Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Review: Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D


It can go without saying that Metal Gear Solid 3 is a great game.  First being released in 2004 for the PS2, the game saw a remake a year later with its Subsistence edition.  Not only that, but tack on the recent release of the Metal Gear Solid HD collection, and you will be wondering why they wanted to re-make this game for the 3DS. 

Well, the good news is that the game works better on the 3DS than the home console versions of the game.  The bad news is that people will most likely want to get their hands on the Circle Pad Pro accessory for the best experience. (Making a $40 game a $60 one.)

First thing's first: this is basically the same Snake Eater everyone knows and loves.  So everything will be familiar to veterans.  What IS new is the controls as well as some gameplay gimmicks that utilize the 3DS’ features greatly.  Not only that, but add in updated graphics and you get something that looks great.  It is not exactly Resident Evil Revelations status in terms of graphics, but the color palette looks much more vibrant than the original PS2 and HD remake of the game.
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The game’s newly revamped controls are a very nice addition to this remake.  No longer are people going to fumble through the once out-dated controls.  However, if people want to use the game without the out-dated controls, be warned: they are very awkward to use.  Circle Pad to move, ABXY to control the camera, L to aim, R to fire, and the D-Pad to perform special actions such as crouching and crawling and equipping weapons and items.  The Circle Pad Pro turns this once awkward control scheme into something very fluid and nice to use.  All of Snake’s actions are at your fingertips. 

Quite literally actually, since the game’s HUD is found on the bottom screen, thus eliminating any clutter on the top screen.  Which is good, as the screen is small, and Metal Gear’s HUD would take up too much valuable real estate on the screen.  You can now select items and weapons as well as certain menus such as the Cure and Camouflage menus without having the need to go through the pause menu and backing out of two screens every time you just need to do a simple heal or camo switch. 

There are two new gimmicks to Snake Eater 3D that make the most out of the 3DS system,  the first of which is the Photo Camouflage Maker.  This feature allows you to take photos with the 3DS camera and use a portion of said photos as an effective camouflage.  This tool can be a bit broken as times, since certain patterns in photos can cause Snake’s Camo Index to rise significantly more than the camouflage already found in the game at certain times.  The other feature uses the gyroscope function to let Snake keep his balance when walking on tree branches or wooden bridges.  Sadly, the gyroscope function can be annoying at times, as you do not want to be focusing more on keeping a steady hand whenever you are on the go with this game.

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This then leads into Snake Eater 3D’s biggest flaw: it is not really suited as a portable game.  With all the lengthy cut-scenes, the constant distraction of outside noise which can influence your sneaking at times, along with the fact that the game features no auto-save function, makes this game one of those portable titles that you’ll want to play by yourself in peace and quiet.  Nothing is wrong with this, as the game’s experience of sneaking through a jungle quickly becomes much more deep and involving.

Snake Eater 3D is a great game for those who are new to the Metal Gear Solid franchise, or even for those veterans who decided to pick up yet another remake of this great game. Although not really suited for being such a mobile experience, the game still delivers the whole Metal Gear experience in a better way than before. 

Find Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D on ebay | Amazon

Released: 2012-02-21
Publisher: Konami
Developer: Konami, Kojima Productions, HexaDrive

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