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Hands On: Metal Gear Solid Touch iPhone App

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If you like Metal Gear you will not be let down by the iPhone game.

The Price: $8

One of the biggest questions I had about the game was controlling Snake. When you start a mission for the very first time, there are detailed instructions on how to control Snake: how to aim (drag your finger), fire (tap), shoot long-range (you pinch your fingers together), and switch weapons. It'll also explain Snake's life meter, friends, enemies, and little rubber duckies that randomly pop up on the screen (they restore your life). I felt like I was reading an instruction manual and it made me a little worried.


Once I started the missions, it was a different story. Even though I read the instructions, it was so much information I forgot most of it. Luckily, the controls were intuitive enough, even though some genome soldiers got a few cheap shots at me while I was still struggling to figure it out. A little circle will appear at each soldier, and after a period of time will either flash green (friendly!) or red (kill!). Shooting at friendly soldiers will decrease your life. Alternatively, if you have trouble dragging your line of sight to the enemy, you can shoot at an oil can nearby which will blow them up. In order to shoot long distances, you must be precise and quick: you'll have to pinch your fingers, tap, and zoom back out.

Like any Hideo Kojima and Metal Gear game, the graphics are very nice for the iPhone. They look as nice as they do in Metal Gear Solid 4, where Kojima utilized every single iota of space on a Blu-Ray disc to fit everything, but obviously we are not playing this on an HDTV so don't expect 1080p quality here. (Don't you remember those long installs?!)


In the Special menu, there are two options. You can hit "MG History" to read about the Metal Gear storyline. Since the games have always placed a strong emphasis on story, cinematics and plot, it would only make sense that a history of Solid Snake would be available.

There is also the "The Kojima Productions Report" which will launch Safari and bring you to a website where it will notify you about extra podcasts that you can download onto your PS3 for a more integrated experience. Unfortunately, that's only somewhat interesting if you own the game.

In the main menu, you'll notice a menu for Drebin's Shop. During the game, depending on how well you do, you'll collect Drebin Points. By playing the game multiple times, you can keep accumulating points. In exchange, you can go to Drebin's store where you can purchase exclusive wallpapers. There are about 15 wallpapers available from you to choose from, all art and characters from Metal Gear Solid 4. Unfortunately, I only have 1,050 DP at the moment which isn't even high enough for me to buy the cheapest one. Which means I'm not boss enough yet (apparently, just only Centipede).


For $7.99, it's pricey. For almost 90 MB, it's also pretty hefty (and I need all the space I can get). So is it worth it? Yes. If you enjoyed the storyline, gameplay, and art of the Metal Gear series, the game for the iPhone doesn't disappoint. The extras they put into the game justify the price for me, in addition to the time and care that was obviously put into it. So with that thought, I need to ask... why doesn't Liquid Snake ever die?!


[iTunes via Kotaku]