(http://www.konami.jp/mgs_pw/index.html) Rated T for Teen by ESRB. It is time all PSP users should be proud, because Metal Gear Solid series have launched its fifth entry on the PSP – Peace Walker! Published by Konami and developed by Kojima Production, Peace Walker is the first official Hideo Kojima game on the PSP system! And did I mention the exhilaration of the century – the crossover of MGS with Capcom Monster Hunter: Freedom Unite? Either can easily be the game of the year, but Peace Walker has it all. The legendary soldier, Snake, is now back in action!

(http://www.konami.jp/mgs_pw/index.html) Rated T for Teen by ESRB. It is time all PSP users should be proud, because Metal Gear Solid series have launched its fifth entry on the PSP – Peace Walker! Published by Konami and developed by Kojima Production, Peace Walker is the first official Hideo Kojima game on the PSP system! And did I mention the exhilaration of the century – the crossover of MGS with Capcom Monster Hunter: Freedom Unite? Either can easily be the game of the year, but Peace Walker has it all. The legendary soldier, Snake, is now back in action!

Presentation:
Peace Walker follows the main MGS canon, which happens 10 years after the mission Snake Eater (MGS3). After Naked Snake killed her beloved one, The Boss, he left the United States leading a group called Militaires Sans Frontières (MSF), or Soldiers Without Borders. Not being loyal to any nation but themselves, they are hired by Galvez, an instructor of Costa Rica’s University of Pease to investigate the armed force that threaten the region of Costa Rica, a country without army. However, as Snake digs deeper and deeper, he found out that it is the CIA that is trying to bring nukes into the region. Yet this is not all that Snake is concerned about, but the audio tap that recorded The Boss might still be alive!

The storyline of Peace Walker was fairly well scripted and presented. Unlike the previous MGS series, Peace Walker has given Snake a more personal role. Yes, he is still the one who kicks the bud of the bad guys. But in the same time, he is doing the mission for himself, for his sinful heart of killing his beloved one.

The character design of Peace Walker is quite comprehensive as well. Besides Snake, new characters are introduced throughout the game. Every sub-character has their own story to tell, personality to show and information to contribute. You will have a fairly good understanding of each sub-character as the game progresses.

       

Graphics:
Peace Walker adopted the general sense of the MGS series. Presented in 3-D third person perspective, Snake travels through the woods and forests in order to get to the nukes. In terms of graphic quality, there is really nothing to pick on. The flowing river, the descending leaves, all elements are crafted in detail. Especially in the boss fights, you will be convulsed as you see metal gears charging down at you, and you with your sweating hand, trying to run as fast as you can to avoid the impact.

Outside of mission, a comic like motion picture is delivered in black and white to present the story instead rather than using computer graphic (CG). The motion picture is simplified in one way yet brings a mystical layer to the story as it is presented. Not perfect you may say, but the comic style carries a new feeling that CG can never provide.

Sounds:
Well, as you might say, sound is just the background noise. Who cares about the sound? The Kojima Production cares. The sound track library is so magnificent that you are recommended to install an 880mb soundtrack from the UMD to you memory stick in order to speed up the game processing. As a matter or fact, there is a mission which requires Snake to locate a soldier by listening to a specific bird singing at different locations! On top of the sound effects, all conversations, everything including the radio to enemies’ chitchat all has their own voice acting.

The only place to pick on is when Snake holds up the enemy, threatening him and trying to gather information, some kind of electrical sound replaces the voice acting (Privacy perhaps!?) Regardless of this, Kojima Production did a great job on sound production.

       

Gameplay:
Peace Walker continues the stealth-action tradition of MGS series. So unlike other games in which you are asked to beat everything at the area, you are suggested to avoid combat and reach the goal without being seen. Of course, there are some heavy combat too, such as taking down a tank or an 80 ft tall giant Metal Gear. As the game progresses, full range of weapons and items will be developed and provided by the mother base, providing a large variety of gameplay style. Snake’s creative arsenal includes everything from sneaky tranquilizer pistol to destructive surface-to-air missile, or a magazine with pictures of beautiful women. But of course Snake would not carry 4 kinds of missiles and 5 types of machineguns while trying to sneak in. Between each mission, you are able to change Snake’s outfit and equipments. So Snake can wear a sneaking outfit with a tranquilizer pistol while tiptoeing, then changes to a heavy-battle outfit with a rocket launcher while fighting the Metal Gear.

As you are playing Snake’s role, you are also the Big Boss of MSF. Throughout the game, you can bring unconscious soldiers back to the mother base and put them to use. Yet unlike the MGS: Portable Ops, which you have to drag the unconscious soldier all the way to the entrance point, Fulton Recovery System is used instead and you just tie him up with a flying balloon. This brings a lot of convenience into the game, especially when unconscious soldiers would wake over time. At the mother base, you can assign soldiers to different “teams” in order to improve the base’s functions. While you are eager to improve your weapon and assigning staffs to R&D Team, you might be lacking people in Combat Unit as it is the main sources of income. Furthermore, you can assign Combat Unit to Outer Ops to fight foreign combats in order to spread the name of MSF and at the same time recruit more people.

       

Innovation:
Peace Walker obtains many classic elements of the Metal Gear Series, yet it provides several exciting fresh features to the game at the same time. The most exciting feature of all is the collaboration of other series. Another thrilling feature of Peace Walker is the strong support of multiple-player system. Up to 4 players can work as a team in the missions using the wireless function: perform CPR to save you partner, or climb on the back of your friend in order to reach high places. In addition, new features like building your own Metal Gear and button response during cutscenes are introduced in Peace Walker. Peace Walker definitely can keep you busy and excited all the time.

Longevity:
In general, the main storyline takes about 15 to 20 hours to complete. Yet with all the staff management, 70 Outer Ops and hundreds of Extra Ops, it is really hard to say how long this game can last. Also, the replay value is quite high in cooperative thrill, as one partner guns down the sniper on the second floor while the other gives him cover. Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker is a neat game that is hard to let go of.

 

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