I just checked out the demo for Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater 3D on the 3DS.. got some things to say.
First of all, I should note that I'm a huge fan of the MGS series. MGS3 is my favorite entry and also one of my most favorite games of all time, and a little over a month ago I finished playing MGS3 HD on my PS3.
When Snake Eater 3D was announced, I immediately decided it was an insta-buy for me. This eagerness died down considerably over time, considering how long it has taken for the game to arrive, and how utterly satisfying the HD version was. This evening I was reinvigorated with excitement for Snake Eater 3D by playing the demo. I think it's going to be a really great experience.
Here are my observations:
- This demo does use the same 30-play limit as the Resident Evil Revelations demo. Yeah, it's a really silly thing to implement, made even more silly by the fact that such a high limit probably won't matter to most people. It certainly doesn't bother me.
- The demo spans a majority of the Virtuous Mission. As demos tend to do, it skips the opening cutscenes and picks up right as Snake has landed in the jungle, in fact it's right after the player would have retrieved his backpack from the tree. The demo ends as soon as you approach Sokolov's door at the compound. Normally this triggers a cutscene where Snake enters and meets the scientist, but here you get a "Thanks for playing!" screen.
- Graphically speaking, I think the game looks really nice. In fact I would go so far as to say it looks just as good as the HD Collection version. Keep in mind that version is a PS2 game remastered, not originally a PS3/360 title, so my claim isn't as absurd as it might sound.
- The 3D is pretty standard, I think. It adds some nice effects, but I found myself turning it off so that I could better focus on the path in front of me. Enemy soldiers in the jungle might be difficult to spot if the 3D effect is making things the slightest bit blurry for you. Plus I think you get a crisper look at the pretty graphics without the effect.
- The game supports the Circle Pad Pro attachment. I don't have one, but the Options menu allows you to turn it on or off.
- Without the extra nub, your ABXY face buttons control the game's camera. B and X look up and down, Y and A rotate horizontally. It made me feel like I was using the N64's C buttons. Nostalgic and trivial for me, but I suspect this scheme will be a nuisance for others.
- You are able to walk while crouching in this version, which is pretty interesting to me. If you remember, this wasn't possible in the game previously. Attempting to move while crouching normally forced Snake into a prone position where he would then crawl. Crouch walking is a VERY welcome feature. You get the combination of a lower profile with quicker, easier movement.
- The bottom touch screen is used to display the map and also to offer quick access to all of the Survival Viewer functions. There are touch-icons for Camo, Backpack, Food, Wound Treatment, Weapon and Item toggle, and Map (if you want to actually look at the different floors of an area or surrounding areas). These things can also be accessed from the Pause screen like you might expect, but there's really no need to, I found.
- Aiming with your gun is now done in third person, over snake's shoulder, which is a very odd change that I'm not sure I welcome. You get a cross hair when you do this, but it's a little wide, so it makes headshots (for those ever important instant-tranqs) rather difficult. The only way to aim in first person, that I could find, is to crawl through some grass, where the game forces you to first person anyway (it's always been like this).
- I vaguely remember reading about this a long time ago, but it seems you can take photos with the 3DS's camera and turn them into camo patterns for Snake. I say "seems" because this feature is disabled in the demo, but there is a faded camera button on the Camo select screen.
- While walking over the bridge, I had to keep my balance by tilting the 3DS side-to-side. An icon appears the bottom of the screen with a moving bar to indicate this is going on and to show you how you need to move. I don't recall any other bridges in the game so I don't know if this function will appear anywhere else. Perhaps when standing on a tree branch.. something I never did.
- Shooting the beehive did not produce a swarm of bees to scare the soldier across the bridge. I am hoping this was merely removed from the demo for some odd reason and will still exist in the full game.
I think the big takeaway here is the game looks really, really good, makes really good use of the touch screen, some new features have been added to the gameplay, and the 3D is nothing special. I'm really looking forward to getting the full game. Due to money, I can't say for sure if I'll get it as soon as it comes out, but I am thinking I might get it right before PAX East and play it during my flight and layovers. It will be much cheaper than a Vita plus a Vita game, after all.
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