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Metal Gear Solid 2:Substance

3.5 out of 5 stars 71 customer reviews

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Product Description

Product Description

In Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance, you are a mercenary named Solid Snake entrusted with the battle against an array of enemies, including Metal Gear, a nuclear capable robot. In this latest edition, Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance, you must stop deadly weapons of mass destruction from falling into the wrong hands. Secret weapons technology is being shipped on an oil tanker to an unknown destination. You must infiltrate the transport and foil their evil plans.

Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance is the PS2 espionage action game Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty with new playable characters, new VR missions, and a few twists. More than 350 new and moderately interesting VR missions fill in some of the gaps in the original game's story. There are also five separate "Snake Stories" that act as new missions. These take place apart from the main story, making them feel less like an expansion to the sprawling events in Sons of Liberty and more like an unconnected romp designed to pad the original game. Unfortunately, the "Snake Stories" lack the thrill, tension, and exposition that made Sons of Liberty so special.

The "substance" is nothing more or less than a collection of disconnected additions to the core game Sons of Liberty, which remains unchanged from its original release: you play as Solid Snake in stealthy espionage/assault missions, infiltrating the lairs of bad guys to take down nuclear-powered bipedal creations called Metal Gears. Snake has all kinds of tricks up his sleeves: high tech weapons, the ability to sneak around undetected--he can even flip over the side of a railing to hide (a "Grip Meter" counts down, increasing the tension and making you pray the enemy walks away). Both a boon and a detriment to the game is its reliance on cinematic scenes to further the convoluted plot. They're well-rendered and professionally done, but you'll seemingly find yourself spending more time watching the game than playing it.

Substance is worthwhile for anyone who doesn't already own Sons of Liberty. That goes double for Xbox and GameCube fans, because the game looks much better on those consoles than it did on PS2. For those who've already played the original, this reissue just doesn't add enough, pardon me, substance, to merit purchasing it again. --Bob Andrews


  • New modes and missions
  • Graphics improvements on Xbox and GameCube
  • Skateboard mode on PS2
  • New content too sparse for players who already have the original game.

Product Information

Product Dimensions 7.5 x 5.3 x 0.6 inches
Item Weight 2.4 ounces
Shipping Weight 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
Customer Reviews
3.5 out of 5 stars 71 customer reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #51,203 in Electronics (See Top 100 in Electronics)
#433 in Video Games > More Systems > PlayStation 2 > Games
Date first available at December 4, 2002

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on March 11, 2003
Despite many critics panning this as "too little too late" or simply "not worth owning", it's quite the opposite. MGS2: Substance is, at the most basic level, the original Sons of Liberty with an addon pack thrown in. And maybe people will see it as that. But, I think many important aspects of this release are being overlooked.
First off, the X-Box version was not the marvel either Konami or X-Box fans put it out to be. It was an unoptimized port that didn't make use of the X-Box's graphic strengths, leaving it often looking equal to or worse than the PS2 source; judging the new PS2 release with only having played the X-Box version is a mistake. This PS2 version has improved graphics and smoother graphics, with only a one or two second difference in loading times when compared to the original PS2 version. For example, many background textures are less pixelated, reflections are more detailed, and the thermal goggles are upgraded (similar to the ones in Splinter Cell). Player models are also smoother. The game just looks better.
With that said, here's what gameplay you get. The full, original Sons of Liberty is included, as well as the extra features included its corresponding European and Japanese releases (casting theatre and boss survival). VR Missions and Alternative Missions are included. There are over 400 VR levels and many alternative modes, such as holding enemies up and disposing of bombs within a certain time.
The two standout features of the game are the Snake Tales and the (sigh) skateboarding. This isn't to say that the skateboarding is terrible; it just isn't any Tony Hawk: Pro Skater, gameplay-wise or control-wise.
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Comment 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Metal Gear Solid is probably the one series, other than Grand Theft Auto, that has brought more people into the modern gaming era since 1998. The idea that stealth and not shooting takes precedence was and still is a revolutionary concept in the video game industry. Now over a year and a half since Metal Gear Solid 2's release on the Playstation 2, Knonami has served up a healthy dosage of supplemental material for this disc.
One of the things that makes this title stand out is the enormous variety in gameplay. There are various modes of play you can engage in. Hold up modes, VR missions, bomb difusals, elimination, alternate missions, over 500 in all. There's enough here to help you stave off bordom for quite a while. One of the standout features of this game are the Snake Tales. A side story feature that details Snake's mission during the main body of the game ( the full version of Metal Gear Solid 2 Sons of Liberty is also included in this game). As you complete each set of challenges you unlock more playable characters, each with a varying degree of difficulty of use. Hideo Kojima has put alot on the table for you do that it doesn't feel like an "addon".
The graphics are essentially the same as the original game for PS2. But for those who feared some of the graphical problems that were associated with the XBox version, do not fear. There is no noticiable slowdown or drop offs in the framerate ( this has given PS2 owners the nuclear sized bomb to drop on XBox owners of "Gee, it runs fine on MY console). One thing that is different is the thermal goggle mode. The red background and bright red images has been replaced by a more "thermographic" scope showing degrees of heat emitted by objects.
The controls are very intuitive. It takes mere minutes to become familiar with them.
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If you are an older video game player lucky enough never to have played Metal Gear Solid 2, this game is your dream come true. MGS2: Substance contains not only the awesome, but not perfect, MGS2: Sons of Liberty in its full glory, but also a massive number of VR Missions, the cool and challenging Snake Tales, the not-so-good Skateboarding demo, and a bunch of other little bonuses. Whether this game is worth owning if you already own MGS2: Sons of Liberty depends on how hardcore a fan you are. *SPOILERS*
Metal Gear Solid 2 is truly state of the art, and I'll tell you why. The graphics are so incredible that even after playing it for dozens of hours you will still be floored when you stop to look around in the game. The animation is so fluid, and the character models so detailed, that MGS2 is one of the few games for any platform that could be considered as the most graphically impressive game of all time. The music is extremely well done, except for the insanely [bad] piano music during intimate conversations between Raiden and Rose. The sound effects are simply awesome; the voice acting, like the first game, is so much better than any other video game that it isn't even worth making comparisons. I hope David Hayter remains the voice of Solid Snake for every Metal Gear game from now on; his voice is just perfect for this character! The gameplay is excellent, with responsive controls and a great variety of moves, weapons, and dramatic situations. The boss battles are insanely cool and will really challenge the player. Those are the great aspects of this game, and far outweigh the not so good. But...
...This game does have some unfortunate flaws, which hold it back from being perfect. The story, to put it mildly, doesn't even come close to the first Metal Gear Solid.
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