Metal Gear Solid 3D Snake Eater demo review

Well, it’s nice to see that Sony is finally sharing some of the Metal Gear love with other companies (or not depends on your fanboy-ism ^_^).

Metal Gear Solid 3D seems to be a straight up port from the original PS2 version of Snake Eater. In the demo we control Naked Snake as he seeks out Sokolov in the Russian forest. The demo starts out dropping Snake directly in front of the tree we had to climb in the original to get our equipment. Snake starts off with most of his equipment, and it is all neatly laid out and nicely organized on the touch screen.

Like Ocarina of Time 3D, the touch screen in Snake Eater 3D also displays the current area that you are in (huge help) and keeps track of many of the things that were on the top screen in the regular version.

The menus all have big square tabs that can be tapped in order to be opened. Every item is touchscreen optimized (which is nice), but the items themselves haven’t changed from MGS3, nor has the description or effect of the items.

Honestly, very little seems to have changed. The graphics are still the exact same as they were in the PS2 version, and the 3D effect (while cool) doesn’t add a jaw dropping effect, although there does seem to be a bonus option in the camouflage section regarding AR related camouflage.  The game lags a great deal with the 3D turned on, and I spent most of my time wandering around the forest looking straight at the ground because it was the only way to get it not to lag horribly.

One of the nice new features implemented into the 3DS version is an addition which tells you when you hit something. When you fire a gun (I only used the tranquilizer gun) and you hit a target, there are multiple blue rings that extend out from where the dart hit. It’s very useful for knowing whether a distant shot hit or not, and it’s useful for when you are shooting into the grass and you want to know whether or not you actually hit something. I tested the tranquilizer gun out by shooting a mushroom, a thrush bird, a snake, and a bee hive (all of which were edible). Snake commented that all of them were tasty (feathers +bones = tasty? O.o).

The controls have been modified from the PS2 version. The buttons that used to control snake’s various sneaking abilities and CQC have been remapped. The crouch button has been moved down to the 3DS keypad which is incredibly inconvenient because you have to take your finger off the analog stick and stop controlling snake while you make him crouch down. The aiming system has been revamped, there is now a 3rd person shooting mode, and going into first person shooting mode disables the 3D effect. Aiming guns is much more difficult because the buttons for aiming are the ABXY buttons on the 3DS which really isn’t very convenient either. Reloading is button up on the keypad, which means your fingers are gonna be all over the 3DS in the middle of a fight which wasn’t pleasant for me.

Another new feature they have is the inclusion of motion sensor balance. When Snake is walking on a branch or trying to cross a bridge the 3DS tilt sensor suddenly activates and you have to keep the 3DS in balance lest Snake falls off (fortunately he hangs onto the edge, not falls completely off). It’s a cool feature for the branches, but having the balance thing on the bridge where he meets The Boss seems kinda silly, there must be crazy winds or something for him not to be able to keep his balance.

The demo ends when you get to the room where they are holding Sokolov.

All in all I’d say it is an interesting turn of events for the 3DS, and I have to say that it is really cool that they managed to get a full game like MGS3 into a portable console without sacrificing graphics or gameplay, but I think that MGS was designed with Sony consoles (and dual sticks) in mind. The 3DS’s buttons feel a little cramped for a full-out 3rd person MGS game, and the button redesigns are really ineffective.

A newcomer to the MGS series might be able to make the new button scheme work, but as a MGS veteran the 3DS’s controls don’t come across as pleasant. I suspect that the Circle Pad Pro that is recommended for use with MGS3D will make a big difference in accessibility. Overall I’m very impressed with the potential the 3DS has and I love Metal Gear Solid, but as it stands…I think MGS might well be better off on the PS Vita.


~ by kain243 on February 18, 2012.

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