Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater was an amazing game back in 2004 and it definitely holds its mantle in the year 2012. With Metal Gear Solid HD Collection released last year, one has to question the reasoning to even play the Nintendo 3DS port. Don’t get me wrong, it has a some good points but it all feels a bit pointless when the alternative seems so much better.
Metal Gear Solid 3D: Snake Eater is more or less the same of what you would expect from a Metal Gear Solid 3 port. If you have played MGS3 before, everything is pretty much the same minus a few tweaks. For one, Naked Snake can now crouch walk much like in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. The button layout in general mirrors Peace Walker so if you have played that game, you will pretty much be right at home. To those that have never played the upgraded Subsistence, MGS3D uses a fully movable camera that can rotate in any direction.
Unfortunately, playing this game without a Circle Pad Pro is painful. Unfortunately for that, the Circle Pad Pro has its own fair share of issues (which I will be address in a separate review). Aiming in this game is frustrating and the lack of being able to do precise aiming makes for difficult headshots. The UI is also a step forward and a few steps back. The survival viewer menu is now all on the bottom screen. You’re able to tap to access the different menus but unfortunately the layout for most of these menus are just bad compared to the console counter parts. I find myself having to spend too much time out of the action just to navigate through these windows. Trying to do self surgery on Snake shouldn’t take long to do but somehow the 3DS version made it so.
Graphically, it feels like there are some parts where the graphics are better than the PS2 but the frame rates drop significantly at various points. Trying to pull out an AK-47 for example and spraying it around results in some bad slow down. I wouldn’t have minded taking a small graphical hit just to keep the frame rates up or consistent. Another thing that gets really disorientating is when you go into first person view, only to have the 3D disable itself. This actually made it hard for me to play the game with the 3D on because it constantly goes on and off whenever you go into FPV. On that note, the 3D was done very well and the added depth made it fun to run through the entire game just to see what changed. Heck, even Eva’s boobs were right in your face. You can tell the devs had a lot of fun with this.
For those that aren’t too familiar with Metal Gear Solid 3, the freedom that you have in this game is amazing and I find myself constantly finding brand new things with every playthrough. The many codec calls are still entertaining to listen to as a nice break from the action and the many things you can do to abuse the A.I. is worth the many hours you’ll want to put into it. It’s still a fantastic game that tells a fantastic story that got so many players hooked years ago.
There is also an added feature of being able to take pictures to use as camo. It even takes into account the color and tone so that it’s not just a gimmick but a great way to snap some shots and have camo for every occasion. However, the way to go about the photo importing is rather cumbersome. You have to already have the picture taken or go into the Home menu and take a picture and save it. I’m not really too sure why this step is needed when other games can simple interact with the camera and go from there. Maybe there is some limitation that we don’t know but regardless the method to go about it sucks.
This is still the Metal Gear Solid 3 that everyone loved back then. To pick this up over the console HD counterparts is a bit one sided. In one hand, you do have your MGS on the go but on the other hand, HD Collection features more games for a better price and the quality is leaps and bounds better than the 3DS version. Is the 3D and few changes worth it? Personally, no. This is still a buyer if you have no other alternatives available to you.