Review: Geriatric Snake!

Find out how does Snake’s latest (and oldest) adventure stacks up.

By Aaron Roberts. Posted 10/05/2010 13:00 1 Comment     ShareThis
The Final Grade
grade/score info
1-Up Mushroom for...
Realistic steam room interrogations
Poison Mushroom for...
Not enough towels in the steam room!

MGS Wheeler's Revenge

Legend has it that playing as the then-young, pretty boy Raiden in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty was in response to a single letter series creator Hideo Kojima got from a young girl, who was lamenting that she had to play as an “old man” in the first Metal Gear Solid.  Solid Snake was all of thirty-one during that game, so after forcing Metal Gear fans to slog through a game as young, whiny Raiden, Kojima threw fans for a loop by making them play the next game as Snake’s father, then Kojima got his ultimate payback by making Snake an even older man in the fourth game.

Now, things have come full circle in Metal Gear Naked:  Snake’s Revenge on Nintendo Veearr.  Players start the game as eighty-something Raiden, called out of retirement for one final mission as the small island republic of San Loco becomes a full-fledged nuclear power.  Raiden infiltrates dictator Higharolla Kockamamie’s nuclear fusion plant only to break his hip in an unskippable cut-scene, which, thanks to Nintendo’s top-notch brain-link, is fully felt by the player in mid-break.

After Raiden is locked up in Kockamamie’s high-security prison, it’s up to new hero Senescent Snake to take up the cause.  Due to being a sixth-generation clone of the original Big Boss, Snake has already advanced to the physical age of sixty-five at the ripe old age of fifteen.  Since he has not yet become old enough to legally smoke, Snake spends the entire game chomping down on a bubble pipe, which, incidentally, also provides one of the title’s mini-games, in which Snake tries to create unique shapes with the bubbles.

Despite not having reached maturity, Snake nevertheless has all the tools necessary to be a top-notch killing machine, although the player can proceed with non-lethal combat, as in earlier series entries.  With Veearr’s technology, the player is fully immersed in the world of San Loco, and feels every raspy breath and stiff joint.   In-game movies tend to retreat to the third-person perspective, which causes some loss of immersion, although Kojima Productions’ reliance on the old movie-style storytelling is a nice, nostalgic touch.  Also, since Snake is technically a teenager, his observations on the realities of war tend to boil down to such poetic nuances as, “War sucks.  It sucks a lot.”

Metal Gear Naked: Snake’s Revenge Audio Clip

Otacon is also around as a helpful cyborg who tends to make semi-homoerotic overtures to teenage Snake, although most of these go over Snake’s head.  Perhaps the most challenging parts of the game is when Snake has to penetrate the five nursing homes of San Loco to get information on Raiden’s whereabouts.  The final rest home culminates in a steam room interrogation scene, where Snake has to wheedle info out of an old crime boss without blowing his cover.  Nintendo’s voice recognition software is able to recognize a number of responses, and if you’ve recently saved, it’s fun to see what kinds of reactions you get from the other old men in the steam room with random responses or questions.

Snake’s final battle against Kockamamie in Espinaca Gear is one of the series’ signature fights, although Snake has to find a new way to stop the monstrosity, as his Stinger missile launcher has jammed and he’s simply unable to fathom the “new-fangled” technology present in the GearStopper propulsion system.  Fortunately, the California-based Kojima Productions team has left a number of other ways to win the fight.  This reviewer brought down Espinaca Gear by stopping up the tailpipe with a banana.

Overall, Metal Gear Naked: Snake’s Revenge makes brilliant use of the Veearr’s patented Brain-Synch system, showing that Konami still has what it takes to make a game with cutting-edge technology.  Hardcore gamers may want to save their money, however, as rumor has it an International version, called Snake’s Revenge: Essential, will be released next fall with a full Japanese cast, which is hard to come by since Japan made English its official language twenty years ago, five years before the Chinese nuclear wars caused most Japanese nationals to emigrate to northern California.

This review is a parody. But we bet you’d buy this game, wouldn’t you?

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