Fans have hounded Konami for years for a Metal Gear Solid HD Collection to what many proclaim the best third person tactical espionage game ever created. When I first grabbed my Vita and began to download the game, many thoughts raced through my head. Thoughts like ‘is this title going to be as good as it was when it was released on the PS2 all those years ago?’ and more importantly, was I still going to enjoy it? The answers to these questions were yes and yes. Find out why in this review!
The game features Metal Gear Solid 2 and Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater – both of which look great on the handheld. The Classic Metal Gear storyline that you loved is back once again with the cut scenes looking better than ever. Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3 on the PS2 already had great graphics, but the Vita has improved on those further, making it significantly better. There are no changes to the story and new features have been added, such as an easier user interface and better controls. Characters are back as you once remembered them. In MGS2, Olga for instance has returned hairy armpits and all, and Snake Eater is still the great camouflaging game that you know and love. These games have not lost anything in translation to Vita and for the most part these are just the killer collection the Vita needs to Succeed. Although it is a shame that the original Metal Gear Solid for the PS1 and Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker for the PSP were not included in the collection, it still provides an entertaining play through for gamers both young and old.
If you have never played a Metal Gear Solid game, you may not realize just how engrossing the storyline is, in addition to the gameplay. The cigarette smoking references of Solid Snake and deep intellectual conversations that ensue in the title provide depth to a cinematic experience that gamers have been experiencing for years.
The gameplay in Metal Gear Solid has always relied heavily on stealth. I honestly love this type of gameplay because it is very challenging. You have to get used to beating areas while traveling undetected into certain locations. The only gripe that I hold against Metal Gear Solid HD Collection on the Vita is that the controls take some getting used to. When you start the game, you are given the controls very quickly and do not have much time to master the buttons, which hurts your experience in the beginning, though you will overcome it quickly and are able to get into the game. Aiming at enemies is a pain and sometimes can lead into them discovering your whereabouts. Use of the Vita touchscreen is there, although I was expecting a bit more use from it instead of its only functions of choosing between weapons and mission specific weapons like the box to hide, camera, or rations to restore your health. Although the controls were the main issue that I had with the games, I have to say, that once you have learned the controls by heart the game is extremely easy to pick up and sneak in a few quick plays whenever you want Stealth action and using sound to your advantage still maintains its usefulness in this title. When you learn when to use your environment to your advantage that is when you can really succeed in being the ultimate stealth action hero. Another important point is that game does not support true HD, as you would have thought. Despite this, the visuals in the game are more than good enough to be considered eyecandy. However, the overall appeal of MGS is not the pictures of females in the lockers or the levels that you will spend hours stealthily walking around in. It’s the environment the game creates, the attention to detail and the connection you make between the characters that has fans coming back for more.
The story and the characters that you will encounter as you progress coupled with the overall graphical capabilities of this game provide one of the most in-depth and well-constructed Vita games that we will see. There are few titles on a handheld that can mirror or look better than how its predecessor looks, alas, the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection does just that. Because of this, I believe things look good for another (Kojima Production) Zone of The Enders, when its HD Collection is released later this fall.
I am a huge fan when it comes to the atmosphere of the Metal Gear Solid games. Maybe it is my taste in music or the fact that I personally feel that when a game constructs a deep, engrossing, and believable environment it helps present a sense of realism that is not shown in most present day titles. MGS HD Collection has all of these aspects and then some. The voice acting is top notch and the dialogue within the cut scenes still show us Solid Snake will do anything to finish his job successfully.
The crystal clear sounds of Otacon yelling “Snake? SNAKKKKKKKKEEEEEEEEE”, will bring back old memories as you get the game over screen. I honestly have to admit that I have never taken pleasure in getting a game over screen like the one you get while paying MGS on the Vita. It brings back that retro charm of the first times you played a MGS title. The music in the game is enjoyable and although the game is in handheld form, it does not lose any of its classic charm.
Finally, Konami has done it again. The Metal Gear Solid HD Collection for the PS Vita are the games that fans of the franchise and those looking for that ‘must buy’ title for the Vita should invest in. If you ever wanted to sneak around on a handheld than this is the perfect time to do so. Metal Gear Solid HD Collection is must-buy for Vita owners and Kojima lovers. It is a truly a masterpiece for the PlayStation Vita.
I give the Metal Gear HD Collection for the Vita a stealthy 8/10.