Metal Gear Solid HD Collection PS Vita Impressions

Konami’s most famous mercenary for hire, Solid Snake, has infiltrated the Playstation Vita with the release of the Metal Gear Solid Collection. In a Broken Joysticks first two different editors will be reviewing the game sometime next week. EIC Rae Michelle Langdon will be handling the port of Metal Gear Solid 2 and Executive Editor for Community Jason Basset is playing through Metal Gear Solid 3.

After completing both the Tanker section and Virtuous Missions  they’ve decided to share their initial thoughts.  Read on to find out if Snake’s initial outing is successful.

Rae Michelle Langdon, EIC Broken Joysticks

Metal Gear Solid 2 shares a special place in my gaming collection and overall gaming history. Have I bought the game on three different platforms – PlayStation 2, Xbox 360 and now PS Vita- but each version of the game have given me different reasons to triple dip on a game that is over 10 years old. Konami brings a title that created a schism within the Metal Gear Solid fanbase to Sony’s latest handheld and while we are not ready to share our final thoughts on the whole package, but here are my initial thoughts.

It was an absolute pleasure to play through the first hour and a half of the MGS’ campaign in preparation for the upcoming review.  I know I still have a long way to go before I beat the game , about six and a half more hours if my memory serves me right, but the Tanker section of the game is perhaps the best it has to offer. The tension between Ocelot and Snake is great as always and the subtle references to the patriots, the big reveal at the end of the first Metal Gear Solid, was a real treat for long time fans when the game was first released back in 2001.

Dropping back into the boots of Solid Snake aboard a tanker in the New York harbor felt as natural as ever but there were still some elements introduced in this PS Vita port that had me scratching my head. Movement using the twin sticks on the vita worked great and the basic commands like crouching attacking and rolling work exactly like the PS Vita version’s console siblings. The big differences come into play when you attempt to equip items or perform a pull up when hanging from a ledge.  When it comes to equipping weapons each of the two item slots are visible on the lower left hand side of the screen and a simple press and drag allows you to equip new items and weapons. It certainly works well, and perhaps after longer than an 1hr 30 minutes I’ll get used to it, but the se of the shoulder to open equipment menus does seem faster. The same can be said for performing push-ups, instead of a simple button press you swipe your finger up and down to perform the maneuver. If you’re going for the 100 push-up trophy your fingers may get more tired than Snake would performing them.

There are still a lot of different elements to consider when it comes time to review the game. The Vita port reproduces the games audio score perfectly and it sound great coming from a decent set of earbuds. I have noticed some elements of slowdown during the transition between in-engine cut scene and gameplay as well as the transition into codec conversations. I am not sure if this is because the game is being stored on a flash card but the Xbox 360 version of the HD collection certainly does load faster at times.

Jason Basset, Executive Editor – Community & Social Media

The year is 1964 and throughout the entire world, a third world war was feared to begin. If it weren’t for the two leaders of the two biggest nations at the time, there would have been nuclear annihilation all over the world. However, another big occurance was just about to emerge. A so-called Virtuous Mission was at stake for the United States and one man was going to see through that mission is complete.

This 2004 classic came to the PS2 and like a wave of emotion captured the hearts of many gamers. This month, Metal Gear Solid: HD Collection came to the Vita and having played Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater numerous time I’d like to share my technical thoughts on the game. The game starts as you expect it to: with Virtuous Mission; which is what I will be covering here. You are Naked Snake and are tasked with bringing back a doctor who is defecting to the United States from the Soviet Union. I’m sure you know the story by now, so I won’t bore you.

MGS 3 on the Vita is one of the more suitable games I can think of to come to the Vita. It’s got a massive following and great gameplay. The Vita version is extremely consistent to the Playstation 2 version of the game. You’ve got twin analog control over your character and the camera. The R button is to aim and shoot. A couple of new things to mention is the placement of buttons. The L Button is now the trigger to stalk an ememy. The D-Pad houses a couple of more functions. The Down button is to let snake aim his gun in third person view. This will give you better control than having to press the Square button. The face buttons are your normal standard affair. Interesting to note that the the back touch screen now acts as your torture device. You can even slit the throat of your enemy by swiping the back. The front touch screen allows you to select a new weapon and item. Hold the the item box to and scroll using your finger to select the weapon.

Game performance is very good. There are some small facets of slowdown in very busy areas of the game and cutscenes. I have also noticed that some of the slowdown occurs in the codec calls as well. Using the back touchscreen for swiping can be cumbersome and unusual. A lot of times whenever I try to use the swipe motion, the action just never occurs, having to repeat the motion until it triggers. These small issues do not deter the gameplay too much.

There is still a lot of game left to play. I’ve only just completed the Virtuous Mission, however, I know the rest of the game will be just as awesome for the Vita as it is using the Playstation Dual Shock controller. It’s a whole new system, but it still feels like the same game. Which in this case, is a very good thing.

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