Ah, Metal Gear Solid: The game that created the stealth
genre and continued to perfect on it. Trust me when I say this, the idea of dispatching
your enemy without yelling like a newborn and emptying magazines would not
exist were it not for this game. And you know what else wouldn’t exist: Solid
Snake, one of the coolest gravelly-voiced protagonists in video games. This guy
was a combination of action greats like Snake Pliskin and Rambo, and Japanese
character design. He’s a true icon in games today.
So, it’s wonderful that Konami has seen fit to release the
MGS titles from the PS2 and one of the titles on the PSP in glorious, crisp HD.
It’s a great way to introduce you young punks to some gaming history. Even
today, these games provide a wide range of options for completing challenges, a
lot of exploration potential and easter egg-hunting, and a story with twists
and turns and really outlandish characters. Much as I’d love to review the
games, this exists now so you have no more excuses. If you’re new to the
series, take my word on this and get this collection now.
It’s also a treat for old MGS fans. I mean, we love the
series but our eyes have grown soft and spoiled by these new graphics, and they
may not be ready when they see old visuals on the PS2. It’s not that hard,
considering the games were graphically impressive at the time of their launch
and still hold up nicely, but as usual the HD remaster does a great job.
And in the case of Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater, this new
graphical detail pays off. Snake Eater takes the original hero, Naked Snake,
through Russian wilderness, where he must survive by feeding on the buffet that
nature provides. Think of it as National Geographic meets the food channel. The
forests, caves and mountain ranges are beautifully constructed, and they become
your home as you sink into the game. The HD remake really does them proper
justice. I will say that one poor element of the HD is that many of the
cutscenes are abnormally fast now that the visuals are clearer and the
framerate is higher. So, the cinematic blur of the original cutscenes is not as
well-presented here, but you get used to it pretty fast, and you won’t mind it
if you don’t remember the originals.
I’d recommend reading some of the backstory from the
original Metal Gear series and Metal Gear Solid, or even playing them if you
have the time and the patience. You can actually check out MGS by downloading
if from PSN on your PS3 or your PSP. Additionally, you can try and get your
hands on The Twin Snakes, the Gamecube remake, and play it on the Wii. There’s
a lot of fiction behind the Metal Gear Solid Universe, and Snake Eater is a
wonderful prequel to it.
Another great reason for fans to pick up this game is the
oft-overlooked MGS Peacewalker. Not a lot of people were actively into PSP when
it came out, so it may have slipped under your radar. But Peacewalker comes to
us in this collection as well, and it’s a great opportunity to see a wonderful
entry in the series that brought together so many of the great elements from
previous games. Peacewalker mixes in a lot of Metal Gear favorites, so I’d
recommend playing it last so you can see a lot of the cool elements of the
series come together. Also, since it has a lot of nature in it, the HD remaster
does a great job bringing out its good look.
So, whether you’re an old fan of the series or a newcomer
curious to see what all the fuss is about, do yourself a favor and check out
the MGS HD Collection.