Game Rant‘s Riley Little reviews Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D.
It’s sad to say, but up until now we haven’t seen a Metal Gear character on a Nintendo system since Solid Snake’s special guest appearance in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Konami is hoping to square things up with Nintendo fans by releasing a remake of the PlayStation 2 game Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater on the 3DS.
With a few minor upgrades, such as the implementation of glasses-less 3D, Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D can be seen in an entirely new dimension, but that may not be enough to win over fans who’ve already played the original.
Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D takes place during the Cold War era in the Russian occupied jungle of Tselinoyarsk. The star of this title isn’t Solid Snake, like in other games in the series, but instead players will take on the role of Naked Snake — a character that has a pivotal role throughout the franchise. The opening to the game has a prologue, followed by a snake-themed cinematic and tacky song, both of which combine to give a very authentic James Bond-esque feel that newcomers and veterans alike will enjoy.
Stealth combat has been at the heart of the Metal Gear Solid franchise since it was first created, and this handheld version of MGS3 is no exception. Snake will be forced to choose different camouflage based on the area he’s in to help blend in with his surroundings, hunt wildlife for nourishment, and use certain medical supplies whenever he is wounded. Of course, players must do all of this while remaining hidden from enemy forces, and those fellows are everywhere. The game provides a lot of scenarios that haven’t really been touched upon before, and even though it’s nearly eight years old, it’s still a very captivating stealth-action romp.
Everything that fans remember from the PlayStation 2 original has transitioned wonderfully into the third dimension. As to be expected with porting a console game to a handheld though, there have been a few notable additions. One of the cooler features allows gamers to make their own camo by utilizing the 3DS’s built-in camera, which is a very inventive use of the handheld. However, the implementation of gyroscopic mechanics, on the other hand, feels tacked on and gimmicky, and the areas that make use of the gyroscope are some of the most irritating parts in the entire game.
Aside from some wonky gyro work, the title hasn’t lost much playability while being ported over to the 3DS – though the controls themselves will throw players a bit of a learning curve. Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D is compatible with the Circle Pad Pro, which makes controlling the game a lot easier, but the standard control scheme — sans the bulky peripheral — leave a lot to be desired. Players will certainly adapt after spending some quality time with the game, but the initial shock may instantly turn off those who are easily frustrated.
Anyone looking to dive right into the espionage action won’t be so lucky. The game plays out more like a movie than anything else, and if long cutscenes aren’t something you want to sit through then you’re not going to enjoy many of them. The amount of in-game dialogue certainly won’t help get the adrenaline pumping either, but it does give some insight into the actual characters themselves. Players who want to get into a complex and interesting story on a handheld will find plenty to look forward to in Snake Eater 3D, because the length of the setup is well worth the action-packed payoff awaiting at the end of almost every mission.
The cutscenes also make decent use of the game’s 3D, which actually help to immerse players in the on-screen events. While cutscenes themselves don’t really look or feel all that different without 3D, the feature really does stand out when Snake is hiding in bushes or a tree; both of which seem to pop right out of the screen. The problem with the 3D is that, other than a few casual effects, it’s really rather frivolous. The inclusion of the effect is certainly appreciated, but it doesn’t really do much to enhance or detract from the overall experience.
If rendering foes unconscious/dead, eating wildlife, or hiding in trees doesn’t appeal to the obsessive compulsive disorder sufferer in you, then the large amount of collectibles found throughout the story certainly will. Many gamers who played through the original will recall that little kerotan frogs were hidden throughout the world, but in this game they’ve been replaced… by Nintendo’s own Yoshi! It’s a nice little nod to the relationship that Nintendo has with Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima, and replacing generic frog dolls with a well-known mascot makes finding all of the collectibles a little more rewarding.
Metel Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D is the exact same game that everyone loved on the PS2 — with the visuals to match. A few new gameplay additions certainly add to the experience, but they may not be enough to warrant the game’s $40 price tag. It becomes even harder to recommend the game when the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection features Snake Eater, along with two other MGS titles, for the exact same price. Hardcore fans of the series who own a 3DS won’t want to miss out on this one, but everyone else may be better off going with the home console version — it’s a much better deal.
Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D is currently available on the Nintendo 3DS.
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