Metal Gear’s 25th anniversary is approaching and just in time for the festivities is the Metal Gear Solid HD collection. Considered by many to be one of the last great Japanese game series, Metal Gear’s unique blend of stealth and combat have influenced games throughout the years and continues to hone the experience for each iteration of the series.
With the Metal Gear Solid HD collection you get to experience the evolution of the series into what it is today. The collection boasts a whopping five games from the different eras of the series’ history. The HD collection includes Metal Gear, Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, Metal Gear Solid 2, Metal Gear Solid 3 and Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. Metal Gear Solid 2 and Metal Gear Solid 3 are the second editions of the games that included extras like boss battle mode, VR missions, Snake tales and the classic 2d Metal Gear games form the MSX. Unfortunately the collection does not include the Metal Gear Solid from the original PlayStation.
2011 is definitely the year of the HD remaster. So far there has been about 18 of them. Some great, some just plain shoddy. Metal Gear Solid HD collection is not shoddy. In fact, it is so well done it should be considered the bar for every HD remake to come. Blue point and Kojima productions pulled out all the stops for this HD collection. Not only do the graphics look great but they run at a smooth 60 frames per second. In MGS 2 and 3 you can also choose to change the aspect ratio of the cinematics. You can have them full screen or have them extended in a widescreen format, which allows you to see more on the sides than in the original releases. Kojima productions also went through the trouble of re-recording sequences so that tutorials make sense to players of each console. The game selection menu loads quick and you can return to the selection screen even when you are in one of the games. This is something that’s missing from other HD collections. In most HD collections you have to quit the game and restart it to return to the game selection menu. Unfortunately the XBox 360 edition of the MGS HD collection does not allow for the same ease of changing games because it is on 2 disks unlike the PS3. This is only a minor setback and doesn’t ruin the games.
All versions of the collection have trophy/achievement support. Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker includes online 4 player Co-op. On the PS3 there is an exclusive feature called “Transfarring”. Transfarring allows players of the PSP version of MGS: Peace Walker to transfer their save data between the PS3 and back. Players can continue to play their game at home or on the go. The feature works well though there is a down side. “Transfarring” locks out trophies if you previously created a game on the PSP version. So in order to take full advantage of trophies, you have to start a new game on the PS3 first. This defeats the purpose of even having the feature. You can’t earn trophies in a game that you already put a lot of hours into on the PSP. Personally, I put close to 300 hours into the game on PSP. I got a bunch of the in game medals and all the accessories and weaponry. Officially, it’s a little hard to figure out who the feature is for. It can’t be for new players because it involves already owning the PSP version of Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker. It is a little disappointing. Transfarring will eventually be available for MGS2 and MGS3 when the PlayStation Vita is released. Hopefully the transition will be better.
Some fans might be a little disappointed to know that MGS3 is not a 100% port of he original game. Some things were removed like the hack and slash nightmare mini game “Guy Savage” and the “Snake vs Monkey “ Ape escape mini game. Also conversations and items having to do with them are missing as well. It’s unfortunate that these were cut out but their exclusion doesn’t ruin the core experience.
All in all, the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection is a great HD remake of some really awesome games in the MGS series. There are some minor gripes that should have been addressed like Transfaring, but they are still a must for any fan of the series and a great place to start for new players looking to get a crash course everything Metal Gear.
- 5 of my favorites games in one package
- Trophy support
- Game play across all titles is as fun as ever
- Transfaring locking out trophies if you are using a PSP save file
- Removal of some mini games and fun in game conversations
- No Metal Gear Solid 1 to complete the collection
Metal Gear Solid HD collection was developed by Kojima productions & Blue Point and published by Konami. It was released for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and is available now for $49.99. The copy played for this review was a new retail copy.