Metal Gear Solid: VR Missions Review

By: John Doe

Snake is back, and I don't mean Pliskin. Konami throws MGS fans a bone while we wait indefinitely on hold for a sequel to the ground breaking original. MGS: VR Missions is just that; a whole disc full of 300 training missions, like those found in last years game. This time around there are a few bonus extras like a Mystery mode and a Photography mode for those who have the right stuff. Due to the nature of the gameplay, VR Missions comes off as more of an interactive puzzle game than an action-oriented shoot-em-up.


Originally it was thought that VR Missions would include an updated version of Metal Gear Solid. Brace yourselves: It does not. It really is just a ton of those virtual training missions on one disc. For MGS fans who dug those training missions in the original, you'll be in heaven; at least for awhile. Those who want a whole new game, better rent before you go off half-cocked.

The VR Missions are quite varied. You must reach the goal of each level by relying on either your stealth, your weapon know-how or both. The Weapons Challenges will force you to use every weapon found in the original game to meet your objectives. On the earlier levels you'll be simply blasting away at slowly moving targets, but that soon gives way to the heavy duty challenges that lie ahead. The game ramps up in difficulty gradually, and the first levels are a cakewalk for MGS veterans. Newbies should play the original game first and then try out VR Missions... Once you get to the later levels, vets and newbies will need to use all of their Solid Snake tricks and a bit of luck to advance. Needless to say, only the very best will reach the later objectives like the Mystery and Photography modes, and of course the Ninja missions.

The Mystery mode is great fun but there are only ten missions. There is also the Photography mode where you can take pics of Mei Ling and save them to the memory card at the high price of 2 blocks per pic. This may be exciting for teenage boys but it does absolutely nothing for me. Spend your time popping your zits, washing your hair, taking personality lessons and court a real girl. Now there's an idea. Playing as the Ninja is a treat and will thrill many hardcore MGS fans who thought the Ninja was cooler than SS himself.

Complaint Dept. Konami should have included the slightly updated version of Metal Gear Solid in this package. It would have justified a purchase to many people who don't already own Hideo's masterpiece. Now they'll have to buy both at a hefty price. That aside, my only other complaint is that I find the "virtual" environments a little annoying after awhile. I would have much preferred if all of the missions took place in more realistic surroundings. The gritty realism of MGS made the game come to life; it's a shame that MGS: VR Missions doesn't allow newcomers to discover the depth of Solid Snake's world.

I can see fans of MGS really taking to this game. It's really a neat idea in a sort of "cashing in on the name" kind of way. No it's not as deep as the original MGS, nor, I guess, is it meant to be. It's a fun and exciting extra chapter in the world of Solid Snake. If you think of it as an interactive action/puzzle game, you'll know exactly what to expect. I like this game for what it is, although I would have probably loved it if it included the updated original.






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