Everyone was pleasantly surprised when Metal Gear Solid Touch [App Store] went online two days earlier than the supposed launch date.

We quickly downloaded it, and were pretty happy with our initial impressions. However, this morning the honeymoon is over and I’ve really been struggling to come up with the best way to review this game. So to start, let’s just ignore the price tag and look at Metal Gear Solid Touch the game.

While writing about my first impressions of the game, I discussed the controls in depth, and I’m happy to say they held up well throughout the entire campaign. Sliding your finger around to target, tapping to shoot, using the standard pinching gestures to switch between weapons and taking your finger off the screen to go back in to cover works great.  Unlike a lot of iPhone games, you never feel like you’re being limited by the controls, even during frantic battles that require lots of switching between weapons.

Speaking of weapons, switching between the M4 assault rifle and SVG sniper rifle depending on the distance between you and your enemy is a really neat mechanic, and one of my favorite things about the game. While looking through your scope, you’re out of cover and have a limited viewpoint, so you need to time when to pick off far away enemies carefully to not get killed. Every enemy on screen comes complete with a targeting circle which shows their health in white segments, as well as an animated circle which slowly draws and turns red as they’re about to shoot. You’ll obviously want to be behind cover when you have bullets headed your way, which isn’t always as easy as it sounds.

In addition to your two standard weapons, you also can pick up a cloaking device that makes you invincible for a short period of time or a rocket launcher by shooting small green frogs that appear. Meanwhile, yellow ducks also randomly show up which you can shoot to regain health. Another method of healing yourself, which I feel does nothing but contribute to trivializing a game that is already pretty easy, is just staying behind cover. Health slowly regains over time, and as long as you’re not attempting any speed runs, you can cheese your way through any level by just hiding long enough to heal completely. Supposedly, the barrier providing your cover will eventually break with enough damage, but after playing through the whole game I never saw this happen.

Aside from the standard soldiers to shoot, friendly units to avoid, and power ups to collect, Metal Gear Solid Touch features two “mini boss” units which are pretty cool. The Gekko Metal Gear weapon from Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots makes several appearances, and there are a couple of levels where missile shooting helicopters attempt to rain on your parade. Any difficulty involved in taking down these two enemy types are completely negated by the hilariously obvious “tips” which you’re given before each mission telling you exactly what to do.

The loading screen of each level is accompanied by a short narrative in an attempt to create some kind of plot for the game. Part of what has made the Metal Gear series what it is today is character development, plot twists, and generally speaking, really good story telling. The “plot” of Metal Gear Solid Touch reads like mediocre fan fiction, and I’m really at a loss as to why they didn’t try to drive the story with Metal Gear Acid-like character conversations, interactive cut scenes, voice overs, or something other than just a blob of text.

Metal Gear Solid Touch is also unfaithful to the series in another blatant way. I’ve never played a Metal Gear game where Snake shoots so much. Firefight after firefight has never been what Metal Gear games are about, and what's more, Kojima’s first foray into iPhone development lacks stealth portions, as well. What you see in the screenshots is what you get. While I appreciate the action packed into this game and had a good time playing it, I’m left scratching my head as to why such a pivotal part of series is completely disregarded.

I think it’s about time we come back to reality and address what you get for your $7.99. Metal Gear Solid Touch comes loaded with 12 levels (two of which are simple boss fights), with an additional 8 promised through a future update. On a whim, I took a screenshot of every mission completion screen and added up the time each level took to complete. I played through the entire game from start to finish in only 21 minutes and 45 seconds.

I don’t really consider myself to be any more skilled than the average gamer, and other forum members have also reported beating the game in under a half hour. I find this unacceptable for a $7.99 title. Metal Gear Solid Touch carries a premium price in the App Store market, but the only “premium” feature it seems to include is the Metal Gear brand name. Beating the game once does unlock a special “survival” mode where your time, life, and other stats are carried over from level to level. While this will help replay value, it doesn’t justify the price point when you’re paying roughly 30 to 40 cents per game play minute for a bit of Metal Gear fan service.

Gameplay video:


[ Full HD version | Low Bandwidth version ]

Game Details
Name: Metal Gear Solid Touch (v1.0.0) Price: $7.99 [Buy]
Developer: Konami Size: 87.3 MB
Device: Tested on iPhone 3G
Metal Gear Solid Touch is a high quality tap-shooter with good controls, but is extremely short. If you’re not that tied to the Metal Gear series, it's certainly not worth it's current asking price and you should at least wait until the verdict arrives on the upcoming free 8-level add-on.

This review was written by Eli Hodapp, a guest contributor at TouchArcade.

TouchArcade Rating

  • Jon

    Sounds like the majority opinion on this game got to you and turned you around, eh? ;-)

  • Jon

    Sounds like the majority opinion on this game got to you and turned you around, eh? ;-)

  • Fat Phil

    I don't mind the shooting aspect, and I really like the presentation, but for 20 mins of gameplay, that just doesn't wash.

    BTW, if anyone here has a PSP and hasn't played MG Acid, you can pick it up for $6.34 from amazon.com ... very under-rated game (and damned hard!).

  • Fat Phil

    I don't mind the shooting aspect, and I really like the presentation, but for 20 mins of gameplay, that just doesn't wash.

    BTW, if anyone here has a PSP and hasn't played MG Acid, you can pick it up for $6.34 from amazon.com ... very under-rated game (and damned hard!).

  • http://twitter.com/hodapp/ Eli Hodapp

    @Jon - I never really had a finalized opinion on the game when I wrote about it originally. Those were quite literally my first impressions of the game which were posted an hour or so after I downloaded it. Before you realize the game only takes a half hour to beat, it is pretty fun!

  • http://twitter.com/hodapp/ Eli Hodapp

    @Jon - I never really had a finalized opinion on the game when I wrote about it originally. Those were quite literally my first impressions of the game which were posted an hour or so after I downloaded it. Before you realize the game only takes a half hour to beat, it is pretty fun!

  • http://www.metroccolis.com your personal robot

    Fantastic review, Eli.

  • http://www.metroccolis.com your personal robot

    Fantastic review, Eli.

  • Andrew

    Bring us MG Ac!d for iPhone!

  • 1337brian

    I have to agree with your review, good but not worth the price....

  • Andrew

    Bring us MG Ac!d for iPhone!

  • 1337brian

    I have to agree with your review, good but not worth the price....

  • Chris

    ill get it when the price comes down, i own every other metal gear game..

  • Chris

    ill get it when the price comes down, i own every other metal gear game..

  • arn

    @jon. yeah, to be clear, this is a great [price notably lower than $7.99] game. it's just not a great $7.99 game when you compare it to the other apps currently available in the App Store. It reminds me of my opinion of Star Wars Force Unleashed.

  • Egbert

    Nobody seems to have noticed the game is priced lower in Europe, £3.49 in the UK, this is the first game I've noticed with a price difference. Looks like America is getting screwed. Usually £3.49 = $4.99 in iTunes currency...

  • arn

    @jon. yeah, to be clear, this is a great [price notably lower than $7.99] game. it's just not a great $7.99 game when you compare it to the other apps currently available in the App Store. It reminds me of my opinion of Star Wars Force Unleashed.

  • Egbert

    Nobody seems to have noticed the game is priced lower in Europe, £3.49 in the UK, this is the first game I've noticed with a price difference. Looks like America is getting screwed. Usually £3.49 = $4.99 in iTunes currency...

  • Marcus

    @Egbert- £2.99=$4.99 in iTunes currency. £3.49=$5.99

    So we are getting a price reduction, by $2

  • Marcus

    @Egbert- £2.99=$4.99 in iTunes currency. £3.49=$5.99

    So we are getting a price reduction, by $2

  • Aletor

    In Spain the price is 4.99€, cheaper than Rolando's first price (6.99€). Still expensive for this short game. I have to admit I enjoyed the final battle (the firt time I got killed...). I felt myself inmerse in the MGS world for a while. Good game, poor of posibilities, better wait for a price reduction.

  • Aletor

    In Spain the price is 4.99€, cheaper than Rolando's first price (6.99€). Still expensive for this short game. I have to admit I enjoyed the final battle (the firt time I got killed...). I felt myself inmerse in the MGS world for a while. Good game, poor of posibilities, better wait for a price reduction.

  • http://www.altplusf4.com/index.php/200903191535/Mobile-Gaming-News/reviews-mixed-on-metal-gear-solid-touch-but-mostly-positive.html Alienstout

    Good review, nice and balanced. I liked it but it was way too short and more like a demo than a game you pay for. Still, good first entry.

  • http://www.altplusf4.com/index.php/200903191535/Mobile-Gaming-News/reviews-mixed-on-metal-gear-solid-touch-but-mostly-positive.html Alienstout

    Good review, nice and balanced. I liked it but it was way too short and more like a demo than a game you pay for. Still, good first entry.

  • Barnsey

    Remember this is only a taster of the first few levels - They are going to add lots more levels and possibly features in an update this spring.

  • Barnsey

    Remember this is only a taster of the first few levels - They are going to add lots more levels and possibly features in an update this spring.

  • Steve

    I completly agree, I downloaded this game after your review, and for the first time, since reading this site, I was extremly dissapointed! This game simply sucks. IMHO it's worth .99 cents right now. With so many good games out there around 3-4$, this certainly doesn't deserve 8$!

    I enjoyed the plane game more than this!

  • Steve

    I completly agree, I downloaded this game after your review, and for the first time, since reading this site, I was extremly dissapointed! This game simply sucks. IMHO it's worth .99 cents right now. With so many good games out there around 3-4$, this certainly doesn't deserve 8$!

    I enjoyed the plane game more than this!

  • oliath

    Yeah...I agree with this article.... Konami is clearly greedy and just going for a quick buck here... the game is barely worth 99p let alone £3.49.... and for that money you could grab several VERY decent games from indi devs which will give you much more playtime and value for money... poor show Konami.

    I think this hilites the strengths of the app store though. It allows some guy in his bedroom the creative freedom to produce a fantastic game with great gameplay... and i find it amusing that all the while the major companies out there can only manage to keep producing mediocre tripe for the device

    I got it just to see for myself. There are elements that are fun... but it has absolutely NO replay value... unless you really do care about unlocking some pointless screenshots.

    Overall the gameplay mechanic is very nicely implemented and its fun... to a point... but there is a severe lack of depth and you will get utterly bored by the time you get towards the end (which won't take long at all)

    Don't waste your money.

  • oliath

    Yeah...I agree with this article.... Konami is clearly greedy and just going for a quick buck here... the game is barely worth 99p let alone £3.49.... and for that money you could grab several VERY decent games from indi devs which will give you much more playtime and value for money... poor show Konami.

    I think this hilites the strengths of the app store though. It allows some guy in his bedroom the creative freedom to produce a fantastic game with great gameplay... and i find it amusing that all the while the major companies out there can only manage to keep producing mediocre tripe for the device

    I got it just to see for myself. There are elements that are fun... but it has absolutely NO replay value... unless you really do care about unlocking some pointless screenshots.

    Overall the gameplay mechanic is very nicely implemented and its fun... to a point... but there is a severe lack of depth and you will get utterly bored by the time you get towards the end (which won't take long at all)

    Don't waste your money.

  • Coleco

    I find it hard to believe that, in a world where a new Game Boy game cost $20-$30 and an X-Box or PS3 game costs $50 or more, people thing $7.99 is too much to ask. The mentality about 99 cent games and free games ignores the investment game companies place in producing high quality games. Those artists, coders, sound techs and other people need to get paid. $7.99 sounds like a bargain for this game based on the review, added levels on the way and quality of graphics. This is not iFart, people.

  • Coleco

    I find it hard to believe that, in a world where a new Game Boy game cost $20-$30 and an X-Box or PS3 game costs $50 or more, people thing $7.99 is too much to ask. The mentality about 99 cent games and free games ignores the investment game companies place in producing high quality games. Those artists, coders, sound techs and other people need to get paid. $7.99 sounds like a bargain for this game based on the review, added levels on the way and quality of graphics. This is not iFart, people.

  • ZZMitch

    @Coleco

    Yeah, but 20$ Gameboy games and 50$ xbox games can't be beat in 30 minutes.

  • ZZMitch

    @Coleco

    Yeah, but 20$ Gameboy games and 50$ xbox games can't be beat in 30 minutes.

  • arn

    @coleco: It's a 20 minute game, coleco. That $20 GameBoy game will get you much more gameplay than this $7.99 one.

    I'm all for developers getting paid realistic fees, but this is a very small fraction of a game compared to any $20-$50 console title.

    arn

  • arn

    @coleco: It's a 20 minute game, coleco. That $20 GameBoy game will get you much more gameplay than this $7.99 one.

    I'm all for developers getting paid realistic fees, but this is a very small fraction of a game compared to any $20-$50 console title.

    arn

  • Ataru

    They should have just ported MGS Acid instead. We'd of had a far better game, Konami would have had to do less work (although by the looks of MGS Touch they didn't exactly do any overtime on this one), and they'd ultimately have made much more money.

    I hope they have learned their lesson.

  • Ataru

    They should have just ported MGS Acid instead. We'd of had a far better game, Konami would have had to do less work (although by the looks of MGS Touch they didn't exactly do any overtime on this one), and they'd ultimately have made much more money.

    I hope they have learned their lesson.

  • http://podophile.com Flowbee

    Never been a fan of "first impressions" posts. This is a pretty good example of why. I'm guessing a lot of people bought this game based on the enthusiasm of the original article (I came pretty close, and I'm not even a fan of the series). Let the forums handle the first impressions; save the front page for reviews, previews, and news.

  • http://podophile.com Flowbee

    Never been a fan of "first impressions" posts. This is a pretty good example of why. I'm guessing a lot of people bought this game based on the enthusiasm of the original article (I came pretty close, and I'm not even a fan of the series). Let the forums handle the first impressions; save the front page for reviews, previews, and news.

  • Josh

    WE WANT METAL GEAR AC!D FOR IPHONE/IPOD TOUCH!!!!!

  • Josh

    WE WANT METAL GEAR AC!D FOR IPHONE/IPOD TOUCH!!!!!

  • http://twitter.com/hodapp/ Eli Hodapp

    @Flowbee The "first impression" post was exactly that, a first impression. Until you play through the game once and realize how amazingly short it is, it's pretty fun. I don't think my enthusiasm was unwarranted. Remember, I closed my previous post by saying:

    "My initial impressions of this game are positive, but I still can’t disregard the associated price tag. Metal Gear Solid Touch is without a doubt one of the better tap-shooters on the iPhone, but at $7.99 you’re definitely paying a premium for the Metal Gear name."

    My review also essentially states that Metal Gear Solid Touch is a good game, but very expensive for what you get. I try to be pretty clear in first impression posts that I've only had a game for a very short amount of time. I'm sorry if you were in some way mislead by this. :

  • http://twitter.com/hodapp/ Eli Hodapp

    @Flowbee The "first impression" post was exactly that, a first impression. Until you play through the game once and realize how amazingly short it is, it's pretty fun. I don't think my enthusiasm was unwarranted. Remember, I closed my previous post by saying:

    "My initial impressions of this game are positive, but I still can’t disregard the associated price tag. Metal Gear Solid Touch is without a doubt one of the better tap-shooters on the iPhone, but at $7.99 you’re definitely paying a premium for the Metal Gear name."

    My review also essentially states that Metal Gear Solid Touch is a good game, but very expensive for what you get. I try to be pretty clear in first impression posts that I've only had a game for a very short amount of time. I'm sorry if you were in some way mislead by this. :\

  • Stev

    @coleco

    Really? 20$ or 50$? yeah I paid 50$ for the GTA title for PSP, I played over 100 hours on that game... So that would be roughly 50cents/hour...

    On Nintendo, I've played over 100hours on Mario, another 30$ game...

    You want to go on?

    Seriously, the reason I wouldn't pay a high price for these games is that they are mostly novelty things, and pass time stuff.

    It needs to be worth it to pay really more.

  • Stev

    @coleco

    Really? 20$ or 50$? yeah I paid 50$ for the GTA title for PSP, I played over 100 hours on that game... So that would be roughly 50cents/hour...

    On Nintendo, I've played over 100hours on Mario, another 30$ game...

    You want to go on?

    Seriously, the reason I wouldn't pay a high price for these games is that they are mostly novelty things, and pass time stuff.

    It needs to be worth it to pay really more.

  • amoe

    just a crappy way to milk a licence... pathetic

  • amoe

    just a crappy way to milk a licence... pathetic

  • http://www.zonanegativa.com Txulu

    Well, I have to say MG Touch does not fall short despite its shortness... provides fun gameplay and high replayability to keep u amused till new chapters are available (hopefully soon, anyone got a clue on this?). Expensive, yeah, we´re paying the franchise, but take it as an investmen in things to come... Greetings to all

  • http://www.zonanegativa.com Txulu

    Well, I have to say MG Touch does not fall short despite its shortness... provides fun gameplay and high replayability to keep u amused till new chapters are available (hopefully soon, anyone got a clue on this?). Expensive, yeah, we´re paying the franchise, but take it as an investmen in things to come... Greetings to all

  • Peter

    Pretty shameful the way so many popular titles have been associated with a joke of an iPhone game in order to spur sales at undeserved prices.

    You'd think we would have learned, definitively, from the Force Unleashed, not to trust an iPhone title. Guess not, as my best friend purchased this game the second it came out, while I stood by shaking my head. I Played it of course, and its terrible. I mean, its good for the first 10 minutes, but after that, no reason to continue playing, at all. Thats a terrible game. Fieldrunners is a no title, no flare game, with no inherent advertising, that I (and many others) can't stop playing. What did they do right that brand name did wrong?

  • Peter

    Pretty shameful the way so many popular titles have been associated with a joke of an iPhone game in order to spur sales at undeserved prices.

    You'd think we would have learned, definitively, from the Force Unleashed, not to trust an iPhone title. Guess not, as my best friend purchased this game the second it came out, while I stood by shaking my head. I Played it of course, and its terrible. I mean, its good for the first 10 minutes, but after that, no reason to continue playing, at all. Thats a terrible game. Fieldrunners is a no title, no flare game, with no inherent advertising, that I (and many others) can't stop playing. What did they do right that brand name did wrong?

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