Welcome to the jungle…again.
So you walk into a car dealership, and the smooth-talking sleazy salesmen with a fake gleaming smile catches you looking over at a slick new sports car.
Now, you want this car, there’s no mistaking that. It’s the best one on the lot. He sees the spark in your eyes and knows it’s time to swoop in.
“Oh, you’ve got fantastic taste, I can see that right away,” says Tobias (of course his name is Tobias). “And listen, despite how fantastic this car is in and of itself, we’re having a once-in-a-lifetime offer. Right over here we have a top-of-the-line SUV and a bitchin’ motorcycle, and we’re throwing them in for free!”
“You’ve got to be shittin’ me,” you say. “I’ll take—"
“But,” Tobias interrupts, “we’re offering another deal over here if you so choose." He points over to the side, where another identical sports car is also resting. “This one here is the same make, model, color, and price, but instead of the SUV and bike, it comes with a built-in ball massager.”
“…What?” you say, somewhat flabbergasted. “A ball massager, like for my actual balls?”
“Mhmm,” he nods with a glint in his eye, a plaid-coated jungle cat closing in on its prey. “With the latest ball massaging technology, including gel testicular warmers and scrotum buffering!”
“Okay, so I have a choice between the exact same product, except one comes with a couple other premium vehicles at no extra cost, and the other… massages my balls?”
“You got that right, champ!” Tobias exclaims, pointing at you with both hands like mock pistols. “Now which amazing car can I put you in today?”
You think hard for a moment. “Well…the extra cars sound like a no-brainer. You’d have to really, really like ball massages to turn that down. On the other hand…I do really like ball massages…”
“I’ll ring you up.”
Two weeks later, you’re driving along a rural highway through the forested countryside, thoroughly enjoying your new car and its “perks” when you spy a small dirt road off to the side, leading off toward a majestic vista. The spirit of adventure strikes you in that moment, and you long to take a detour down that dirt road; but alas, it’s far too small for your car to fit. If only you had a bike—ah, crap.
You must now acknowledge to yourself that no matter how awesome the ball massager option is (and it’s pretty damn awesome), it just doesn’t beat the value and potential of getting extra vehicles for the same price. You’d have been perfectly happy with this choice, if only he hadn't offered you the other choice at the same time.
Damn you, Tobias.
If it hasn’t registered with you by now, the above story is a metaphor for buying Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D in lieu of the Metal Gear Solid: HD Collection. MGS3 has already been reviewed time and time again, so it didn’t seem sensible to just add another one to the pile. Suffice it to say that the single-player story mode is exactly the same as it was eight years ago, and none of the extra bonuses from Subsistence have made their way to this version.
What has been added is 3D and photo-camo. The 3D in this game is definitely top-notch, and the setting allows for some very immersive shots, especially when you’re sneaking through low-lying brush. And photo-camo, which lets you turn any photo on your 3DS into a custom camo suit, is a surprisingly fun addition that can potentially surpass the built-in camos (but only occasionally).
The controls aren’t so favorable. By default, the shoulder buttons control your actions and the four face buttons take care of the camera control previously handled by the right stick. The whole setup feels wonky and cumbersome, and really makes the game seem designed for the compatible Circle Pad Pro. Alas, I can’t comment on that option as I don’t have access to one yet, but I’ll be sure to update you as soon as I do.
But that’s it. While the core game is still a classic and perfectly serviceable on the 3DS, the HD Collection just blows this out of the water. With the HD port being of the superior Subsistence version, on top of getting MGS2 and Peace Walker bundled in for the same price as this offering, it has infinitely superior value.
Snake Eater 3D is only recommended over the Collection if, for some reason, you don’t have a 360 or a PS3. That, or you just really like ball massages…err, 3D.