Metal Gear Solid HD Collection Review

Released earlier this year on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, the Metal Gear Solid HD collection remains the one to get on home consoles, though the PS Vita version from Armatur Studio will still have plenty of value for Pocket fans.

What you lose if you opt for the Vita version is essentially the resolution and a rocky 60fps frame rate-this port of the game approaches much more than 30fps on many occasions. Metal Gear Solid 3 still looks very impressive on the Vita’s OLED display, mind, while this small version of Metal Gear Solid 2 actually helps to taint most of the disastrous jaggies that have affected the console’s port.

A bigger loss for some (many?) will Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, a game I don’t particularly like, although it’s crazy to see it removed from what could easily have been its best possible format. Seeing a version of the portable title exploit the potential of Vita would have been fantastic, but we have the backwards compatible PSP version of the game on PlayStation Store.

And you’ll excuse me for reusing this paragraph introducing my 360 and PS3 review of the game, but it sums up my thoughts about the series too well to be used any more: I find myself both loving and hating the series to the same degree, sifted as it is with such an obvious and damaging gauge. Often confusing brain thinking with foolish melodrama, Metal Gear Solid is a collection of quite barmy games that work ridiculously on the tiny details while ignoring even the most basic of the big pictures. And how come no one on the team has ever been brave enough to tell Hideo Kojima that he desperately needs a halfway decent script editor? Despite their innumerable shortcomings, but almost all of them are absolutely essential additions to the video game canon.

The content of the game is always the same, and this review will republish the text of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 reviews of Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3:

Metal Gear Solid 2: Son of Freedom

The problem? Raiden.

It’s not so bad when you play again, in fact, and you have to hand it over to Kojima Productions to have the balls to strike something bold in 2001 – no one I knew had the faintest idea that the highly anticipated sequel to Solid Snake would be a game in which he only had a role, but you can hardly blame the audience for testing the protagonist’s change, especially after they rushed to buy the sequel to Metal Gear Solid (and in many matter a BRAND NEW PlayStation 2 to play it) just to discover the character I really wanted to see was barely involved.

Metal Gear Solid 2 is a smart game, but it’s also too smart-often presented as pompous, condescending and unreservedly cocksure. Sustained by the success of the original game, the sequel takes its plot to an almost incestuous level to create a metanarrative about the recreation of the events of the first game.

There’s a level of self-indulgence and pump here that has won the series as many fans as it has lost, but today it’s hard to say how seriously you should take what’s going on. While the original had you action closely-concerned enemies like Vulcan Raven and Sniper Wolf, the second you took a fat man named Fatman (and, yes, I’m aware that this is a sophisticated reference to the atomic bomb) who strike you in roller skates. Then of course there is the huge foolish Liquid Snake owns Ocelot revolver through his arm, and Metal Gear Ray – a robot that actually roars at you. Comment??

The version here is based on the reissue of Metal Gear Solid 2 and includes 300 VR missions, a Boss Rush mode and the ability to play bonus snake stories and Alternate missions. A gimmicky inclusion in skateboard around the Big Shell-originally supplied as a shill for Evolution Skateboard, Konami say Tony Hawk’s knock-off-didn’t make the cut, though.

Metal Gear Solid 2 hasn’t aged well over the past decade, with now basic and washed-out textures, but even now it’s clear that Kojima Productions has an impeccable eye for detail; just look at the foggy rain effects on Snake’s ill-fated journey through the game’s opening tanker level, for example, or how the wind blows through precious bandana) while Snake opens a door to the outside.

The real innovation of Metal Gear Solid 2’s controls was its FPS control scheme, a move for the series that was reflected in every subsequent game, though this 2012 snap-to-single-stick target feels lumpy and heavy.

It’s harder to learn Metal Gear Solid 2 without having played the original, but this curious antique product will still tickle the nostalgic glands of everyone who played around the turn of the millennium.

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake eater

Metal Gear Solid 3 has shown a much purer and simpler experience than the kinky mayhem of the second game and is by far my favorite entry in the series.

With many mechanical frames that the series would try to recruit in after titles, Metal Gear Solid 3 tells of the origins of the snake from which Solid, Liquid and Solidus would eventually be cloned; I would explain more, but we would be here all year. The Cold War-era hysteria and paranoia that took place in 1964 is a natural home for the series ‘ narrative. Lacking the amazing indulgence of 4, when the ample space offered by the Blu-Ray disc leaves Kojima’s penchant for cinematographic overlays unbearable spiral out of proportion, the relatively simple plot of Metal Gear Solid 3 contrasts with a set of intricate rules and settings that make it the most difficult of the series to play.

Snake Eater throws aside the interiors of previous Metal Gear games and takes players through a Soviet jungle, giving players a stealth counter alongside new mechanics such as CQC, stamina, and injuries. There’s a slower pace here than in previous games, focusing on merging in the environment and choosing your strike time.

For the first time in the series, then, Snake actually slips. He also action an foolish boss who strike him with bees, but the game’s incredible sniper duel more than compensates for that. Other moments as well, like a long ghostly walk where you’re forced to meet everyone you’ve finished, are some of the most memorable experiences I’ve had with video games.

There’s also something in the way Metal Gear Solid 3 is said that makes it so special – often in keeping with the same tropes that finish mgs2 and 4, but somehow elevated above them by a deft juxtaposition with some of the series ‘ most complex and engaging sets. Slightly poignant and touching the series (and, unlike MGS4, this game actually knows when ends), its signature scenes – petals mixed with a sweep score by Harry Gregson-Williams – are never anything less than beautiful.

Metal Gear Solid 3 was a game of soft colors and foggy tropical fog – the added anti-aliasing rounds out the game aesthetic many times over than most HD remasters. It’s always a beautiful game, right down to its flawless details: pop place names in Russian as well as English has always been a strong touch.

The version presented here is the Subsistence Edition, which fixes one of the biggest bugs of the original game – the camera-and releases versions of Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake. Other bonus features such as the Secret Theater, Boss Survival mode and Snake vs Monkey minigame are not included. There is also no Metal Gear Online, although it is not a big loss.

It’s not surprising that Metal Gear Solid 4 and Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker have tried to emulate the original adventure of Big Boss – but neither manages to capture what made Metal Gear Solid 3 so special.

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