Starting up Metal Gear Solid Touch on the iPhone was, for lack of a better word, nostalgic. From the fade in of the Konami logo to the fade out of the end credits. Every sight and sound used in Metal Gear Solid Touch is taken directly from it's PS3 counterpart, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. For die-hards of the series and audiophiles alike, this is nice touch. Every bullet that exits the M4, SVD, and even the RPG, down to the impact are identical to MGS4. Let me make this entirely clear, the similarities end there. Hideo Kojima, the mastermind behind the Metal Gear Series, decided to hand the reigns over to Kojima Production's first ever lead female producer Yasuyo Watanabe. Kojima explains that his decision was made, first and foremost, due to her familiarity with the device.
Looking to make a solid game without nearly as much complexity seems to have paid off. The gameplay relies more on the action and tactical, of the Tactical Espionage Action subtitle, the former games in the series carried. This being the only one that doesn't. No espionage here. Hmmm. This being an iPhone/iPod Touch game, the mechanics are entirely touch based. The gameplay consists of indirectly moving a reticule around by placing your finger anywhere on the screen and tapping on it to fire. Ala Virtua Cop from back in the good ol' arcade days the enemies and their weakspots are surrounded by a circle which provides you with three types of data. As an enemy appears on screen, the outer circle will start to form letting you know how much time you have before it attacks, the inner circle lets you know the enemy's health and depending on the color, it's distance. If the circle is white it can easily be taken out with the M4. If it is grayed out you must pinch the screen inward or outward to zoom in and use the SVD (Sniper Rifle). There's no fumbling with switching weapons here, the game will auto swtich based on your whether or not you are zoomed in. Editors Tip: Use your index finger to point and shoot and with your index finger in place, use your thumb to slide in for the zoom. It works amazingly well and keeps your aim on target.
There are power ups that pop up from time to time in the form of, series mainstays, Kerotan and GAKO, a rubber frog and duck respectively. Hitting these power ups will provide you with extra health, stealth (invincibility) and an RPG, which immensely aids in later encounters with bosses and G.E.K.K.O.s. Health can also be restored by simply going to cover which is done by removing your finger from the screen, but in a tense firefight you have to ask your self if it's worth blasting the GAKO to get an instant health boost, as opposed to waiting it out, seeing as your cover is not entirely indestructible. Throughout the game you earn Drebin Points which are used to purchase wallpapers for your iPhone. Not the best payoff but it'll definitely give the game some replayability. Upon beating the game once you will unlock "Survival Mode" which basically gives you one life to run through the whole game. Yeah, Metal Gear doesn't fuck around folks.
The game ends entirely prematurely, hence the Mini-Review, due to it not being complete yet. You only reach the end of Act 3 and are told Act 4 and 5 will be coming in a later update, which for early adopters will be free but, as of now, unknown if the price will rise or not if you decide to pick this up at a later date. Currently the game goes for $7.99 on the Ap Store (click opens iTunes) and, being the Metal Gear fan I am, loved every minute of it. It may be wishful thinking but I'm hoping they try something a bit new with the last two acts as they were the most experimental of the 5 in the full version of MGS4 on PS3. I guess it's just a wait and see situation, and as always, I'm sure it will be worth the wait. The game does lose a bit of it's charm but as the first entry of the series on the device I couldn't be happier. Video coming soon.