Konami has come to today’s major video game consoles with a compilation of Metal Gear Solid hits that we have come to love and respect. But following that release is the PlayStation Vita version which attempts to grab more of the market share of gamers. Titled, Metal Gear Solid HD Collection, there are remastered versions of Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance and Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence that are being added to Sony’s handheld.
This collection title takes two of the most memorable Metal Gear Solid games and packs them in for your handheld delight. In Metal Gear Solid 2, you play as Solid Snake as well as Raiden later on in an effort prevent the world to getting into a nuclear war. You’ll also be facing Metal Gear Ray himself who puts up quite a vicious fight. Metal Gear Solid 3 is set back in the 1960s where you’ll be playing as the very man who would be cloned to create Snake himself!
Both of these games are absolute classics because of how effectively the story is incorporate into the gameplay. As well, they are well-known for having your character sneaking around to stay hidden from enemies. You’ll also be using silencers or running up from behind the enemy for that silent kill. The whole idea is to stay undetected throughout your journey to complete your mission.
Just like the original PlayStation 2 version, you’ll be using both analong sticks, face and shoulder buttons. But as an added bonus, Metal Gear Solid HD Collection has implemented touch controls in order to allow you to zoom with front screen and look around corners with the swipe motion. You’ll also be using the rear touchpad to perform the stabbing command.
As in any typical Metal Gear Solid game, your screen will show your gun and item slots. In the original version, you would need to hold a button and scroll through in order to arm yourself with the weapon of choice. However, in the Vita version, this can all be accomplished with using the front touch screen. Just by simply tapping will toggle between equipping and removing your item. Furthermore, you can press on the box to bring up the list of weapons to scroll through. These are very good features to include as it makes the same beloved games to be that much more enjoyable with the added capabilities.
In terms of how Metal Gear Solid HD Collection turns out graphically, both games look absolutely stunning. Even though they came originally from last generation’s video game consoles, the high definition treatment really works well in both Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3. Not only are they excellent ports, but they also make some marvelous improvement in the graphics department to the point that they are outstanding when you compare them to games of today.
The amount of work placed in the audio for Metal Gear Solid HD Collection is also something worth mentioning. Quite a bit of detail has already been incorporated in the original versions. Be it playing with the Vita’s speakers or using the headphones, you’ll have some very deep impressions from the various sound effects. The alert chime that you hear when you get detected is what always gets me excited. This is followed by some suspenseful music that keeps you on your toes. The orchestrated tunes all throughout the game also give the gameplay an epic feel like no other.
However all is not perfect here as the Vita version does not include Peace Walker HD, which was actually present in the video game console’s. In addition, Metal Gear Solid 1 wasn’t even included in either versions. This isn’t much of a big deal since you still have a solid collection to play on your handhelds. Plus, you can’t really blame Konami for not being able to fit in all games within the Vita card’s capacity. However, those who are picky and actually compare to the video game consoles will notice the exclusion of Peace Walker HD.
But a redeeming factor here is the original Metal Gear games that were featured on the MSX and MSX 2 that are accessible right from the start under the main menu in Metal Gear Solid 3. These too are true direct ports of their original versions from back in the 8-bit period. Now you get to see how the Metal Gear franchise started out. The gameplay is just as excellent while the music is also as exciting and uplifting.
Another bonus here is the ability to interchange saved files from the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection between the Playstation 3 and Vita. You also have the option to make use of the cloud saves. This is definitely a nice feature to have as it rewards players who own the game for both systems.
If you’re an owner of the Playstation Vita like myself, you’ll find that there’s a lot of value being added in the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection. Even if you’re not familiar with the series, there’s enough content to keep you happy. The touch controls have been implemented effectively while both the graphics and audio have been ported over with amazing results. This is definitely one collection title you should be adding to your Vita…collection.