Gaming History 101

Know Your Roots

Metal Gear Solid 3: Which Version Should You Play?

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First off the original vanilla PS2 version. I really didn’t care for this game that much back in the day and I deliberately left it until last as I thought playing the four other versions would make playing this easier, nope. The original version of the game runs off a similar engine to Metal Gear Solid 2 which means your camera is super restricted. You can use the left stick to slightly pan the camera, but its pretty useless. You’ll spend most of the time playing this game in a stop start pattern. What I mean by that is if your going full stealth you’ll move forward slightly then stop, go into first person view and check the surroundings and then repeat this process every five steps. Some may argue this makes the game more difficult and stealth but in my opinion this is not fun. Every additional version of this game fixed this problem by allowing you full control of the camera so you can rotate it around and see enemies so much easier. It makes the game just that much more playable and fun with this addition alone. For that reason I say avoid the original PS2 version unless you’re a die hard fan of the game and want to see it’s roots.

mgs_hd_coll_box_360Next up is the HD collection on Xbox 360 and PS3. The additions to this version of the game is you can actually move Snakes aim faster in FPS mode which helps a lot with some boss fights. The graphics look more shiny but with this being a Konami you actually loose some of the intended detail in some segments. For example, there was an area where you are crawling under a house in the original you see dust clouds and smoke but in the HD version, in all its wonderful dumb wisdom has removed these effects completely. In fairness you will not miss these unless your a complete graphics purist but it’s noticeable if you’ve played any of the previous PS2 versions.

mgs_hd_coll_box_vitaOn to the Vita this is the HD collection version in portable form. With this being on the vita you have obligatory touch controls to accommodate for the missing R2 and L2 buttons. The game mostly does a good job of this without it interfering with the gameplay. The main issue is that dam rear touch pad which as anyone who owns a VITA knows is hard not to press when your trying to rest your hands. In this game its used to lunge a knife attack. Mostly it’s harmless and won’t interfere, it would just be more helpful if the game would let you map the controls to your liking. Despite this small flaw this is my preferred portable version of the game.

mgs3_3ds_boxUp next is the 3DS version which is actually a unique port of the game. The game maps a lot of the information like the game map to the bottom touchscreen which is actually very handy and makes some of the tools I originally found useless like the sonar actually helpful as they had objects of interest on your map. Despite these unique adjustments the port suffers some massive problems. First off playing this game on a small 3DS is incredibly hard, the screen is just too small to see details. This port is also essential to use with the additional analogue nub add on as playing this on an old 3DS without it maps the camera controls to the face buttons which just doesn’t feel right. You can play this on the New 3DS system, which has the additional nub built in but the issue here is the buttons are re mapped to the awful ZR and ZL buttons so aiming and firing in this game are actually incredibly tough and you can’t remap your buttons. It’s such a shame to because if the controls were cleaned up, this would be the best portable version of the game. Oh yeah you have the 3D graphical gimmick but who really cares about this.

mgs3_subsistance_ps2_boxFinally, I save the best till last the PS2 Subsistence version. If you’re a Metal Gear fan or are a hardcore collector this is the version you want to own. Not only is it the definitive version of the game with the original (and best) graphics, the new 3D camera controls also comes with tons of extras. Yes it had Metal Gear Online, which is useless now but you also get an additional bonus disc which comes with all sorts of additional goodies like the original Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake for MSX. Yes these are present on the HD collection versions but surprisingly absent from the 3DS version. The disc also contains a lot of additional cutscenes and a very fun what if spin off featuring everyone’s favourite character Raiden from Metal Gear Solid 2. All this bonus content is not present on the HD collection. There are also a few additional pieces of content cut. There is a Snake Vs Monkey mini game which is a bit of fun for fans of the Ape Escape serious (though worth a look even if you not just to catch the Gabe Logan and Sam Fisher reference). In the main game there is also a really cool Easter egg that is cut from all future versions of a game. If you happen to end up in jail at some point and save your game and reload it immediately you will be treated to a surprise mini game that only features in the PS2 versions of the game. With all that in mind I dub the PS2 Subsistence version of the game the definitive and most complete version of the game.

Written by jamalais

September 1, 2015 at 3:00 pm

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