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: +

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