Posted December 9th 2011 by Anthony DiPalma.
I hate stealth games. I really do. I love the concept of sneaking around and taking out my enemies one by one, and oddly enough, I use stealth in almost any game that doesn't really require it. In your typical shooting game, I'll use a sniper and casually pick off targets from a distance... Yet when it comes to the point where there is the inevitable portion of a game where stealth is a requirement to complete a mission, I'm pretty useless. Chapters in Assassin's Creed that end when you're spotted piss me off. I'm able to take down 300 soldiers otherwise, why can't I do it now? Even the outrageously stupid AI in the Tenchu series made me go into a vicious blood rage. Why then, do I absolutely love Metal Gear Solid, a series devoted solely to espionage, enough to buy the games twice? Because it's still the shit, that's why.
If you're new to the series, here is a quick rundown of what it's about: In the beginning of Metal Gear Solid 2, you play as Solid Snake, a member of a top secret special forces unit that thinks it's cool to give their agents code names that could be confused with erectile dysfunction. As Solid Snake, it is your duty to uncover the secrets behind Metal Gear, a bi-pedal tank capable of launching nuclear warheads from any type of terrain. While it sounds simple, the events take a left turn to "Oh Snapville" and you're left to complete the mission.
There is more to the story than that, though. Metal Gear Solid isn't your typical military story revolving around the cliche of stopping the Russians-who-sound-like-Californian terrorists from taking over the world. It's actually one of the most well constructed pieces of writing I have ever seen in any form of media. I'm not kidding when I say that there are moments in the Metal Gear Solid games that are so deep and engaging that you'll forget you're holding a controller. The series has everything ranging from action, romance, Illuminati plots, and hysterical fourth-wall breaking moments that will remind you that while the story is enthralling, it's still a videogame.
Metal Gear Solid HD Collection comes with three games; Sons of Liberty, Snake Eater, and a port of the PSP spin-off, Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. As an added bonus, Konami has included the original Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake in the collection... And they all look great. While the graphics aren't absolutely stunning now, remember that these are games from last generation consoles, and they still manage to impress. The differences between the HD version and the standard PS2 games are very noticeable and the framerate has been improved dramatically.
When I started playing, I made the decision to try Metal Gear Solid 2 first, despite the fact that Snake Eater and Peace Walker are prequels that lead up to the events of the first two games. Ultimately I'm disappointed that the first Metal Gear Solid game isn't included due to legal difficulties (the original game was ported in the GameCube exclusive by Silicon Knights, and I can't say I know anything about the ramifications of remaking it, so whatever). While it isn't as crucial as say, skipping the third book in A Song of Ice & Fire and reading the fourth book, it till kinda sucks that a piece of the collection is missing.
But still, you're getting three awesome games for 50 bucks. Those of you who, like me, have played the games before already know what to expect. You're still able to make soldiers dance at gunpoint and take their dogtags, you can still go out and run errands during the hour long Codec conversations, and you can still creep slowly around buildings with a box as a disguise. I wouldn't be lying entirely if I said that the HD collection was just the Metal Gear Solid games with beefier graphics, but there is also a ton of additional content, including an online component in Peace Walker that has cooperative and competitive options.
It's worth noting that I picked up the 360 version, which is in some ways inferior to the PS3 version. Obviously the games look better on the PS3 and the controls work better since the series basically started on Sony consoles. Due to the fact that the controller layout had to be re-mapped for the 360, the buttons are somewhat awkward at first, but fortunately it's fairly easy to pick up. Also, the PS3 version of Peace Walker allows players to import their save progress from the original PSP title.
At the end of the day, Metal Gear Solid is still the same awesome series I remember, and I hope new players dive in and start playing. If you've played the games before, there is nothing to worry about, it's essentially the same games with upgraded content, and that's only a good thing. If you've never played a Metal Gear Solid game, now is your chance to hop in and join the rest of planet Earth.
My brother will be getting it when it comes out over here so I'll make sure to play them. completed the first one of PSX and it was pretty good. Never got to play the sequels except for 4 which I didn't really like.
Friday, December 9th 2011
The twin snakes will always be my first and favorite mgs.
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