There are few franchises that are as old as Metal Gear that have adapted through console generations and platforms as successfully. Metal Gear first made its way to the United States in 1987. The game was a heavily modified port of the original, made for the obscure, at least in the U.S., MSX computer. Fast forward nearly 25 years to today and Konami was just showing off the upcoming Metal Gear Rising and the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection for the Playstation Vita, at the E3 Expo in Los Angeles. Ironically, the main character in Rising makes his debut in Metal Gear Solid 2, included in the collection.
Though the games in the collection are pretty old, as far as console gaming goes, the Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater and Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty look pretty good in the new small screen format. The cartridge also includes the original 1987 Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake in the Metal Gear Solid 3 menu. Both of the primary titles have been re-engineered to use the Vita’s dual touchscreens and slightly different button layout. The cut scenes and voice work are however complete and re-rendered versions of the originals.
Metal Gear Solid 3 is the newest and first title on the cartridge. It is also the game that looks and works the best in the collection. Metal Gear Solid 3 is set in the Cold War-era Soviet Union and centers on “FOX” operative Naked Snake. The first stealth mission is to rescue a defecting weapons designer and then to sabotage the super weapon he was working on. The game is primarily set in 1960’s Soviet jungle setting, and as with all Metal Gear games, the focus of the gameplay is stealth. Almost a spoof of the James Bond movies the often times silly story is told through quite a few and often lengthy cut scenes and radio conversations.
Metal Gear Solid 2, although the older game is set ahead of Metal Gear Solid 3 and with a new character, in a near-future timeline. Raiden, also the star of the upcoming Metal Gear Rising, must infiltrate the Big Shell Disposal Facility, which has been seized by the “Sons of Liberty,” a terrorist group. They have demanded a huge ransom in exchange for the life of the President of the United States, and have threatened to destroy the facility, if their demands are not met. I could try to explain more of the plot but, the double-double-double crosses are likely to confuse most. This, of all of the games also addresses more social and philosophical issues than any other, in the series. The HD re-master of Sons of Liberty also includes the VR missions and Snake stories.
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