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Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D (Nintendo 3DS) Preview

Review for Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D on Nintendo 3DS

When Nintendo’s newest handheld made its world debut at E3 2010, a certain demo helped to showcase the machine’s headlining feature. Granted, this demo was restricted by very limited user input, resulting in it being more of a presentation video than anything else, as well as being more or less a port of a game more than half a decade old. However, the 3D effect in the Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D demo was still an eye-catcher for a large number of spectators. Now nearly 2 years after the original announcement, all regions can download a fully playable demo for the starting section of the full game. Does it strike a critical Close Quarters Combat blow for the final product due next month, or camouflage the classic PS2 game too well?

Snake Eater takes place during the Cold War in 1964, telling the story of the first Snake who would later become the franchise’s chief antagonist Big Boss. At this time he is merely Naked Snake, assigned to a ‘Virtuous Mission’ to rescue a Soviet scientist from the clutches of the USSR. This being a Metal Gear Solid game, you can expect this mission not to go smoothly, and Snake Eater certainly serves its purpose as an origins story for the series. The demo takes place during the time between Snake’s arrival in the jungle, and the approach to the captive scientist’s holding room.

Starting up the demo quickly points out two major things about this rendition of Snake Eater. First, the 3D effect is excellent, providing a depth to the jungle that few other 3DS games can compare to, though those used to having the slider up to full effect might want to tone things down here as it is very strong in this game in particular. Whilst the visuals are still undoubtedly PlayStation 2-esque, they have never looked better with this new perspective. Secondly, the reports on countless impressions pieces for previous playable builds of the game are accurate, in that the frame rate here is functional at best. The 3D is best appreciated with a stationary Snake as opposed to a moving one, and in cut-scenes in particular it feels very choppy.

After a brief clip showing Snake beginning his mission, you can get a feel for the controls and, seeing as how the original game had two analogue sticks and extra triggers to utilise, this mapping does a respectable job of emulating that. The shoulder triggers and D-Pad take charge of primary actions like aiming your currently equipped weapon, Close Quarters Fighting, ducking and crawling, climbing, and other context-sensitive actions. The Circle Pad controls movement and the face buttons act as a second Analogue Pad, with limited but serviceable success. The layout will take players a while to get used to, particularly with the D-Pad housing so many functions that it may require the infamous ‘Claw Grip’ that PSP Monster Hunters know so well.

Screenshot for Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D on Nintendo 3DS

Slap on a Circle Pad Pro accessory however, and you have the original control scheme in your hands. The second Circle Pad takes over for the camera leaving the face buttons to primary functions, and the extra shoulder triggers make weapon and item switching a doddle. Those without a Pro will find the default method passable, but this is one time a chunky add-on is the best way to go.

Although this version of Snake Eater won’t make use of the Touch Screen for aiming purposes, what it does do is provide quick and easy access to major menus of the game, such as the camouflage screen that lets you disguise yourself better to fit in with the surroundings (the full game will make use of the 3DS camera to adapt photos into your smokescreen) and the food menu which restores your health depending on what you’ve caught. The full game will also provide quick buttons to Codec communications and the Cure menu that lets you fix wounds. The screen even keeps track of all important details for Snake’s welfare like health and radar, keeping the entire top screen free of any HUD-like information. Touch screen selection is nothing new for DS and 3DS games, but for Snake Eater it improves the pacing of the game considerably.

This edition of Snake Eater showcases the addition of tilt control for balancing sections, namely on tree branches and bridges. This can be rather touch and go in regards to sensitivity, and certainly hinders the 3D angle for when they do show up, although these sections tend to force a temporary switch back to 2D mode when they do occur.

Screenshot for Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D on Nintendo 3DS

Worth waiting for?

Even with the Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D demo up for all to try it is difficult to gauge how the final product is shaping up, as many of the issues present here are nowhere near as prevalent in the reviews that have been released thus far. Regardless of if it is identical to the finished product however, 3DS owners can look forward to a decent stealth adventure with some of the best 3D on the system yet, albeit one that chugs along far too roughly.

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17.02.2012

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Developer

Kojima Productions

Publisher

Konami

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  n/a

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Reader comments - add yours today Comments on this Preview

Dcj91x (guest) 17.02.2012 22:08#1

People seem to be amazed about how good the 3D effect is on 3DS games saying that few games have good 3D. Why this may have been true a year ago don't you think it's time to quit dating that? Just about every game released has great 3D and really only a few of the older ones lacked suitable 3D. Just off the tip of my head, nintendogs, DOA, Zelda, Starfox, RE:Rev, Monster Hunter 3G, and now Metal Gear.

Judas (guest) 17.02.2012 22:27#2

The demo is amazing.

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Senior ModeratorStaff Member

The demo is solid (lol), but the 3D really does my eyes in unfortunately. Still haven't been able to adjust like other titles - too much detail/blurring?

Cubed3 Admin/Founder & Designer

Tried the demo, and I have to say I found the graphics very unpleasant. Controls were fine and everything, but God, the graphics -_-

~Getting on C3's massive tits since 2K5.~
ceige (guest) 18.02.2012 10:13#5

jb, the detail and blurring is natural - I guess one of the ways to get adjusted is to sort of forcibly relax your vision. Like when you're looking at ripples in water, you know it's too hard to follow all the different reflections and other details with both eyes, so you just go "ah stuff it". I think the 3DS is a bit like that, only since it's so new the human brain finds it hard to stop paying extra amounts of attention Smilie

cosmic taco cat (guest) 18.02.2012 16:15#6

i think when you change your way to aim to FPS it switches to 2d mode because snake is looking down the sights with one eye. just think this, if you aim down a guns sights do you use one eye or both? if you use one eye then the world isnt 3d anymore till you open the other

Faust D. Strooijer said:
Tried the demo, and I have to say I found the graphics very unpleasant. Controls were fine and everything, but God, the graphics -_-

Will you PLEASE shut up about graphics...good god if that's all you care about for complaints you shouldn't even be PLAYING video games since graphics will NEVER be good enough. It looks better & CLEARER than the ps2 original & that's perfectly fine. If you think it looks terrible then you've clearly forgotten just how shoddy the original looked.

My only complaint (and a reasonable one at that) is that it stops you RIGHT BEFORE you get to Socolov!! They could atleast have shown the cool encounter with Ocelot & stopped after that. I'm getting this REGARDLESS of how it looks, which is STILL better than the orignal & alot more realistic than the HD sellout!

It is not wise to speak on subjects you do not know all facts about, nor is it smart to judge a game based on looks alone. PSN: Nintendo_Gamer 3DS: 4296-3029-7422
Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Nice preview! This is easily one of the more exciting games coming out this year, even if it is just a port.

Will you PLEASE shut up about graphics...good god if that's all you care about for complaints you shouldn't even be PLAYING video games since graphics will NEVER be good enough.

You should consider how you come off to people, Vorash. If you want to debate with someone about their opinion, you could do better than to start with "PLEASE shut up about graphics...". Taking that kind of tone from the beginning is going to immediately turn people off from what you're about to say.

What's the end goal here? Are you trying to persuade Faust to see that your viewpoint is better? Or are you just trying to belittle him for thinking differently than you?

( Edited 18.02.2012 21:24 by Jacob4000 )

C3 Moderator

Ohhhhhhhhhhh I am loving this demo, they have got slight Peace Walker controls like crouch walking. Love the first person view mode, walking and aiming has never been better in this game. Graphics arent a gripe for me, they look great as the PS2 version, no complaints. Love it!

I still greatly prefer the HD version. It runs a lot smoother, and the sound quality on the 3D version is inferior.

Also, bonus to the HD collection is there are still another 2 games to play through

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Quite the contrary from Jorge, this game is the first one with which I want to play in 3D all the time. I don't what it is about this game in particular, but I found the 3D to be really well done. In games like Resident Evil Revelations, I always see a bit of ghosting, no matter how much I try to adjust my position when facing the screen. But here, it's just perfect for me, no complaints at all. Perhaps it's the very crowded scenery that makes the 3D stand out more than in other titles I played previously (trees, grass, etc...).

Was the framerate that choppy during the cinematics in the original though ?

Anyway, I'm still getting this when it comes out, but will have to get my hands on a circle pad pro though. I feel this game will really need it. Aiming with the buttons wasn't comfortable at all. You can really tell they designed it with the circle pad pro in mind.

( Edited 18.02.2012 22:29 by Kafei2006 )

Cubed3 Limited Staff :: Review and Feature Writer
Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Anyway, I'm still getting this when it comes out, but will have to get my hands on a circle pad pro though. I feel this game will really need it. Aiming with the buttons wasn't comfortable at all. You can really tell they designed it with the circle pad pro in mind.

This was a problem with the PSP's Peace Walker too. So it's a great decision to have brought an enhanced version out via MGS HD Collection. If you're going to design a handheld with one analogue stick, games like these are never going to be comfortable :L

Cubed3 Staff :: Senior Editor
Follow me on: Twitter | YouTube | Backloggery

Thanks for the back-up, J4K.

I could've elaborated a bit more on what I meant, but for Christ's sake...

I've never played the original, so I haven't quite forgotten anything about it. Can't comment on how much it has improved.

All I know for myself is that the graphics are very busy, yet also rather muddy. Thus, I find it to be unpleasant to look at.

Turning the 3D (which is VERY well-done) on actually makes it better. It sharpens everything up, making everything easier to distinguish etc. but I still find it hard to digest. It just looks UNPLEASANT to me.

I never said it looked bad, or not up to par. I said it looked unpleasant to me.

I also found Brütal Legend to look much more pleasing to the eyes than Gears of War 1+2. I just don't like most games that seem to consist of one shade of whatever colour they picked out of a hat.

The gameplay itself is pretty solid, fun and it controls quite nicely with the circle pad pro, so I might pick it up eventually. Kind of depends on the reviews.
There might be some horrible issues with the game that we won't find out about until the reviews come in.

And sorry for saying this, but I have to get it off my chest: Vorash, stop being such an utter douche.

For someone with supposedly 20 years of gaming experience (and thus probably being at least 20 years of age), you act awfully immature and I'd REALLY appreciate it if you could change this.

You've started an argument with me before that could've easily been resolved in a friendly manner if you just stayed calm, but you decided not to. Meh. Fine. But please just try not to make it a habit.

@Kafei2006: Indeed, what's up with those cutscenes? It terrified me when I saw the first one; Was kinda scared that'd be the actual in-game framerate ^^'...

( Edited 18.02.2012 23:03 by Faust D. Strooijer )

~Getting on C3's massive tits since 2K5.~

Again quiet, I regret nothing I've said. I'm mearly sick & tired of hearing people cry over the shallowest of game elements & think it's important. Sorry if I sound over the top, but I HIGHLY doubt being nice will cause you to listen any more than the direct aproch I gave earlier.

If you want people to take you seriously Faust D., up your standards...

It is not wise to speak on subjects you do not know all facts about, nor is it smart to judge a game based on looks alone. PSN: Nintendo_Gamer 3DS: 4296-3029-7422
Image for

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( Edited 18.02.2012 23:09 by Faust D. Strooijer )

~Getting on C3's massive tits since 2K5.~

Ok I just read your comment all the way through (I've had to deal with alot of hot air people spew & just got sick of it over the years. Sorry) & I understand what you mean now.

Again sorry for not reading your responce all the way through & I appreciate & understand your explination, I've got to remind myself that the english (all nationalities over there) are alot more polite than us American's most of the time.

It is not wise to speak on subjects you do not know all facts about, nor is it smart to judge a game based on looks alone. PSN: Nintendo_Gamer 3DS: 4296-3029-7422

Frame-rate should be tighter in the final product.

3DS Code 2578-3122-0744
Staff Member

One of the things I didn't like about this demo was the fact that I'm colourblind. Seriously, trying to distinguish the crocodiles and whatnot was a pain, but that's more a fault with me than anything else.

Stuart Lawrence
Follow Me on twitter :: @Stulaw90 || My Youtube || Backloggery
NNID: Stulaw

Stulaw said:
One of the things I didn't like about this demo was the fact that I'm colourblind. Seriously, trying to distinguish the crocodiles and whatnot was a pain, but that's more a fault with me than anything else.

I'm not colourblind, and even I had a hard time distinguishing the enemies from the environments ^^'...

@Squid: I hope it will. I'm not sure IIRC, but if IIRC, the Resident Evil demo had a choppier framerate than the actual game, too...

~Getting on C3's massive tits since 2K5.~
Senior ModeratorCubed3 Member

It has near enough the same controls as Splinter Cell which I found atrocious, but they work better for Metal Gear because the spaces aren't nearly so enclosed. Still find them a little bit tricky and enemies harder to distinguish.

I will pick this up as I haven't played a metal gear game since the PSX days and should be quite good.

Vorash Kadan said:
Ok I just read your comment all the way through

Vorash, this may be a good place to start before you start to argue a point/jump to conclusions as it will make your comments completely offhand. Simply echoing what Jacob said earlier, its hard to distinguish satire from offence in written conversation. I mean come on, this is probably the last community (Nintendo) you would see complain about graphics on the platform.

I personally think MGS3 looks really good, they have improved all the textures and models over that of the original and even compared to the HD remakes - there isn't any extra detail in that. What I will say though, based off the demo the game does look a little...Murky. Makes it hard to distinguish the terrain at time - chuck this in with movement and it can create a problem. As aforementioned, I haven't played it before so it will be nice to see the other environments, but if memory serves from E3 2004, the majority of it is spent in a jungle environment.

Our member of the week

I hope the framerate is fixed in the final release as it really ruined the demo for me.

There are also 3 other things I did not like at all:

1 - When aiming in 1st-person, 3D switches off. Why the hell does it do that? 3D stays on when 1st person crawling through grass so it's weird that it switches off when aiming. Smilie

2 - Enemy AI seems broken? One spotted me, ran a few yards then stopped and carried on patrolling. Another didn't even see or hear me as I ran around.

3 - The animations are choppy.

These are things that weren't problems in the original so I really hope this is just an early demo as I want this version to be as good as possible. Smilie

Staff Member

Ifrit XXII said:

1 - When aiming in 1st-person, 3D switches off. Why the hell does it do that? 3D stays on when 1st person crawling through grass so it's weird that it switches off when aiming. Smilie

Resi Revelations had this too, though it was less obvious since it was through sniper scope. Not sure of the specifics, but I believe the switch is due to the eye unable to see upon three planes of distance (as in the player, the gun in front of them, and the rest of the environment). Don't quote me on that though. Smilie

Also, I'm hearing some impressions of other site reviewers getting their copies in and that the framerate isn't much better in the final product. The rate in the demo didn't bother me personally, and I loved the PS2 original, so I'll definitely be getting this eventually, but not brand-new; it's been 2 years and for a port an issue like this isn't acceptable.


Alright I'll definatly keep that in mind echoes221 & try to muster up some of the strength I've lost from dealing with soooo many forum trolls.

For those of you who have a hard time seeing enemies either human or animal then use the sonar/motion detector more often, that should help loads. Yeah, It's got limited uses due to the batteries but they recharge fairly quickly, you can find more batteries throughout the game thus extending over all usage...& there's even a certain mushroom that instantly recharges your batteries (followed by a HILLARIOUS conversation with Paramedic if you call her shortly after eating one) hope that helps you guys out!!

( Edited 20.02.2012 21:05 by Vorash Kadan )

It is not wise to speak on subjects you do not know all facts about, nor is it smart to judge a game based on looks alone. PSN: Nintendo_Gamer 3DS: 4296-3029-7422

You have to bear in mind on how much content is displayed on each screen at a given time and it is surprising how the 3DS keeps up with everything thats going on and I am not surprised with the framerate drops. One thing I have noticed from the demo is the soldiers can respawn after some time, don't remember that happening in the original game. The bridge part is easier to cross if your in a prone position, and no you can't cut the ropes that hold the bridge upright.

I'm really am impressed with this demo so far and remember this demo is from last year and Kojima pushed back the release of this game to 2012, so maybe they have fixed the issues that we see here in the demo.

Nice preview!


twitter: @bensoutham

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