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About the product
- Developer is Kojima Productions
- PlayStation 3
- Genre is Tactical Stealth Action
- Players - 1-6 players (only for Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker)
- HD Collection offers old and new fans a chance to experience the epic game play, design and storytelling of the MGS franchise
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From the critically acclaimed director, Hideo Kojima, Metal Gear Solid HD Collection offers a handful of the most popular Metal Gear Solid titles from the past in true HD for the first time ever. Featuring three complete games, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater and Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, the HD Collection offers old and new fans a chance to experience the epic game play, design and storytelling of the MGS franchise. The "Metal Gear Solid (MGS)" series is the seminal work of Hideo Kojima, Japan's master game creator, and the progenitor of the stealth action game genre. The series has become a global phenomenon, with over 27 million copies sold worldwide. The player controls a secret agent from an elite special forces unit who is sent on solo sneaking missions through enemy installations, vast jungles, and sometimes even the thick of battle. Alone and surrounded by the enemy, even a special forces agent will find it tough to come out alive. But that is the secret behind the series' popularity-the cerebral challenge of figuring out how to avoid combat, and the thrill of sneaking through enemy territory undetected.The MGS series is also known for its storyline, which blends seamlessly with the gameplay. The scenarios are based on extensive research and incorporate the drama of actual developments in society. These elements have made MGS what it is today: a mature work of entertainment that transcends national borders and the confines of video games, and one of the leading products of the Japanese content business.
From the Manufacturer
From the critically acclaimed director, Hideo Kojima, Metal Gear Solid HD Collection offers a handful of the most popular Metal Gear Solid titles from the past in true HD for the first time ever. Featuring three complete games, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater and Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, the HD Collection offers old and new fans a chance to experience the epic game play, design and storytelling of the MGS franchise.
The "Metal Gear Solid (MGS)" series is the seminal work of Hideo Kojima, Japan's master game creator, and the progenitor of the stealth action game genre. The series has become a global phenomenon, with over 27 million copies sold worldwide. The player controls a secret agent from an elite special forces unit who is sent on solo sneaking missions through enemy installations, vast jungles, and sometimes even the thick of battle. Alone and surrounded by the enemy, even a special forces agent will find it tough to come out alive. But that is the secret behind the series' popularity-the cerebral challenge of figuring out how to avoid combat, and the thrill of sneaking through enemy territory undetected.
The MGS series is also known for its storyline, which blends seamlessly with the gameplay. The scenarios are based on extensive research and incorporate the drama of actual developments in society.
These elements have made MGS what it is today: a mature work of entertainment that transcends national borders and the confines of video games, and one of the leading products of the Japanese content business.
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The first two games in this collection are the Substance version of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty and the Subsistence version of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. The first game in the collection, Sons of Liberty, comes with a few extras like a cinema mode and some alternate, non-canonical missions set in both the Tanker and Plant chapters that let you play as Solid Snake instead of just Raiden. Other than that, the game is basically unchanged from the original version, which is good for those who already loved this game as it is. As for Snake Eater, there have been even more worthwhile additions. First off, the two original games of the series released on the MSX, Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, are available to play right off the bat in Snake Eater's main menu. These are some truly old school games and therefore are quite different from the newer games in the Metal Gear Solid series, although it's interesting to see how certain elements from these two older games managed to still work effectively in the newer ones. The most significant addition to Snake Eater though is the inclusion of a fully adjustable camera. The original version of Snake Eater used the classic fixed camera with the top-down view from the earlier games, but it made being stealthy a rather frustrating experience since you couldn't see far away enemies or even around corners. It simply didn't go well with the larger environments of the game. Fortunately, the camera in the Subsistence version of Snake Eater is just like the one from Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots and it made the game much more enjoyable.
The third game in this collection is Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, a game that I'm surprised wasn't just immediately released on PS3 instead of the PSP. This game takes place 10 years after Snake Eater and 4 years after the other PSP title Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops (a game that I actually wish was included in this collection). The man known as Big Boss has just begun building his own mercenary force known as Militaires Sans Frontieres (Soldiers Without Borders) and takes a job from a man named Professor Galvez and his young female protégé named Paz, who require some help in removing an armed group of invading mercenaries from Costa Rica. Initially hesitant about taking the job, evidence is presented on the possibility of Big Boss's mentor, The Boss, still being alive, so Big Boss jumps on the opportunity to find out the truth behind this unexpected development. Again, as with any other Metal Gear Solid game, the story in Peace Walker is very in-depth and full of twists and secrets, although it's also more straightforward and somewhat easier to follow than the stories in some of the earlier games. The story moves along through comic book styled cutscenes (word bubbles and all) and many of them have interactive quick time events included in them. There are also lots of audio recordings that are acquired as the game progresses that reveal plenty of interesting background information and other juicy details. The stealth in this game is basically a mix of the usual fare from the previous games, namely the smaller environments and more plentiful cover of MGS and MGS 2 combined with the use of more basic camouflage to hide from enemies like in MGS 3 and MGS 4. In any case, expect lots of sneaking around and taking out bad guys unseen, although there is a much stronger emphasis on using non-lethal force to subdue your enemies which allows you to then recruit them and have them join Big Boss's MSF group. The way the recruitment is done is quite unique. After knocking out an enemy, Big Boss can attach a small parachute/balloon to the enemy's hip and then they go shooting up into the air to be collected by a passing helicopter (a.k.a.: Fulton Recovery). As outlandish as this is, it proves to be quite humorous. It's also not simply a gameplay element, they even manage to work it into the cutscenes with some rather hilarious results.
Combat is also mostly unchanged from the way it was in the previous games; you will be laying waste to lots of enemies by using handguns, assault rifles, sniper rifles, missile launchers, grenades, etc. A new addition is the ability to call for supply drops and air strikes (it's possible one of these things was already included in Portable Ops, but I never got to play that game). You can even choose whether you want the controls to be laid out so that they resemble the controls in either MGS 4, Portable Ops, or one of the Monster Hunter games. Aside from the main missions (Main Ops) that drive the story forward and usually involve Big Boss sneaking through enemy territory or taking out attack teams and military vehicles, there are plenty of side missions (Extra Ops) to undertake which cover a wide range of objectives. Most of them are timed and include missions such as target practice, using Fulton Recovery on a certain number of enemies, locating hidden documents, protecting friendly targets, and fighting more heavily armed enemies and vehicles. These enemy vehicles, mainly APCs, tanks, and choppers, can also be captured and added to your own personal collection, just like enemy soldiers. This leads to the most significant change included in this game: base management. The main base of operations for MSF, known as Mother Base, goes through many changes as you add more recruits. Mother Base has several teams that operate within it and the success of the teams depends on how many soldiers you put in each of them (their skill levels are important factors as well). For example, putting enough soldiers in the combat unit lets you gain more experience points (GMP) that can be spent towards developing better weapons and equipment to use during missions as they become available to you. You can even play as one of the combat unit soldiers in the Extra Ops (in fact, some of these missions require you to play as one of these soldiers instead of as Big Boss). Also, soldiers in the combat unit can be sent on Outer Ops (more on that later). Putting enough soldiers in the R&D team is what gives you access to the previously mentioned weapons and equipment. Putting enough soldiers in the medical team lets you make sure that any sick or injured soldiers will get better more quickly and gives you access to more potent healing items. In short, the more skilled soldiers you have in each team, the more smoothly things will go for you.
As for the Outer Ops, they are basically special missions where your soldiers are sent to attack other enemy forces. Aside from choosing which soldiers or vehicles to send on Outer Ops, you have no direct control over how they turn out. When an Outer Op has ended, you are treated to a little video showing how the battle went. These are not fully animated videos showing your soldiers fighting other soldiers, instead what plays out on the screen is basically a combination of a digital chess match and a turn-based RPG. You'll see the icons of your soldiers and vehicles on one side of the screen and the icons of the enemy forces on the other side. Then, the soldiers and vehicles on each side will attack one another one by one. The first side to lose all available soldiers and vehicles loses, while the other side, of course, wins. Even if your side wins the battle, it is entirely possible for your soldiers and vehicles to come back wounded or damaged, and it's even possible for them to be killed or destroyed. While this all may sound somewhat overwhelming and complicated, leading your soldiers and managing Mother Base is actually quite easy to get a handle on and is really accessible to even newbie gamers. In fact, even if you're not that into playing video games, anyone looking to start their own business would do well to play this game simply to learn the basics of proper resource management. There is also a co-op element in this game where other players can join you online and assist you in missions. Being a mostly single player type of gamer myself, I didn't make use of this feature, but for those of you who are interested, it's there and it apparently works well.
Peace Walker is indeed a very interesting take on the Metal Gear Solid series and brings some interesting innovations to the table, but there are a few nagging issues as well. For one thing, in typical RPG-type fashion, most of the boss fights are rather long and drawn out since they're all against armored vehicles, tanks, choppers, and the occasional giant robot; plus, they all possess extraordinarily long health bars. One of the final bosses in particular was especially frustrating...in fact, the word "frustrating" hardly does it justice. I almost gave up on it entirely. While this particular boss and a lot of the other later ones are optional, you actually do need to complete them if you want to see the true ending of the game. Yes, there's an initial ending and then a second true ending that can only be seen after completing all Main Ops and all Extra Ops (excluding some secret Extra Ops). The thing is, most of the missions after the first ending are made up of a lot of the same stuff that you've already done through the earlier parts of the game, and there are a lot of them to complete. It's basically a bunch of filler to make the game longer, which it didn't really need since the main game is easily about twice as long as all the previous Metal Gear Solid games. To make matters worse, in order to face the true final boss, there's a particular mission you have to complete first, but the game gives you absolutely no clue on how to even access this mission; I never would have found out how to get to it without checking for the solution online. Hopefully, these issues will be addressed in the upcoming sequel Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes, assuming that game ends up having a similar mission structure. As it is, Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker dragged on a bit too much for my taste, especially when you compare it to the other games in the series, and this is coming from someone who has played several RPGs in his time. Regardless, this is still a great game and it's definitely worth looking into. On its own, Peace Walker gets 4 stars overall and 5 stars for fun.
The Metal Gear Solid HD Collection is worth buying just for Peace Walker alone at its current price (especially if you're like me and don't own a PSP). When you combine it with the other two games in this collection, it's a no-brainer for MGS fans. Get it now if you haven't already.
Playing these games, however, made me appreciate just how much games have developed and matured over the course of this console generation. For instance, the acting in MGS2&3 oftentimes seemed ridiculous to me while playing this collection, when it used to be the cream of the crop. Modern games from the west have done a great job of continuing to push the evolution of the medium, with enhanced focus on motion capture and voice acting. The Uncharted series, in particular, comes to mind as a good example, and even MGS4, now that I think of it (not from the west). Another thing that games like Uncharted have learned to do is to perform character development during actual gameplay, as opposed to taking you out of it with the long, long codec sequences and cut scenes that MGS has become known for.
I'm not knocking the MGS games, as these are some of the favorites that I grew up with. Hideo Kojima is one of my favorite director/writers, and Solid Snake is one of my favorite characters. In the words of Andy Samberg, I will always hide beneath cardboard boxes when given the chance... LIKE A BOSS!
I loaded MGS3 but haven't played it yet and noticed it includes Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2. So in reality, you are getting 5 games for the price of one. Also, don't doubt for a second this game wont be rare one day. It's already holding value great. I managed to snag it from Amazon before they went out of stock for 30 bucks, but the used ones are selling for upwards of 30 right now.
It's a game worth keeping, playing, and reliving. Even the cover of the game gives me that nostalgic feel, especially when I hear that MGS theme!