Metal Gear
Box Shot
Metal Gear
Platform: NES
Publisher: Ultra
Designer: Ultra/Konami
Genre: Adventure
Players: 1
Published Date 1988
Reviewed by: Matt Hull

One of the greatest games ever has to be Metal Gear. It has it all...great graphics, suspensful music, nifty controls, and lots of innovation. This was one of the first games by Ultra (the sister company of Konami). It was released in 1988 and has spawned a NES sequal and a soon to come PSX game. However, this is as good as the series will get in my opinion. Even the NES sequel couldn't top this one.

The objective of Metal Gear is to infiltrate an isolated area in Galesburg, South Africa known as Outer Heaven. It is rumored that here, a madman has constructed a nuclear nightmare weapon known as the Metal Gear. As Solid Snake, (AKA Justin Halley) you must secretly infiltrate the Outer Heaven base, get key cards and equipment that will help you to get further into the base, and keep in touch with your boss and other allies via the transceiver. Another objective is to rescue the prisoners that have been captured. As you progress further in the game and save more POW's, your rank will increase. This gives you more life and allows you to hold more of each weapon. Just make sure that you DO NOT shoot any POW's. If you shoot one, there is no way that you can win. Dr. Petrovich is one of the main "captives" that you must find. He is being forced to make the Metal Gear and only he knows how to destroy it.

Now doing all this is easier said than done. There are soldiers that you must bypass and tons of pitfalls, lazer cameras, red lazers, scorpions, and many more deadly traps that you will encounter. Make sure that you SEARCH EVERYWHERE. Most items are difficult to find. There are several buildings in Outer Heaven. Most of them have several floors and lots of area to explore. That is one of the factors that makes this game so good. One more thing is that you must be careful not to listen to everyone. Several people will call you on your transceiver. Some people are good but others must not be trusted. You'll learn who's not to be trusted as you progress. Another thing is that there are several bosses that you'll fight in Metal Gear. Learn which weapons work against them.

The graphics in Metal Gear and excellent. They have that Konami "feel" that gives the game a cool atmosphere. There's plenty of detail, color, and animation to satisfy any video game player. The graphics aren't like in a game like Ninja Gaiden 2 or Mega Man 3 but are still EXCELLENT for a 1988 release.

Musicwise, I REALLY like what Ultra/Konami did in Metal Gear. They added a lot of variety in the music. Some tracks are just plain cool and others are very suspenseful. There are only 2 main themes that you will be hearing (well, 3 if you count the "being spotted" theme) ;) but the last stage has several! The drums and percussion are what you'd expect from a Konami game. The music is very well done.

As far as the challenge goes, there's plenty of it in Metal Gear. There are TONS of items that you must find, mazes in the jungle in which you must use the correct route to get further, and absolutely loads of death traps awaiting you around the complex. You'll want to make a map of the game because it is BIG with lots of exploring. Metal Gear is in the top 3 toughest Konami/Ultra games out there in my opinion. Just becaue it's difficult doesn't mean it's a bad game though. Quite to the contrary.

The most important factor in Metal Gear in that it's a lot of fun. There's just something so cool about infiltrating a secret and isolated complex in South Africa. The game has lots of suspense, TONS of items, and a great big area to explore. Just obtaining some of the items is a lot of fun. One item (cardboard) allows you to hide and still move around!! Talk about unique! I can't emphasize enough how great the storyline is. It gets as think as chopsticks by the end. You'll be surprised by the events that occur. To summerize, this is a GREAT NES game that I feel never got the credit it deserves. Lastly, for those of you who can't get enough of this great game, try to find the Worlds of Power book based on Metal Gear. It is great and is a MUST read for any Metal Gear fan.