Metal Gear Solid HD Collection Review(PS3, 360, PS Vita, PC)

Posted: June 11, 2013 in Reviews
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Metal Gear Solid HD Collection brings previously released Metal Gear games to the 360, PS3, and Playstation Vita, all remastered in HD. There are five games contained within the collection, Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2 which were originally released on the MSX2, Metal Gear Solid 2 and Metal Gear Solid 3 which were originally on the PS2, and Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker which originated on the PSP. Each game contains memorable stories and characters, creative game play, replay value and collectibles, Metal Gear Solid 2, 3, and Peace Walker have definite noticeable graphical improvements, and all are done very well.

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Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty was released back in 2002, it takes place from 2007-2009 after the events of Shadow Moses, it garnered a lot of hype due to the success of Metal Gear Solid, unfortunately in many ways it didn’t live up to the hype. The majority of Metal Gear Solid fans loved having the grizzled vet Solid Snake as the main character, myself included, but after the first section you’ll be playing the majority of the game as a newly introduced character named Raiden. Back when it was released on the Playstation 2, the controls were similar to the previous game and gave fans a familiar feel, fast forward to today and the controls feel sloppy, it’s unfortunate that Konami did not improve the controls as first person view, shoot, and aiming are all on one side of the controller, aiming can become a hassle and you could find yourself just relying on the auto-aim, which does not always lock onto an enemy.20130610_022327

Another familiar feature was the camera angle, it is a little bit more of an advanced over-head view than Metal Gear Solid, but still caused a lot of problems, walking down stairs you’ll see either Snake or Raiden going down the stairs, but can’t see what is down there unless you go into first-person view, in which you can not move. Once you get used to the camera view and controls you’ll start making it through the over the top, creative game play and story, various types of bosses which can have you shooting them down, or defusing bombs then killing them, plus a fight with a Harrier Jet and an immortal vampire(not the Twilight kind). The game is still great regardless of the change in character, and brings back a lot of memories to those who have played it before, but will appeal to new fans of the series, there are also Snake Tales which you’ll play through missions with Snake.20130610_015633

Aside from Snake Tales there are also VR Missions or Virtual Reality Missions in which you’ll either have to sneak, shoot enemies, or shoot targets in first person as you make your way to the end. There are also Alternative Missions which will have you defusing bombs, eliminating enemies or holding them up, and both modes have a fourth unlockable section of missions, and can be played with both Snake and Raiden. The collectibles are Dog Tags, you’ll need to hold up the enemies until they wiggle out their dog tag, finding all of the dog tags will unlock stealth camouflage making you invisible, they also unlock colored wigs, and there are also Easter eggs, references, and memories of the original. Codec, rations, guns, and characters from the original will make appearances, the codec was a massive improvement adding depth and an almost 3D look, and the characters look much better. Though Metal Gear Solid 2 was not as good as the first, it’s still a great game, with plenty of replay value and decent game play, though it would have been nice to change the controls and camera.20130610_020329

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Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater was released in 2004, and is the prequel to the whole series, the main character Naked Snake is Solid Snake’s father, it takes place in 1964 during the Cold War, Snake’s long time mentor The Boss has defected to Russia and Snake’s mission is to find and kill her for betraying her country. The game takes on a whole new style of game play, Naked Snake has his name for a reason, he is in the jungle basically naked aside from a backpack, pants and a shirt, or no shirt depending on your preference, you’ll have to tranquilize or kill animals and eat them to keep up his health and stamina. You’ll also have to fix bone breaks, pull out bullets and arrows, cut or burn leeches, and cure sickness all by going into the menu and using supplies in proper order to increase the health value.

Another feature of the game will have you looking for camouflage and face pain to maximize the camouflage rating, as you sneak around your camouflage rating will be at the top of the screen, so finding and matching Snake’s camouflage colors to the environments is a must. There are ways to achieve a 100% camouflage rating, one way is finding all of the little toy frogs called Kerotan hiding throughout the large environments, shooting all of them will unlock stealth camouflage just like in MGS 2, adding an extra bit of replay value to find them. The controls seem more fluid but still may take a bit of getting used to, and you’ll have the ability to change the camera view which is very nice. The game looked great back when it was released on the Playstation 2, and has transitioned very well in HD, not only does it look great, it runs very smooth across all platforms.20130610_01082120130610_011145

Metal Gear Solid 3 will be great for new players because you do not need to know the rest of the series to follow the story, and yet still shows the the origins for familiar characters. The boss fights are once again over the top, and some take a lot of patience, you’ll be fighting a boss covered in hornets, to an astronaut with a jet pack, and a sniper who blends into the environments and you’ll have to try to find him in multiple decent sized sections. Once again the characters are memorable and the story is amazing, filled with unforgettable, extraordinary moments, and can easily keep you playing through the game multiple times. Metal Gear Solid 3 strayed from the originals game play wise, but did not faultier because of the amazing story and great game play, it would have been nice to crouch around rather than just run, walk, and crawl, but it remains great regardless.

Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker takes place ten years after the events of the third, it was released in 2010 on the Playstation Portable. Naked Snake now named Big Boss joins up with Kaz Miller to save Costa Rica from a group of soldiers and their nuclear weapon called “Peace Walker”, and once again changes Metal Gear style of game play. This time around in each mission you’ll have the ability to recruit enemy soldiers by either holding them up or putting them to sleep and using the Fulton Recovery System, it is a parachute in which Kaz in a airplane snags on to and carries them back to base, you’ll have a limit to how many recovery systems you hold, but can use them on enemies at any rate without delay, plus there are hostages that can be recruited as well. After each mission you will also return back to the Mother Base to manage your new recruits and gear, each recruit will have a letter rating in many categories and you’ll just have to find the right fit for them in Research and Development, Food, Intel team, or you can keep them as soldiers and use them in missions as well as the Outer Ops missions which play out as you play through the game.20130610_030943

There are missions in which you have to take out tanks, military helicopters, and even Peace Walker it self a few times, in these missions you can find parts to make your own Metal Gear to combat future Metal Gears, as well as use the vehicles in the Outer Ops missions. For a game originally on the PSP it looks great when brought to a large screen, there are quite a few rough edges, and some texture issues, but it’s expected and can be over looked, the controls are great, it would have been nice if all of the games had similar controls, it would have definitely improved Metal Gear Solid 2 especially. The missions and boss battles can get really hard at times, you’ll need to improve the R&D team to create and improve weapons and gear in order to make it through these missions, and a lot of the boss battles will take quite a bit of strategy.20130610_031418

Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker though it can be really challenging, it’s quite entertaining, finding and recruiting better hostiles to work for you is rewarding as they help you upgrade, there are special recruits to find like Hideo Kojima, and there are development specs scattered throughout each mission. The cut-scenes are intractable, you’ll be given button prompts and these prompts will help improve scores. Each mission score will give a letter grade, the scores give reason to retry levels you feel you can do better on, and even though the missions are broken up, the story is great, and like MGS 2 and 3, the characters are memorable. There are many missions throughout which increase game play time exponentially, well if you can make it through the tough missions, you’ll have multiple missions open for a while so if you get stuck you’ll have options, and there are over 200 missions that can be unlocked throughout, so there are no lack of challenges in what is a great game.

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Metal Gear which was originally released on the MSX2 in 1987, makes it’s way to the collection, the game is Solid Snake’s very first missions and will have you finding characters who will make very large appearances in the series. Metal Gear is the original that started the whole series, though it’s not the beginning of the story. The game takes quite a bit of getting used to, the item windows can be finicky, the game is quite challenging, enemies can see you even when they are looking in the opposite direction, and it can be easy to get stuck on the environments and miss shots because of the stiff movements. There are two difficulties to choose from, Original and Easy, enemies do a lot of damage regardless of the difficulty and can pose quite the challenge for anyone who has never played it before.

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Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake is also part of the collection, it was released back in 1990 on the MSX2 as well, it has quite a few improvements like crawling and a bit less stiff movements, but is still really challenging and the enemies are top notch for the most part. It also has characters that will have large parts later in the series, so any huge fans of the Metal Gear series will have extra reason to play through these as well. The difficulties to choose from are Original and Easy once again, but you’ll have a few more hiding places this time around. The game is great and the controls are decent, it brings back memories of an 8-bit era and that in its self is awesome.20130610_025821

All-in-all the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection is a great set of games for both new and experienced fans of the series, as well as people who want to know what the series is all about. Though there is no Metal Gear Solid 1 in the collection, there is still enough content to keep many satisfied, and reasons for experienced fans to keep playing. Additionally for all of the Metal Gear fans who like collecting achievements and trophies, these make their way into the collection, 50+ on the disc containing all the content of Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3, and 50+ on the disc containing Peace Walker. The games look great, though there are control issues, it’s not so bad in the grand scheme of things, with tonnes of content and additional content the game remains satisfying and brings a great series to a new and old generation of gamers.

Overall Score 9.2/10

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