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The Man Who Dared Question Metal Gear
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on June 13, 2012   |   Episode 44 (Show Archive)  


Hideo Kojima Games, plural!
Defunct Games is still coming down from the E3 2012 excitement (or lack thereof). Sadly, this means that Cyril Reads Metal Gear will return for the final five episodes starting on June 20, 2012. But don't worry, you loyal Snake Men, because we're still going to spend today looking at the Metal Gear series.

Solid Snake junkies the world over have every reason to be excited, and not just because I'm almost done reading the Worlds of Power book. As it turns out, Konami chose this week to launch Metal Gear Solid HD Collection for the PS Vita, a game that packages both PlayStation 2-era games into one affordable bundle.

Surprisingly, not everybody is excited about Snake's first Vita game. Howard Sheldon of Item Get has a few complaints about Konami's upcoming collection. Is he the lone voice telling the truth about Metal Gear Solid HD Collection? Of course not. He's just a guy who is both genuinely excited and criminally misinformed. Join us as we correct one fan's questionable editorial.

Quote 1:
It's Not HD!

"This is Hi-Fi ... high fidelity. What that means is that it's the highest quality fidelity."
"1. Its [sic] not "HD", the resolution of the PS Vita is only 960 x 544. Its [sic] only just about SD! To remind the uninformed; Full-HD is 1920 x 1080 and even standard HD is 1280 x 720, hell SD is 720 x 576 here in the Europe or 720 x 480 in the US! Maybe I am just being pedantic!"
Reality: The term "high definition" can be confusing, what with multiple resolutions laying claim to the buzz term. When you walk into Best Buy you're immediately bombarded with numbers and letters, from 720i to 1080p. With all of these numbers swirling around our heads, it's understandable

Naked Raiden will once again haunt your nightmares ... now in HD!
that the author would get a little confused. But then, as he points out, he is just being pedantic.

Here in the United States, the Standard Definition is 720 x 480, which means that the PS Vita's screen (960 x 544) is most certainly High Definition. The same holds true with Japan, making the PS Vita's resolution higher in two out of the three major regions. While Sony's handheld may not deliver the amount of pixels of a 1080p television, the end result is a game that will look considerably better than what was found on the PlayStation 2 and Xbox.

The author is correct in one regard, the PS Vita's 960 x 544 is slightly lower than Europe's 720 x 576 standard definition. Of course, what Howard isn't taking into account is the pixel density of the 5 inch screen. The game is a visual treat on the handheld, looking considerably better than the PlayStation 2 originals. This is the kind of debate you completely forget about the moment you actually start playing the game and see how good it looks.

Quote 2:
It's Not a Collection!

It turns out that Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence is a collection ...
"2. Its [sic] not a "Collection" with the ommision of Peace Walker! Its [sic] a Pair! Forcing you to spend an additional 15.99 on the PS Vita Store for the digital PSP port."
Reality: According to, a collection is "a number of things collected or assembled together." How many things? It doesn't say. One assumes it can be two, three, four or five million, just as long as it's more than one single item. So, using that extraordinarily low bar the dictionary

... But Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance is not!
laid out, is the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection on PS Vita a collection? Of course it is, because there's more than one item.

But let's pretend for a moment that Howard is actually right and a collection has to be two or more. As it turns out, this HD collection comes with not two games, but rather four completely different Metal Gear games. You get both Metal Gear Solid games released on the PlayStation 2, along with the two MSX titles. Are these huge, over-the-top spectacles like Snake Eater? Of course not, but they are still worthwhile games that are the type of thing you expect to see in a Metal Gear collection. While I agree it's sad that PS Vita owners are missing out on an upgraded Peace Walker experience, but to say this isn't a collection is just plain wrong.

Quote 3:
It's Too Late!

I wouldn't want to go head-to-head with a brand new Nathan Drake adventure either!
"3. Why have they taken months to release it on the Vita when the PS3 version was released before the PS Vita even launched in the West?! Sure its [sic] got PS Vita specific gameplay mechanics but even MGS: Snake Eater for the Nintendo 3DS launched a good while ago now."
Reality: You know, it's nice to want things. In a perfect world, every amazing PS Vita game would have shipped day and date with the system. That way we would have nothing but top-quality titles as far as the eye can see. But that's not how it works; sometimes games are pushed back for unexpected reasons. So, to answer his first question, the reason I take issue with the argument that the game is

Still the best portable Metal Gear Solid game!
the game took three months to hit the PS Vita is because it wasn't done yet. As you mentioned, it has specific Vita gameplay. What's more, this is Konami's first American Vita game, so cut them a little slack.

somehow late, as if it should have been released at the same time as the PlayStation 3 installment (several months before the PS Vita even shipped). In Europe, the console versions launched on February 8, 2012, a mere four months ago. Even if we take Howard's complaint as far as it could possibly go, that would still mean that Konami did it for economic reasons. And can you blame them? Who wants to compete with Uncharted at launch when you can release it in a less crowded month? It's not exactly an evil conspiracy.

He ends his diatribe by noting that Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D was released "a good whole ago," pretending that his readers don't believe in calendars. In Europe, Snake Eater 3D was released in March, making it only three months old. And let's not forget that Snake Eater 3D suffered a number of excruciating delays along the way, which led me to conclude that the game was doomed. By Metal Gear standards, this HD Collection had a relatively painless birth on the PS Vita.


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