It is quite unbelievable how ugly the game looks by today's standards. I don't know whether this is because I played it on the PS2, but I also noticed quite a few clipping errors and other assorted glitches -- things that did not stood out that much when I played it the first time around.
There had been a long time between playing Metal Gear: Solid Snake and Metal Gear Solid when I played this game the first time around, but when you play them back-to-back, it is very easy to spot the similarities. MGS is not a 'remake' like millenia suggested, but it does have quite a few similar events, like the memory metal stuff, Deepthroat, fighting Grey Fox hand-to-hand, the elevator fights and meeting a woman in the bathroom (at least there was no elevator there!).
I really like this installment of the Metal Gear saga. What's not to like? Stealth Ninjas, twin brothers... OK, so the 'four guys with assault rifles share an elevator with you' got old real fast -- but at least they stayed on the same level as you. There were no ultra-frustrating fights in Normal mode.
There is a whole slew of clever things built into the game, like how Psycho Mantis reads your memory card and makes your controller move across the floor. That is just brilliant stuff, while it does not affect the story or gameplay too much. In MGS3, there is a lot of brilliant stuff that you just don't need or ever encounter while playing the game -- and thus they are not really of any consequence.
Kojima hammers the theme home with a sledgehammer this time: talk about genes and destiny and chosing life, etc etc etc... He could have toned it down a bit and still have succeeded in making his point. But perhaps this game was aimed squarely at people who had not played the previous games, and thus he needed to do a bit of 'catching up'.
I paid special attention to the actions of Revolver Ocelot -- after MGS3, we know he is actually Adam, the son of The Boss and the commander of the Ocelot unit. He did figure in MGS2 as well, and at the very end we get to hear a conversation between him and the President, the third brother/snake Solidus.
There are some fun things that I noticed. For instance, when Ocelot is talking with Liquid in the control room (where the PAL key cards have to be used), it seems as if he notices Snake before Liquid does. Liquid had just said that he had no interest in reviving 'Mother Russia' as a super power through the use of Metal Gear, which was apparently not according to Ocelot's plan. We know from MGS3 that Ocelot is quite patriotic towards Russia.
Anyway, Ocelot notices Snake, and then off-handedly asks Liquid about what to do with the PAL cards. Did Liquid let Ocelot in on his plans to trick Snake, or did Ocelot try to disarm Metal Gear in order to preserve it for Russia, thinking it was already armed?
Where did he go before the fight between Snake and Metal Gear, anyway?
I also have a bit of trouble reconciling his love for Russia with the fact that he is now working for the Patriots/US branch of the Philosophers (in the person of Solidus)...
On to Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty!
Oh, and I got the rank of 'Leopard'. And a bandana!