The perfection of Metal Gear Solid 3′s stealth espionage gameplay is simply lost in its translation to the 3DS platform.
A bit of background for players that did not check out Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater during its PlayStation 2 turn: the game takes place during the 1960s during the Cold War between the Americans and the Soviets. The alliance formed between the super powers during World War II has come to an end and fear and paranoia are at an all time high. Anyone and everyone, and rightfully so, is declared a spy by the frightened populace and congressional committes. Amidst all this, a CIA agent and FOX operative codenamed “Naked Snake,” is tasked with hopping the Iron Curtain to retrieve a defecting Soviet scientist. Naturally, everything goes wrong and nothing is what it seems, as Snake is confronted by his own, defecting mentor, The Boss. Torn between the mission and his loyalty to The Boss, Snake is tossed aside, broken and defeated, but the mission must go on and Snake needs to battle double-crosses, nuclear weapons, insane soldiers and his own personal demons to make sure peace is restored.
“Now tell me, where do you hide your Metal Gears?” – Naked Snake
Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D doesn’t do the original release much justice, as the great gameplay and mechanics of the PS2 hit are lost in translation over to the 3DS. The controls, unless the Circle Pad Pro is equipped, are extremely clunky. The camera is mapped to the face buttons and proves to be a major pain during combat. Outside of combat, while traversing terrain and exploring the scenery, the camera controls work quite well. As soon as an enemy mosies into frame however, things get complicated. This is due, in part, to the awkward combination of aiming while trying to focus the camera. Although I was able to switch between auto-aim, first-person and third-person view on the fly, combat just was not what it was in the console release of the game. The worst part is that there was no option to change the control scheme outside of inverting a few axes.
Fortunately, Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D took a few pointers from the newer titles in the franchise and implemented crouch-walking and MGS4-style third-person aiming. These two mechanics remedied some of my camera and combat woes. I was able to sneak away quickly with the crouch-walk and aim better with the MGS4-style shooting mechanics. Unfortunately, I found myself shooting a lot. This is not how MGS3 is supposed to be played, and it was very obvious to me. I’m used to sneaking around in the underbrush, hiding bodies and using my tranquilizer gun to take out enemies. On the 3DS, the clunky controls caused me to frequently reveal my location to enemies and I was forced to resort to killing enemies and using my heavier weapons, two things I usually never do in the MGS franchise.
Snake is a CIA agent, a FOX operative and a bully.
The graphics run the gamut from beautiful to mediocre. The 3D effects add a special something to certain scenes, particularly during moments with The Pain. Hornets parade around the 3DS’s screen frantically and, every so often, a few will look as if they are landing right on the “camera lens” or screen. Effects such as these really add a tiny extra to Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D’s cutscenes. In addition, there are times where the character models look great. Snake is often striking poses for the camera and, most of the time, he looks badass while doing so. Other times, the grainy scenery, low resolution and frame rate drops hit the game hard and ruin the feel, particularly when blades of grass are out of focus behind Snake or when the camera is zoomed out during cutscenes. Whenever the camera went for a cinematic swooping shot, the big amounts of jagged edges and rough textures were even more noticeable.
The game’s story is still fantastic after all these years. Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D serves as a prequel to the entire franchise’s history. Naked Snake is none other than a young Big Boss, the legendary soldier from whom Solid Snake and Liquid Snake were cloned. Big Boss’s origin and untold story finally come into play, and his point of view explains a number things in the franchise’s history. For first-time players, Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D is an epic journey. The game’s cutscene-heavy direction is back, but it does a good job of separating long cutscenes into segments. This way, if one is skipped, the entire cutscene is not skipped over and the more interesting cinematics can be enjoyed.
Ocelot is a total sore loser when it comes to women.
The only real reason to purchase this iteration of the game is as a last resort if you missed it on the consoles or if you are a die-hard fan. With the recent release of the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection, the clunky and difficult controls of Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D are hard to justify. If you are looking for a title to expand your 3DS library, Snake Eater 3D’s story will keep you interested for hours. Likewise, if you are a fan of the franchise, you will want to pick this iteration up, if only just to have it on your shelf. Otherwise, if you are looking to experience Snake Eater for the first time or want an updated version of the original, you are better off with the HD collection.
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Submited at Monday, February 27th, 2012 at 5:00 pm on Playstation by madison
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