Metal Gear Solid Touch in Review – A Critical Look

I am bracing myself for a torrent of scathing comments. So let me start off by saying that I love the Metal Gear series. I’ve played it for the NES, PSP, PS2, and PS3. I believe it to be one of the most iconic franchises. I played through all of Metal Gear Solid 4 (MGS4) and believe it to be a ground breaking game in both its cinematic value and gameplay. Unfortunately, Metal Gear Solid Touch (MGST) fails to reach that iconic status. It fails to live up to the hype of its namesake.

This being said, how does the App fare by itself? Mixed at best.

mgstouch2The gameplay follows the standard paradigm of iDevice shooting games. As found on the App’s iTunes page:

Control Instructions

  1. Touch the screen, and drag your fingers to move the aiming sight.
  2. Drag the sight over an enemy and tap to shoot. Utilize defensive walls between you and the enemy by taking your finger off the screen to duck down and take cover.
  3. To snipe far away enemies, pinch out with 2 fingers to use your sniper scope (Zoom-in). Pinch in to return to the normal view (Zoom-out).
  4. Some enemies can only be defeated by using certain weapons.

mgstouch3All this is well done. I had no time using this method to dispatch PMCs, Gekkos, the B&B corps, and about two other types of enemies. Switching between the M4 and your sniper rifle to target your enemies both near and far also added a varying level of gameplay.

The game starts off slowly introducing one enemy at a time. After a while, the numbers increase. Each one of them have a health meter and a shooting meter. When the circle becomes complete, this means they will fire. By not touching the screen, Snake will duck behind cover. Staying crouched for a while will slowly help you regain health.

There are also good guys that you cannot hit. if you do, there is a life penalty. There are also power-ups in the form of ducks and frogs. These range from health to stealth and rocket launchers to take down the Gekkos.

mgstouch4Perhaps the greatest mixed reaction I have to this game is in its graphics. While Metal Gear Solid Touch does take nicely rendered characters from its PS3 brother, they are all cut out images. There is little emphasis on movement. All the characters move the same. They shoot the same They die the same.

This is true, even with the cut scenes. They are just pictures with text super imposed. Why they couldn’t take some dialogue form the game or some video is beyond me. Konami took the faintest veneer of MGS4′s beauty and graphically formed MGST.

mgstouch5Perhaps the greatest reason I feel mixed about this game is that it feels incomplete. MGST feels like one mini-game out of three, with one involving stealth maneuver and the other Metal gear verses Metal Gear action. Seriously, the potential for MGST is nowhere met with this game. This is true even with the promise of 8 new downloadable levels.

Finishing the game once unlocks a survival mode. Each level starts off where the last one ended in terms of health and time. Yet, even with this mode, there doesn’t seem much depth to this game. Also, beating levels gives you Drebin Points which allow you to unlock wallpaper. As stated before, MGST feels incomplete for its price.

$7.99 in App Store money can take you a long way. For Konami to set this price point for a game that can be beaten within 30 minutes is hitting the limits of absurdity. I know that some will cry out, “But it’s a Metal Gear game.” To them I will say, “Then ask Konami to make a game befitting its namesake.” While MGST is a decent (if not overpriced) shooter, it fails at that. It fails to be an iconic iDevice game. It fails to live up to the Metal Gear hype. It fails to capture any of the MGS4 experience.

I would only recommend this game if you don’t mind paying for an overpriced shooter, if there is a price drop, or if enough was added to the gameplay to make it truly worthy of the Metal Gear name.

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App Summary
Title:Metal Gear Solid Touch (v 1.0)Developer:Konami Digital Entertainment
Price:$7.99App Size:87.3 MB
  • Good Shooter
  • Beautiful Images
  • The Only iDevice Metal Gear Game
  • Overpriced
  • Short Gameplay Experience
  • Lack of Animation

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