Card-based games are really less about the story than they are about the cards themselves. Adding a single, powerful new card to Snake's deck can completely change your strategic outlook. Both Metal Gear Ac!d games use the same rule system, and cards generally fall into one of four categories. EQUIP cards go into one of your equipment slots until they are used, like armor, for example. USE cards have a one-time effect (like weapons), or can be used for movement if you don’t have a target. MOVE cards are specifically for movement, and COST cards allow you to play more cards from your hand in a single turn. Of course, there are dozens of cards that are special; rare breeds that can magically turn the whole game on its head. Combinations are endless, maddening and thrilling all at once.
If you aren’t careful, the collector in you may spend dozens - or even hundreds - of hours hunting the rarest (and generally the most powerful) cards in the game. There are over 550 cards in Ac!d 2, up from just about 200 in the original. This massive amount means that you’ll be spending more time re-doing missions just to earn extra points (which you’ll use to purchase additional decks). In the first game, this was a grind, with only one or two ways to replay a level you had previously cleared. Ac!d 2 offers you several different “side quests” for each area, presenting alternative puzzles. Some of these challenges are insanely tough, but give you a chance to lay down different card combos, and figure out what new cards actually do in combat.