Review by karasu24

"Another Solid Addition to a Great Series"

The Metal Gear series is, by far, one of the most engrossing series of games to play. I have been playing the series since it came out on the NES, and have played every single Metal Gear game with the exception of MGS4. While I know that Metal Gear Peace Walker isn't MGS4, that does not mean that fans of the series should steer away from this title.

Ah yes, a great presentation, a great story, and great graphics may be important to a game, but if it does not have the gameplay to back it up, then it is not worth playing. Fortunately, MGSPW delivers in this department. The player can choose which type of control he/she prefers. It has the shooter type, action type, and hunter type. Now, the shooter and action type controls are typical for those who are already veterans to the series, those who play shooting games in the PSP, and those who have played Portable Ops before. The hunter type is a type of control for those who are versed in using the control scheme of Monster Hunter.

Although the game does not allow the player to change the degree of difficulty, the game is challenging enough but not to the point wherein you would break the PSP in half. It provides a great, but fun, challenge.

One of the aspects where MGSPW shines in is the boss battles. I find one man fighting against a platoon of soldiers backed up by a military vehicle very epic. While it may seem a daunting task at first, the right strategy, as well as the right weapons, can make even the most intimidating boss battles cakewalk. Again, players of the MH series would find it quite reminiscent of Monster Hunter battles with the sole exception of the "monsters" being machines.

Recruiting soldiers has been made easier by the Fulton System. No longer do the players have to drag an out cold soldier for two meters. But in order to balance the game, dragging soldiers has been removed. While the trade off may seem quite bad at first, I believe it was necessary in order to give the player a more challenging experience.

Moving while crawling, popping out to shoot, and moving while sticking to the wall have also been removed. While the removal of crawling made the game more fast-paced in my opinion, I do not fully grasp the idea why moving along the wall was removed. But then again, it is nothing game-breaking and I believe that most of the players can find their way around those absent features.

Like Portable Ops, there is still a base wherein the soldiers can be put to work. It is called Outer Heaven. While it is, in many aspects, much like the base system in Portable Ops, the interface of the base has been simplified to only the important aspects, and some pretty cool features like Outer Ops, and the construction of a Metal Gear were added.

The story takes place several years after MGS3. Like MGS3, the story revolves around Snake trying to save the world from the brink of nuclear war, while trying to manage Outer Heaven, and struggling with his inner demons . I believe that this game possess a great story as it tells the player the inner struggles of Big Boss that prevents him from moving on. It also explains how Big Boss became Big Boss. You will probably understand it more if you played it. As for me, the story of MGSPW alone is enough reason to play the game especially if you are a fan of the series.

The graphics of the game is excellent. In fact, I believe that it is one of the most beautifully rendered games on the PSP. While it may not be MGS4, I believe that the graphics of the game is above there with God of War: Chains of Olympus, Monster Hunter, and Crisis Core. The special effects, dust kicking up as bullets riddle the ground around you, smoke, the soldiers, everything is beautifully rendered.

The cut scenes have received an amount of bashing, especially for Portable Ops before. But I think they are beautifully done. In fact, the comic-book type cut scenes very much captures the grit, roughness, and ruggedness of Big Boss and his soldiers. If you have ever read the Blade of the Immortal series of comic books, then you would know what I am talking about.

The sound of the game is also very good. The guns sound like guns, the explosions sound just as they should, the voice acting is very well done, and the music gets you in the mood to whip out your RPG and blow a tank to kingdom come.

While in my opinion, playing the main quests would relatively be shorter than MGS3, when done with the quests, there is still a lot to do. In fact, I cannot stop playing. The idea of having a company of soldiers in your pocket is pretty much what the game is all about. You can still do missions, unlock secret stuff, unlock missions, recruit characters, develop more weapons, and the like.

While the game does require a little amount of grinding, it does not force the player to grind to a point wherein he or she no longer has a life.

And if that isn't enough, you and some friends can go on a mission in multiplayer mode. I haven't tried it though.

If you are a fan of the series, I definitely suggest that you buy this title as you will not be disappointed. If you are a fan of shooters, then you would probably want to rent just to get a feel for it. If you like taking on mechanical monsters bigger than a house, then this game is also for you.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 07/27/10, Updated 02/18/11

Game Release: Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker (US, 06/08/10)

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