Finally reached the first Metal Gear battle, and it was relatively easy, but I had been doing a significant amount of research and side missions, so I was more than prepared. Only stumbling block was figuring out how to use supply drops, didn't realize I had to drop the marker then activate it, like you do with C4. Other wise, probably an easier fight than the tank battle, since there weren't any extra troops with the mech. I've enjoyed the story so far, and I think Metal Gear fans will get a kick out of it. There is definitely some weird tangents in the conversations, but it's nothing new for people who have been following the series. Two new features have opened up also, the metal gear building portion of the game (which didn't have to much to do, since I did not have enough parts yet) and the "Outer Ops". The latter proved more interesting, as it plays out like a very basic war strategy game. Using the combat troops you've collected, and any vehicles (like tanks and APCs) you captured, you send them out to attack specific targets in between your missions. So far the fights have been easy, again thanks to my over collecting. But I could see things get rougher soon, as the enemy has yet to show any armored vehicles of their own.
Focusing more on the gameplay in missions, the new CQC features make it much easier to neutralize soldiers in the field. While I still rely on headshots from my tranq gun a lot, the simple of tactic of luring a solider around a corner and chocking him out is becoming equally useful. Speaking of headshots, the game totally does the thing where now soldiers are showing up with helmets so, you guessed it, first you have to shoot the helmet and then you shoot the dude in the face. Otherwise, now that I've gotten used to activating the auto-aim when I get into firefights with alerted troops, the game is feeling much better controlwise. That said, I am tempted to buy a PSP Go just to use PS3 controller with it. A second analog stick is all that is keeping this game from feeling like MGS4, which was the pinnacle of controls for this series as far as I'm concerned. If Sony were to release this as a PSN game, or even a PS2 game, they'd have a solid million seller I think. Maybe when / if the MGS Blue-Ray edition comes out.
Anyways, I'm off to kill a Metal Gear repeatedly, so I can harvest it's robot guts and for my own Frankengear. Never thought I'd be grinding for drops in a MGS game, but I'm down!