STAFF REVIEW of Metal Gear Solid HD Collection (Xbox 360)

Saturday, December 3, 2011.
by Brent Roberts

Metal Gear Solid HD Collection Box art Bringing back the nostalgia feel that we as gamers have had concerning great titles has become more recent as of late. There have been resurrections of certain titles and series that have strived to bring those amazing moments of gameplay back into our lives and while some have fallen flat, Konami has knocked us all out with Metal Gear Solid HD Collection (MGSHDC) and we couldn't be happier. For those gamers who have not had the option to enjoy the previous Metal Gear Solid titles, now is the time to enjoy one of the best video game series ever made. I must admit I am a BIG fan of the Metal Gear Solid series and being a devout Xbox 360 supporter, this gives me a chance to relive some of the greatest moments in gaming and also experience some new ones for the first time. With today's economy and people wanting to know what games they should spend their hard earned $50 on, MGSHDC offers us one of the best gaming for value experiences we could ever hope for.

This amazing collection of titles starts us off with Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. Originally there was much controversy over this title as its attempts to innovate the Metal Gear Solid series found gamers a little put off. With the series' introduction to Raiden and some lengthy cut scenes it almost feels as though you are playing an iconic interactive movie, gamers were taken back, but that didn't stop this title from producing some amazing moments in gaming. With MSG2 being the first game in the HD collection we have to remember that this title is from a last gen console. While the HD touch to the graphics adds a lot to bring new life into the game, there are moments where you know that this is last gen. Thankfully MGS2 is more indoor, closed room style and so the HD graphics really help to show off the environment.

This isn't just your basic releases of classic titles as this release of MGS2 provides the whole "Substance" package which brings gamers a vault of various VR challenge missions as well as the "Snake Tales" which provide Snake's perspective of how everything goes down in the Big Shell. On top of all of these aspects, gamers also get the enjoyment of hearing the iconic music and tones ring out in remastered glory. While the sound effects and lip synch animations may be a bit off, the musical score alone is enough to pump a ton of adrenaline deep through your veins. Love it or hate it, MGS2 is a great addition to anyone who enjoys the types of games that rely heavily on stealth.

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater is the second title in this amazing collection from Konami and really stands out as a last gen title that really cleans up well. The new HD graphics really help display this game as one for the ages. Massive boss battles, twisting storylines with all sorts of surprises, and multiple tactical options when it comes to combat and stealth are all some of the amazing innovations that were compiled to produce MGS3 and with this new HD collection, all of these aspects really make this release stand head and shoulders above its previous release. With MGS3 showcasing earlier events in Snake's life, the story behind this game is one of the best you will ever play. With such depth given to the gameplay and a lot of innovations that have yet to be duplicated by even some of today's top titles, MGS3 should be a must have for any gamer, thankfully it's included in this collection.

The final addition to this Metal Gear Solid HD Collection is Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. This game offers a unique experience; however, this is what could be considered the thorn in the side of this collection. Originally developed for the PSP, Konami has gone to great lengths to try to convert it to a bigger screen connected to a gaming console. Now originally the screen was small for Peace Walker, now when you stretch it onto a 40+ inch HDTV, you can see how this game doesn't quite "fit". Peace Walker though in all honesty shows the best improvement with the new HD graphics. While most Xbox users that have not picked up a PSP to play this title will enjoy it, the game focuses more on the ability to establish an army via segmented missions while you uncover the truth behind Big Boss. Another thing to take note is that the control scheme of MGS Peace Walker and how the adaptation seems to have missed its mark transitioning between the handheld and console systems. Overall though it is an enjoyable game so that?s some good news.

An amazing addition to the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection rests on the shoulders of MGS Peace Walker as it includes online multiplayer in various gametypes including Co-Op and Versus Ops. While this feature is great to include, there are some aspects that didn't quite make the cut, and that?s a little disappointing considering that they were part of the original releases. While these are minor dings in an overall phenomenal gaming package, you just find yourself asking "if they could include this years ago, why not now".

For those who have only owned an Xbox 360 or for those who consider PS2 to be an antique, then you may not remember these titles due to their age and the fact that they were a Sony exclusive, but not anymore. If you haven't had the chance to play these titles or if you are a fan of amazing stealth gameplay with fantastic storytelling, amazing new HD graphics, with iconic music, then Metal Gear Solid HD Collection is a must have. It has been a long time coming but Metal Gear Solid HD Collection is the next best value for gaming since the Orange Box. Get ready to experience a legendary series in gaming like never before in Konami's Metal Gear Solid HD Collection.

The Boss: Isn't it beautiful? It's almost tragic. When life ends, it gives off a final lingering aroma. Light is but a farewell gift from the darkness to those on their way to die. I've been waiting, Snake, for a long time. Waiting for your birth, your growth, and the finality of today. (Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater)

Overall: 9.1 / 10
Gameplay: 9.0 / 10
Visuals: 9.5 / 10
Sound: 9.5 / 10


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