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Release year: 1990 | Players: 1 player | Developed by Ultra / Konami

Snake’s Revenge (NES)

Snake’s Revenge (AKA …) is a 2D stealth action-adventure video game developed by Ultra / Konami and published for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in 1990. This version of the game was released to target only Western gamers. It was never released in Japan. Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima had no hand in this game whatsoever while it was being developed.

Snake’s Revenge follows the same plot as the original Metal Gear. The protagonist, Lt. Solid Snake, is tasked to infiltrate the enemy base, collect intel on the Metal Gear 2 and destroy it.

Snake's Revenge Cover Box

Snake’s Revenge Cover (NES)

Most of the game’s mechanics follow the previous versions. In this game, stealth still means everything. The game controls, though, remain difficult and time-consuming. Snake still has a limited range of movement, can only run in four directions and cannot move diagonally unlike his enemies.

Similar to the original Metal Gear, you would still need to go through all the key cards to unlock doors. The game still does not have a save option that allows a player to keep all the items he found before he dies. If you die, you would have to start over and find the right doors and items again. It can be quite tiresome.

Some noteworthy, but not necessarily positive, changes include equipping Solid Snake with weapons — a handgun and a knife — at the start of the game. This is unlike in Metal Gear where he armed himself with only his fists.

Another new thing is the multiple searchlights in the outside jungle scene that cover the background. You can only make a quick glimpse of the environment with the bits and pieces of background shown by the moving lights. This makes playing Snake’s Revenge much more difficult.

It also introduced 2 new Fox-hound characters that do not play any role in the game. They were shown in the opening sequence and mentioned in the closing one, but they did not play any pivotal roles in the actual gameplay.

The most notable change is the introduction of side-scrolling sequences that follow the platform game format. In these sequences of Snake’s Revenge, Lt. Snake needs to jump to avoid enemies. He never did this movement in any of the other versions.

Side-scrolling scenes also lost the need for stealthy movements. The only stealthy move you can make was to crouch low in front of the enemy soldiers to avoid them. There’s no sneaking past them.

The worst impact of this change is the switch in the use of Controls A and B for shooting and jumping while in this sequence. This makes the gameplay much more confusing for the player.

Snake Revenge has decent graphics for the background. Enemy sprites have different colors and designs that can make levels distinct from one another. A questionable change though is having Solid Snake wear a bright orange suit instead of the camo he had in Metal Gear.

As with other Metal Gear games, the music fits the levels and invokes the right emotion such as panic or alertness.

Snake’s Revenge has a mix of positive and negative changes but all in all, it’s a decent instalment of the Metal Gear franchise. If you get the past the irritating changes they introduced, it will be worth your while to check it out.

Snake’s Revenge game has only been ported to Nintendo NES.

Snake’s Revenge - Nintendo NES
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