|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|
While recruiting various soldiers through different methods is great, there were also characters you could unlock in the first title that made it feel more rewarding for gamers have wrapped themselves in the Metal Gear universe for 20 years now. Portable Ops Plus has a few nice rewards as far as this goes as well. For example, you can unlock Naked Snake, Raiden in the Ninja suit, Roy Campbell, and even Old Snake from MGS4. This is great for those that can't wait to get an idea of how Old Snake will play. Unfortunately, he doesn't really bring anything extra to the game after being unlocked. Maybe a harsher slap in the face for extensive gameplay like the first is the Infinity Missions. Great for repeat play through to build your characters attributes, but having the difficulty settings determine the amount of stages you play through seemed a little uninspired. It is very misleading as well. Hard feels like normal and the Extreme setting feels like hard.
Linking up with a few other strategy enthusiasts works the same as it did before and plays the same as well. Not changing the online play was a smart move in my opinion. It wasn't broken before so why try to fix it? One of the things I loved the most about the online play was the inclusion of some new maps. Moreover, it will make several fans happy to hear that an updated version of the REX Hangar is a new playable map. It was this nostalgic map that made me want to play more, and I don't think it would have mattered as much if the graphics were not stunning.
Just like the previous installment, the graphics are great to look at. Capturing the world of Snake to a T. Plus, it also helps secure the PSP as the best graphically charged handheld system out there. With character models and environments like this, it makes you wonder just what else can the PSP do. The sounds of the game also bring the Metal Gear Universe to wondrous eardrum numbing perfection. Even though most of the dialogue is not spoken, it is at least nice to know that David Hayter has once again reprised his role has the graveled voice of Snake. Couple that with the orchestral edge-of-your-seat score that has become associated with MGS, and you should already be on your way to the store.
Portable Ops Plus feels a lot like an expansion pack. Unfortunately, for an expansion pack to be worth the money there needs to be a lot of context for you to feel justified. While Portable Ops Plus doesn't offer an incredible amount of new things, it does do an exceptional job at recapturing the elements we loved in the first title. If you are brand new to the handheld world of Snake and friends or if you have been playing Portable Ops to the point of walking the maps in your sleep, then at 20 bucks there's no reason for you to snub this latest title. In addition, it will help fill in for however long it will be before MGS4.
CCC Project Coordinator