Ever since the Vita version of Metal Gear Solid HD Collection was revealed, it was something I had to play being such a big Metal Gear nut. The Vita version is a fantastic port considering these were originally PS2 games, and porting it to Sony’s handheld could not have been easy without a lot of compromises.
The HD Collection contains two games – Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3. Both of them are considered really good and have aged really well. However, it’s a bit disappointing knowing that Metal Gear Solid: Peacewalker was excluded for some reason, and it makes absolutely no sense not to have the PSP version enhanced for the Vita as well.
You can still play the vanilla PSP game on the Vita with second analogue stick enabled, but it doesn’t really give a significantly better experience than playing on the PSP, but for some people that second analogue makes all the difference. It would have been nice to get Peacewalker in the overall package as well, but as they say, there’s always a catch for something that is seemingly flawless.
But flawless it is not, and no, it’s not because there’s a lack of Peacewalker, but because I felt Vita’s analogue sticks didn’t do the camera justice as it required a lot of manual tinkering, which reduced the immersion a bit. Apart from that, the replication of the two games is very good and it looks gorgeous on the OLED screen of the system.
The touchscreen plays an important role here as well, and in-game you can switch weapons and gadgets by just selecting the appropriate thing and pressing the down button on the d-pad. It took me a while to figure that out, but it’s not that inconvenient once you get the hang of it. The pressure sensitive button for firing is still in which I absolutely hate, but considering I rarely fired at anything and employed a stealthy approach, it wasn’t that annoying.
As I mentioned in my PS3 review of the HD Collection, “These games will take you on a memorable journey, and you will witness some of the best, and intense storytelling in video games ever. It can get a little convoluted for the first-time players, so it would be advisable to start with Metal Gear Solid 2. People will have problems with adjusting to the complex control systems in these games, especially the CQC actions – but with a little practice, it shouldn’t pose a big issue. Actually for me, I didn’t have any adjustment period at all, since I’ve played these games so many times on the PS2 and loved them.”
It stays true in the Vita version as well where these games will take you on a memorable journey, and it is recommended that you play them in the release order instead of chronological, ignoring the dates in the main menu. It will take you 12-14 hours to finish Metal Gear Solid 2 and an equal number of time for Metal Gear Solid 3 as well. So you are looking at a phenomenal amount of content here. It’s a testament to how awesome these games are, considering they are quite old now but still give most latest games a run for their money.
These games can be considered as ‘HD’ as the asset quality is much better than the PS2 versions, and the remaster has been quite good here for both the games. There are trophies as well which use the same set as the HD version on the PS3, and there is the transfarring ability as well, which lets you use the same save files between the PS3 and Vita versions.
Five years ago no one would have thought it would have been possible to play these games on a portable device at a high visual fidelity and with proper controls, but the fact that it’s possible itself makes it a progressive thing, and something that offers a different experience. You couldn’t go wrong with these games on the Vita at all.
This game was reviewed on the PS Vita.
Two fantastic games beautifully fit on the Vita. Great port. Touchscreen controls are great. Lot of content.
No Peacewalker. The analogue sticks are a bit stiff and don't work well with the camera.
Five years ago no one would have thought it would have been possible to play these games on a portable device at a high visual fidelity and with proper controls, but the fact that it's possible itself makes it a progressive thing, and something that offers a different experience.