Metal Gear Acid 2
Solid Snake playing Go Fish.
This was the image that entered my mind when I first heard of the concept behind Metal Gear Acid, the strategic card-based game that launched with the PSP. I mean, how do you take one of the most beloved action series of recent years and translate it into a card game? I was befuddled, utterly shocked at the strange decision to take one of the most dynamic videogame characters and place him in a genre that's weighed down by the mechanics of cards with all their rule-intensive complications.
Yet when the game was released, I was befuddled, utterly shocked at how well Konami able to pull it off. There were problems, sure, but on the whole, it offered up a satisfying strategy experience all within the world of Snake and his cohorts. It's less than a year later, and the venerable Snake graces our presence once again in Metal Gear Acid 2, a sequel that fixes all the stuff that needed fixing, and then some.
Metal Gear Acid 2, at its core, is the same game as the original, combining the real-time stealth tactics of the Metal Gear series with strategic, turn-based gameplay. If you've played the original, then you know it works better than you might think, but at the same time, if you've played the game before, then you know that it sometimes doesn't work as well as it should. Fortunately, Metal Gear Acid 2 is a much more refined experience, filled with subtle changes that veterans will recognize from the start. Though still strategic in nature, the pace of the game is much faster (one of the bigger issues with the original), a bit more frantic, but also much more fun. It isn't bogged down by card-based mechanics as much as it's concerned with offering a fast-paced but strategic gameplay experience.
Really, one of the best changes that comes with Metal Gear Acid 2 is the overhauled visuals. The original Metal Gear Acid featured scenery that was extremely reminiscent of other Metal Gear titles, with the often drab and dreary warehouse-like settings. Now, the visuals are much more vibrant, though not so much that it's out of character for the series, and when combined with the cel-shaded look of the game, it can be a real treat on the eyes.
But, conversely, one of the more disappoint aspects is the audio. The Metal Gear franchise practically ushered in the voice-acting movement on consoles, but in Metal Gear Acid 2, there's absolutely none to be found. The music and sound affects are typical Metal Gear fare, which is to say they're both well done, but the lack of voice acting combined with the often boggling plot makes for a somewhat disappointing storytelling experience.
But, on the whole, there's a lot to like here if you were a fan of the original Metal Gear Acid -- if you hated it the first time around, however (and I know there's a decent amount of you out there), then Metal Gear Acid 2 will do little to change your mind, unfortunately. It's bigger and better, yes, but still essentially the same game ' a boon for some and a whole bunch of 'boos'? for others.