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Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Play Arts Kai Snake Review - Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes

I've received some requests for a review of the latest Play Arts Kai Snake (Big Boss) figure so that kinda perked up my interest to do one. I initially have no plans of doing it since I don't think i'll be going back to PAK MGS, but that was another story. There was once a time i couldn't imagine missing out on this particular figure. Credits to Bryan Erickson Suguitan and Josh Chua for the Snake figure.
For one thing, i haven't played the new game and was only able to get information regarding the story from other sites. Story is pretty good IMO, well, what do you expect from MGS? If you can get past the twist and turns and names and events you have a hard time remembering you get into more convoluted plotlines and unlikely scenarios...and i love them. Ground Zeroes was set a few years after the Peacewalker plotline and pitted the MSF against the Skull Face-led XOF. We get Paz again who survived the events of PW together with Chico, Huey and of course Kaz plus a ruse by XOF to blow up the MSF Motherbase. Well, read the entire story somewhere else, me got a figure review...

I'd like to view the new Snake figure as an upgraded version of the Sneaking Suit Snake PAK from Peacewalker a few years back and in a way it definitely is. Accessory-wise though they are still both lacking in my opinion but this version takes the cake because of one inclusion which i will discuss later. For now let's see what he's packing:
A Rifle, check. Pistol, check. Knife, check, 3 extra alt hands, check and yeah, there you go, you get an alt head with NVG. I think that's a first for an MGS Play Arts Kai figure and it's a very nice inclusion.  

The details on his Suit is very similar to the old Sneaking Suit version though of course he's much taller and in consistent scale with the newer MGS PAK figures. You still get that cumbersome belt-bag, some ammo pockets, the molded straps, Fox and MSF Logos. Nothing new really.

The biggest improvement...errr...should i call it an improvement? anyway, is the new head-sculpt. We get an older Snake here minus his bandanna and sporting a different hairdo and beard. Of course, as i mentioned earlier, the NVG head is a nice addition which opens up more playability and display options for Snake. With the price increase for the newer PAKs i think it's fair enough for an extra HS to be included in this figure.
However, i'm not a big fan of the new HS. I think it's less detailed than that of the older Snake and the paint application isn't that good. The "oily-skin" makes the HS even less impressive so if you have the old Sneaking Suit Snake i suggest you try doing a head-swap when displaying.

Poseability is still good though i must note that he's not as poseable as the older Naked Snake figure. I had a hard time getting him to pull off some crouching poses. Something that the older SS Snake was able to perfect. His chest is now made from softer PVC but he can't pull some aiming poses that are, again, perfected by the SS Snake. His toes are now movable downward and upward, very different from the spin-it sideways movement of the older Snake figure.

CQC poses are hard to create in this figure, that's -1 to playability while the sturdier but stiffer joints limit his arm movements. Hell, i can't even have him use his rifle scope, but what was i thinking? Look down the rifle sights using your covered eye? good luck. The elbow pads are now designed differently, perhaps to avoid breakage, a common problem for the older MGS PAKs.
Overall, the Ground Zeroes Snake Play Arts Kai figure is still a good piece to get especially if you are a big Metal Gear fan. He's consistently scaled with the new MGS PAKs, he's got a cool alt Head and additional weapons. On the other hand, if you are working on a budget and already got the Sneaking Suit Snake from Peacewalker i suggest you wait instead for the upcoming Punished Snake from Phantom Pain. Sorry Snake, can't blame you though, Peacewalker's SS Snake's poseability and playability is essentially top-shelf even by modern PAK standards.

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