Metal Gear Solid Touch Lite Review

By Mike on 2:24 pm

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Metal Gear Solid Touch caused quite a stir when it was first announced. The mysterious green logo had many thinking the PS3 exclusive MGS4 would be coming to the Xbox. Rather it turned out to be an iPhone spinoff game. While the game has been out for some time, Konami has released a lite version on the App Store for download. Lite basically being Apple-speak for a demo. The game itself is a cross between a rail shooter and that carnival game with the ducks. Booting up the game for the first time and hitting play introduces you to a needlessly long list of instructions that make MGST sound more complicated than it is. Controls couldn't be simpler: point and click. Targets pop up and your goal is to drag the reticule with your finger across the screen and tap to fire your M4 machine gun. Spreading your fingers switches to a scoped sniper rifle for hitting long distance targets while pinching them switches back to the M4. The difference between the carnival target shooter and this is that the targets obviously shoot back. Old Snake ducks automatically and is essentially stationary behind a wall of sandbags for the entire level. A health bar at the bottom tracks your hits, and like in the PS3 game, it recovers automatically while you're ducking. Gameplay is fairly simple and limited. The demo offers three levels but does not set what the goals are for those levels. You don't even have to shoot every target. It just ends I guess after a set period of time. The controls aren't the best, especially if you have fat fingers as it can be difficult to place the reticule on target, since you can't see where you're going.

The three levels recreate (loosely) the first half of Act one in MGS4. Graphics are alright to a degree. Most of the game features pre-rendered graphics similar to other target/rail shooters that were popular in the 1990s, such as Rebel Assault II. Everything looks good but this is not a true 3D game. The helicopter that attacks you in the third level looks just awful and cartoony. Use of pre-rendered graphics for games like this is a vary dated technique that's been out for at least a decade. The iPhone is supposed to be powerful enough to handle full 3D graphics. This game should have been more like Resistance: Retribution on the PSP.
Audio is the game's one shining point in that sound effects and music are vary close to those used in the original MGS4. Other than that, this is a game that's not going to win any technical awards. That's probably the biggest flaw with the iPhone. It has yet to match the Nintendo DS or PSP in terms of graphics quality. It's little more than a small evolution over other cell phone games. The games are also severely limited by the awkward touch only control system. Like the vast majority of iPhone games, it's a brief distraction but not something you could really get into and spend more than ten minutes playing. Is it worth the $10 they're asking for the full version? I would say no. A game like this should be $5 maximum. In fact, that's what the full iPhone port of ID's Wolfenstine 3D is selling for. Buy that instead if you want an iPhone shooter. Metal Gear Solid Touch is a waste of money.

What Works
-Good audio
-Simplistic controls, pick up and play

What Doesn't Work
-Pre-rendered graphics are a considerably dated technique
-Limited in terms of gameplay, just a basic target shooter carnival game
-Touch controls awkward at times, especially if you have fat fingers. Difficult to place reticule on target.

Score: 6.5 out of 10

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