The Metal Gear Solid HD Collection set the bar for remastered efforts when it launched on PlayStation 3 earlier this year.
A generous three-course dinner of Hideo Kojima’s finest spruced up to a modern day standard – Sons of Liberty, Peace Walker, and Snake Eater for the main course. They’d always be timeless but here, they gleamed on the plate.
So why hasn’t the arrival of a PlayStation Vita versions been met with same warm welcome?
For one, this is no high definition offering – at least not in a technical sense. A slight but noticeable notch down from its console brethren, some blurry details and frame rate issues put blemishes on Big Point Games solid effort. Still, it looks good, bloody great in fact running on the Vita’s enormous OLED screen.
Then there’s the curious absence of PSP outing Peace Walker, a great shame given how better equipped the Vita is to handle the ambitious title that felt constrained on former hardware.
In the absence of the HD Collection’s dessert, two great games remain.
Sons of Liberty is the modern day Metal Gear Solid, a two part tale that sees players begrudgingly play the majority of the game as series newbie Raiden.
It’s well-worth revisiting even if the story tangles itself into convoluted mess in the closing act and it’s packed with extras that extend the Collection’s life tenfold.
Origins tale Snake Eater on the other hand is a much greater effort. A serious focus on survival stealth through the jungles of Soviet Russia pushes you to the limits as you sample the jungle’s smorgasbord of wildlife delicacies to change your clothes to blend into your environments on the fly.
It’s a grand tale with a stellar cast, timeless boss encounters, expert cinematography, and nuances that demand multiple playthroughs to uncover the hidden depths of Kojima’s mastery.
There’s simply not enough that can be said about Snake Eater making it an essential reason to pick up this collection.
Both games come bolstered with a couple of new gimmicks to make them feel at home on Sony’s hardware.
Intuitive touch screen menus introduced to make up for the lack of secondary should triggers are handy and the transferring feature that allows players to share save files with the PS3 version of the HD collection will be handy to those wishing to take their progress on holiday this summer.
Some are far less useful. Sliding your finger across the screen to peer round corners feels as fiddly as the original control inputs and accidentally tapping the rear panel with your knife equipped gave away our hiding place on more than one occasion.
So it’s not HD, it’s missing a few extras, and the omission of Peace Walker is likely to stick in craws of many a fan but it’s hard to argue that what remains isn’t worth the asking price. For those looking to take their gaming on the go or attempting to get back into the series, the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection is essential.
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