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PopRocks359 (User)

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"Tapping my foot here."

The Unpopular Opinion: Twin Snakes Was Good

PopRocks359 | 453d ago
User blog

Metal Gear Solid is one of those Nintendo-esque retro greats that have stood the test of time and continued to find success through the decades. The series is now entering its 5th chapter, or rather the fourth (marking the fourth game after Snake Eater, canonically the first game in the timeline). The MSX games were misguidedly ported to the NES and the very first Playstation "Solid" game was remade on the Gamecube utilizing the much more modern (at the time) Metal Gear Solid 2 engine. None of these games are met with a great deal of praise from people these days (although it initially met with positive reviews from critics). In lieu of Metal Gear on NES and even more so, the infamous "Snake's Revenge" (which did away with Kojima's original vision and outright ignored his work)...

But in the case of Twin Snakes, I have a few counterpoints to argue in favor of its quality.

Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes was developed by Silicon Knights, now known as Precursor games. The remake was of course aided in development by Konami, with newly animated cutscenes directed by a Japanese film director. The game also featured completely re-recorded vocal dialogue with almost all of the characters having their original actors return to reprise their roles (at the request of David Hayter himself).

A number of these choices led to aesthetic and directorial decisions that have been met with some criticism. I'll try my best to pinpoint the most prominent among my own peers and try my best to argue them.

Keep in mind, these are criticisms I have heard from individuals and don't necessarily reflect the Metal Gear fanbase as a whole or my view of them.

1. The game was made too easy thanks to first person aiming.

This is a fair argument. Aiming in first person significantly reduces the difficulty of a couple of boss fights. Although I have a counterpoint; the feature is strictly mapped to the Z button and is not necessarily forced on the player.

In the same vain that you can choose to set a higher difficulty, a non-essential feature in a game can easily be chosen to be ignored or utilized by the player. For someone like myself who is not very skilled in stealth games, this can help make the game a tad more accessible. Incidentally, Twin Snakes was indeed my introduction to the series and I fully acknowledge that this could be a huge part of what I'm sure someone out there may consider to be my bias for this rendition of the game. For me, first person aiming helped immensely, but did not necessarily make the game that much easier.

2. The redone voice acting was poor/soulless.

After hearing about criticisms of the voice work, I've gone back and forth from Solid on the Playstation and Twin Snakes on the Gamecube and, to be honest, I feel both games' dialogue and cast have their share of pros and cons. For example, I feel Gray Fox's voice is a massive improvement in Twin Snakes, but Otacon's performance in the original game felt more realistic and less whiny.

Though in the end, this is a purely aesthetic/subjective argument. There's technically no right or wrong here, so I'll just say my personal opinion on the matter.

Gray Fox is quite possibly my favorite Metal Gear Solid character and when I heard Greg Eagles as the character I did not know what to think. In fact, all I could think of was Garcian Smith from the excellent hidden gem Killer7. Greg Eagles plays a primary character in that game and uses a very similar voice to the one used in Metal Gear Solid. Coupling this with the idea that Gray Fox is indeed a white Caucasian male, it just seemed odd to have him sound like Garcian (not bad, mind you and I totally see why others who grew up with the voice dig it).

Rob Paulsen, of Animaniacs and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fame, had a different voice in mind for the character. To me his aged, decrepit and harsh tone seemed perfect for the character and definitely added to what made me think he was such a badass character. Call me crazy, but I think this rendition was the definitive version.

Oh and I didn't need to listen to any of Mei Ling's or Namoi Hunter's stereotypical accents. That was just annoying.

EDIT: I just realized I went on this entire tangent about a single character's voice and failed to explain why; while criticism was casually drawn toward the voice acting from an editor at Destructoid, some rather harsh criticism of Gray Fox's Twin Snakes voice came from a close friend of mine. This is basically my retort to that.

3. The new cutscenes were too crazy/melodramatic/unnecessary .

Okay... really?

With all of the crazy, screwy things we've come across in the Metal Gear universe, you mean to tell me that Snake and Gray Fox going at it Matrix style is where you draw the line? So it's A-okay for the supernatural stuff in Snake Eater? The insanity with Fortune and Vamp in Sons of Liberty? And dare I even bring up nanomachines in Guns of the Patriots?

You could do far, FAR worse for a remake than adding some cutscenes to make its already lengthy cutscenes more cinematic. Unnecessary? Perhaps. Too crazy? Get real. This is Metal Gear we're talking about here. This is the universe that made walking nuke-firing tanks a thing. The Shagohod could move at incredibly high speeds on DRILL TREADS. And Snake doing flips over a katana sword is too much? It's just one of those criticisms I simply cannot understand. Why bother making the graphics look that good (for the time, mind you) and not do anything to give it a more modern flare? Every Metal Gear Solid since the first game have been incredibly cinematic and crazy by nature.

I will say this, one of the best things that ever happened to me as a gamer was that my best friend allowed me to borrow his copy of Twin Snakes, doing his best to convince me of what a fantastic game it was and how great the franchise was as a whole. I was skeptical, as I was in a stage in my youth where I was not entirely comfortable with excessively violent movies. Metal Gear Solid did not bother me nearly as much despite its violent content. I found the Snake character interesting, I enjoyed the universe and had a lot of fun saving the world from a massive nuclear threat. And while I understand why someone may prefer the original game best, I always have fond memories of my own initial experience with the series which, to me at least, really isn't so bad.

And hey, that game is what led to the reason I was so excited to see Snake in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, so it's gotta count for something.

So what are your thoughts on the Twin Snakes? Was it your cup of tea? If not, why not?

Bimkoblerutso  +   453d ago
I didn't know there was such a stigma surrounding the game, to be honest. I hold the PS1 version too near and dear to my heart to ever admit that a remake could be better, but at the very least, I thought it showed proper respect to the original.

Good read too, btw. Kind of nice to see something that doesn't have to do with the console wars right now.
SilentNegotiator  +   453d ago
That's because there ISN'T any substantial stigma around it. It got good reviews from reviewers and users alike. It's hardly an "unpopular opinion" that Twin Snakes was good.
PopRocks359  +   452d ago
There is some amount of criticism drawn toward the game. Not saying it's everywhere, but I've seen some mud slung at Twin Snakes from a few video game websites (Destructoid being the big example I cited) and friends of mine who are into the Metal Gear franchise, so I often felt like the odd man out when it came to that topic. I was just taking some of the common criticisms I observed and was responding to them.
oof46  +   452d ago
I've heard on plenty of podcasts that Twin Snakes is up there with the first Metal Gear Solid as people's favorite MG game.

There are people who don't like it, but it is far from unpopular.
Reibooi  +   452d ago
I have always thought the game was good and the only tiny stigma I know of is fans saying that it made certain scenes to over the top by metal gear standards(I would say at the time that was accurate but with the insane fights in parts of MGS4 it isn't really a valid argument anymore).
TheEvilWithin  +   453d ago
I loved this first 1 for PS1 but the remake for the gamecube was awesome.
BillytheBarbarian  +   453d ago
The gamecube version was awesome.
dedicatedtogamers  +   453d ago
My own unpopular opinion: I loved Portable Ops, despite its flaws, and despite the notion that it may not even be a canon title.
zerocrossing  +   453d ago
Yeah same here, for all of it's shortcomings Portable Ops was a great game IMO, shame that it might not even be cannon.
PopRocks359  +   453d ago
People didn't like Portable Ops? All I ever heard was how good it was as a Metal Gear PSP game.

I've yet to play Portable Ops myself, and I was really disappointed it was not included in the Legacy collection. Is it downloadable on PSN and compatible with the Vita?

Also congrats on getting your ninth bubble. :)

@below

Meh indeed. I played MGS3 on the 3DS before I got the legacy collection and the controls were manageable, if not a little challenging to get used to. If I can handle that I'm sure I can take the controls for Portable Ops. Unless they try to make it Vita compatible, I suppose I can try to get a cheaper PSP.
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dedicatedtogamers  +   453d ago
Not really sure if it's available on PSN, but my assumption is no.

A lot of people hated Portable Ops for a number of reasons. Mostly the controls and having to drag people all the way back to your truck. Meh.
sweetSWAGGER  +   453d ago
@dedicatedtogamers Don't forget having to consume rations like a drug addict. Honestly that was my only game-breaking issue with Portable Ops. I spent more time breaking down doors and killing guys for their rations then I spent on the actual mission.
OrangePowerz  +   453d ago
I think Twin Snakes wasn`t a bad remake, but for me it can`t match the original. There are a few reasons and going matrix in some of the cutscenes is one my issues with it. There is a difference between nano machines as a story plot and going all matrix in cutscenes with overusing bullet time an so on.

My second issue is with the music that they changed completely in some places that reduced the impact of the scene, one of those are when Meryl is getting shot by Sniper Wolf at the entrance of the tower.
sweetSWAGGER  +   453d ago
It's not that the matrix-y cutscenes were too crazy, it's that it felt kind of out of place if you ask me. When I first saw them I thought they were bloody awesome, but now that I've played the original PS1 game, it became really apparent that they were simply added into the story. For example, seeing Snake quietly sneak up to an open doorway... and execute a SIDEWAYS, AERIAL SOMERSAULT over that doorway is like seeing an office worker in a movie doing a cartwheel over a table out of absolutely no-where. It's not that it's over-the-top, it's that it feels unnatural to the scene, like someone clearly added it in. Besides that, the cutscenes are still bloody fun.

Also, using the later games to excuse the remake isn't really fair, as compared to MGS2 and so on; the original MGS1 was relatively subtle. However, I'm assuming that it's remake attempted to spice up that subtlety in order to match the more action-packed MGS2. Therefore, they added more action to the cutscenes. I guess you could compare it to remaking First Blood so that it's as much of a popcorn movie as Rambo III.
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wishingW3L  +   452d ago
the remake was made by a new director and he was just remaking the game piece by piece but Kojima told him that a remake without anything new was not worth it. So the director of the remake added those awful and out of place over the top scenes just for the sake of it.
PopRocks359  +   452d ago
@sweetSWAGGER

At that point I think it's all about preference. Since Twin Snakes was my first Metal Gear game it was easy for me to accept Snake as someone who could do flippy tricks like that, especially since the game begins by talking about how Snake was this amazing living legend and really played up his character. I didn't mind them much; if anything I thought they were cool, and I felt it helped set the stage for the sort of bond that he and Gray Fox had.

As for the comparison to the later games, my view is that Twin Snakes was trying to sort of bridge the gap between the first game and the rest. As you said, the first game was more subtle and less crazy. And while I can understand some people not agreeing with the choice, I did not feel that making the cutscenes more zany was that bad. Like I said, unnecessary? I can understand that point entirely. But too crazy is where I raise an eyebrow.

You make a good point about Rambo, although I would argue that the final act of the first movie was similar to its successors in that there was a ton of shooting and things blowing up. If they were to remake the first film and have a lot more shooting, I don't believe audiences would be entirely unforgiving.
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sweetSWAGGER  +   452d ago
It's just a thing with sequels in my opinion. As something becomes more popular it's only inevitable that it will slowly mutate into something that can appeal to even more people and make more money. They add comic relief, they throw in product-placement, and the story will just get crazier as it's creator gets more and more power without having to answer to anybody (look at what happened to Star Wars).

Very few franchises retain enough integrity to remain what they set out to be in the first place without cashing-in. Metal Gear Solid is without-a-doubt one of those rare franchises. Sure it does EVERYTHING I just said a franchise shouldn't do, but unlike a lot of other games that let me down *cough*Resident Evil*cough*, Metal Gear Solid still resembles Metal Gear Solid at the end of the day.
Benchm4rk  +   453d ago
Loved both versions although I did prefer Twin Snakes out of the 2. Still enjoy it now asuch as I did when it first came out
Firan  +   452d ago
My only problem was those Matrix stunts. It felt out of place for Snake to do that. Especially since I couldn't do those stunts while playing.
MacDonagh  +   452d ago
There is a reason why MGS: Twin Snakes is over the top. Does anyone remember this line Solid Snake said about himself "The reality is no match for the legend"? Twin Snakes was about the legend that surrounded the Shadow Moses incident and not the actual reality of what really took place. The over the top nature was supposed to reflect that but it seems that it went over a lot of people's heads when they played it.

"A legend is nothing but fiction. Someone tells it, someone else remembers, everybody passes it on."

Solid Snake

Considering that Solid Snake's name precedes him and he didn't buy into the mythos that surrounded his reputation; it's not that big of a stretch to surmise that Twin Snakes was an over exaggerated take on the events that took place. Hence, it can't be canon to the rest of the Metal Gear series since it's about a Solid Snake who can pull off near-impossible feats.
wishingW3L  +   452d ago
Twin Snakes was not good, it was broken. The dialogue was crap, the presentation was crap and the 3rd person view broke the game due to its PS1 kind of level design.

Just because you only got to play the GC version and are on a nostalgia trip or because you're a Nintendo fanboy, it does not mean crap because the remake was awful.

And for your 3rd point, you need to realize that Kojima has limits and he knows where to draw the line between believable and just plain ridiculous and it's because of that that KojiPro gets so much flack for that MGS4 scene where Raiden tries to stop Outer Heaven instead of grabbing Snake and run.
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Blacktric  +   452d ago
Finally someone who gets it.

"With all of the crazy, screwy things we've come across in the Metal Gear universe, you mean to tell me that Snake and Gray Fox going at it Matrix style is where you draw the line?"

Really? You are comparing mostly grounded supernatural stuff with unnecessarily over the top presentation? When Snake decides to flip over a door to get to the other side of it, rather than just doing a simple SWAT turn, you have to stop and think how stupid the whole thing actually is. And don't get me started on how he jumped off of a goddamn missle fired from a HIND-D.

https://www.youtube.com/wat...
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PopRocks359  +   452d ago
As a matter of fact, I am. Snake doing exaggerated action hero moves is a lot more believable to me than, say, Raiden lifting a freaking Metal Gear Ray and face planting it on the ground in Rising. Or Vamp having vampire powers because of nanomachines. Or the Fury and his ridiculously overpowered rocket fuel-powered jetpack/flamethrower hybrid.

I can honestly keep going with how insane and wacky the Metal Gear games are and it really surprises me that Snake performing some flippy, Neo-esque action moves is so unacceptable to some people.

Like I said; unnecessary? I can see that argument. Too crazy? Absolutely not given where the series has gone since (and even before when you consider how ridiculous Sons of Liberty was at times).

"Finally someone who gets it."

Considering that wishingW3L over there just complained about a "third person view," and referred to me as a Nintendo fanboy for liking Twin Snakes (even though my favorite MGS game is Guns of the Patriots on PS3, but whatever), I don't think you should be using his comment to strengthen any of your own points. It doesn't make for a very strong base on which to form an argument.
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Blacktric  +   452d ago
"Raiden lifting a freaking Metal Gear Ray and face planting it on the ground in Rising"

Non canon spinoff.

"Or Vamp having vampire powers because of nanomachines."

Still much more grounded than a human being jumping off of a rocket or jump kicking an 80 meter tall mech in the knee.

"It doesn't make for a very strong base on which to form an argument."

I wasn't aware I was supposed to back my own opinions up with facts. Nobody is arguing with facts here.
PopRocks359  +   452d ago
"Non canon spinoff."

And? It doesn't change how ridiculous the series as a whole is.

"Still much more grounded than a human being jumping off of a rocket or jump kicking an 80 meter tall mech in the knee."

Really? You're going to say that after MGS2 and 4's finales? Snake survived being stranded in the middle of the ocean in one game and drove a damn Metal Gear Rex in the other.

"I wasn't aware I was supposed to back my own opinions up with facts. Nobody is arguing with facts here."

Technically in a debate you back up subjective viewpoints with objective statements. Once you get into aesthetics it's really about "I like red and you like blue."

All I'm saying is agreeing with someone who's only argument is "you're a fanboy" is not exactly going to make me take you seriously. Just sayin'.
mydyingparadiselost  +   452d ago
I still have my copy of Twin Snakes, but nothing to play it on! Oh, the horror....
Anyway, TS is awesome and a great addition to the GC library. I wasn't really aware of much hate out there for it, it sounds like someones friend is butthurt a Sony exclusive made it to a Nintendo platform with better graphics and new cutscenes.
I would love to see a reimagining of Guns of the Patriots on Wii U with some spiffy second screen first person aiming, a map and item management. Hell, maybe even throw in some upgraded cutscenes or Bayonetta style combat sections where Snake calls demons forth from his mustache to do battle with Vamp on a moving jet fighter at 15,000 feet.... ok no, THAT really would would be too much :P
ThisIsSolidSnake  +   451d ago
It was cool when it came out on GC. Then I tried re playing the twin snakes recently and it doesn't come close to the original MGS in anyway.Horrible voice acting,redone cut scenes too cheesy,and was a disgrace. And that is all i will say.
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CptBladd  +   450d ago
If you've returned from lobotomy - yes, it was good, also Supeman 64

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