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Hands On: Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker HD

What a difference a second analog stick makes.

When Konami announced that MGS: Peace Walker was getting the HD treatment, there was much reason to be excited. It’s easily one of the best PSP games and just the idea of playing it on a console is awesome.

HD Edition is the same game released on the PSP but with one major improvement – the controls. Even though the PSP version had three different control schemes to choose from, each one had its own limitations. It wasn’t like MGS4 where everything made sense. That problem has been fixed now that Peace Walker is coming to the PS3 and Xbox 360.

Konami basically got rid of the main problem by mapping the camera to the right analog stick. You’d be amazed at how much of a difference it really makes. It was easy to go from encountering an enemy to running for cover without taking an unnecessary amount of bullets to the face in the process. You can even use the triggers to switch between items (L2) and weapons (R2). This isn’t anything new for MGS on consoles but it’s huge improvement if you ever played Peace Walker on the PSP.

There are a few techniques that Big Boss can’t do in Peace Walker for some reason. He can’t move to the left or right while hugging a wall, nor can he crawl. It’s a shame that Konami didn’t make any changes for the HD version. You still need to hold the action button (triangle) to latch onto a wall. It would have been better if the set up was the same as MGS4′s where you just press the button once. Crawling is not that big of a deal since it was never intended to be in the game, but the button sheet claimed that you could do it for some reason.

Obviously the visuals have been touched up. All of the text and artwork has been remade. Most of the menus have been redone as well, although some were still unfinished. Don’t expect too much of an upgrade from the in-game graphics. Character models are noticeably improved. Overall, it looks like a PSP game on a big screen with cleaner visuals. If a tire looked like a smear on the PSP it’s going to look like giant smear on the PS3 or 360. It’s not really a problem or anything, you can just tell that it’s not a game originally built for consoles.

Unfortunately, playing co-op mode was not possible in the demo. The options were certainly there in the menus but that’s it. It’s also worth noting that both versions of the game look identical. It really comes down to controller preference and whether or not “Transfarring” data from the PSP to PS3  is important to you.

The Metal Gear Solid HD Collection is due to release this November for the PS3 and Xbox 360 and includes Metal Gear Solid 2, Metal Gear Solid 3, and Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. It’s pretty much a must buy if you’re a fan of the series.

32 Comments
  1. Jim H [Teabags]
    Member
    Since: Nov 2009

    Even though Konami have skimped on upgrading the gameplay too much, a second analog stick has sold me already. Despite being a big-time MGS fan, I passed on Peace Walker, mainly because I had a feeling a HD version would soon come to consoles.

    Comment posted on 21/06/2011 at 09:09.
  2. Kovacs
    Member
    Since: Dec 2009

    “It wasn’t like MGS4 where everything made sense.”

    LOL! Very little in MGS4 made sense.
    :)

    Comment posted on 21/06/2011 at 09:14.
    • jayjay119
      Member
      Since: Apr 2010

      Maybe to you :p

      Comment posted on 21/06/2011 at 09:20.
    • Delriach
      Member
      Since: Jul 2009

      I knew someone would say that XD

      Comment posted on 21/06/2011 at 09:29.
      • Deathbrin
        Member
        Since: Aug 2009

        Yeah, actually it’s the first thing that comes to mind. :)

        Comment posted on 12/08/2011 at 14:15.
  3. KeRaSh
    Member
    Since: Nov 2009

    The graphics in the HD version don’t look that good to me, to be honest. I’m not a hardcore MGS fan but enjoyed MGS3 and 4. I didn’t understand everything that went down but it was still fun.
    Might give this collection a try someday.

    Comment posted on 21/06/2011 at 09:19.
    • bunimomike
      Member
      Since: Jul 2009

      That’s what I was thinking. Looks like they’ve simply resampled the images in Photoshop and saved them out. :-\

      Comment posted on 21/06/2011 at 10:00.
  4. jayjay119
    Member
    Since: Apr 2010

    I was hoping for a bit more of an update, such as moving while crawling (especially considering it was doable in Portable Ops for the HD version but right analogue stick compatibility is enought to sell me I think. The game on PSP is incredibly jarring due to the controls, so erradicating that factor shoudld make it a very enjoyable experience.

    Comment posted on 21/06/2011 at 09:22.
    • Delriach
      Member
      Since: Jul 2009

      There’s a few things I didn’t like in Peace Walker that I wish they changed. The crawling thing like you mentioned is one of them. ;(

      Comment posted on 21/06/2011 at 09:47.
    • DrNate86
      Member
      Since: Apr 2010

      What’s the HD version of Portable Ops? Did it already get a console release?

      Comment posted on 21/06/2011 at 12:25.
  5. Tuffcub
    On the naughty step.
    Since: Dec 2008

    The first MGS I played was 4, which waI really enjoyed. However a lot of that was watching the epic cut scenes and whilst the PS2 remakes (God of War etc) seem to look OK, this doesnt look too good. Think I’ll give it a miss and stick to MGS4.

    Comment posted on 21/06/2011 at 09:22.
    • Delriach
      Member
      Since: Jul 2009

      This is just one game in the HD collection. And this one is a port of a PSP game. MGS2 and 3, which are PS2 games, are also included. They look quite good even now.

      Comment posted on 21/06/2011 at 09:46.
    • Hur4d
      Member
      Since: Sep 2009

      They seemed to have sharpened the edges, but not the textures

      Comment posted on 21/06/2011 at 10:54.
    • PoorPaddy89
      Member
      Since: Aug 2009

      Cutscenes in this are done through comic book-stye artwork. Admittedly its a bit weird to start with, but it’s brilliant. Very little cutscenes are done with in-game models.

      Comment posted on 21/06/2011 at 12:27.
  6. Sympozium
    Member
    Since: Aug 2009

    Well I already have them… It’ll probably get me to play Metal Gear Solid 3 and to finish Peacewalker.

    Hope it isn’t full-price.

    Comment posted on 21/06/2011 at 09:23.
    • Delriach
      Member
      Since: Jul 2009

      well, it’s a bundle with 2 other MGS titles. Even if it’s full priced you are still getting quite a deal. It’s not like in Japan where Peace Walker HD is a stand alone title.

      PS3 owners get the benefit of a downloadable version of Peace Walker for the PSP as well in the HD collection. It’s def a deal.

      Comment posted on 21/06/2011 at 09:40.
  7. tactical20
    Member
    Since: May 2010

    From your hands on, it doesn’t sound that great really. I’ve only played MGS2 and thought it was pretty naff tbh. Far too many cut scenes and not enough gameplay.

    What should I play to change my opinion on MGS?

    Comment posted on 21/06/2011 at 09:32.
    • Delriach
      Member
      Since: Jul 2009

      Since Peace Walker is a year old game and we already reviewed it, I tried to make this more oriented towards the changes made than going in depth with the gameplay. I’d recommend reading the review to get a better idea of what it’s actually like.

      As for the cutscene vs gameplay thing. All the MGS titles are what you make of it. You can blast through each title if you wanted. Or you can take your time and enjoy every second of it. You most likely won’t like any of the games if you didn’t like one of them. Maybe MGS1 or MGS3 will be a good “change of opinion” type of game. MGS4 might do something as well since the control scheme is more modern.

      Comment posted on 21/06/2011 at 09:39.
    • Sympozium
      Member
      Since: Aug 2009

      Peacewalker?

      Comment posted on 21/06/2011 at 09:39.
      • Delriach
        Member
        Since: Jul 2009

        The gameplay in Peace Walker is pretty grind oriented. That might not be the best way to get someone into the series. I put in a lot of hours into it though… <3 this game so much. Was the highlight of my trip to E3 last year.

        Comment posted on 21/06/2011 at 09:45.
    • DrNate86
      Member
      Since: Apr 2010

      They’ve always been cutscene heavy games, if you didn’t enjoy that then it’s unlikely any of the other games will change your mind. MGS2 is definitely the worst though in my opinion, the endless bomb hunting is really dull. Grab MGS1 or MGS3 and see if the story hooks you, then you will enjoy the cutscenes!

      Comment posted on 21/06/2011 at 09:48.
  8. iBirch
    Member
    Since: May 2009

    Must buy this I never brought peace walker on psp because I never liked the controls.

    Comment posted on 21/06/2011 at 09:47.
  9. TSBonyman
    Member
    Since: Dec 2009

    Lack of 2nd stick is what made me steer clear of playing games like this on PSP but i still really wanted to play it so i’m delighted it’s getting a PS3 makeover.

    Comment posted on 21/06/2011 at 10:02.
  10. simplebob
    Member
    Since: Mar 2009

    Peace Walker is great on the PSP and so far have spent over 70 hours on it and still not finished everything in there. Not sure that the short mission structure and I never had a problem with the PSP controls. Being a long time MGS fan, the collection will probably be worth a purchase from me.

    Comment posted on 21/06/2011 at 10:06.

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