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  1. #1
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus neema_t's Avatar
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    MGS:HD Collection

    So, anyone else playing this?

    I've been replaying every Metal Gear game, and I thought I might share my findings seeing as I regard the series as probably the best franchise ever released on the Playstation, but if you ask me exactly why it's the best I'd have to blush and mumble something about nostalgia.

    Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake are still well worth playing even now, because frankly I think it's astonishing what they accomplished with those games, especially as one is the same age as me and the other is two years older than my brother, who is still as thick as two short planks. MG2 is difficult to do without being spotted, though, because there's a certain element of luck to whether or not there's an enemy looking your way when you step out of rooms where the radar isn't working. Of the two I think Metal Gear was better, but MG2's multi-screen enemy tracking thing seems like a big deal for a 1990 game.

    Metal Gear Solid, the first one of the lot that I played and still my second favourite, also holds up pretty well. I think it's a great example of why a good art style is more important than good graphics, I mean Snake doesn't even have any eyes, but the way his eyes are implied (I bet that's a phrase you didn't expect to ever read) makes it completely ok, and I think if he had had eyes at that resolution they would've just been cartoony and crap. Anyway, the game is great, right up until the end. I don't want to spoil it, but the last boss fight is just ludicrously cheap; let's just say that it's up to him when he can evade attacks and counterattack you and if you don't finish the fight properly he'll keep regenerating health, and you have a time limit in which to kill him, which he will while away doing not a lot right up until you try to punch him. Pain in the arse. There's also a section roughly halfway through the game where you're made to press a button at the speed of light; to be fair you don't have to do it, but if you want to properly complete the game you'll have to, and it just seems weird that it ever seemed like a good idea to change what the criteria were for being a good player, if you get what I mean. It's just as jarring to me as Deus Ex: Human Revolution's boss fights, in fact.

    Then there's MGS2, my least favourite of the lot, but this all boils down to one thing which is very similar to the thing I just mentioned, except it's much worse. The game itself is great, the voice acting is terrible, like really bad, and the fact that you get a phone call every 5 steps for the first hour or two of the second act of the game just gets on my bloody nerves. Then right near the end the game throws in another 'press this button really quickly!' thing, I suppose you could call it a QTE but it's actually bloody impossible on high difficulties, as a result it's possible to get all the way through the actual game part of the game on the hardest setting (which is very, very bloody hard, by the way), then be unable to press a button quickly enough, and therefore all your effort is wasted. Frankly I'm sort of glad I never got through to the final boss on European Extreme mode, though, because I probably would've garrotted myself with the controller cable.

    MGS3 is what I'm up to at the moment, and it's my favourite game of the lot. The story is the best of the last four games (only just better than MGS1, though), there's so much depth to the game and the voice acting is great (though Major Zero sounds hilariously like Brian Butterfield at times). My two problems with it are that occasionally it's just way too easy to be spotted without knowing where the person spotting you is (earlier on I was trying to crawl out of a vent but kept hearing someone being like 'Who's that?!', then gave up and got in a huge fight because of one idiot scientist) and that I'd forgotten until about 15 minutes ago that if you want to sneak up on someone you have to use the D-pad. I mean, what? You have the D-pad for creeping and the analogue stick for loud walking and running. So that's an analogue stick with 1024 steps of sensitivity reduced to just two modes of movement, and you have to use a different area of the controller to sneak up on someone. Why?!

    Also, in the HD port (maybe even in the original Subsistence version with the 3D camera, I never played that version) the Sonar/Motion Sensor display is messed up; if you're in first person mode with either of those items equipped, it shows your cone of vision and where north is, but if you turn, the north indicator moves one way and your cone of vision moves the other; surely only one should move? In any case, that means it's possible for you to see blips on the radar screen that appear to be to your left, but they could be in front of you, behind you, to your right... No one really knows, and it's impossible to keep track of it because of the super disorientating effect of the counter-rotating direction indicators.

    Apart from that, MGS3 is awesome. Probably the most difficult game of the lot, too.

    I have yet to start MGS4, of course, but that game is pretty good, too. It ranks between MGS1 and 2 overall, in my opinion, because the ratio of gameplay to video is too small, the story really makes it obvious that it's just trying to tie up all the loose ends in one go so that there won't be an MGS5 and basically MGS1 was really, really good. Not much more to say on that, though, especially since it's a current-gen game.

    So, yeah, if any of you haven't played any Metal Gear games I strongly recommend that you do. They are kind of old-school in the respect that they're really challenging, and MGS3 encourages you to tackle situations in different ways; there's even a crocodile cap item you can use to scare away enemy soldiers, or you can blow up their food supplies to weaken them and make them prone to eating (toxic) food you throw for them, so on and so forth. It's actually better at being DX than DX:HR is, in my opinion. As for the HD collection, it's great and everything but they're not perfect ports. It's also very clear that you're playing old games throughout because of the textures and some animations (I can't tell if it's bad porting or because the animations were designed for SDTVs, but watch the hornets in MGS3, terrible), but I somehow doubt the RPS crowd will care about that. Also you do get 5 games, one with online play (totally forgot about Peace Walker), one with a whole stack of VR and alternative missions and all three of the main titles (MG and MG2 are extras in MGS3's port) have great replay value as there's stuff to unlock that you can't do in one playthrough, if you're a completionist like I am.

    Anyway, that's enough words from me, it's very late and I tend to get wordy when I'm tired. I apologise.

  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus
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    Looking to replay the whole MGS series soon via the HD collection and MGS1 on the PSP. Never played 3 or 4 before and 1 and 2 I played on release, so a long time ago.

  3. #3
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
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    Nice write-up. I've no doubt that in decades to come MGS will remain part of gaming's canon, if only because the franchise serves as one of the clearest examples of the auteur in gaming as one is ever likely to see.

    I've got the HD Collection sitting on the bookshelf here, but to be honest it'll probably be a while until I get to it.

    It sucks that MGS1 is missing from the HD Collection as most of the work has already been done in the form of Twin Snakes for Gamecube, developed by Silicon Knights and published by Nintendo. Alas, as with Rare's Goldeneye project for X360 the contractual challenges appear to have proven a lawyer too far...
    Last edited by Rii; 21-02-2012 at 11:47 AM.

  4. #4
    Lesser Hivemind Node Kaira-'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rii View Post
    It sucks that MGS1 is missing from the HD Collection
    Yeah, I do agree. It's a bloody shame that SH1 also wasn't included in SH HD Collection.

    Anyway, I'll probably buy this some day soon, since I only have MGS2 for PS2 lying somewhere in the apartment.

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