The recent revival of Metal Gear Solid is great news for fans who have lamented the series’ treatment following Hideo Kojima’s high-profile departure from and falling out with Konami. Since the initial reveal at the PlayStation Showcase, the newly-announced Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection Vol. 1 has steadily had more details revealed regarding its contents and platform availability. The June Nintendo Direct served as the vehicle for the Master Collection‘s release date of October 24, and accompanying this announcement was an official website that listed what was included in the collection. Keen Metal Gear fans likely noticed that, unfortunately, the games and bonuses included are identical to a previous Metal Gear anthology release.
In 2013, Konami released the Metal Gear Solid: Legacy Collection for PlayStation 3, which was the definitive Metal Gear collection at the time despite not including Metal Gear Solid 4. In addition to including the first three games in the Metal Gear Solid series, the Legacy Collection included the MSX versions of Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake as well as the NES/Famicom versions of Metal Gear and Snakes Revenge. These games were not HD remasters or upscaled in any way, and the copy and paste of the Legacy Collection‘s contents as the Master Collection represents a missed opportunity by Konami.
While it’s excellent to finally have the contents of the Metal Gear Solid Legacy Collection brought to modern platforms after its decade of PS3 exclusivity, it’s hard not to look at the Master Collection and think that Konami could have put some more effort into its curation. Specifically, there are some notable exclusions in the form of Metal Gear Solid 4 and Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes. It also would have been nice to remaster the games to include 4K support or other quality-of-life features. When considering how Konami could have improved the curation and presentation of the Master Collection, one need to look no further than Capcom and their curation of the Mega Man Legacy Collection series.
Capcom divided the two Mega Man Legacy Collections in a way that made much more sense thematically than Konami’s approach to the Metal Gear Master Collections, with the core first 8 Mega Man games contained in the first collection and side games and bonus material included on the second. Instead of including Metal Gear Solid 4 on Master Collection, Vol. 2, it would have made more sense to include the first 4 Metal Gear Solid games as Master Collection, Vol. 1 and the 8-bit original games and the bonus material as a Vol. 2 collection for series enthusiasts.
The Master Collection Continues Cynicism Concerning Konami’s Treatment of IP
The curation of the Metal Gear Solid Master Collection‘s contents across its two volumes communicates continued neglect from Konami in how it approaches the Metal Gear franchise along with its other legacy IP. Once one of the great Japanese publishers and responsible for incredible franchises like Castlevania, Contra, Silent Hill, and Metal Gear, Konami has largely ignored most of its games and shifted its business toward Pachinko machines and mobile gaming. The perception that Konami doesn’t care about its legacy as a publisher and steward of some of gaming’s most beloved franchises isn’t helped by the details of the Master Collection‘s contents.
Of course, the specter hanging over all the recent Metal Gear news and game announcements is the lack of any involvement from MGS creator Hideo Kojima, whose singular vision was responsible for birthing an entire subgenre of action games and some of the most celebrated releases in the medium’s history. Taking into consideration that Konami is repackaging an older Metal Gear anthology along with remaking Metal Gear Solid 3 while not consulting the series’ mastermind somewhat dampens the excitement surrounding these titles’ announcements. The Master Collection‘s release later this year and the reception of Metal Gear Solid: Delta could very well determine the future of the franchise.
Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection Vol. 1 will be released on October 24 for PC, PS5, Switch, and Xbox Series X/S.
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