GAME NAME: Metal Gear Solid Collection
PLATFORM(S): PS Vita
GENRE(S): Action, Stealth
RELEASE DATE(S): 29 June 2012
The mind of Hideo Kojima must be a scary place to visit. Scary in the sense that there is so much going on in there that one can only wonder how he manages to cope. His Metal Gear Solid series is testament to this fact as it gives gamers the ultimate in stealth action and cinematics. It is also has a high dosage of utter oddity but in a way that continues to grab hold of gamers no matter what generation and choke them with all the amazing ideas.
The Metal Gear Collection arrived on consoles not too long ago, and that was also followed by Metal Gear Solid 3 arriving on the 3DS for an enhanced version of the game. It was only a matter of time before the collection arrived on the Vita and it at no point lets you down. Sony’s handheld handles the ports brilliantly, with wonderful HD in the palm of your hand. If you’ve ever wondered how Kojima’s mind would take to portable, I can tell you that it is a masterpiece port for those wanting to play (or replay) the games.
The collection on Vita contains Metal Gear Solid 2 and Metal Gear Solid 3. Sadly, Peace Walker did not make it onto the collection as it did with the console versions. While this is very disappointing it is understandable as Konami wanted to make the other two games as near perfect as possible, and in this matter they have not let anyone down.
Metal Gear Solid 2 starts with Snake trying to gain information on Metal Gear which was located on a tanker. As most will know, following Snake’s mission we are introduced to Raiden who you will control for the rest of the game. Many people didn’t like this direction at the time, but when you play it again it is hard not to enjoy the experience. Raiden has similar skills to Snake and the game follows the same Metal Gear formula. This means that you will be using stealth to your advantage as much as possible, taking out guards in a number of ways to get through sections and dealing with some of the best boss battles ever created.
Raiden makes his way through the plant attempting to stop the forces of Dead Cell and Solidus Snake. Little does Raiden know that not everything is as it seems, and the twists in the game are given by the odd behaviour of the Colonel and pretty much everyone around. That aside, the story – if followed – is as good as ever and the combat and cinematics hold true. While some of the sequences suffer a bit in the frame rate department, these issues are very few and far between.
Metal Gear Solid 3 actually takes place before Metal Gear Solid 2 chronologically and sees Snake sent in to destroy the Metal Gear and take down his old mentor Boss. Metal Gear Solid 3 improved on the Metal Gear formula and added new environmental uses such as changing camouflage to blend in with surroundings, cure your own cuts and ailments as well as maintaining stamina throughout the game by hunting animals and picking up edibles to keep Snake going strong.
It was these aspects which set the bar high in Metal Gear Solid 3 which became the ultimate survival game, mixed together with the expected tactical stealth sections. The story in Metal Gear Solid 3 is renowned for its characters, plot and story twists, and it also provided some of the best environments such as jungles, warehouses, and factories. Within these settings we were also introduced to some of the best boss battles of all time, most notably enduring a sniping battle against The End. Metal Gear Solid 3 also comes packed with the first two Metal Gear games from NES days, giving players a chance to experience Snake’s earlier missions.
Both games look crisp and beautiful in HD on the Vita, and also make some use of the Vita’s control set up. Unfortunately, the modified controls used on the 3DS are removed from the Vita version, which means you cannot crouch and walk, instead moving straight to a crawl. It is a pity really as the controls are a bit outdated and at times frustrating and that one improvement could have helped a fair amount. It doesn’t change the game that much, but does make adjusting to the older controls a bit more time-consuming.
Other than that, the controls work well. When leaning back against the wall, players can swipe the front screen to move Snake or Raiden across the wall and peak out the edge. In Metal Gear Solid 3 players can also use the back touchpad when holding up enemies to slit throats, interrogate and more. The best part of the touch screen is for cycling through weapons and items. The quick access on the bottom left and right of the front screen make these changes quick and easy and saves a lot of time.
The Metal Gear Solid Collection on the Vita is once more the culmination of Kojima’s spectacular mind. It may be missing Peace Walker, which is a pity, but what it does offer is four amazing games, with plenty to unlock, plenty to collect and a storyline which will keep you coming back for more, just to answer those begging questions or perhaps bring about even more questions. Whichever way you look at it, the collection for its price is great value for those who just want to play the games again, and for those who have never played them before.