Metal Gear Solid HD Collection Vita Review2 By Jason Matthew
Back in November of last year, Konami bestowed upon us the greatness of the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection. The game contained 3 amazing games – Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, and Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. The Metal Gear Solid franchise will always hold a special place in my heart, and Snake is one of the first video game characters whose story I actually cared about. Sure, that story got a bit too complex at times, but the franchise’s great characters, fantastic voice acting and presentation, and very Japanese quirkiness has always made it utterly unique. Now Konami has allowed gamers to take the crazy franchise on the go with Metal Gear Solid HD Collection Vita.
The original console collection got a stellar 5/5 review from us. And it absolutely deserved it, despite the glaring omission of the Tactical Espionage Action masterpiece, Metal Gear Solid. Funnily enough, Metal Gear Solid HD Collection Vita is missing another game – the PSP instant classic Peace Walker is nowhere to be found. And like the PS3 version , it’s also missing MGS3’s online mode (bummer, especially since MGO just shut down) and the Snake Vs. Monkey minigame. Even still, there’s no denying that the two games that are present are absolutely worth your cash. The games have been retooled with an upgraded resolution and the addition of the Vita’s touch controls, which makes some tasks much more intuitive. Slitting throats in MGS3 used to be quite a bitch to control – you’d oftentimes slice a dude’s jugular when you simply meant to threaten such an act and interrogate the poor soul. Now, the act is simplified by slashing the back touch pad with your finger. It also makes changing and equipping items a breeze, and is a welcome addition. Still, the fundamental control scheme works so well with the Vita’s dual sticks that these changes aren’t very necessary. The transfarring feature is great as well- now MGS freaks like me can play the collection on the go, and pick up where they left off on the PS3 later on. And here’s the great thing for Trophy enthusiasts- you only need to unlock a Trophy once to unlock it in both games. Unlock a Trophy on the Vita, and it will pop on the PS3 when you boot it up later. That’s just awesome.
Besides these refinements, Metal Gear Solid HD Collection Vita is essentially the same. The collection still features Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater as well as the two MSX2 Metal Gears. These games are unaltered aside from the aforementioned touch controls, meaning that if you’re used to MGS4 or Peace Walker’s more modern control scheme, prepare to be taken back to the primitive. Ok, they’re not that bad, but the lack of certain abilities we take for granted in modern shooters, such as running and shooting or crouching and walking/ running, just seems weird and takes some getting used to. Still, the games hold up very well, and the graphics and soundtrack in Metal Gear Solid HD Collection Vita are still top-notch.
When this collection first hit PS3 back in November, I was incredibly excited and played all three games to death. Playing through them again on the Vita’s beautiful OLED screen, that feeling hasn’t changed. Having the ability to earn trophies, collect dog tags and hunt flying squirrels wherever you go makes owning Metal Gear Solid HD Collection Vita a must for any MGS die-hard. And for completionists, the fact that the transfarring feature intertwines your PS3 and Vita saves and Trophies is very welcome. And now you can listen to Healing Radio on the go! Especially when considering the relative drought of games on the Vita as of late, picking up the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection Vita is really a no-brainer.