I’ve witnessed something of an anomaly over the last couple years. It seems that Metal Gear Solid, its sequels, and by extension, game creator Hideo Kojima, have become a kind of punching bag; a go-to for snide remarks about convoluted story, outdated gameplay mechanics, and a reliance on pretension and self-importance. So I feel it necessary state my own opinion, nay, my own bias, in as clear a manner as possible.
I believe that the Metal Gear series is the most consistently great series of all time, excepting perhaps Mario or Zelda. I think that the original’s dedication to storytelling and dialogue (no matter how muddled it could be) was revolutionary, and its freedom of choice in how you approached situations was unmatched, predating even Deus Ex. I think that Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty was very possibly the best looking game of all-time when it was released, and that Kojima’s controversial decision to switch main characters was an excellent idea. I also think that Metal Gear’s portable outings set the standard for handheld gaming on the PSP, and that the final moments of both Metal Gear Solid 3 and 4 are more beautiful than anything I’ve witnessed in my (over a decade long) gaming career.
So it’s natural that I would recommend the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection, perhaps more than any other game released this year. In short, you’ll be getting five full length games, plus VR Missions, Snake Tales, New Game Plus, and full achievement/trophy support. The graphics look better than ever, and the occasional odd texture does not detract from the experience. Best of all, Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, previously only playable on a grainy PSP screen, is now presented on console with full HD graphics and even online multiplayer. I do my best not to factor price into my reviews, but here it is unavoidable. The sheer amount of content, and quality of that content is astounding, and especially tantalizing at the $49.99 price tag.
I don’t have much else to say, really. If you’ve never played these games, there is now no reason not to. The MGS HD Collection takes its place alongside the Resident Evil 4 remake and the God of War Collection as an inspired effort.
The Good: Some of the best games of all-time, in crisp HD
The Bad: The occasional distracting texture appears here and there
The Ugly: The first game is unfortunately absent, but there’s already so much content that complaining about that seems petty
Final Comments: Everybody should go buy this. Now.