Metal Gear Solid: HD Collection Review
When Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 boasted that it was the “most anticipated game of all time”, I chuckled internally knowing that I was much more excited to get my hands on the Metal Gear Solid: HD Collection that was being released that very same day. I do own MGS: Peace Walker on the PSP, but found it difficult to play without dual analog controls. Playing Big Boss on the PS3 is amazing. I will tell you that this review will be fairly biased since I consider the Metal Gear Solid series to be the best game series of all time. My nerd body is plastered with it’s fair share of MGS tattoos and my love for the series far surpasses what a normal human being should love something. So without containing my excitement any further, let me tell you how great this collection is.
The Metal Gear Solid: HD Collection comes with two MGS titles previously only available on the PS2 and Peace Walker that has had great success on the PSP handheld.
That was one of my favorite quotes from Peace Walker, because I knew it would fit perfectly in this review. All of the titles are super polished and look great. I know a lot of HD collections coming out now just look like direct ports, but Konami cut no corners making every single title in this collection look simply amazing. Each game was exactly how I remembered it, and PW exceeded all of my expectations by leaps and bounds.
Peace Walker is like no MGS you’ve ever played before. The only thing that feels similar is sneaking and the use of the MGS4 control scheme. Other than that, PW makes you a true leader of your very own army, the MSF (Militaires Sans Frontieres), where you capture and recruit soldiers that develop new tech for Boss and fight “Outer Ops” battles. All of this can be shared back and forth from your PS3 and PSP via the “Transfarring” option. You can also make almost every mission co-op, because two in a box is better than one. I really enjoyed all of the options Peace Walker gives you, but I found that between recruiting soldiers and doing “Extra Ops” missions, the very deep story of Peace Walker was being lost in translation. Time spent away from the narrative left me feeling some type of disconnect. I think Kojima felt the same way, so he added a little extra action in the cutscenes. PW has a tendency to make you hit action buttons during certain scenes, assuring that you’re paying close attention to the scene at hand. Most of these actions do in fact affect the outcome of the missions. Peace Walker isn’t my favorite title of the series, that monument is held for Snake Eater, but it’s a helluva good game that deserves the utmost respect.
I wanted to spend most of my time reviewing Peace Walker since the other two Metal Gear Solid titles have obviously stood the test of time. They are video game staples of a genre that they created. Each one rebirthed from the womb of powerful machines and HD. Their names remain the same, but they now will forever appear superior. The Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance and the Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence (minus Snake vs. Monkey *sad face*) versions also come in the HD Collection. The controls remain the same, and the stories remain ever so breathtaking as I remember them. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater is my favorite game of all time, no game has ever evoked more emotion than this one. The journey you take with Jack…er Naked Snake is filled with tasty tree frog treats and the most memorable bosses you will ever encounter in a video game. Just talking about it gives me instant goosebumps. The Boss will probably always be my most difficult opponent, not because I can’t kill her, but because Kojima did such a damn good job making me not want to kill her.
The Metal Gear Solid: HD Collection is a must own for any MGS fan, and yes, a must own collection for any action junky. MGS: Peace Walker for PS3 alone is worth $39.95, but when you add two other finely tuned and polished MGS titles, you have yourself a steal. Do not miss this collection, these games have brought me many years of gaming happiness, and they prove time and time again that they age superbly well. Do yourself a favor and pick up the game that will forever change your perception of brilliant story telling.
“Building the future and keeping the past alive are one in the same thing.” – Solid Snake
Metal Gear Solid: HD Collection scores an A+.