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Retro Review: Metal Gear (MSX2)

May 28, 2011 Leave a comment

Title: Metal Gear
System: MSX2
Release: July 7, 1987
Developer: Konami
Publishers: Konami

Today I will review a little game called Metal Gear. Designed by Hideo Kojima, who is today, one of the bigger icons in the gaming industry. Metal Gear was acually not Kojima’s work in the beginning. But he took over the project early in it’s development, and finished it. thats a little history behind the game. But let’s start the review.

Story:
The game takes place in 1995 (it was a game taking place in the future, since metal gear came out in 1987), in a state in South Africa called Outer Heaven. You play as Solid Snake. A rookie member of a special forces group called FOXHOUND. Your mission is to Rescue one of the top agents of FOXHOUND, Gray Fox, and destroy a weapon of mass destruction, Metal Gear.

For being a late 80’s game, the story is really deep. You can have a conversation with people thru codec, and you will be called sometimes when you make progress in the game. There is even some plot twists that is really surprising. Great story in this game.

Gameplay:
If you have plated any of the other Metal Gear games, you will know what this is about. Metal Gear is a Stealth game. That means that you are not supposed to run right in front of an enemy and shoot. you have to take a different path and sneak past them. Occasionally you have to sneak up to an enemy’s back and kill him to get past.

Now you might think that you won’t have any use of the weapons you pick up. But there are boss fights in this game, and they are all really fun and exciting. Some minor issues is the elevators. They are really weird. but you will understand when you play. It’s hard to explain. Also, it’s confusing sometimes because you don’t know where to go. you maybe need some special cardkey, or you might have to blow up a wall. These are just minor issues and won’t really destroy the game.

Sound:
The music in Metal Gear is great. Theme of Tara will be stuck in your head, since that is the song you will hear most. Maybe you will hear Red Alert a lot to, if your really bad at this game ­čÖé It’s also an awesome song by the way. the other songs in the game is also good. they are all rememberable.

Graphics:
The game looks ok. I guess. The thing is that it does not look any different from any other games around that time. it does not stand out. But it isn’t awful. it’s good, it’s just not so special.

Verdict:

Metal Gear has both great story, gameplay, and music. Really fun game. not one of the best Metal Gear-games I have played. But it is high up on the list.

Pros

  • Great Plot!
  • Great Gameplay!
  • Great Music!

Cons

  • Confusing elevators.
  • Hard to find where to go next.

Score

Story: 9.0/10
Gameplay: 8.0/10
Sound: 8.0/10
Graphics: 7.5/10

Overall: 8.5/10

Categories: Retro Reviews

Retro Review: Xenogears

March 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Title: Xenogears
System: Sony Playstation
Release: February 11, 1998
Developer: Square
Publisher: Square

Story:

The story in Xenogears is amazing! The game takes place on a continent called Ignas, which is the biggest continent in Xenogears world. it takes place in a distant future. It’s like a mix of ´╗┐medieval and the future. people in their world live very simple. There is no electricity in most of the towns, and everything has a medieval setting. But there is also airships, computers, different kind of guns, and mech suits, which is called “Gears” in the game. Every kind of hi-tech stuff are found underground. Stuff that has been buried for thousands of years.

The characters in Xenogears is also amazing. the main character is a guy named Fei. He lives in a village called Lahan, where he was bought to 3 years before by a mysterious masked man. He does not have any memory from his past since then. One day the village is attacked by a group of Gears. Fei then pilots a Gear with intention of saving the village. He then witness one of his friend being killed and that causes him to snap and destroy the whole village. Later he wakes up and does not realise what he has done. He does not remember what happened after he watched his friend die. Citan, The village┬ádoctor, and Fei’s friend, follows him away from the surviving villagers, and that is where the game begins.

Gameplay:

The gameplay in Xenogears is Traditional Turn-based RPG, with random encounters. But instead of choosing attacks from a menu (which is seen in a lot of other RPG’s, like Final Fantasy) you choose between 3 different attacks:

Triangle: Weak
Square: Moderate
Cross: Fierce

The attacks use Action Points (AP). the stronger the attack is, the more AP it costs. In the beginning of the game you will always start a battle with 3 AP. But later you will be able to wield more. AP also replenished after each turn in a battle. Weak attack costs 1 AP. Moderate attack costs 2 AP, and Fierce costs 3.┬á Combining these 3 in different ways can create something called “Deathblows”. “Deathblows” are long combos which hits more than a regular attack. you will learn more “Deathblows” the more you experiment with different combinations.

There is also a “Magic” system in the game. But they will mostly affect your stats under a battle, or heal a party member. But there are some that attacks. But they are not so special.

Sound:

The music in Xenogears is beautiful. Yasunori Mitsuda is the composer. do I need to say anything else? He is the man who composed the music for Chrono Trigger together with Nobou Uematsu and Noriko Matsueda. He also composed the music for Chrono Cross. My favorite soundtracks in the game is “Bonds Of Sea And Fire” and “Flight”.

Graphics:

The game environment in Xenogears is in 3D while the characters is in gorgeous 2D. The character portraits is also really well made. The graphics are very appealing. After you have seen the Graphics, you just want to start play it.

Pros:

  • Amazing Story
  • Great Gameplay
  • Gorgeous Soundtrack, and Graphics

Cons:

  • I have only one complain about this game, and that is, that the last character in the game does not get so much screen time. You get her so late in the game, that she does not get enough time to develop.

Score:

Story: 9.0/10
Gameplay: 8.5/10
Sound: 10/10
Graphics: 9.0/10

Overall: 9.2/10

Categories: Retro Reviews