Still, even without a focus on the technological, this hardware finds an early match in this third Metal Gear Solid entry, the polish level unable to compensate for chuggy frame rates and skipping cinematics. That's with or without 3D mind you, the added dimension pushing Snake's pervy first-person looks directly at the player, and giving scale to levels that are, in reality, quite restricted. Environments are never laid out for their spectacular designs so much as they are to allow freedom and innovation within open ended mechanics. Guard encounters, even over the course of 12 hours, could be bypassed in uniquely strategic methods each time.
What hampers the transition most are controls, maddening in the midst of boss fights or in scenarios requesting utmost precision. Fumbled, oft confusing touch screen inventory management can cost lives, equal to those lost in the line of face button controlled cameras. Snake Eater is crammed onto a button set it was never intended for, the Circle Pad Pro practically a requirement to salvage an hour or so lost time otherwise. Who knew eating a raw snake to survive could be so difficult?
Maybe the 3DS edition exists to prove a point: that dedicated portables can still amaze with their capabilities. Even with the myriad of technical shortcomings, the breathtaking, dazzling final scuffle in a sea of waving flowers is visual majesty. What was once inconceivable on anything other than top tier gaming platforms has been condensed onto hardware a fraction of the size. It's a shame they couldn't figure out a means to trim down the script in the same way.
Metal Gear Solid - Snake Eater 3D is rated M (Mature) by the ESRB for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Language, Sexual Themes. This game can also be found on: PS2.