#71: Snake's Revenge

Released In: 1990
Publisher: Ultra

      The original Metal Gear did not do particularly well in Japan, where it was released for MSX2 computers. However, it was a surprise hit in North America and Konami decided to develop a sequel with a Western audience in mind. That game is Snake's Revenge. Since Hideo Kojima, the creator of the original game, had nothing to do with the creation of Snake's Revenge, it is not considered part of Metal Gear canon. Ironically, it was a chance meeting on a train between Kojima and the lead developer of Snake's Revenge that inspired to Kojima to create his own Metal Gear sequel for the Japanese market. Aside from some crappy sidescrolling segments and a distinct lack of the protagonist's trademark cigarettes, Snake's Revenge stays true to the spirit of the original game. This time, Snake must thwart a plot to mass produce Metal Gear mechas as well as destroy a Metal Gear 2 prototype before it can launch nuclear missiles against New York City, Moscow, and Tokyo.

Syd Lexia: This game has developed somewhat of a reputation of being terrible. Part of that comes from the revelation that it's non-canon, because if a game wasn't good enough to be canon, there's an instant assumption that there's something wrong with it. But that's not the real problem. No, this game's bad reputation comes from the fact that Ultra's game localization team was comprised of complete douchebags. Ultra, for anyone who is unaware, was a subsidiary of Konami that was formed to circumvent a Nintendo of America rule that no licensed third party company could publish more than five NES games per year. This rule was put in place as a quality control measure and it was meant to prevent the market from being flooded with games, a problem which had led to the downfall of the Atari 2600 and almost destroyed the entire industry in the early 80s. Since no such rule existed in Japan, this standard was responsible for many great titles never getting released in North America. As a major Japanese gaming company, Konami felt that five releases per year just wasn't enough. And so, Ultra was born. The Ultra branch of Konami was generally put in charge of publishing lesser titles, so they never got the same glory that Konami of America got. As a result, Ultra's employees often took excessive liberties with the instruction manuals, often adding in retarded jokes or making up their own game storyline as they went along. Thus, the instruction manual refers to the game's main villain as Higharolla Kockamamie, when it is actually Big Boss from the original Metal Gear.

Ultra-related stupidity aside, this game is still pretty good. Sure the sidescrolling sections parts are kinda lame, but the game restores two features of the original MSX version Metal Gear that were missing from the NES version: the double exclamation point alert and the ability to steal food and ammo from enemies. The game also made that goddam radio a hell of a lot easier to use. For that reason alone, I think this game deserves some major props.

Valdronius: Snake's Revenge doesn't really appeal to me. Possibly because I've played some of the newer Metal Gear games, but mostly because Snake can only shoot in four directions, while enemies can shoot in any direction. That, and the fact that Snake is quite tall, making it very difficult to dodge enemy fire.

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80: Adventures of Lolo

79: North & South

78: Caveman Games

77: Wizards & Warriors

76: Rygar

75: Jaws

74: Ice Hockey

73: Adventures of Lolo 2

72: RoboCop

71: Snake's Revenge

70: The Goonies II

69: Ultima: Quest of the Avatar

68: Yo! Noid

67: Adventure Island II

66: Bomberman

65: The Guardian Legend

64: Jackie Chan's Action Kung Fu

63: Journey to Silius

62: Snake Rattle 'n Roll

61: R.C. Pro-Am

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