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Metal Gear Solid Touch iPhone Game Review

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 6 comments

Snake? Snake?! Snnnaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaake!!!

As a fan of the Metal Gear Solid series, I was interested in Metal Gear Solid Touch the moment that it was launched as an iPhone game. Kojima Productions has a reputation of cleverly exploiting the characteristics of the hardware that its games run on, so hopes were high.

Metal Gear Solid Touch hit the App Store on iTunes on March 18, slightly ahead of schedule. The download is 87.3 MB and costs $7.99. At that price, it’s hard to expect a full Metal Gear Solid experience, but fans of the series still might be a little disappointed.

The best way to describe MGST is that it’s a lot like a lightgun shooting game, like Time Crisis, or even going all the way back to Duck Hunt. Obviously due to control limitations, one can’t expect a console experience, but those looking for any gameplay depth will be disappointed in MGST.

According to Andriasang, Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima said in a magazine interview that MGST is "simple, but solidly playable."

MGST is a shooting gallery game, where players control the Solid Snake’s aim by moving a reticle about the screen. Instead of tapping precisely where Snake should aim, movements on the touch screen move the reticle; so it feels a lot like you’re adjusting your aim using a trackpad on a laptop. Tapping on the screen fires, with each tap equating to a single shot. Unlike the massive arsenal available to Snake in the console games, MGST only outfits our hero with an M4 assault rifle and an SVD sniper rifle, which can be toggled using pinching gestures.

The controls themselves work fine, as long as one has the patience to deal with aiming the reticle using a trackpad. Firing and switching weapons is responsive. The controls, as simple as they may be, aren’t what’s holding MGST back.

Given that the MGST isn’t on a PlayStation platform, I wasn’t expecting a full blown Metal Gear story. But the story here is just a summarized version of Metal Gear Solid 4, and for those who have experienced the big screen, big sound production on the PlayStation 3, this short take on the story just feels cheap. A better approach would be to take a side story, one that’s not critical to the overall Metal Gear universe, but at least one that’s of some additional value to fans.

Technically, MGST offers competent visuals that are lifted straight from the MGS4 style, but the graphics are laid on static backgrounds, making it basically a nicely-themed cardboard shooting gallery. The audio is very good, with music tracks of the modern Metal Gear variety, meaning that it’s very cinematic; and the sound effects are lifted from the console game too.

In the end, MGST feels like a very well-dressed iPhone game, and it’s competent at what it does. Kojima’s assessment of "simple, but solidly playable" isn’t off the mark, but MGST is a shallow experience given what the rest of the series has to offer.

Discuss
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  • 1 Hide
    etrnl_frost , March 20, 2009 3:11 PM
    Well, ANYTHING is playable. Is it enjoyable? Guess not?
  • -2 Hide
    Tindytim , March 20, 2009 4:28 PM
    Is the ending as retarded as the ending to MGS4?

    I never expected this game to be any good, so I'm a lot less disappointed with this, as I am with MGS4 (A wedding!? Seriously! All those ****ing plot twists and story elements, and you end it with a ****ing wedding!?!).
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , March 20, 2009 9:13 PM
    great for frustrated players to break their screens when they tap just a little too hard :) 
  • 0 Hide
    SneakySnake , March 22, 2009 1:57 AM
    the ending wasnt a wedding- a wedding was just part of the ending to wrap up one plot element. What about Snake meeting with Big Boss, you seem to forget that part of the ending
  • 0 Hide
    Tindytim , March 22, 2009 5:17 AM
    SneakySnakethe ending wasnt a wedding- a wedding was just part of the ending to wrap up one plot element.

    You mean the plot element between a character that had little development or explaination, and a character that pretended he'd been there forever? It was completely unnecessary.

    SneakySnakeWhat about Snake meeting with Big Boss, you seem to forget that part of the ending

    He tells him to 'live'? After seeing that ending, I really think Snake should have just died.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , March 23, 2009 4:48 PM
    Time Crisis was 3d, the Duck Hunt comparison in more approprieate. Comparing this glorified flash gallery shooter with MSG Portable Ops is a good way of comparing the iPhone with the PSP. On one side, you have fasion touchscreen. On the other side, capable 3d and real buttons (including one analog). Which one provides the best framework for serious, deep gameplay?
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