|System: PSP||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Kojima Productions||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Konami||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov. 13, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-6||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: TEEN||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Matthew Walker
I can't wait for Metal Gear Solid 4. I have been saying this for a long time, and every time I hear about a delay and whatever reason they give for it not coming out for a long time, I am a little saddened. I can admit it and not think low of myself. I also happen to be very meticulous when it comes to stealth action games. Granted, Metal Gear may not be the "be all, end all" stealth games series for everyone, nevertheless, to me it is the one that I measure all others against. It takes a lot for me to get into stealth games that do not have the MGS initials associated with them. Last year, after an absence filled with a trading card game of sorts, I had another example of stealth action to compare to all others. Except this time, it was on a handheld.
When Metal Gear Solid Portable Ops arrived on the PSP, I was skeptical. I had no idea what it would look like on the PSP or even what it was going to be about. From the first few missions of the game, I figured out how much I had a need for a Metal Gear game that was travel ready. The story was deep, slightly complex, featured several gameplay variations, and fell into continuity of the series nicely. Literally, I played that game for several months and now I will still occasional boot it up to begin the experience all over again. It was a great game.
I think that it was the interweaving storyline that made a lot of us enjoy it and enjoy it repeatedly. Unfortunately, this is my biggest complaint with the latest iteration of the Portable Ops subgenre, Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops Plus. I love the storylines of games sometimes more than the game itself. Therefore, in that regard it is a huge let down that Metal Gear Solid Portable Ops Plus has a slim almost non-existent story-arch. In fact, there are few games that I would say that even attempt the slim / non-existent story-arch approach and get by with it. Well, without being obliterated by fans and journalists for being a shallow shell of a game. You might be asking, "Well, if there's no storyline, then what the heck are we doing in the game?"
If you played the original title, it will come as no surprise to you what the driving force behind this game is. For those of you needing a Snake fix and discovering this title, you quickly discover that your main focus is collecting intel about your surrounding and enemy. However, this is not how some will view the point of the game. Instead, it is all about how many soldiers you recruit into your ever-growing army. The joys of this little gameplay aspect are vast indeed. For instance, you can knock enemies in stages unconsciousness, drag them yourself or eventually have your teammates drag them to the truck and capture them. If this seems like too much stealth action for you, there's another way. You can, using the WLAN on the PSP, search various wireless connections around you to find some good soldiers that will join your squad. However, this has been tweaked a little from the first title. When you find a potential recruit, what kind of members you have in your recruiting squad will determine whether they join you or not. This increases the joys of finding various new recruits; it may also increase the frustration levels in some players if they don't have the required characters to obtain these really good soldiers.