Metal Gear Solid HD Collection PS Vita review – Gaming gold can’t quite be contained
Although the next Metal Gear game is going to be all about Raiden and his search for retributionation, there’s still plenty of Solid Snake to go around. As well as the PS3 HD collection, incorporating MGS2, 3 and Peace Walker, we now have a similar package for play on the move. This Vita bundle contains Sons Of Liberty and Snake Eater, as well as the original MSX Metal Gear games, the first of which came out a whopping 25 years ago.
If you’ve never played a Metal Gear Solid game, two conclusions can be reached: 1) you should hang your head in shame for at least ten minutes. I’ll wait.
And 2) you presumably reached for this by mistake thinking it was Official Pumice Stone Magazine. In short, these are some of the finest games to grace console. If you have a PS3: go out and buy the HD collection for it immediately. If you only have a Vita: go out and buy the HD collection for it immediately.
If you own both, you have to plump for the on-the-sofa version over the handheld one – and that’s not us being size-ist. Some of the Vita-specific features actually detract from the gameplay, the restricted screen size can cause difficulty sneaking during certain levels, and the sticks – despite the fact they’re resolutely not nubs – are just a tiny bit imprecise for a game in which the slightest slip can undo a heap of patient stealth work.
Snake Eater, despite being the stronger of the titles and a truly magnificent game, suffers more from these. MGS2 doesn’t attempt to shoehorn in touch features – such as swiping outwards in order to slit an enemy’s throat – and this is a good thing. Because they don’t work. You’re as likely to let someone go as interrogate them.
The stripped-down, hardcore sneaking of MGS3 also makes things more problematic – without the bottom-corner radar, those restricted viewpoints and control inaccuracies can cause serious issues, particularly on higher difficulty levels.
As such, this is a difficult collection to score. On the one hand, it brings together two of the greatest games in PlayStation history, in more than serviceable HD ports, that you can now play anywhere. On the other, it has issues in comparison to the PS3 version (which scored 9/10).
These games aren’t as suited to gaming on the go as Peace Walker (although the Transfarring feature, which allows you to continue your saves on PS3 and vice versa, is most welcome) and those control and screen issues genuinely do hamper your ability to succeed. For those reasons, it has to lose a point – even if these remain absolute must-play games, no matter what format they’re on.