Vita Review: Metal Gear Solid HD Collection
The Metal Gear Solid HD Collection has already been released on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, and now to complement the PS3 version the game has landed itself on the Vita. From the outset it seems like a portable match made in heaven, so how does it fare on the strong handheld?
- Worth The Time?Yes, absolutely if you're willing to pay up. It's an awesome deal.
- Things LovedThe great menu interface, this is one of the best Vita games around, full trophy support, the games fit perfectly onto and feel right at home on the Vita, the performance is slick and responsive, MGS 2 and MGS 3 are featured in their Substance and Subsistence forms respectively, Transfarring saves between the PS3 version and Vita is a welcome option.
- Things HatedThere's no Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker which is quite a letdown, returning to the title screen to switch games is an annoyance due to no easy method, one or two Vita specific controls can be cumbersome.
- RecommendationIf you're in need of a good Vita title, then this is one of the best games you can find for the handheld right now. It's an excellent package that feels right at home on the Vita. Don't pass it up, especially if you decide to download the original game from the PlayStation Store. If you can get over the omission of Peace Walker, then this is definitely worth it.
- Name: Metal Gear Solid HD Collection
- Genre: Compilation - Stealth Action
- Players: 1
- Multiplayer: N/A
- Platforms: Vita, PS3, Xbox 360
- Developer: Kojima Productions, Armature Games
- Publisher: Konami
- Price: R361-399
- Reviewed On: Vita
I’ve already written up a full review of the console version of the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection, so there wouldn’t be much point going into full detail about the games again. As such, I’ll stick to talking strictly about the Vita version and weighing it up against its console counterparts. The first thing to consider is that the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection on Vita does not include Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, which is quite a let down when considering the package’s value. Still, having remastered versions of Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance and Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence in addition to the original two Metal Gear games is a great deal in any book, and having that experience on a portable system perfectly capable of matching its console counterparts is just seriously awesome.
On the list of most important things to discuss about the Vita version would be the controls, and fortunately apart from a few niggles here and there they are really great. The touch screen works very well to allow you to seamlessly switch weapons and equipment, and it’s also used to peak around corners and zoom in during cutscenes at a touch. The touch zoom functionality also works when using weapon scopes. The rear touch pad has both strengths and weaknesses. It works alright to do pull-ups in Metal Gear Solid 2, if you want to increase your grip strength, by using two fingers and swiping down the pad. It also does just fine with a few movement options. However, in MGS3 it can get a bit annoying as touching the rear pad executes a knife attack, and if you own a Vita you’ll know how easy it is to press that large back panel by accident. There’s no option to turn this functionality off, so you just have to be a bit careful. For the most part though, the controls are easy and set out well on the handheld.
There’s one thing I did find quite annoying on the Vita version, and that’s returning to the title screen that allows you to swap between the two games. It’s unnecessary on MGS3 to exit the game you’re playing, get to the main menu and then return to the title screen, and it’s not all that easier with MGS 2, so the best thing to do is just press the PlayStation button, quit the game and go back in. Sure these aren’t massive complaints, it’s just a minor hassle at most. Apart from that, the game’s function as well as you could have hoped for on the Vita system, and I can’t say there’s anything majorly wrong from a design point of view other than a few minor irritations. This collection has been well ported to the Vita.
The Metal Gear Solid HD Collection looks just as fantastic on Vita as it does on consoles. It plays just as good too, and I seriously mean that. The Vita really complements the experience well, and since I’ve picked up this version I can honestly say I haven’t gone back to my PlayStation 3 version because portable life is just so much easier, it just feels right at home on the Vita and I’m just that lazy. The only problems I have with the Vita version are relatively minor, and I can’t say I really miss Peace Walker all that much, but when weighing up the game’s value against its console counterparts, unfortunately the game is a big miss, and that’s probably the part where you’ll have to do some thinking before you make this purchase. You won’t be disappointed, and as an MGS fan this is a dream to me.
Another pretty cool feature in the Vita version is the option of “Transfarring” saves with the PS3 version of the HD collection. You can share saves with your PS3 by connecting the Vita with a USB cable. Alright, fair enough it’s not something you’ll really think about much since you’ll need to own the HD collection on both Vita and PS3, but if you do then you won’t have to play the games separately, you can pretty much swap between couch-playing and on-the-go living on the edge portable style. It’s not exactly a dream come true but it’s definitely a good option that you’d rather have than not.
In conclusion, Metal Gear Solid HD Collection plays pretty damn well on the Vita, and having arguably two of history’s best games on a portable system that matches its console counterpart is just awesome. However, Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker is unfortunately missed when considering the value of this collection, but if you can get over its omission and a few relatively minor issues, then this is one of the best games you can get on the Vita right now, and an amazing portable experience.