Sunday, December 10, 2006

Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops

After about 5 hours, here are some observations:
  • -The graphics bear a strong resemblance to Metal Gear Acid and the cut scenes are done in a comic book format akin to the Metal Gear Solid: Digital Graphic Novel.
  • -The controls feel intuitive and sufficient, despite the lack of the second set of shoulder buttons like PS1 & PS2 games.
  • -The days of carrying every weapon and enough ammo for a small unit of soldiers is over. Each character can only carry four items total. This includes weapons and non-weapons.
  • -The team component is a nice addition. Each character is moved one-at-a-time, while the others are hiding in convenient cardboard boxes. I have had two problems with my team that I will highlight a little later.
  • -I appreciate the fact that like past MGS incarnations, killing is not rewarded. You are rewarded for knocking people out and recruiting them (and the abilities they possess) for your team.
  • -The radar is made up of two concentric circles. A little arrow in the inner circle is the character you are controlling and the edge of that circle moves in waves as you make noise. In the same respect the outer circle moves in waves to show noises around you. Colored areas of red or blue indicate the field of vision/hearing of the enemy. It is easy to use and a nice transition between nothing and the Soliton system.
A couple of my frustrations/complaints:
  • -Why is Big Boss here in the first place? At the beginning of the three previous MGS games, I knew (or at least thought I did) why Solid Snake, Raiden, and Naked Snake were used. In this game, like Solid Snake in the Metal Gear Acid games, Big Boss seems to have come down with a case of amnesia and has little idea where he is and why he is there. This storytelling shortcut disappointed me in Metal Gear Acid 2 (and possibly in Metal Gear Acid, although I can't remember) and now in MGS:PO. I can only hope that this is cleared up later.
  • -As for the team mode, you can use members of your team to blend in with the enemy, but it appears that there are moments when team scientists are okay around some enemy scientists, but not others. The same is true of enemy soldiers. There seems to be no rhyme or reason. This does not include the times when an enemy scientist screams at one of my soldiers.
  • -Also, Big Boss and his team members need to eat more Wheaties in the mornings, because stamina has been an issue on more than one occasion.
Things I hope for:
  • -Recruited team members skills improve the more you use them. I think this is true, but I have not put it to the test to make sure.
  • -Improved stamina!

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