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Metal Gear Solid HD Collection Review

Snake? Snakeeee? Snakeeeeeee!!! 2 classics from the last generation of consoles and 1 classic from the realm of portable bliss. 3 games for the price of 1 is always a sweet deal and made even sweeter by the sheer popularity of each title in this collection remastered in HD. The originals were all showered with appraisal but as well as some controversy and negativity surrounding the second in particular.

MGS2 takes place in the midst of a planned hijacking of a nuclear bipedal walking tank (try saying that when you are sober) and Snake is on the case with trusty Otacon by his side. All is not as it seems though as the tanker holding the tank was sunk and consequently the tank was stolen. The game cuts to 2 years later and after Snake is proclaimed as dead, you control nancy blonde “Raiden.” The game still holds up well today though some of the controls are dated as to shoot in first person view it requires you to fiddle around with your controller. It is also not helped by the fact the game remains a “top” down view making navgation at points awkward.

The biggest criticism is the dialogue as well as the bold decision to use a new but camp character in place of the gruff actioneer Snake. The dialogue is at points so bad it makes Eric Cantona sound like an enlightened philosopher with the birds in the sky. Good thing you can skip the intrusive dialogue…and cut scenes…which appear regularly….very very regularly. Raiden is not a bad character its just he is not Snake and the first 1/3 of the game where you control Snake is the true MGS experience here. Still well worthy of the name though and at times essential playing.

MGS3 is a prequel in the series taking you back to the eccentric 60’s where you control Snake’s father Snake…known as naked Snake then Big Boss. Why not a different animal codename you may ask? Well..family tendencies die hard I suppose. Set predominantly in Jungle landscapes in the Soviet Union where it is as much about stealth as it is survival, you are tasked with assassinating a defector from the US after a nuclear warhead which she stole was detonated in the Soviet Union. Much easier to play with the addition of a much needed 3D camera in comparison to MGS2 as well as improved mechanics makes this technically the better of the two to play. Eating animals, extensive weaponry, camouflage choices it is a genuine stealth action experience.

MGS3 Suffers from a few drawbacks. The narrative remains consistent yet is broken by a monotony of cutscenes as well as conversations with your superior frequently…very well not as frequent as MGS2 but not far off. The attention to detail which is prevalent and is noteworthy can also be seen in a different light. For example, an accomplice gives Sna-ahem…Naked Snake a weapon and he goes all enthused about it. This sequence makes it look camp. Unfortunately there are a few sequences like this yet the game is fantastic and you owe it to yourself to re immerse yourself in the Jungle eating Crocs and Snakes…oh the irony.

Finally, MGS Peace Walker makes the transition from the PSP to its bigger brethren consoles. A sequel to the prequel (MGS3), you control Big Boss as he commands a private mercenary group tasked with securing the liberty of Costa Rica which is at the hands of a more aggressive militia group. Considering this was released in 2010, it has been adjusted to a modern easy to use control scheme which makes this the easiest to play. As well as this, it was designed for the PSP meaning its a burst sessions play. So missions will range from 5-15 minutes long generally but with the plethora of them available, you won’t be getting bored soon.

Because it was designed for the PSP and through no fault of its own, it is visually impaired even in comparison to the PS2 originals, it simply does not have the capacity to stand up to the others visually. The short burst gameplay also hampers the game as console games are not generally meant for 10 minute playtime on a bus journey. I mean sure just plug in your 360 on the bus and have a good 10 minutes…of setting up the thing.

Overall, each title is jampacked of rich quality with some genuine genius in design and gameplay. In the stealth genre, nothing comes close to the console originals that made the genre so popular as well as the PS1 original. The lack of the original or its revamp on the Gamecube that is absent is not wholly forgiving. Despite Peace Walker being brilliant, why not release it on the network/arcade and put the original on the disc? Either way, this collection is one of the best going for HD revamps and goes to show that brilliance from the days or old simply don’t age but become vintage and essential.

10/10- 3 genuine quality titles with ignorable issues (most are I assure you) in one sweet package is nothing short of essential.

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