Friday, August 11, 2006

Metal Gear Ac!d 2

Genre: Action, Spy / Espionage, Shooter
Platform: PSP
2005 Konami Corporation, Kojima Productions.

Metal Gear Acid Games
Metal Gear Acid Strategy Guides/Art
Original Soundtrack
Toys and Accessories
Everything Metal Gear
Amazon.Com Product Description:
Metal Gear Acid 2 enhances the card based tactical gameplay of the original game while delivering even more explosive action from the Metal Gear universe. Featuring over-the-top visual effects, deeper strategic gameplay, and a new tutorial mode. Acid 2 is the best portable Metal Gear game to date.
  • Improved Tactical Gameplay - Card weapon upgrades and over 500 cards to use
  • 3D Mode - Gameplay and trailers can be viewed in 3D
  • Arena Mode - Battle classic boss enemies from Metal Gear games
  • Compete head-to-head over wireless multiplayer mode
  • Game connectivity between MGS3: Subsistence for the PlayStation2 computer entertainment system

Addicted To My Second Dose Of Ac!d >>> by Voldemort

Metal Gear Ac!d 2 is the highly-anticipated sequel to one of the most celebrated launch games on the PSP. Ac!d picks up from where the last one left off. You are treated to almost the same gameplay, almost thrice as many cards to work with as the first game, and an entirely new story filled with twists and turns meant to keep you guessing until the very end.

In this installment, you once again play Snake, but this time will work with a different mysterious girl who goes by the name of Venus. It's mostly a cosmetic change though, although a fine cosmetic change, in my opinion. This game was, in almost every single aspect, far better than the first Ac!d, and that wasn't a mean feat to achieve, by any means.

Story: B+ (8)
The story is the only department that Ac!d 2 doesn't match or exceed the first Ac!d in. While Ac!d was rife with mystery and intrigue, Ac!d 2 banked on keeping you completely in the dark by not providing details until the last moment despite the twists and turns being painfully obvious if you played the first game.

Avoiding spoilers in this review, you are Snake and you have amnesia. How convenient. Coming home from a mission in another country, you are put under arrest and asked to infiltrate a scientific institute. Meanwhile, you find out a massive military plot involving a new Metal Gear, and the one in charge of the takeover has a huge vendetta against you, and you have no idea why.

Pretty heavy stuff, but nowhere near the masterfully done storyline of the first MGA, and some of the twists and turns are downright annoying, particularly regarding Snake's true identity. It's a solid story on its own, but given my experience with the Metal Gear series in general, I am fairly disappointed by this effort.

Gameplay: A- (8.5)
The gameplay for MGA2 is a definite step up from the original series, although it certainly won't disorient those who played the first game. The opening of the game even comes with a tutorial, which will allow you to get a good idea of how to play the game.

New additions to the card types since the first Ac!d are Trap cards that are cards that put a specific effect on a specific block, and anyone who steps on the block in question will get a specific bonus or condition, as the case may be. The other new card type is called Links, which are cards that don't do anything until you do something that triggers the Link action to happen. Such Link actions do not cost anything when activated, nor do they count towards your Rest limit for the turn.

One noticeable change from the first game was the ability to upgrade cards. Instead of just having, say, a Grenade, you can upgrade the card to become a Grenade +. Sometimes, the card gets better, sometimes, the card gets more effective but more expensive, sometimes the card completely changes from the original. In all, pretty good additions to the system.

Graphics: B+ (8)
Metal Gear Ac!d 2 employs brighter colors which may or may not be better than the first game, depending how you like seeing Snake. He doesn't sport the same dark colors and the entire game is more colorful. Venus, your female partner, and any other female characters have very animated chests, which may be a bit distracting at times, but is a welcome distraction nonetheless.

The game is even made to be compliant with the Solid Eye viewer, which essentially lets you see the game's image in 3D, though it hurts the eyes too much if you use it for extended periods of time.

While the game is a step up from the previous game's efforts in graphics, it is still nowhere at par with the capabilities of the PSP, considering other games that are even older than MGA2 have significantly better graphics.

Music & Sound: B (7)
The music and sound effects of this game are still as good as they were the last time, with only a few tracks for missions, some voice acting for in-game action, but not cut-scenes, and standard-issue Metal Gear sound effects. You won't get tired of the sound easily, but there's nothing that leaps out at you in this department.

Replayability: A (9)
Ac!d 2 has definitely more replayability than the first game. With over twice as many cards to collect in contrast to the first game, and loads of unlockables based on the difficulty mode you complete it in. Also sporting the new Arena mode that not only unlocks new cards per difficulty level, but is also a brand-new mode in Ac!d 2 that allows players to try their luck on purely combat-oriented decks against bosses from previous Metal Gear games.

There are also special missions in each location in MGA2 in contrast to the random but repetitive mission types in MGA1. For instance in one stage, you have the standard Stealth and Elimination missions, plus special missions that entail you to achieve certain conditions while the game provides you with a deck tailor-made for the challenge.

Definitely, the game is even more replayable than the last Metal Gear Ac!d, and that's a good thing.

Miscellaneous Pros and Cons:
+ This game has insanely fast loading times, to the point where you don't even realize that there is any loading going on.
- The game allows you to only save one deck at a time for Venus and Snake. You can't save more than one deck configuration at a time, which makes making a brand-new deck quite a chore.
+ If you have the first Metal Gear Ac!d, you can carry over 1/100th of your points from there, as well as one card of your choice, into your new game. I would suggest either "Big Boss" or "Stealth" to help you out there.
- This game is shorter than the first Metal Gear Ac!d. AUGH!
+ It is possible to create an extremely powerful deck that can get you through 99% of all Story Mode missions and all of Arena Mode, on any difficulty level. I know, because I made it.

Overall: A- (8.5)
Metal Gear Ac!d 2 is a nice but small step in the right direction for the franchise. It has a tutorial mode, enhanced gameplay, ample features, and insane replayability. What keeps it from being a perfect game is the fact that it's too short, and is still a bit complicated for novices to pick up.

Nevertheless, this is a worthy sequel. MG Ac!d 2 is definitely a must-have for anyone who wants a good, addictive game for the PSP.
Given a choice between Ac!d 1 and Ac!d 2, there's no question about it: I suggest getting the sequel. You won't regret it.

DIFFICULTY: Easy to difficult
HIGHEST LEVEL ACHIEVED: Game completed thrice, once per level. All cards per level.
RATINGS: Gameplay 8.5; Battle 8; Story 8; Visuals 8; Characters 10; Sounds 7; Replay Value 9

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