Back in the mid 80s, I remember going over to a friend’s and house and seeing a newly rented NES game. It had a cool gung-ho soundtrack and instantly reminded me of the Rambo movies. However, one of the strange things about the game was the fact that you were not a one-man-army, you were just a man who had to fight with his wits. Many years later, I would witness the evolution of the same game series at yet another friend’s house (Zero Tolerance as a matter of fact), and became completely engrossed it’s epic story.
To explain the concept of Metal Gear Solid to someone who has never played it would be like explaining the two Star Wars Trilogies to someone who has never even seen a movie. However, I think that I could easily describe the overall theme. Metal Gear is about evolution, evolution in war, evolution in technology, evolution in globalization, and even the evolution of family. The essence of Metal Gear isn’t the thrill to kill, but the intensity to survive and endure an enemy greater than yourself. The character of Solid Snake is about a man who became aware that he was a centerpiece to a legacy born out of genetics. This legacy plays a very important role in the story of the entire Metal Gear saga.
The Metal Gear Solid HD Collection for the PS Vita, is a nice collection of two Metal Gear games that have been reconfigured in High Definition, and can now fit into your very large pockets on the go. This HD Collection contains Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty and Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, and these are some fine classic gems from the last generation of gaming. The graphics on both of these games are a sight to behold, making your PS Vita a grand graphical showcase. I’ve always loved the Metal Gear series, and having these two games in portable form is fantastic, however there are some changes.
Due the fact that there are only two shoulder buttons on the Vita, and not the standard four on a Playstation console, you now use the touchscreen to pick and select your weapon. I actually like this change because it feels organic to the gameplay and not like a gimmick. Hopefully, more games in the future will make smart use of the touchscreen by using it as an option for addition controller buttons.
Those who have grown up with more modern third-person/first-person games will have a difficult time in learning to play Metal Gear. The fact that you can’t run and shoot in first person, and that the overhead perspective transitions to first-person can be jarring if you have never played Metal Gear. However, like all good things, the game can be learned with some time and enjoyed to the fullest.
One major negative thing about this collection is the absence of Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker that premiered on the PSP and was on the the PS3 and 360 versions of this very collection. Peace Walker is a true sequel to Metal Gear Solid 3, which is itself a prequel to Metal Gear Solid 2. Is anybody confused yet? I don’t know why Peace Walker was excluded in this collection, but you can purchase it separately as a PSP game.
Overall, the Metal Gear Solid collection is a really nice portable version of two of the most compelling and cinematic games ever. If you are a fan and own a PSVita, then you may enjoy reliving some of the saga on the go. However, for those of you who have never played a Metal Gear game, pick this up if you love deep stories, incredible cinematic cut-scenes, complete thematic insanity, and the thrill of surviving by your wits.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.