Tactical Espionage Analysis: Metal Gear Solid Legacy Collection

MGS LC

In my previous MGS post, I spoke about my excitement for the Metal Gear Solid Legacy Collection, and how it sparked the thought to start this trip through the series. So before I get started writing about the original Metal Gear – which I have, in truth never gotten to play before now – I thought it might be worthwhile to describe just what this PS3-exclusive bundle of joy includes. The rough breakdown is as follows:

 

  • Metal Gear
  • Metal Gear 2
  • Metal Gear Solid
  • MGS: VR Missions
  • Metal Gear Solid 2 HD
  • Metal Gear Solid 3 HD
  • Metal Gear Peace Walker HD
  • Metal Gear Solid 4
  • MGS / MGS 2 Motion Comic

 

Now, if you’re like me, bulleted lists are great for conveying general information, but don’t really get at the heart of the matter. For instance, Metal Gear was a NES title that has been ported numerous times to other consoles, so what version do we have here? How many of these games are on each disc, and how many discs are there? What the heck is a “motion comic,” and is it worth my time?

The rough breakdown of the content is two discs and a download token. The download token is for digital versions of MGS and MGS: VR Missions from the Playstation Store. I think the smoothing and resolution for bigger screens is marginally better than using an original PS1 disc, but these aren’t “HD” by any means. I know that these games not being on-disc was a “deal breaker” for a lot of people online, or so they claimed; I personally wasn’t bothered too much by it.

The two discs are essentially the MGS HD Collection and MGS 4, respectively. The motion comics have been added to the first disc; MGS 4 is the “Trophy Edition” that includes, well, trophies and gets rid of some of the original version’s installation requirements. Again, this garnered rage from the internet forum crowd, who claim that Konami was just throwing together two existing discs in a “cash grab.”

As someone who already owned all of the included content except the motion comics and the 100-page mini art book that’s packaged with the game, I’m still perfectly pleased with the final product. The art book is really high-quality, all things considered, and if you expanded it to the size of most art books I have a feeling it could fetch $30 easy from fans. My response to anyone griping that they “already own all of this” would be easy: Don’t *@$#ing buy this new set! It’s not like Kojima has a gun to your head; if you feel it’s a rip-off, say so with your wallet.

MGS LC Full

All that said, this collection isn’t perfect, and the biggest flaw mirrors and issue that I had with the previous HD Collection release, and highlights a recent trend in gaming. You see, the instruction manual for this thing is an absolute joke. It includes basic controls for MGS 2-4 that run for about three pages, and then those three pages are repeated in five languages. While I have nothing against multi-lingual instructions, I do have an issue with the fact that NOWHERE in this little book is info on how to access Metal Gear / Metal Gear 2 or the motion comics. This is especially baffling considering that this content was apparently important enough to list on the back of the box and on the cover of the first disc.

With a little luck, you might accidentally stumble across the motion comics; with the disc in your PS3, a new option to play them pops up under the “Video” tab on the home screen. The first two games, however, are nested so deeply that you could miss them entirely. You see, from the launch screen of the HD Collection disc, you can pick between MGS 2, 3, and Peace Walker. What most people don’t know (I certainly didn’t) is that the versions of 2 & 3 included are actually the Substance and Subsistence versions, respectively.

MGS Subsistence

After each of those games was released on the PS2, they were also re-released with special editions on that console and the original Xbox. These editions contained a bunch of special features and a few small additions to the games. On the MGS 3: Subsistence disc, for example, were ports of the first two Metal Gear games. If you’ve been following me so far, the end result is that in order to play these titles, you have to put in the HD Collection disc, launch MGS 3 HD, and then find Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2 in its extras menu. If you didn’t follow me, that’s completely understandable, as it was mostly nonsense gibberish that I had to look up online while trying to get this all figured out last night.

In the end, I am very pleased with my purchase of this collection, even though I realize it’s not for everyone. If you already have the HD Collection and MGS 4, I could understand just paying to get MGS from the PSN Store, and VR Missions isn’t exactly a crucial experience. For real fans of the series, though, I don’t think $50 is too steep an asking price; and for anyone who’s never gotten to play these games, it’s an absolute win in every department.

The [amazon_link id=”B00CTKHXFO” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Metal Gear Solid Legacy Collection[/amazon_link] is a Playstation 3 exclusive. Check out the trailer below!


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