Friday, June 11, 2010

Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker impressions.

I'm very much enjoying a second honeymoon with my PSP Go, thanks entirely to Peace Walker. Well, it's also due to a gamer pal visiting recently and gushing over how the nimble little Go compares to his hulking PSP 3000 - it made me almost proud to own the struggling little handheld.

Three major aspects of Peace Walker stand out, and require immediate adulation:

(1) The production values and stealth mechanics (particularly the close-quarters combat) are just so solid - an unintentional pun, I assure you - that I often lose awareness of the fact that I am playing a mini-MGS on a miniature video game system. The experience provided here is absorbing, and one is soon lost entirely within.

(2) The standard MGS gameplay is front-and-center, but the personnel and resource-management mini-games back at Mother Base are a welcome addition to the formula. Plus, it's nice to have a bunch of folks calling me "Boss."

(3) At the time of this writing, Peace Walker seems to have more content than any Metal Gear Solid game I've ever played. More gameplay, more to do, more to see and more Easter eggs to find. Consider that. It's a handheld game that - in terms of gameplay content - is the biggest MGS ever.

This is due to the ability to replay every single bite-sized segment of Snake's larger mission at your leisure, zipping past enemies and making a dash to the finish line for the coveted S rank. In addition to perfecting your runs (and kidnapping more soldiers - gotta' catch 'em all), there are over 100 side-Ops that can be undertaken.

There is tons to do in this game, and the act of playing it is probably the most comfortable I've ever been (in my limited experience) with my PSP.

I can't say whether or not Peace Walker is the best game on the system (many of the reviews I've seen suggest that such is the case), but it comfortably stands among its brethren on the PS1, 2 and 3 - which is, alone, a pretty staggering achievement.

Don't you feel better now?

You certainly are.


  1. If my bulky PSP-1000 could run this I'd certainly invest my money and time. I'm certainly a fan of the Metal Gear series and if it stands as comfortably among it's console brethren I'm practically sold. Few PSP games have made me forget I was playing on a miniature videogame system, hopefully this title would be one of those for me just as it is for you. I'm highly considering getting a GO with some component cables so I have a flatscreen to fall back on, just in case. Also so I can play my old favorites on the TV at home as well as on the road.

  2. Apparently hooking a Go up to a TV is no easy proposition. First you buy a cradle/charger thingie and somehow hook that up to the TV. The component cable plugs into the cradle (I think). Then, because you can hardly play the Go while it's in the cradle, you need to take a PS3 controller and get it to recognize the Go.

    If all that sounds relatively simple, most of the articles I've read on the subject say that it can take fucking hours to get it to work - it is a real, real headache.

    Also, if you already have a PSP, it's not really worth it for a Go. I mean sure, it's a sleek little piece of kit, but you can't run any UMD games on it and you can't replace the battery. It's also worth noting the Go's battery lasts between 3-6 hours - hardly ideal for a handheld.

    -the screen is much better
    -way smaller/lighter
    -16GB of onboard memory

    I only went with the Go because my intention was to download all the games I wanted, and if I wanted to do that with a PSP 1-3000, every game would have cost me extra in memory cards.

  3. Also: I should mention you can play like 90% of the missions in Peace Walker with ad-hoc co-op.

    Just so's you knows.

  4. Also, they're $250 fucking dollars. Might as well save up another $50 and buy, say, a PS3?

    Then you could play MGS4. And Uncharted 2. And Demon's Souls. And Siren.