An Unbiased Review of Metal Gear Solid 3

Three things that sucked:

1. Para-Medic

According to Wikipedia:

Para-Medic is a FOX support team member who provides Naked Snake with surgical and medical information as well as general information on the local flora and fauna.

I beg to differ. The true purpose of Para-Medic is to bombard you with verbose yet minimally insightful movie analogies in an effort to discourage you from ever saving the game. A typical conversation goes something like this:

Para-Medic: Snake, would you like to save the game?

Snake: Yes.

Para-Medic: Snake, have you ever seen the movie Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea?

Snake: No.

Para-Medic: Would you like to hear about it?

Snake: Yes.

Para-Medic: Ponyo is about a little fish-girl that gets caught by a human boy.

…Five minutes later…

Para-Medic: Finally, Ponyo gives up her magical powers to live among humans. Do you see what I’m trying to say?

Snake: No.

Para-Medic: To effectively blend in with the enemy, you may need to refrain from using your abilities. Got it?

Snake: Yes.

Para-Medic: Good. Now let me tell you about that time I went to Morganville, which is what they called Shelbyville in those days. I tied an onion to my belt, which was the style at the time…

2. Too easy to cheat

You can run straight through many of the levels instead of sneaking around like you’re supposed to.

But Baka-Raptor, that’s not cheating; it’s how the game was intentionally designed!

So what? Lawful cheating is still cheating. If you can’t beat a level the right way, you should die, and if you die too much, the game should taunt you by recommending that you switch to easy mode.

Some levels won’t let you pass while you’re in Alert or Caution Mode. That’s how all the levels should be.

3. The Zombie Mask

I would’ve gladly given up 5% in camouflage rating to keep Snake from looking like a complete doofus during the final cut scenes.

Three things that rocked:

1. The Motorcycle Chase

Damn cool action sequence. I’m surprised I haven’t come across this sort of gameplay more often.

2. The Song

At first I didn’t mind that it was a total Bond ripoff. Then Snake had to go on a rant about how James Bond wasn’t a “real” spy like himself. Fair point. Bond never wore a zombie mask or hid himself underneath a cardboard box.

3. Ocelot

Everyone loves a comical underboss.

Three things I’m indifferent about:

1. The Combat

Aside from the immensely challenging Chex Quest, MGS3 was the only game I’ve played with a substantial first-person shooting component. I had no clue what I was doing. The only weapons I used with any competence were the knife, the sniper rifle, the RPG-7, and the handkerchief. I sucked with the pistol and the tranquilizer gun. I had no clue how to aim the shotgun. I don’t think I got a single kill with the grenades. I never even found any of the assault rifles.

I might’ve had fun with the Close-Quarters-Combat system if the game had the courtesy to tell me it existed. I didn’t discover it until I started button-mashing against Volgin.

But Baka-Raptor, the CQC system was described in the instruction manual!

Instruction manuals are for cowards. A good battle system should be intuitive, which is yet another reason why God Hand was incredible. Three of the four shape buttons were for attacks. Want more attacks? Hold the analog stick down and use those same three buttons. Simple as that. You’re given a huge variety of attacks without having to look up, memorize, and adapt to the sequence and timing of complex button patterns.

2. Stealth Missions

When I first started playing, I hated sneaking around. As I learned to use the tools, I grew to appreciate the stealth action, but I never grew to like it.

3. The Cut Scenes

Half of the game was a movie. Sometimes it was cool. Other times I was annoyed that there was no interaction for long stretches of the game, aside from the occasional R1-button fanservice.

Final Stats:

  • 24:51:18 playing time
  • 49 saves
  • 92 continues
  • 144 alerts
  • 237 kills
  • 255 serious injuries
  • 82 life bars of damage
  • 0 medicines/special items
  • 22 plants/animals
  • 71 meals
  • Title: Hyena

Final Grade: +

36 people love sucking up to me

  1. I hate sneaking missions so much. And I don’t remember MGS being a first person shooter, but then again I’ve only played the PSP installments…because a PSP is one of the things that gives me hope in humanity when I know that some monster out there can create something so vile as the iPad.

    • In theory, you could play the whole game without fighting from the first-person angle. That would require you to be either extremely skillful or extremely insane.

      iPad? PSP? As you can see from this review, I’m still living in 2004. I ignore modern technology until it’s been around long enough to no longer be considered trendy.

  2. It’s impossible to have an unbiased review of anything. You can, however, have a balanced review.

    Anyway, the game sounds a little…meh, in my opinion, judging from this review.

  3. I’m just kind of impressed by Para-Medic’s ability to give you an example from a movie that came out 40 years after the events of the game transpired and 5 years after the game actually came out. If only they used that foresight for something less annoying…

  4. I read this even though I don’t care at all about this game. I’d rather run over children on sleds or watch anime or consume obscene amounts of vodka than play a video game that isn’t Pokemon or Idolm@ster. But I read it anyway because then I could have an excuse to comment and remind you of how epically Eli Manning sucks and the fact that I’m gay for you.

  5. If Your Majesty Baka-Raptor would forgive me, I would like to point out that by not learning the combat system you didn’t play the game in all possible ways, and thus are biased. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

    • You’re correct that I am biased. However, the review is not. Even though I didn’t like the combat, I shifted it to the Indifferent section so it wouldn’t bias the rest of the review.

  6. Funny it took you so damn long to figure out something alluded to in virtually an eighth the codec conversations before you find Sokolov. Though I can hardly fault you for that, having not played the other vital parts of the series (something I could legally murder you for in some obscure provinces); blabbing like a ninny on the radio for hours on end is a core component of the MGS series.
    It’s a shame, regardless. The leg reaps, joint manipulation takedowns and just plain throws are some of the coolest (mostly) genuine martial arts things this side of the Lee/Norris fight.
    Also, from your inference, and given your track record, I’m hardly surprised that you breezed on past the Snow face camo.

    • I usually take a leave-no-stone-unturned approach to exploration, but quite frankly, MGS3 was dragon-kicking my ass into the Milky Way. Sneaking around any more than I had was guaranteed to get me into a not-quite-random battle.

      The CQC scenes against The Boss got me thinking, “that’s pretty neat, why can’t I do that?” I try not to assume I should be able to do anything I see in a cut scene; that sort of thinking usually leads to heartbreak. Perhaps there were signs, I don’t know, for now I’ll blame God Hand for shortening my attention span.

  7. Yeah, that’s pretty much the best Bond theme since A View to a Kill. Shame it’s in a Metal Gear game, while the Bond flicks get crap like that godawful Alica Keys/Dude from the White Stripes atrocity in Quantum of Solace.

  8. Playing all of them since the NES era I can definitely claim this one had the best (game) design overall, considering the previous installments were still figuring out what stealth gameplay is whereas MGS4 only had 5% of its content playable.

    Besides, I spent much of my early teens using Solid Snake as an euphemism.

    • I’ve seen a bunch of recent ads for a game (I forget which one) bragging that the it’s like a movie. I prefer games that are like games. If I want a movie, I’ll watch a movie. If I want a game that’s like a movie, I’ll play the game adaptation of that movie.

      • Which is exactly why Square-Enix is failing whereas independent developers that barely spend time on cutscenes are flourishing. We don’t want to watch a movie, it kills our playing time considerably.

  9. (…)

    Hey Baka-Raptor !
    Nice Review, but it doesn’t sum all of the pros and cons for playing MGS3, maybe because there was so much movie you forgot about the gameplay ?


    Okami for me is one of the best RPG’s of the old gen ( there is even a remake for the wii ^^ ), not only it features japanese mythology but up to this date, it is the only rpg where i could just miss all the bitch work ( avoid all non-obligatory fighting ) and enjoy its story more…because you don’t actually earn exp points from battles, you earn them doing something else which i shall not spoil 😉


    I guess you will have to make a new year’s resolution for it: to review the most badass game in the entire history, and that would be without doubt, CHRONO TRIGGER!

    • If Chrono Trigger were relatively unknown, like Crystalis, I’d move it straight to the top of the draft queue. Thing is, it seems to be well enough known that there are plenty of more recent and/or less popular games and shows I want to review. I’m sure I’ll do Chrono Trigger someday, but right now it’s a low priority.

      I’d be completely talking out of my ass if I tried to review the gameplay in depth. I only used a few weapons, and I sucked at them. I sucked at the sneaking too. I didn’t use most of the tools other than the heat goggles, night vision goggles, and sonar. Long story short, I’m not all that fit to judge a system I understood so little.

  10. >Hyena
    >not Foxhound

    Well, I didn’t get that coveted rank anyway. Think I got either a croc or shark on my first try. I still tear up at the ending.

  11. Have to agree with the difficulty – but then again, the Metal Gear series has always been a lot more forgiving than it’s stealth-action competitor, Splinter Cell, which is possibly why it is more favourably received (no one cares about difficulty nowadays…). In many Splinter Cell missions being detected results in an automatic mission fail.

    Actually, 3rd person fighting in MGS is pretty doable if you use the lock-on buttons and are familiar with the previous installments, which were all 3rd person only. MGS3 is the first game that provides the first person perspective, I believe.

    144 alerts!? I’m surprised you were able to get that many without mowing your way through the maps with an assault weapon of some sort.

  12. Yeah, I really liked this game a lot. I think everyone should play it, as it’s certainly an experience. Definitely, wasn’t the best everrrrr, but I definitely disagree about the instruction manual. Idk, maybe it’s because I actually like looking at them in my spare time & stuff…but anyways, Ocelot definitely made this game sing. The 5 minute (or was it 10 minutes?) ladder part was crazy…epic.

    Oh, and the medic was crazy cool lol. Hearing cool, fun stories is always fun. When I didn’t hear a story that one time…I was a little depressed actually 🙁

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