GamerSushi Asks: The Continuing Story?

Mass Effect 3

There are two types of franchises in video games: the ones like Final Fantasy, where each game is a completely separate world with new characters and new experiences and the ones like Mass Effect where there is a continuing narrative that flows from game to game. These two aren’t the only franchises that are like this of course, but they are two of my favorite and I think they best represent the example I am trying to make. So I wanted to ask the GamerSushi Universe which type you prefer.

Each has its own strengths and weaknesses. With Final Fantasy’s template, you know every time that you are getting something radically different from the previous game. Sure, certain themes and elements will be the same, but it’s kind of exciting to get immersed (or annoyed) by a whole new world with new characters to fall in love (or hate) with. Not to mention new gameplay ideas and mechanics that seem revolutionary compared to the previous entry. Far Cry 3 is a great example of this. There is a downside to this, though: as we saw with Final Fantasy VII, sometimes the game is so popular that deviating from that story will only irritate its legion of fans. Final Fantasy VIII is all but forgotten by Square Enix these days. It was only years later that they thought to capitalize of FF VII’s success, but by then it was too late. Continue reading GamerSushi Asks: The Continuing Story?

My Metal Gear Solid 4 Experience: The Saga Ends

Cover mgs4

Well, that was certainly an experience.

In the last year, I have played all the numbered Metal Gear Solid games (MGS, MGS2, MGS3), ostensibly to see what the big deal was. After finishing Metal Gear Solid 4, my feelings on the game itself are largely ambivalent, but my feelings on the entire franchise are generally positive. (spoilers follow) Continue reading My Metal Gear Solid 4 Experience: The Saga Ends

Twenty-Five Years of Metal Gear

metal gear solid 25 years

What’s this twenty-five year anniversary post doing here? Yes, this past Saturday, July 7, one of the longest-running franchises in gaming, Metal Gear Solid, turned the big two-five, celebrating a quarter-century of extended monologues and exclamation marks.

Debuting way back in 1987, Hideo Kojima’s tale of a cloned super-spy spans multiple console generations and has a legacy that has left an impact on a generation of gamers world-wide. Every Metal Gear game redefines the series and adds new gameplay conventions that make for some of the most unique gaming experiences available.

My first brush with Metal Gear Solid came back when the Snake Eater rerelease Subsistence dropped, allowing me to use a 3D camera, a la Splinter Cell. While this isn’t the way MGS had been played traditionally, it gave me a way to try out the series and that game quickly found a solid place in my top-ten games of all time.

While the MGS games can sometimes border on goofy and outright ridiculous, I still love them all the same and wouldn’t change a thing. What about you guys? How has Metal Gear affected you gaming history? What was your favorite title or moment from the series?

My Metal Gear Solid Experience

MGS Kill

I’ve never played Metal Gear Solid.

A startling admission, I know. Especially coming from someone who is a fan of Sony consoles in general and Japanese games in particular. But I missed the boat on Metal Gear Solid for the PS1, having only played Metal Gear Solid 2 when it was a Greatest Hit on the PS2 and then wondering, “This is what all the fuss was about? Gamers have terrible taste!” Seriously. I looked down on MGS fans after that.

All I had ever heard about was how amazing the story of Metal Gear Solid is, how it is just like watching a movie. All the hype before the release of MGS 2 focused on the story, rather than gameplay, something I had not previously seen before. So I played it, liked it, but didn’t see all the fuss. Then MGS 3 came out and finally MGS 4. I skipped those as well, but something was nagging at the back of my mind. Despite my experience with MGS 2, I still felt like there was something I was missing out on. With the release of Metal Gear Solid HD Collection, I saw my opening and I struck. I would download and play the original MGS on the PSN and then play all the rest on the HD Collection.

So that’s what I did. I recently finished the MGS and had a blast with it. Even so many years after its release, the game still holds up well and its design and story had me pondering video games and the state of the medium to a degree that I haven’t in quite some time. So here are my thoughts on Metal Gear Solid. Continue reading My Metal Gear Solid Experience

Deus Ex: Human Revolution: When Reviews Change Your Mind

Deus Ex Human Revolution

Sometimes you think you’ve got your fall completely planned out, with money and pre-orders organized in neat little rows and squared away just so. You tell yourself you know the games that are worth skipping, the ones that you’ll get after a price drop, and the ones that you’re getting on day one.

But then reviews change everything.

As many of you know, I’ve had my qualms about Deus Ex: Human Revolution for quite some time. In fact, I labeled it as a “Shun” in a recent feature. But today, a pile of glowing reviews dropped for the game in advance of its release tomorrow.

Apparently, Deus Ex is a contender for Game of the Year. It’s being hailed as the best action/stealth game to come out since Metal Gear Solid. It’s also being called a cool blend of Metal Gear Solid and Mass Effect. People are raving about the world, the story and the phenomenal gameplay. As such, all of the GamerSushi staff decided to purchase it today, including myself. And I can’t wait to play it tomorrow. I’m happy to have been proved wrong, but we’ll see if I agree with all the reviews.

So – who else is pumped about these great reviews? When have reviews changed your mind about a purchase before? Go!

The Question of Replay Value

Metal Gear SolidOne of the things that’s become a bigger part of game design over the last generation or so has been the idea of replay value. With game prices getting higher and used sales taking over more of the market, developers are faced with the problem of giving gamers more game for their money. This takes the form of multiplayer modes, branching narratives and any other number of things.

Over on Gamasutra, Adam Bishop recently posted a blog about The Myth of Replay Value, saying that this is an issue where the video game industry is missing the point. He goes on to cite how these added bits to games don’t really enhance replay value at all, but what really does is just making a good, rich experience. His main citation is Metal Gear Solid, a game that is completely linear with no variation, but still compels gamers to play through more than once.

Honestly, I only partially agree with this point of view. While I think it’s true that people aren’t going to replay through games that they didn’t love, there’s something to be said for offering extra incentives for players to jump back in time and time again. I think there’s got to be a mix of something there, because a great experience that’s only 10 hours long still isn’t my cup of tea, especially when the price tag is $60.

So what do you guys think of the question of replay value? How important is it to you? When buying a game do you care more about the experience or the replay value? Go!

Source – Gamasutra

Today’s WTF: Metal Gear Without David Hayter

snakeThis news could possibly be the death knell of Metal Gear Solid: Rising for me, even though I’ve seen nothing of the game since last E3. According to rumors, the game, subtitled “Tactical Lightning Action”, will be out sometime next year, and no one has phoned David Hayter yet! For those of you who don’t know who this man is, he’s the guy who’s been providing the gravelly-voiced delivery for Solid Snake for the last twelve years. He’s also a Hollywood screen writer with credits for X-Men and X-Men 2 in addition to the Watchmen draft that stodgy Alan Moore gave his approval to.

One might say that Hayter is the linchpin of Metal Gear Solid in North America, so what will a Metal Gear game without Solid Snake be like? Granted, the game is assumed to be about Raiden, but even Metal Gear Solid 2 (which had Raiden as the main protagonist), featured a lot of Snake. What do you guys think? Could Rising be completely Snake free? What are your thoughts on this game, now that a full year has gone by? Keep in mind that this is just a rumor, but it’s puzzling none the less.

Source: VG247