Published on March 2nd, 2012 | by Shawn Long, Features Editor
Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D Review
Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Release Date: February 21st, 2012 (US)
Price: $39.99 USD
The Metal Gear Solid franchise has not been on a Nintendo platform since Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes was released on the Gamecube, and has not been on a Nintendo handheld since Metal Gear Solid on Game Boy Color. The dry spell has finally been broken with a remake of Metal Gear Solid 3 entitled Metal Gear Solid 3D: Snake Eater. Although this game is essentially a re-release of the 2004 PlayStation 2 game, this is a title that no ‘3DS owner should miss out on, and veterans of the series should experience again.
Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D is a gorgeous looking game. The PlayStation 2 version was nice, but Konami has updated the look subtly, but noticeably. The main graphical enhancement is the use of 3D, and instead of using the ‘pop out effect’, this game uses a ‘depth’. The vastness of the jungle is teeming with life, and the 3D effect makes it stand out nicely. You will see creatures moving in the brush, snakes slithering on trees, and bee’s buzzing around their hive. Snake’s character model has been updated with sharper textures, and most everything looks very polished. A few spots look a little muddy, but as a whole–the game is a treat on the eyes.
The story of Snake Eater 3D plays out like a ‘James Bond’ movie from the ’60s. The series has been known for crazy stories, but Metal Gear Solid 3 had one of the easier to comprehend stories of the franchise. There is no need for previous knowledge of other titles, which makes it welcoming to new players. You play as ‘Naked Snake’, a spy dispatched by the U.S. Government to track down a defector and also clear the U.S. of allegations made by the U.S.S.R. during the Cold War. Your main adversaries are a group known as ‘Cobra Unit’, a group of talented and deadly special soldiers poised to eliminate Snake. Working with them is a man named Colonel Volgin, a leader of the Russian GRU Army. Ocelot also has a team of men that is working with the GRU soliders.
Snake may physically be alone, but joining him on his mission are several team members available for information on codec. Major Tom is the mission leader, who will guide you in the right direction when lost. Singit is the weapons expert on your mission, and Paramedic helps with surival information and saves your game. The game is very heavy on story, and a lot of your time will be spent watching beautiful cut-scenes and codec conversations. Betrayal, heartache, deception, everything a good spy movie should feature is shown in the story.
As interesting as all this sounds, none of it would matter if the game play wasn’t solid. With that being said, this is probably the feature that Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D shines it’s brightest on.
This is the second release on the Nintendo 3DS that has Circle Pad Pro support, and is the best way to play the game. The ‘L Trigger’ draws your weapon, ‘R Trigger’ fires, and the second analog stick is used to control your camera.
The control is fluid and feels very responsive with the addition of the additional swivel pad. I did play the game without it, and it was still very serviceable. Instead of tacking on sub-par mini games with the touch screen, Konami decided to update the archaic menu system of the original with touch commands. Snake can easily equip weapons, heal wounds, change camo, and even switch from 3rd to first Person Shooting with a tap of the screen. This is a very handy and a huge upgrade over the PlayStation 2 title.
The game also uses the gyro feature. By titlting the ‘3DS, you can balance Snake when on trees and when crossing narrow bridges. The game also implements custom camo, which can be achieved by taking a picture with the 3DS camera and then is implemented in your camo choices.
The freedom of the game also allows you to adapt a play style that is of your own.
As I mentioned earlier, camouflage is used in the game and is very important if you want to remain unseen. You have a “Camo Index” in the upper corner of your screen that tells how well hidden you are. When Snake gets shot, a bullet may become lodged in him, to which you will have to remove the bullet, close the wound, apply ointment to it, and finish with a band-aid. The game is very high on the survival aspect, and is the only game in the series to feature such depth. Your stamina gauge depletes while you are physically active, and you must use rations and eat animals you find across the land to replenish that.
The best part of game is in the multiple ways you can take out your enemies. You can sneak up on them, use close-quarter-combat to demand information, and then slit their throat after they tell you. You can capture animals by stunning them, then unleash them on enemy troops. Feel like getting rid of their food supply? Blow up one of their food storage locations with some TNT. Hell, want to knock someone out and puke on their face? You can do that! The tons of different ways to progress through enemy forces keeps the game fresh, and really encourages you to play through the game several times to test your “what if?” curiosities.
My main gripe with the game is that there isn’t any new content between the original release and the Nintendo 3DS version. Yoshi has replaced the Kerotan frogs, which are hidden throughout the map. Some issues of Nintendo Power magazine can be seen in a lab later on in the game. Other then that, this is a polished port of the PlayStation 2 release, which may deter fans who have played the original to death.
Despite of that personal quibble, this game is very well done. The story is solid, the voice acting is topnotch, with codec conversations ranging from sad to hilarious. The spruced up graphics and added touch screen features breathe life into the game, and makes Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D another must have title for the Nintendo 3DS. The PSP Vita may be rising in popularity, but the best games for handheld systems right now are definately found on the ‘3DS.
Be sure to check out our MGS Caption Contest right here on GAMINGtruth.com for a chance to win a FREE copy of the game!
[xrr label=”Rating: 9/10″ rating=9/10]
+ A remake of one of the greatest games ever
+ Polished graphics
+ Added touchscreen support that negates the old menu system.
– New fans may be put off by the cinematic presnation and lengthy cut-scenes.
– Game is best played with Circle Pad Pro, which is an extra $20 USD.