Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Gaming Shame #2: Metal Gear Solid 3

Metal Gear Solid 3 is a gaming shame for me for two reasons:
  1. I've been meaning to give the Metal Gear series a second chance after dropping it with MGS2.
  2. My wife bought me a copy of this game on 3DS back in 2012, and I still haven't touched it.
With my shiny new Nintendo Switch rapidly making my 3DS and Wii U obsolete, I figured there was no time like now to finally dig into this portable Cold War mission. Here are my thoughts now that I'm about half-way through the game:
  •  I'm kind of amazed that my original 3DS is capable of running a PS2 game so well. While the size and resolution of the 3DS screen do leave something to be desired, I can't help but be impressed with how good this game looks and sounds in spite of hardware limitations.
  • It's immediately apparent that MGS3 was meant to be played with dual analog control, but unfortunately, since I don't have a Circle Pad Pro or a New 3DS, I'm stuck with having to use the ABXY buttons to aim. This set-up is definitely not as fast and accurate as I would like, but I'm managing to make it work.
  • To compensate for the less-than-ideal controls, I decided to power through this game on easy mode. This way Snake can survive taking a few hits while I take a little more time to line up my shots.
  •  I forgot how loaded with dialog and cutscenes Metal Gear games are. The beginning few hours of the game probably contains more cutscene time than actual gameplay time. On the PS2 this was probably fine, but on 3DS I'm keenly aware of how much time I'm spending just staring at these lengthy non-interactive scenes.
  • The juxtaposition of serious political themes and wacky over-the-top characters is really bizarre. In one moment, the game is covering the effects of the Cuban Missle Crisis on US-Russian relations, in the next, I'm in a boss battle with a man that shoots "bullet bees" out of his mouth.
  • The inclusion of the blatantly James Bond-inspired opening theme song "Snake Eater" is incredibly corny, but I kind of like it anyway.
While returning to the 3DS in a post-Switch world hasn't been easy, I've been mostly enjoying my time with MGS3. The convenience of playing this game on a device that I can easily toss into my lunchbox without a case means I can work gameplay sessions into small gaps in my schedule without much pre-planning. The only downside is due to the verbose nature of Kojima games, I've spent many of my lunch breaks just watching 30-minute long cutscenes. At my current rate of progress, I'll probably be finishing up Metal Gear Solid 3 and writing my review within the next 2 weeks.

Never thought I'd be taking a scenic forest stroll on my 3DS

Nothing interferes with the quest for nuclear disarmament quite like bullet bee wounds

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