Metal Gear Solid Touch updated impressions
Dissecting the 8 new levels of the now completed game
With the 2.0.0 update that Konami released to the App Store on Wednesday, Metal Gear Solid Touch is now officially complete.
8 new levels and 20 additional wallpapers join up with the original release that met with an underwhelming review in March. Series creator Hideo Kojima promised significant changes in this update and we played through all 8 levels to find out.
Our review of the initial release back in March left us with a lot to be desired: the controls were far from ideal and the gameplay lacked variety. These new stages attempt to address these criticisms, but introduce a set of different considerations.
An effort has clearly been made to vary gameplay. Even in the first couple new missions, it's evident more thought has been given to mix things up. Of the 8 levels, 4 feature boss battles with unique set pieces and abilities.
Old Snake's visit to the chilly Alaskan isle Shadow Moses requires shaking of your handset to clear the screen of frost. A battle near the end of the game against Praying Mantis uses a similar shaking mechanic for dealing damage.
The problem lies in these levels being too difficult. Split-second timing is demanded of you, particularly in boss battles. In the battle against Crying Wolf, for example, you're told to shoot her before she charges up her rail gun and fires. It starts off challenging, but grows increasingly frustrating as the timing becomes razor-thin.
Crying Wolf only appears for a second, after which she opens fire. She often shows up at a distance, forcing you to zoom in with multi-touch; unfortunately, the process of aiming and zooming usually takes too long and Crying Wolf ends up firing the rail gun, taking a huge chunk of Snake's life gauge.
Battles like the one against Crying Wolf also tough to pull off due to the controls, which should have ditched the move-and-tap mechanic for a simple direct tap-to-shoot scheme. Frequently, shots don't hit the intended target or the cursor moves slightly as a result of tapping the screen.
Ultimately, the added levels round out the package and are nicely presented but don't fundamentally change our impression of the game as a whole. We're glad to see Konami eager to improve the experience and hopefully the next full game can be a bigger step forward.