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Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater HD remake

April 4, 2014

“There’s a new Metal Gear solid coming out, I should play through them all to make sure I know the entire story.” This sounds like a good idea but in actual fact I committed myself to 70+ hours of gaming before I can play the recently released Ground Zeros. The irony that the most recent instalment of the game can be finished in a couple of hours is not lost on me.
I played through MGS 2 last year on the Vita and I had planned to play through MGS 3 last year. Unfortunately it has taken me until my recent holiday to complete the remake of my favourite of the first three MGS games. I had played through Snake eater on the day of release on my PS2 having become a huge fan of the series back in the PS1 days. As soon as they were re released on the Vita I had to make sure that my PSN account showed that I had the trophy for completing every MGS game. It also had to show that they were completed in order as well. The brain is a funny thing.
I was surprised at how much I enjoyed MGS 2 last year. The story so full of conspiracies that you feel the need to read a wiki just to make sure you know what’s going on. It is probably a game that requires a second playthrough just so you can pick up on the lines that you missed the first time around. The “4th wall” breaking moments, towards the end, stand as some of my favourite moments in all of the video games that I’ve played.
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater was next and I couldn’t be more excited as it was my favorite video game until Bioshock took the crown years later. For some reason however I didn’t gel with it the second time around. The control issues that I mentioned in the previous review remained but that wasn’t the issue.
There were many additions to the mechanics of the game this time around and as revolutionary as they were 9 years ago they didn’t have as much of an impact this time.
Spending a lot of time matching up your camouflage to the environment makes sense when you are happy to spend 20 hours playing through the game on your first play through. Hunting each type of animal makes sense if you’re also hunting the trophy that rewards you for it. Both of these mechanics wowed me the first time, but without that feeling I was left to think about the story more and how it didn’t have the intrigue of MGS2. It has a more traditional story structure and feels less crazy, but if that’s what you like about MGS games then Snake Eater may not age as well as you’d hope.

I did not enjoy the "Fury" though

I did not enjoy the “Fury” though

I recently listened to a podcast talking about the loss of Boss Battles. Are they needed and should we miss them if they go? After playing through MGS 2 and 3 recently and seeing how well boss battles can be constructed it would be a shame if that aspect of video games were lost. The MGS series has some of the most well crafted, difficult and world validating bosses in video games. Every one fits into the world and have several ways open to the player in order to progress. It can take a lot of tries and a lot of different failed tactics but once you figure out the “Trick” you’ll feel like a badass.
The “End” is the stand out of course. A sniper battle in the truest sense of the word due to the massive size of the map and tactics needed to win. One of the two times during the game that made take advantage of the camouflage mechanic.
Using poisoned food on the “Fear” to weaken him, enough to actually catch him amongst the forest growth is another high point.
The final battle with the “Boss” is often spoken about as the best part of MGS 3 and I can see why they would think that. The location, the music and the tension brought about by the time limit. Few talk about how bloody frustrating it is due to the controls and bloody mindedness of the AI the closer you get to beating her. It wasn’t until I covered the floor in claymore mines and shot her using my sniper rifle from across the screen that I finally did it.
I am also starting to find the 45 minute ending scenes grate on me more than before due to being an adult with adult things in his life. Explaining to my wife that I can’t save the game midway through a cut scene and don’t want to miss any of the story doesn’t go down to well. It’s especially frustrating when parts of it are just superfluous to the story and should’ve been edited out way before release.

Yes this sounds like a big complaint filled blog but if anything it warns of going back and having those rose tinted glasses slapped off of your face. The Playstation 2 era does not translate well due mostly to the rigid control issues that we just let slide. Given the new console generation it will be interesting to see which games get the 1080p treatment in the same way Tomb Raider and The Last of Us have/will. Hopefully they leave those players with fond memories and not regretting their trip through memory lane as much as I do.
Only Metal Gear Solid 4, MGS Peace Walker and MGS Revengence to go.

XBL, PSN and Twitter @Urbundave


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