Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater HD is without a doubt my favorite Metal Gear title, so you can imagine how elated I was to see that Konami has finally released it for the Nvidia Shield TV. Currently, it's on sale for $9.99 (regular $14.99) on the Google Play Store, but that's only for a limited time.
Having only recently installed Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater HD my time with it hasn't been long, but I think it was enough to judge how well this port performs. To start the game is displayed at a constant 720p resolution, and it takes up 4.1GB of storage. Google Play achievements and cloud saves are supported out of the box with the inclusion of Google Play Games Services, which is fantastic to see. While I have no way to test the framerate, it has been consistent with no slow down or missed frames. Overall the port looks and plays really solidly.
Now as for the overall gameplay, that in my opinion has not aged all that well. You begin by jumping out of an airplane, which is believable enough, but then you start getting fed some backstory that makes no sense. You are warned by your commanding officer not use real names when talking over the radio due to enemies possibly listening in, then, disturbingly, immediately hear your CO go on for ages and ages about every single thing you are going to do, why you are doing it, and what country you are affiliated with. Honestly, I could do without all of that, but then I suppose this would not be a Kojima game without constant contradictions.
Once you make it out of the incredibly long intro, you will dive into some of the core mechanics of movement. Let me be clear here, as I have never enjoyed the controls for this game. Not on my PS2, not on my PS Vita, and having just revisited the title on the Shield TV just cements my feeling further. The controls are simply too convoluted and are not explained at all during gameplay. Luckily there is a tutorial for the controls in the main menu, but even then it will take a while to learn them thanks to each control option having a separate tutorial. Of course, you can also dive into the menu to look at the button mapping, but man alive does it seriously take some time to get used to them even when you know what each button does. For a game that often requires quick thinking and actions, the slow as molasses controls and wonky camera make everything you do a constant pain in the keister.
Oh, and speaking of the camera, it has two optional modes included with this release, a 3D mode and something more along the lines of a bird's-eye view. Both are clunky and it can be jarring to switch between the two when in the middle of any action, but I suppose having two options is better than one.
Past the poorly aged controls and annoying cameras, you have an incredibly crazy and enjoyable story told through numerous cutscenes and radio conversations. If you have never played this game before it is definitely worth it for the story alone, but be prepared for some very long winded conversations over the radio. While they tend to break up the game's pacing, they can be quite interesting for those who want to learn more about Snake Eater and his mission to rescue a Russian rocket scientist.
For the most part, I am impressed that Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater HD runs so well on the Shield TV. Sure the resolution is a little low at 720P, but on any modern TV with upscaling, I can honestly say it looks excellent. For those of you looking to expand your Shield TV gaming library, this is most definitely a great game to add to the collection. The story is fantastic, if a little crazy, but that's half the charm. And yes, the controls suck and the camera will have you cursing up a storm, but maybe that's part of the charm as well at this point. After all, this is a 13-year-old game. So yeah, if you are looking for a trip down memory lane or simply want to experience what many consider to be Kojima's greatest Metal Gear release, you can pick up Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater HD for your Nvidia Shield TV on the Play Store as of today for the sale price of $9.99.