Metal Gear Solid 2 & 3 are timeless Kojima classics that everyone knows and loves. Both of these titles have been released countless times with either an enhanced version or HD port. With the recent release of MGS: HD Collection on Playstation 3 and Xbox 360, the HD port would soon find itself on the Playstation Vita. Nearly having all the bells and whistles of its console counter-part (minus Peace Walker), does the Vita version of MGS: HD Collection suit the handheld system or does this port fail to meet console expectations?
If you haven’t played Metal Gear Solid 2 or 3, then there might be something wrong with you, but those who are familiar with the Metal Gear Solid storyline will still find the greatly detailed stories that follow countless conspiracies and secrets. Metal Gear Solid 2 follows Raiden during the Big Shell incident to rescue the President of the United States, however there is more to the mission than Raiden thinks. Metal Gear Solid 3 follows Naked Snake as he enters behind enemy lines to rescue a weapons designer named Sokolov and put a stop to the Russian development of a new superweapon. Those who have experienced these great stories at home can now play them on the go!
Gameplay wise Metal Gear Solid 2 & 3 makes good use of the Playstation Vita controls and functionally in concept, but the controls for both of these games are not as good as the console counter-part. The back touchscreen is mostly used for first-person view and hanging off ledges. The front touchscreen is used for weapon and item selection. Sadly, these touch controls do not work as well and can easily screw up most fluid controls in first-person view and selection of weapons or items. While the console controls are fluid, the Playstation Vita controls feels loose, clunky, and sensitive. Metal Gear Solid 2 has suffered the most of these horrible controls. It’s funny how Peace Walker has great controls for a portable system, but the HD Collection on the Playstation Vita has little fluidity.
As for the other gameplay mechanics, MGS2 expands on the original MGS gameplay by adding the roll function, hold ups, and enhanced first-person view. MGS3 expands on that even further with survival instincts like capturing/eating animals, healing wounds, expanded hand-to-hand combat, and changing camouflage. On top of that, players will also get Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake for MGS3 and the VR missions and Snake Tales for MGS2 as bonus.
On the presentation side, graphically MGS2 & 3 looks good for the most part. While the main character models like Snake, Raiden, and all the bosses look detailed, the environments look like MGS on the PlayStation One. Even with the OLED screen, MGS 2 & 3 fails to look like an HD port. Sound wise, the voice acting and soundtrack are still top-notch and well composed.
Metal Gear Solid: HD Collection on the Playstation Vita is good for the most part. This HD Collection tells the tale of two timeless Kojima classics, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty and Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. While these stories still hold-up today, the gameplay doesn’t. It feels loose, clunky, and very sensitive – which will leave newcomers and even veteran players frustrated. Metal Gear Solid HD: Collection however still houses tons of content like VR missions, Metal Gear, and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake to keep the player busy on go. As for presentation, the graphics fails to capture the HD essence and looks like a Playstation One title, but the sound and voice overs are still great.
If you missed the console version and really want MGS on the go, than this might be for you, but if you already have the console version, you might as well stick with that instead.
Audio/Visuals: 3/5 - Players will be disappointed with Metal Gear Solid: HD Collection graphically which looks like a borderline Playstation One title and fails to capture the HD essence. The audio is still great after all these years, voicing acting is top notch and the soundtrack is epic as ever.
Gameplay: 2/5 - While it worked well on consoles, it fails to capture the tactical espionage action on the go thanks to loose, clunky, and very sensitive controls. On top of that, Metal Gear Solid 2 by far suffers the worst with aged controls.
Innovation: 3/5 - Metal Gear Solid: HD Collection offers back and front touchscreen controls, but feels clunky and unresponsive. Besides the touch controls on certain aspects, MGS: HD Collection is pretty much the same as the console counter-part with all the bell and whistles, but Peace Walker is MIA.
Value: 4/5 - There is tons of content to keep the player busy on go; ranging from two great stories, VR missions, Metal Gear, and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake. Peace Walker would have added more value on the go, but the content here is great for a portable Metal Gear Solid experience.
Final Score: 3/5