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Maverick Reviews: Metal Gear
Solid HD Collection
As my favorite gaming franchise of all
time, I essentially own every copy of every game humanly possible for
the Metal Gear franchise, except for the NES versions of Metal Gear 1
and 2 (I have the MSX versions that came with Subsistence), the super
rare copy of Subsistence, Portable Ops+, the Acids or Ghost of Babel.
So, I bought the Collector's for PS3 day
one and just recently picked up the Vita copy.
This is gonna be an interesting review
because I'm gonna to do it for PS3 and then if something differs in
the Vita version, I'll make a mention of it and give both a separate
Hopefully, this will help new readers
and die hard fans decide whether or not to acquire this . For me,
it was obviously a no brainer.
PS3 Graphics: -0 (20/20)
This series has always pushed the bar
graphically, with exquisite character models, realistic animations
and detailed environments. The HD update actually gives us what it
promotes: a silky-smooth frame rate that never drops and HD textures
that do the game justice. It easily beats out some graphically
inferior games that were made this generation.
PS3 Sound: -0 (20/20)
From Harry Gregson-Williams' score
always nailing the tone of any given circumstance, to the cast who
deliver top-notch voice work, the sound is spot-on all across the
PS3 Controls: -3 (17/20)
These games have always had a steep
learning curve. With pressure-sensitive and multi-purpose buttons
(especially in Snake Eater), you'll end up getting spotted for no
reason at all just trying to get used to everything.
In Snake Eater (the more recent of the
series) the circle button has multiple functions. CQC (Close-Quarters
Combat) involves hand-to-hand which a focus on grappling. So during
gameplay, tapping circle strikes your enemy, holding it grabs them,
pressing and holding in a direction throws them, holding gently and
clicking L3 interrogates them and pressing it all the way down after
holding them hostage slits their throat. There's a few more things
you can do but I think you get my point.
Every action is mapped flawlessly
though, and the Tactical Reload (double tap R2) is still one of the
coolest features ever. It becomes habit after awhile.
And Peace Walker (which had only one
analog stick in it's PSP days) benefits the most from now possessing
dual analog sticks. So now, there aren't a ton of different control
layouts that each have their strengths and weaknesses. Now it feels
like the perfect chair, bowl of porridge and bed (get it? No? Eh, one
does what one can).
PS3 Style: -4 (16/20)
These games are insanely hard to get
through for multiple reasons.
They were the first attempts at
cinematic gaming. The cutscenes are long, complicated and deep. You
can skip these cutscenes if you aren't into story. However, if you're
like me, you'll fall in love with the characters, motifs, settings,
high production values, gripping narrative and everything in between.
And you won't care playing these games multiple times and still
watching every cutscene in its entirety. And each time, you'll notice
something you didn't before (soooooo many easter eggs) or gain more
insight to the proceedings.
The story/ending to MGS 2: Substance (or
Sons of Liberty) is a bit on the convoluted side (understatement of
the century) and many may get turned off by it. Also, going from
Snake (one of the best video game characters of all time) to Raiden
is a bit of a let down (not only because you play as Snake in the
beginning) because Raiden is a whiny character who's melodrama
with his wife inserts itself awkwardly throughout the story. I will
say that he has a very cool background though (and then in Snake
Eater, his ancestor is given a very mean end of the stick). Later in
the series though, he becomes a complete bad ass (so play Metal Gear
However, when you've finished playing
MGS 3: Subsistence (Snake Eater, which takes place 50 years prior),
you'll have that moment of clarity where everything from Substance
makes sense and is actually very awesome. It's a rich tale of
philosophy, science, drama, and action all rolled into one big
Hideo Kojima is on the top of his game,
giving us an inch of truth to shadow the craziness. The stories,
characters and their situations are all based in real-life or
potential real-life (war, politics, etc). The gameplay itself is to,
from authentic and changing enemy A.I pattern patrol, to being
spotted to noise, vision or other such discrepancies, this game will
suck you in.
Then, Kojima says "Hey! This is a
Then you go up against super-powered
bosses, giant mechs and all sorts of cool stuff (at one point, you
fight prehistoric animals).
While these games are fun, they're fun
in a very different way.
There is also oodles of content. Being
the special editions of their respective games, there was content
given on top of the all ready existing content.
Finding dog tags is still a blast in
Substance (and will always be my favorite aspect). Now you can do
stuff like Skateboard (lame) Snake Tales (supposed to add more
backstory to Snake's narrative, which is ok). But my favorite
additions are the VR mission modes and challenges.
Test your sneaking, take-down, action
skills in VR rooms can help you get the skills necessary to get the
best end-of-the-game emblems, which base your playthroughs on time,
enemies killed, times spotted and times killed. Big Boss is the
highest: no kills, never spotted, limited saves and in under a
certain time limit.
And when you do that, try it on European
Extreme with no radar.
In Snake Eater, they put in things like
a theater mode and they even added a true third person camera, which
was a very welcome add on, although for the real experience, use the
As for Peace Walker, this plays
differently than the others.
It's level based and is based around
building up your military crew and training them.
Also, most of the heavy story-based
cutscenes are in graphic novel form. Not a downside by any means, but
I though it needed mentioning.
The CQC is given greater variety as
well. You can link takedowns together (although it's usually just the
same animation performed however many times in a row) but it's still
a nice addition.
The deductions come form the difficulty
and the patience it requires to sit down and play these. These are
not your typical action games...this is of the tactical espionage
variety. So, while you can try to blast your way through, it isn't
the best choice and won't work the way you plan it to.
Transfarring is also a nifty feature,
which allows you to take your save file from PS3 and play it on Vita
Nifty, not practical. You heard it here
Oh, and you can sneak around in a
PS3 Fun: -3 (17/20)
As stated before: these games are
difficult and force you to play in a way that most aren't used to. If
you can get past that and the heavy-handed narrative (unless you're
into difficult, heavy story-based games like I am), you're in for a
top-notch action game that'll keep you in the ballerina stance until
Vita Graphics: -2 (18/20)
On Vita, this game runs about as well as
it does on the PS3. The only difference is that at certain points,
the frame rate does drop and slows the game down a hair. It may not
be frequent, but it's still noticeable.
Vita Sound: -0 (20/20)
Same as PS3.
Vita Controls: -6 (14/20)
The same as PS3 except because it's on a
handheld, certain buttons were mapped to the front touch screen and
back touch panel. Which depending on what you're doing, does or
Item selection is now on the bottom left
and right of the touch screen, which works just fine. Tactical reload
just requires you to double tap and voila! No issues there.
Now, in the PS3 version, if you were in
the first person aim, you could use the L2 and R2 triggers to look
left and right behind cover or both at the same time to stand on tip
This is now dedicated to the back touch
panel which doesn't always work, which doesn't help if you're trying
to peer through a locker or over a crate to spot an enemy location.
Also, in Snake Eater, brushing against
the back panel thrusts your knife if equipped, which happens way too
often. It's rather annoying.
Vita Style: -10 (10/20)
There is one reason this gets a further
deduction: the exclusion of Peace Walker.
Which not only means no online mode, but
you're paying the same price for something on console with one less
Sure, you can buy it on the Playstation
Store and play it when it eventually gets released for Vita but
that's an extra $20.
Vita Fun: -3 (17/20)
Same as PS3.
PS3 Final Score: 90/100 A-
Vita Final Score: 79/100 C+
These games will always hold a special
spot in my heart and I'll always shell out money (as a collector and
fanboy) to acquire anything Metal Gear related.
The PS3 copy is totally worth every
penny. The Vita one is only for die-hard fans who really want to take
their game on the go or those who need a decent game for their Vita
library. Newcomers should just get it for console (because let's face
it, 99% of people who have a Vita have a PS3 (or 360). So, get the
better of the two.
This was a very good review I enjoyed reading it. I agree with your opinion as I too am a metal gear fan although I don't have the funds to pay for alot of the content haha but yeah kudos =D!