There are also moments in which the Vita’s camera movements (again, this is pronounced in MGS3) don’t jibe as elegantly with the action as you’d want. Certain adaptations had to be made, and at times, you’ll be in the throes of a firefight, and adjusting the camera perfectly feels clunky. Again, it’s not a deal-breaker, but it turns the beautifully intense battles of the console experience into occasionally aggravating moments on handheld.
But on the positive side, the transition between console and Vita is among the most seamless we’ve experienced in nearly any PlayStation game. It’s entirely possible to plug your Vita into your PS3, but it feels gratuitous. Although Konami has been lambasted in the past for some awfully clunky approaches to online, its proprietary cloud-based save system for Transfarring works fluidly. By logging into PSN on your Vita, you can upload your progress onto the cloud, then you can recover the cloud save and continue your progress on PS3.
In other words, as a companion piece to the PlayStation 3 version of Metal Gear Solid HD collection, the Vita game is a great way to extend your experience off the couch, and into your commutes, your traveling, and any downtime you might have to fight Vamp. The data transfer is exceptionally fluid, and it’s near effortless to pick up your game at home on PS3 from where you left off on Vita. Yet, it’s hard to shake the sense that the handheld experience, on its own, has some weaknesses that can’t be overlooked. Close-quarters combat isn’t as graceful, nor are precise gunshots. Also, the touch-screen inventory control, while not unmanageable, throws off the pace of the action at times. Plus, the combination of two games to buy to get the full experience is a rather tall order for most gamers. This Vita version isn't the ideal version of either Metal Gear Solid PS2 sequel to play, but if you’re looking to relive the magic (and jump back and forth between home and road), they’re still phenomenal experiences.
Our Verdict: It's Solid, but mostly as a companion to the PS3 version
Editor's Note: As part of GamesRadar's review policy regarding HD remake compilations, we're not assigning a numerical score to this collection. There are exceptions to the rule (a totally rebuilt experience a la Halo: Anniversary Edition), but we're taking a "buy," "proceed with caution," or "don't buy" approach going forward.