When the first rumors of a Metal Gear game were announced for the PSP, I got excited. Once details started to pour out about the game being a Turn Based Strategy game, with cards. I was left in shock, and disappointment. Knowing all well that this might be a horrible game. Well, by the time I had gotten my hands on it, that had all changed.
For starters, this game is a lengthy, hard, patience based game. If you are someone with low patience, you might have trouble with MGA. The game itself is paced nicely. After you take you turn and plot your move out, the computer will take their turn. This leaves you time to plot and make sense of your next move, because you're going to need that time. You have 6 cards that you start out with, all randomized. You pick a card, and most of the time you will get 2 options, being a 'Move' and 'Use', or 'Equip'. The 'Move' as it says will allow moving a certain amount of spaces, while the 'Use' will allow you to use the desired card, and with 'Equip' is just allows you to equip the weapon or armour. The game doesn't slow down unless a grenade has gone off in an enemy infested area, this will cause the game to slow down, but still playable. The actual screen in which you can do your actions is great, and very simple to use and understand. No need to get worried. The camera is nice, as you can move it East, West, North, or South to get a better vision on what is happening. Plus you can manual move the camera, in some areas, a full 360' to get a full view of your surroundings. This is nice as it helps to establish the whereabouts of cards packs and enemies. Any people thinking that the game will be confusing think again. It isn't. At first glance, it may seem very confusing and hard, but again, it isn't, because the cards are simple to use, and everything is played out smoothly to allow for more understanding on how to play correctly. Trust me, after the first mission or two; you'll have it down pat. To add to the camera, it can get very distracting! In some areas even downright annoying, because you would be in a small area, with the camera looking at you from the top, but when you move it, the camera will get obstructed by...another wall. So this can get frustrating. And one aspect that makes the game slightly confusing, but to which you can understand soon, is the "Cost" factor that accompanies each card. Whenever you use a card, there is a "Cost" that works with it, the card could have a number 4 at the top, after you use that card, there would be a 4 added on to total cost, at the end of the mission, 'Cost' will be tallied up. If you have a lot of cost (used a lot of cards) then your rank will be poor, so you want to use as little cards as possible, with the lowest cost. Metal Gear Acid is extremely hard at the later levels, as more enemies are placed throughout, and more pathways are blocked off. So, yes you will need to use your brain. This game is so long, and you NEED to be patient. One simple mission could take you upwards of 1-2 hours plus, so plan ahead. But do not be deterred by its length it truly is a good game
Wow, the graphics are extremely impressive. Models look like their counter-parts from the previous games. To word it better, the graphics look a lot better than the original Metal Gear Solid on Playstation, and a little below Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, that's how good they are. You probably won't be disappointed one bit. Fans of the look of Metal Gear Solid are in for a real treat. Solid Snake's face is extremely detailed, as is the new character Teliko. The graphics are smooth, and very sharp. All characters from the guards to the main character are very well detailed and sharp, with fine details in the most minute places. The colour palette used is very much like the previous Metal Gear games. Explosions from grenades and claymore, Nikita missiles and such are amazing, with particles effects better than that of the entire Metal Gear Solid series I think. The environments are very nice, usually looking very similar to Metal Gear Solid 1 and 2. Each environment looking different, of having a different feel to them. Character models for all characters are very nice. Metal Gear Acid, from what I have seen of other games, is one of the best, if not the best looking game on the PSP.
The sound is superb. Take all the sounds from the previous Metal Gear Solid games and place them into this one. But all the sounds have a great vibe and tone. The sound is crisp and clear, and even comes out nicely, so you get the best possible Metal Gear feel. Using the headphones while playing is a must for at least one try, because you get so much more with those than with the already great speakers the PSP has already.
The controls are well thought out, providing a comfortable feel and responsiveness to the game. Like the classic Metal Gear Solid games, the game uses the O button as the action button, not the X button. At first, it will feel awkward, but you get accustomed to it very quickly. The 'Triangle' button just simply speeds up the computer moves, or head you to the games overhead camera view. X button is the cancel button, and the 'Square' is the view the card details. The D-Pad just lets you move when you pick the 'Move' options, or pick an area to attack, all the necessities. And the analog 'Nub' just moves the camera, simple? I think so. Controls are easy to use, and easy to understand, such a great job I'd say with making the controls so easy to use and responsive. So for the controls there is really no need to get frustrated with how to control, is it one of those pick up and play kind of games, but with the strong patience. Occasionally you might get the, ‘Press the button by accident and screw up a move”, which can sometimes get extremely frustrating,
Ah yes, the story. The story is very much like the previous Metal Gear Solid games. The story is great, I love it, and it was enough to actually make me go "Whoa, didn't expect that." Which isn't easy. The story revolves around a terrorist group who hijacks a plane with 500 some passengers among it. Among the hijacked plane is the Senator Hach, a big name politician. The hijackers are insanely freaky marionettes that, might very well give you Goosebumps. These terrorists will do anything, to get the one thing they need, the "Pythagoras", yet no one knows what it is. Guess you'll just have to find out. I'll the story at that, the things that I missed are either to important to say here, or not very important, or even spoilers. So all in all, the story has that amazing Metal Gear Solid feel, and vibe. Quite frankly, it doesn't even feel like you’re playing a new Metal Gear game, that’s how good it is. The story telling is very well done, giving you clues as to what is happening, without ruining a surprise or anything. Also, the direction is very good. Metal Gear Acid, was directed by Shinta Nojiri, who did a fabulous job.
Pros and Cons:
-Very good direction - Shinta Nojiri did a wonderful job making it feel like a Metal Gear game.
-Story - Story is extremely good, it has that all important Metal Gear Solid vibe and feel
-Graphics - The graphics are amazing, very detailed and smooth, wonderful models
-Sound - Sound is extremely crisp, has the same sounds from the previous Metal Gear Solid games, giving that feel and tone.
-Depth - This game has extreme depth, cards can do more, with countering and added effects, much more than what meets the eyes can happen
-Versatile camera - The camera can move anywhere you need it to, to get a better look around the area.
-Great Game Box - The game box is awesome, when you open the game up you'll see why. Looks great, and great with any collection
-Stealth - True stealth at some of it's finest. Using severe strategy to successfully complete the mission.
-Camera obstruction - The camera can get blocked by walls and obstacles.
-Lack of Voice Acting - You have to miss the voice acting, it's awkward not listen to Snake talk.
-Difficulty - This game gets very hard later in the game
As the back of the game case says, "Get ready to experience deep tactical espionage as you plan out your infiltration strategy." With an unlockable two player battle mode, you really can't go wrong. This is a game not to be missed, I love it, I'm sure you will too. Before you know it, hours will have gone by, without you even knowing it, all from playing this amazing game. MGA exemplifies the true meaning of strategy and stealth, bringing your brains into play. Metal Gear Acid is a stunning achievement in the turning an already perfect series into something new and fresh category. Enjoy. I really recommend picking this game up, its addicting, very smooth playing, and pretty long and challenging. Buy.
Reviewer’s Score: 10/10