it right here, even when this can be a 15 yr previous recreation, however know that in case you ever get the prospect to play Twin Snakes (and even MGS) that it’s a complete thoughts bender. The battle is emblematic of the kind of outdoors the field considering that made the unique and even this GameCube model of MGS so endearing. Heck, Kojima was so filled with concepts when making MGS that the precise recreation field is used as a part of the sport! There are such a lot of elective radio conversations to take heed to, so many nooks and crannies to scour, that Twin Snakes is sort of a dwelling, respiration organism to work together with. I walked away determined for extra and truthfully have by no means felt like Kojima ever really recaptured the glory of this outing.
Sadly, there’s presently no approach of enjoying Twin Snakes anyplace however on a GameCube. There had been a glimmer of hope for a brand new port when former head of Silicon Knights Denis Dyack tweeted that if fan demand was excessive sufficient that he’s positive “something could be done” to get the sport onto Change (on the time nonetheless codenamed NX). That Tweet is already almost three years in the past at this level, nevertheless, and contemplating Konami’s… tenuous place as a online game developer lately, it’s undoubtedly unclear whether or not the gears would ever get turning on a correct port of Twin Snakes. Hey, not that I’d object! It’s my favourite Metallic Gear Strong recreation (though Metallic Gear Strong four is an in depth second) and one which I’d actually like to see extra individuals play. In case you nonetheless have a GameCube useful I extremely advocate monitoring down a replica of Twin Snakes and giving it a whirl!
Shoutout to MGSmainthemeBACK for importing this prolonged Tokyo Recreation Present trailer for Twin Snakes!