Metal Gear Solid seemed like a dead franchise for the longest time. Even with Silent Hill returning last year, Metal Gear remained a no-show. 2023 was different, however, as we received announcements for a full-fledged Metal Gear Solid 3 remake and Master Collection containing the original MGS trilogy and plenty of bonuses. It’s great to have these titles playable on modern platforms, but the results were mediocre at best, while the jury is still out on Delta.
Despite Konami stating that MGS2 and 3 would run at 1080p on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S, it still runs at a native 720p. The visuals were surprisingly worse than Bluepoint’s HD Collection too, which was especially noticeable for Xbox gamers.
As someone familiar with the HD Collection, I did a double take when first seeing the new Master Collection versions. I thought it looked off, and swapping to the HD Collection quickly confirmed my suspicions. I would have been better off just buying MGS1 separately for $20 since I already have the superior editions of 2 and 3 from over a decade ago.
This is just volume 1 of the collection, and it’s pretty obvious that the rest of Kojima’s Metal Gear Saga will be next. The years in which the other games take place are even on the main menu. Most are excited about Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of The Patriots, which has been a PS3 exclusive ever since its 2008 release. Judging by the quality of the first volume, I’m very worried.
Firstly, let’s take a look at how difficult this project will be on its own. For years, many have said that porting this game was impossible due to the complex nature of the PS3. That was until this summer when it was revealed by a producer of MGS4 that an Xbox 360 version was in the works. It was ultimately cancelled due to the number of DVDs required for the console. The new Master Collection version will likely be based on the cancelled 360 port, which is troubling.
In volume 1, the basis for MGS2 and 3 was the excellent HD Collection. The base here is likely an unfinished port, which already makes things ten times harder. Not only does the game need to run on modern platforms, but Konami needs to fix the various issues present in the core game itself.
This is eerily similar to the Silent Hill HD Collection, which was also worked on from unfinished material and resulted in one of the most disastrous remasters of all time. Metal Gear Solid 4 is simply the hardest part of the entire Master Collection. If Konami can’t even get MGS2 and 3 right when it has the HD Collection to work from, hopes aren’t high that things will go differently coming from an unfinished port.
The second major worry is potential changes due to licensing issues. The obvious culprits are the Apple products, but those aren’t that important. Sure, they add to the game’s charm, but they’re not a big deal in the grand scheme of things to be changed. What is an issue is the faces of the B&B Corps. These are the four major bosses in the title, and their faces come from real fashion models. Since MGS4 is a game from ’08, the likeness deals may have expired, and their faces could change.
I hate it when this happens. If you’re familiar with the Yakuza/Like a Dragon series, face swapping is quite abundant. Multiple hostesses from the original Yakuza 3 got swapped in the remaster due to expired likeness deals. The one that really angered me was the face swap of Tanimura in the remastered Yakuza 4, who was removed from the game after legal troubles.
Yakuza 3 and 4 were my first two games in the series, and that original Tanimura face is what I grew up with. That’s the character for me, and to see something different so many years later is an aspect that I internally reject. The same feeling will occur if the B&B Corps faces change, as many who fondly played MGS4 back when they were much younger won’t even think of these bosses as the same characters.
A new MGS4 release is something Konami can’t afford to mess up. This game alone is why some still own a PS3. MGS4 must reach other platforms and not be stuck to this old system. Even the emulation route isn’t accessible to most, as you still need a pretty beefy rig to run MGS4 on max setting using something like RPCS3. This is a game where making an inferior version would just be disastrous. Konami needs to hit a home run here, and the Master Collection doesn’t give much reason for hope.
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