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Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance (Xbox) artwork

Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance (Xbox) review

"Ahh... Metal Gear. Who has never played one? "

Ahh... Metal Gear. Who has never played one?

Along with the original Phantasy Star series, the Metal Gear series is probably my best of all time.

Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of liberty, on the Playstation 2, has been reviewed a lot, so i'll focus on the different aspect that the XBOX version has.

Gameplay (9.5/10):
The ''Substance'' version of Metal Gear Solid 2 now includes over 350 VR missions, Survival Boss challenge mode, Snake Tales and of course the whole length of the original PS2 game.

VR missions are a bunch of short levels with specific objectives in them (kill everyone without being spotted, destroy every target with a specific weapon, disarm bombs in a given amount of time, etc.). If you played the Metal Gear Solid: VR missions game, you know exactly what this is like. There are really an amazing bunch of them (near 350), which means you'll actually be playing more the VR missions than the main Sons of Liberty game itself!

The Snake Tales are just derivations of story based in locations found in the main game. Since you don't have the radar available in them, the Snake Tales are tough, very tough. Giving even experienced gamers a lot for their money. The stories are text driven, which is a bit of a let down (wish i could've heard voices in there), however they are intended to put more playability than the very cinematic main game.

The unlockable boss survival mode is perhaps in my opinion the less appealing of the Substance extra features. You can fight the bosses of the main game one after the others in typical VS fights reminiscent of fighting games like Street Fighter. A bit dull if you ask my opinion, but hey, it's an extra feature anyway... :)

Even with all that, there is still more to be found in ''Substance''. So much that unless you spend countless hours in the game, you'll never finish all the extras the game has to offer.

Graphics (8/10):
The PS2 version was great graphic-wise and deserves a perfect 10/10 on it. For the XBOX tough, i've personally seen better.
There's a lot of complaints about lags and slow-downs in the XBOX version. I'll say that it's true that tere are slowdowns, but they occur in about only 2% of the game. The bad thing is, that 2% is located in the first 5 or 10 minutes of playing the main game. There is a problem with the rain algorith the developpers used for the PS2. It's my guess that they probably tought that they could emulate the effect on the XBOX instead of re-writting it because the console is more powerful and could handle an emulation of the PS2 hardware, but the results are not 100% perfect. After that initial 5/10 minutes though, i havn't found any apparent slowdowns in the game...

Sound (8.5/10)
Music is very good, sound is well-made (even if nothing impressive).

Overall (8.7/10)
Very good game, with loads of playability and re-playability that will keep you entertained for hours and hours.

For the big question that has been asked numerous times: Is the stealth game Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance better than the other stealth game, Splinter Cell, that was released just weeks after? My answer to this is: they are not the same, even though they are placed in the same category, they both give very different sensations and sense of reward. One thing is for sure, they are both really great games!

deedob's avatar
Community review by deedob (January 20, 2003)

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