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 You’ve probably heard of the legend of the greatest soldier to ever live, right?

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The story of Solid Snake is one full of death, tragedy, and political strife… along with ninjas, psychics, and nuclear weapons. So, why not relive the tale through the Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection Vol. 1? Published by Konami, what you get in this collection are ports of the original Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, Metal Gear Solid, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, and Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. It is a little upsetting that Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots isn’t part of this collection (it is the end of Snake’s story) but that’ll probably be included in Vol. 2… whenever that comes out.

Now, this is the first time I will ever touch a Metal Gear game, at all. I have seen some streamers play through the series, but I’m essentially going in as a blind player who doesn’t know all the meticulous details Hideo Kojima and his team added into the games. Each game comes in its own app (at least on Steam), so I’ll be checking them out one by one. So, after all that preamble, let's see how these ports hold up. This isn’t about the quality of the games themselves, but how well they’ve translated to new hardware.

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Let’s start with Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake. Bundled together are the start of Solid Snake’s journey of destroying Metal Gears and dealing with government conspiracies in all its 8-bit glory, taken straight from the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection, developed by Bluepoint Games.

These are fairly old games from the MSX era, but they hold up well on a modern PC. I didn’t notice any issues as far as I could tell, from visual glitches to any faults found in the port. There isn’t much I can say here. These are just solid ports of classic games, although I do recommend Metal Gear 2 more than Metal Gear, because holy crap, the first game didn’t age as well as its sequel.

Next up is the original Metal Gear Solid. This is where most people would get their start in the Metal Gear series.

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Comes with both the original Metal Gear Solid (referred to as MGS) and the updated rerelease Metal Gear Solid: Integral, as well as Metal Gear Solid VR Missions and Special Missions. Essentially, you’ve got two versions of MGS and two sets of standalone VR mission packs. It’s really nice to have several versions of Metal Gear Solid to play and get to experience a little history. After playing the MSX games, it actually kind of feels like I’m just playing a massively updated version of those games. The controls are remarkably similar.

This is not a remaster or anything, though; this is simply an emulation of the original games. That means it’s at 240p and has some sort of filter that makes the image less sharp. I actually quite liked this, as upscaling and bigger views sort of ruins the game design. The game was developed with these limitations in mind and sometimes that can ruin some of the magic. I cannot tell how many games use the limited screen space to hide stuff in cutscenes, which bigger screen real estate can break. You can play with the ratios, but I wouldn’t recommend it since it just stretches the image out to fit. Play on Pixel Perfect or anything that keeps the original aspect ratio.

I do have a few issues with the emulation too. I think the audio is a little choppy, but that’s probably because of the age of it. There is some input delay when playing with a controller, and it doesn’t feel as good as it should be. However, overall, it’s one of the better ways to play the original game outside of getting a physical copy. It also features some really cool things you can do to make your experience a little more fun.

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But now we move onto Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. What is considered by many as the black sheep of the franchise due to not having Solid Snake being the main character and having one of the more insane plot twists in the franchise (at the time).

This is a remaster that is also from the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection, ported to this compilation. It even uses the logo for the loading screens. Is it that hard to replace it with the Master Collection? Despite this, it runs at a capped 60 FPS at 1080p with no issue. I didn’t find anything that would prevent you from staring at Raiden's platinum blond locks as far as I could tell. This should be everything you expect from MGS 2… minus the skateboarding demo, sadly enough.

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Finally, onto the final big game of the collection: Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. The prequel, featuring the origin of Big Boss and a really awesome song that I always sing when climbing long ladders.

You know, it suddenly hit me when doing some post-game research that most of the games in this compilation are from the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection. Much of what I said about MGS 2 can apply here. It's not a bad thing, but it would've been nice if they were touched up, even a little (aside from changing all the red crosses to green).

Now let’s talk about the bonus content included with the collection. You’ll get two regional versions of Metal Gear, Snake’s Revenge, digital graphic novels of Metal Gear Solid and Metal Gear Solid 2, and finally the Metal Gear Solid series soundtrack. This is a very good selection of extra material to play with, but I think the soundtrack left out a few obvious picks like “Encounter”.

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There's also some really neat things you get along with each game. For one, you get a Master Book and a Screenplay Book, which is fun to flip through after you've beaten the respective entry. You also get game manuals since thorough tutorials weren't much of a thing back in the day. However, these manuals are online websites which come with their own problems. These sites can be taken down eventually and you can't access them if you don’t have an internet connection. For a newbie who doesn't know how to choke someone out, you'll need your phone by your side to refer to just in case.

Now, after covering everything, what do I think about the METAL GEAR SOLID: MASTER COLLECTION Vol.1?

To put it simply, it is perfectly fine for someone who is new to Metal Gear. If you aren’t a stickler for details or the exclusion of certain things, this is a great way to get into the series. Could it be better? Yes, definitely. But it comes with more than enough to be worth the experience of playing as Solid Snake for the first time. This can make fans out of the new generation, and it is being updated across all games. If you want to see the story of the greatest soldier to ever live unfold in front of your very eyes, this collection is more than enough.

7.50/10 7½

Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection Vol. 1 (Reviewed on Windows)

This game is good, with a few negatives.

The METAL GEAR SOLID: MASTER COLLECTION Vol.1 is as solid as you can get with modern platforms, coming with a great selection of games and bonus features that can make new fans out of curious newbies.

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review
Dylan Pamintuan

Dylan Pamintuan

Staff Writer

An Australian-born guy whose trying to show everyone why games are awesome.

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