Saturday, April 07, 2012

Metal Gear Acid

METAL GEAR AC!D, A Surprisingly Good Game.
Review By SFUNPSP.
I must admit I was skeptic about this game at first. Metal Gear Ac!d promised to be faithful to the Metal Gear franchise, but instead of the "Tactical Espionage Action" gameplay of Metal Gear Solid, we got something called "Active Command Intelligence Duel", consisting on a turn based strategical game where reflexes didn't matter, but brains did. Fortunately for us MGS fans, this worked perfectly, and the game ended being more than fun to play.

GAMEPLAY: If I had to use just one word to describe it: addictive. I actually had to stop playing other games until I finished this, and that is something I rarely do. The core gameplay is a mix of a card game, a turn based Tactics/Strategy game, and the MGS we know. Each turn the player use cards to move your characters, use weapons, equip armor, or use items like rations to heal up. There are 204 cards in the game, so the player has the possibility to use different strategies, like an Sniper deck, an Stealth deck, and so on, and ultimately this gives a lot of replay value to the game in general. At first you can only have 30 cards in your deck, but this gets upgraded a few times in the game, and in the end you can have 40. You get the option to save in the stages that are long, and some of them really are.

While randomness is inherent to card games, as long as the player builds a good decks, he/she will not have problems beating each of the stages in the game. There is also the option to discard unneeded cards anyway. Each card has an associated cost value that is added to the player when the card is used, and since the next turn in this game always goes to whoever has the lowest cost, it is important that the player economizes cards as much as possible.

Card collection is done in a number of different ways. During the stages you may see card packs lying there, and if the character moves where these packs are, three new cards will received at the end of the stage for each pack. There is also a card shop to buy packs, at first is just MGS1 packs but t later in the game the player gets access to MGS2, MGS3 packs, plus "Chronicles" packs with cards from the original (and old) Metal Gear games, Policenauts, Snatcher, and ZOE, all games directed or produced by Hideo Kojima.

About the difficulty of the game, is not bad at all. At first the enemies don't really have a lot of equipment or life points, but as the game progresses they get smarter and some even get shields just like in the true MGS games. If the game was not hard for you at all, after finishing it you get access to extreme mode, with more, stronger enemies.

STORY: The plot of this game is not cannon in the MGS universe, but still it was well done. It feels like it was well written and that Kojima actually supervised the whole thing. There are a few plot twist, and at first some parts of the plot may look odd, but in the end pretty much everything gets solved, yet it leaves material for a sequel. All the characters in the game are new to the series except for Solid Snake, and the partner Snake gets, this girl called Teliko, feels like is more that just a female clone of Snake.

GRAPHICS: The graphical aspect of the game is excellent, specially for a launch day game of the PSP. The whole presentation feels clean an polished, and the design of the characters is good and their portraits are well drawn, but sadly there is not much variation in the portraits. The stages feel balanced in terms of design, just as good as in the original series.

SOUND: I quite liked the music, specially the one that plays when the enemy sees you and the alert mode starts. There are lots of little sounds from the MGS series the player will recognize. There is no voice acting, but it does not feel like it was needed.

REPLAYABLE: The whole game can be completed between 6 hours, if you are an expert and have lots of cards, or even 20 or more for beginners. Since you can optimize your deck as much as you want and there is an extreme mode when the game is finished for the first time, you might want to play again, or even attempt to collect every card in the game.

GET or NOT: Get. You may want to try it first, but you will end up buying it anyway.

NAME: METAL GEAR ACID
SYSTEM: PlayStation Portable

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