"A True Legacy"
It's finally here, a somewhat complete collection of the Metal Gear games. For years, fans have been hobbling together a collection of these games via carts and discs on different systems, along with various collections and digital downloads. Now, for the first time, Metal Gear Solid: The Legacy Collection offers: Metal Gear, Metal Gear 2, Metal Gear Solid, Metal Gear Solid VR Missions, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, and Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, all in one place.
I won't go through each and every game on this review, because the reviewing The Legacy Collection is about so much more than criticizing each and every game to the detail. The Legacy Collection is about finally getting these masterpieces under one roof for old fans and new potential fans to play. This is the museum of Metal Gear, almost the complete story. It even includes two digital novels to complete the story arc even more. The purpose here is to give gamers the full story and fill in those who may have missed some of it.
Metal Gear has been defining the stealth genre since the first release of the MSX2 Metal Gear in 1987. Metal Gear Solid was revolutionary, and it essentially popularized the genre. Mostly though, MGS fans stayed intrigued with the insanely rich plot and characters that the series portrayed. Kojima became a household name in America due to the original MGS, and the series continues to thrive to this day.
It's almost impossible to give a bad review to The Legacy Collection simply due to the fact that you are getting eight games for around 50 dollars. Going back to play the original MSX2 games is a trip back into the retro museum, and this may not appeal to younger gamers who have no interest in this sort of meddling (or older gamers who haved moved past retro games), but it's great to finally play the Metal Gear 2 Kojima made as opposed to the Snake's Revenge (which I still liked, but hey, it's not official, right?).
The PS1 era Metal Gear Solid games are still just as I remember them (with an HD update) – and that can be both bad and good depending how you look at it. These games have, over the years, been criticized for overdoing it on the cut scenes, and it's even more blatantly obvious these days with games cutting back on that sort of thing. However, if you are playing MGS, then you should expect to be sitting through a lot of dialogue. The stealth action also can feel a wee bit archaic. After playing games like Hitman Absolution and Deus Ex: Human Revolution, it's hard not to notice that you're going back in time; The Legacy Collection is a time capsule of sorts.
However, let's be honest. These games are old now, yet they're still playable and admirable. Watching guard patterns and making your way stealthily through maps to get to the next chunk of story is primarily what the MGS games are at the heart, but that doesn't mean they aren't fun, breathtaking, nor interesting. Even all these years later, MGS and its sometimes slow pace can still be played and enjoyed by a newcomer.
If you've been a Metal Gear fan for years and have been buying the games and collections, there is almost no reason for The Legacy Collection. The only game you may be missing is Metal Gear Solid, which is available for a digital download on the PSN. The only other reason why a fan who has been buying these games over the years may want to get this would be to have them in all in one place. It works for gamers like me who may have stopped playing the series at some point and / or haven't been holding onto their copies over the years.
Still, you don't rate a game on who may need a certain title and who may not; you rate it based on gameplay, graphics, sound, and other such stuff. Since we are spanning so many years here, it's hard not to say Metal Gear Solid looks dated, because it does, but so do the MSX2 Metal Gears. However, all of these games looked great for their time, so I have to look at everything in this collection from a historical perspective. This is a challenging collection to review simply because the games are very similar, yet very different, and span from the 80s to the 2000s.
That being said, this is exactly how you should look at The Legacy Collection: as a historical collection of games. Some newer players may have a hard time playing the earlier titles, but as long as you are down for some slower moving, less developed stealth and willing to set your mind to a different time, everything works beautifully as you work your way through the series. By the time you get to MGS4, you'll be in more familiar territory and ready to get in gear for MGS5.
GameDynamo's Score for Metal Gear Solid: The Legacy Collection (PS3)
Three things describe Rando: Good beer, good food, and video games. On occasion, Rando flies a zeppelin through time seeking power crystals.
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