Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker 3D

Review: Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D

5:00 PM on 03.19.2012 // Jonathan Holmes

I love Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. I love playing the game, hanging out with other people while they're playing the game, reading about the game, and watching videos of the game; you name it, I love it. It would have been really hard for Konami to make it so I don't enjoy playing one of my favorite games ever on my current favorite videogame console (the 3DS), but heavens to Murgatroyd, they came pretty close.

Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D does not come off like the paragon of technical excellence that the original title did when it was first released on the PS2 in 2004. Part of that is because the 3DS is not a PS2. Nintendo's latest portable is capable of much more than that now-"retro" home console, as proven by titles like Resident Evil: Revelations. The other part is that Snake Eater 3D feels unfinished. There are a few cool new features here, but Snake Eater 3D is also a downgrade from the original in a lot of ways -- not something you'd expect on newer hardware.

It'll be up to the individual consumer to determine if Metal Gear Solid 3D: Snake Eater's technical failings are damaging enough to cancel out the worth of the port's newly implemented features, and the original title's impeccable writing, scenario design, and gameplay design. Maybe you'll have a better time of reasoning that out for yourself after I break down some details for you.

Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D (3DS)
Developer: Kojima Productions
Publisher: Konami
Release: February 21, 2012 (NA) / March 8, 2012 (JP, EU)
MSRP: $39.99

Snake Eater is Kojima's best work, combining Hollywood action-movie tropes, pure videogame logic, densely packed Japanese pseudo-science fantasy, a period-piece war story, absurdist comedy, and heart-wrenching drama into a seamless whole. As far as Metal Gear games go, this one bursts with the most personality and creativity. That goes for both the game's scripted events and its allowance for the player to guide the story in a direction that reflects who they are.

On the surface, Snake Eater's central theme is survival. That's a pretty common theme in games today, whether it's Call of Duty or Resident Evil. Part of what makes Snake Eater special is the lengths to which it goes to first limit the player in their capacity to survive, then allow them to overcome those limits in the most incredible, imaginative methods possible. There are so many ways to deal with the problems presented to you in Snake Eater, with so many bonuses, Easter eggs, diversions, and surprises to be found by those who are creative and lucky enough to discover them. 

The result of this dedication to variables is a game that truly makes you feel like a co-developer. The player is just as responsible for generating the particulars of their Snake Eater experience as Kojima and company. It's up to you to decide if you want to kill a guard, choke him out, sneak past him, or throw a snake to at him to scare him off. That's just entry-level stuff. The amount of choices the game gives you from there, and the truly bizarre events that you can bring about, is nothing short of astounding.

Also worth noting is how much the game focuses on minutiae. More so than any other Metal Gear title, Snake Eater is about juxtaposing quiet moments with load, boisterous action scenes. How much action you play, versus how much time you spend in nature, is largely up to you. Personally, I love the hunting and gathering aspects of the title, so I tend to approach Snake Eater as an opportunity to commune with an artificial environment in as thorough (and hopefully conflict-free) a way as possible. I can spend inordinate amounts of time just in hunting different kinds of animals, sneaking around and listening to the sounds of the jungle, and goofing off, without getting bored.

Others will focus on speed and lethality, working to move forward and take out enemies as efficiently as possible. Still others will focus on exploration and completionism, working to see every event, listen to every line of dialog, finish every task, and so on. Snake Eater is a true sandbox game. It may have a linear story, but there are many, many deviations you can take from that path to make the story your own.

I could go on and on about all the things that make Snake Eater an amazing game. Let's get on to the specifics regarding this particular version. I've never liked the way Metal Gear Solid 3 controls, or the way most Metal Gear Solid games control. It's not that they're too limiting; it's that they're overly complicated and cluttered. 

Snake Eater 3D fixes a few of those issues, but creates new problems. The controls are definitely less cluttered, and the touchscreen menu makes operating your sub-screen a breeze. That said, the new controls will definitely throw off veterans who like the way Metal Gear Solid games traditionally play. The use of the face buttons to aim will be especially off-putting to longtime fans. It may not bother those who are new to the series, as the controls are serviceable. That's one of the many reasons why this port is best suited to those who've never played Metal Gear Solid before. 

The camera, however, is sure to annoy everyone. The depth of field is very hard to get just right, which is crucial in a game that's all about being aware of everything around you. There is also no simple way to quickly reset the camera back into position behind the player. The best way to do that is to quickly hit the "aim" button, which is pretty disorienting (especially if you prefer first-person aiming). The Circle Pad Pro definitely helps in making the camera, and all of the game's controls, easier to manage, but it shouldn't have been necessary. Konami could have enabled touchscreen aiming, or at the very least allowed us to customize the controls.

With or without the Circle Pad Pro, there is never a way to auto-reset the camera. What's really weird is that with the Circle Pad Pro, there is a button for auto-resetting the character -- it makes Snake automatically face north. So Konami knew that we'd want to auto-reset something. They just didn't realize that it's the camera, not the character, that we need more control over. It may sound like a small gripe, but it's a huge oversight that makes playing through Snake Eater 3D a lot more confusing and convoluted than it needs to be.

Speaking of playing through the game, I may be doing it wrong, but there seems to be a lot of stuff missing from this version. The secret dream sequence mini-game is missing, as is the monkey-catching mini-game, along with a few other little touches. If anything, Konami should have been adding content to a game that most interested parties likely already own.

Snake Eater 3D is also lacking technical polish. The frame rate is low throughout, and some cut-scenes are even more choppy. This didn't bother me too much, but if you feel uneasy spending time with videogames that struggle to stay smooth, prepare to feel awkward. 

Instead of a smooth frame rate, 3DS players are presented with (what else) stereoscopic 3D effects, which look pretty nice, particularly in first-person mode. It's never quite as enveloping as the 3D in Ocarina of Time or RE: Revelations, but it still does a good job of making an unnatural polygon-based world feel more real. The game also appears to have slightly improved character models and animations. Snake's smirking and scowling seems just a touch more expressive, and the many colors of the jungle seem slightly more vibrant. It's strange that Konami went the extra mile with these visual flourishes, while permitting the frame rate to suffer so badly. It really does feel like there was a time that Snake Eater 3D was intended to be a visual powerhouse, but was instead rushed out before it could be fully optimized.

Other 3DS-specific features include some occasional gyroscope controls that are difficult to acclimate to, and the ability to make your own camouflage by taking photographs of real objects with the 3DS camera. Neither feature stuck out as worthwhile to me, especially the camouflage thing, which, if abused, could completely void the value of collecting in-game camo. Probably the least flashy but most worthwhile addition to the game is the crouch walk from Metal Gear Solid 4. It really helps to keep the game flowing toward the player at a brisk pace. CQC has also been streamlined, making hand-to-hand combat much more breezy. That's what people like about stabbing guys in the neck, right? The "breezy factor"?

There are a few other little nods to Nintendo in the game, like Yoshi dolls that are hidden in nearly every stage, and the occasional issue of Nintendo Power lying around in Snake Eater 3D's more upscale locations. These touches are cute, but they don't quite offset the amount of content that didn't make the jump from the PS2 original to this handheld port.

It all results in a game with 9.5/10 ideas delivered in a 6/10 package. If you already own the original, or if you aren't keen on playing Snake Eater on a portable, then there is no reason to pick it up again. If you do want the game on the go, you may be better off waiting for the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection on the PS Vita. If you're never going to buy a Vita and you have no other way to get your hands on Metal Gear Solid 3, you should definitely grab Snake Eater 3D. Those who were hoping for a new or improved version of the game will be disappointed.

Snake Eater 3D's sometimes-slapdash presentation weighs the title down. It's a far cry from the majesty we saw from Metal Gear Solid: The Naked Sample back at E3 2010. Still, some camera failings and an unreliable frame rate are not enough to completely crush one of the finest games ever made.



THE VERDICT

7.5

Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker 3D - Reviewed by Jonathan Holmes
Likable - That's a seven, which is actually a different number than five. It's more than ok. We like this game. I don't want to play it every day forever and ever, but it's definitely worth the time I invested in it, and I'll be picking it up again to relive the fun sometime down the line.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Jonathan Holmes, Bad Joke Uncle
 Follow Blog + disclosure Tips
"Where do dreams end and reality begin? Videogames, I suppose."- Gainax, FLCL Vol. 1 "The beach, the trees, even the clouds in the sky... everything is build from little tiny pieces of stuff. Ju... more   |   staff directory



 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker 3D


View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:



Please contact Crave Online, thanks!


PStoid Episode 38: Doomed from the Box Art

Cblogs of 2/9/16 - Only Slightly Late Edition

Narrative Mistakes: Mass Effect's Reapers As Primary Villains

Journey to Become a Jedi Knight - Jedi Outcast

Waifu Wars - The End

Hindsight Part II: Unreleased Games of the Past

Robbing Kirby of his Greatest Asset

The meaning of The Witness (Part 3 of 3)

Friday Night Fights: War Never Changes Edition

Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth Review (Vita)

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

Shinta avatarShinta
I'm soooo glad that they kept the gyroscope controls intact with Gravity Rush Remastered, and that they work well. First Dual Shock 4 game to ever use them well. If you turned them off in options, you're really missing out. Helps you fine tune aim.
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django
Even Luigi gets it.
Alphadeus avatarAlphadeus
Alone With the Psychopath (2014) - I wrote this song after being inspired by the Epic Rap Battle of History between Jack the Ripper and Lecter. I think it sounds neat, and doesn't rip off too much from the song that inspired it =p
TheBlondeBass avatarTheBlondeBass
Tell me who downvoted my smash 4 opinion or the cat gets it. I'm not joking around.
Torchman avatarTorchman
Is that new digimon game any good or no? I know there's the review but I'd like feedback from a couple others too
OrochiLeona avatarOrochiLeona
People bitching that "(insert character) Needs Nerfing" because they lost to them several times online, incoming in T-5 days.
Nathan D avatarNathan D
For some reason I had a dream that I was playing a new Jet Set Radio game. It was open world and had an amazing day/night cycle. It was wonderful, yet horrible...
Barry Kelly avatarBarry Kelly
4.6 Million XCOM operatives down and down! [url]https://xcom.com/xcom-2-stats[/url] 66% from Collateral damage. Never mind the Alien invasion, cars are the real threat
Nekrosys avatarNekrosys
Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth has cat-maids. It has cat-maids. Have I sold you yet? Cat. Maids. GOTY 2016.
Robo Panda Z avatarRobo Panda Z
Just a quick update, that you all should go Greenlight Hustle Cat, the magical cat dating simulator that is being released soon. Work in a cat cafe, date magical cats, be whatever gender you want - there is no downside! Also I'm alive, That's importa
Rad Party God avatarRad Party God
What a damned good song. I'm very excited about Mick Gordon composing for DOOM =D
trippytip avatartrippytip
War not waifu lovers~ Must there only be one waifu? Why not have all the waifu? I enjoy my waifu like Lou Bega here.
Jinx 01 avatarJinx 01
So is the plural of waifu "waifus" or just "waifu"? I want to make sure I have it right when referring to my harem.
Sr Churros avatarSr Churros
*Someday last week* Oh, so Toby Fox also made music for Homestuck. I guess I should read it *Today* Fuck it is 3:30 AM I have to wake up early tomorrow why I'm still reading this it is already chapter five someone help me please
Nekrosys avatarNekrosys
Holy shit, App Store. The copyright infringement is real. I didn't buy it, because I'm scared it'll make my iPhone explode and because the comments say the game's a generic zombie title with fake and misleading screenshots.
Torchman avatarTorchman
Pretty much in a nutshell
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Image of Myxococcus colony rising up after being submerged. I love bacteria so damn much you guys.
Nick R P Green avatarNick R P Green
Made a quick REACTion video to some of today's news storys. Hope nobody REACTs to it with a lawsuit.
Dreamweaver avatarDreamweaver
Playing Halo 5: Guardians, got REALLY invested in this one match. It was intense from beginning to end and I was using A LOT of Power Weapons because it was so fun. We were literally seconds away from victory when the internet cut off. So disappointed. :(
Amna Umen avatarAmna Umen
Streaming Civ V with a few of my friends. Twitch.tv/amnaumen
more quickposts


Contest!


Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -