If there's one game franchise crying out for the full current-gen remastering treatment, it's Metal Gear Solid. The classic MGS titles have remained untouched since 2011's excellent Metal Gear Solid HD collection, with no sign of any Xbox One or PlayStation 4 re-releases - despite the emergence of MGS cutscenes apparently running on the Fox Engine on a Japan-only pachinko machine, of all places. However, there is some good news: the 2011 remaster is now backwards compatible on Xbox One, and as things stand, this is easily the best way to play these brilliant games on modern hardware.
Flashback to the turn of the century and Konami stands as one of the most prolific publishers in gaming. From its 16-bit classics to its more experimental 32-bit titles, the red and orange Konami logo long stood as a seal of quality. PlayStation 2 had just launched, but the initial line-up of games was shaky - and there was a decided lack of a killer app. The reveal of Metal Gear Solid 2 at E3 2000, prior to the system's Western launch, was the turning point in the fledgling system's fortunes.
The Metal Gear Solid HD Collection for PlayStation Vita brings two of the most highly regarded PS2 titles ever made onto Sony's beautiful new handheld, scoring highly by default owing to the underlying, timeless brilliance of the original games. They were stunning on PS2 and beautiful on the HD consoles - only the overly compromised 3DS version of MGS3 proved disappointing.
Revered by many as some of the greatest games ever made, Konami's PS2 and PSP era Metal Gear Solid titles have returned, remastered - or rather, ported - to run on newer, more technologically advanced consoles. Sons of Liberty, Snake Eater and Peace Walker are available in pristine high definition versions for both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, while the Nintendo 3DS version gets its own stereoscopic version of Metal Gear Solid 3.
In this article we'll be looking at all three products, cross-referencing them with the original versions as they appeared on PlayStation 2 and PSP, discussing their technical make-up and the quality of the ports onto the current-gen platforms. Have these classics been well-handled in their transitions across to new hardware? And from a Digital Foundry Face-Off perspective, which HD Collection is the one to buy?
Let's kick off with the compilation high-def remix for the Xbox 360 and PS3 - an intriguing release that sees accomplished HD remastering house Bluepoint Games (God of War Collection/ICO and Shadow of the Colossus) take on the task of porting across MGS2 and its sequel, while Japanese developer Genki tackles the unenviable task of bringing PSP Peace Walker to the HD consoles.