My Metal Gear Solid 3 Experience: The Best One Yet

MGS 3 Cover

In a series consisting primarily of odd choices, perhaps the oddest choice by Hideo Kojima was to take the Metal Gear Solid storyline back to the past, to the beginning of Big Boss’s journey. It’s always odd when a prequel has a number assigned to it that indicates it is actually a sequel, but Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater actually is worthy of the moniker. The story of Metal Gear Solid is invigorated and broadened in exciting new ways thanks to this bold decision. I had heard so much about MGS 3 being the best in the series and I was seriously surprised when it turned out to be one of the best games I have ever played. Continue reading My Metal Gear Solid 3 Experience: The Best One Yet

My Metal Gear Solid 2 Experience: Sons of WTF

Having returned to Shadow Moses (for the first time) some months back, I decided to take advantage of the summer lull and jump into Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty and all that entails. Now, MGS 2 was the first MGS game I played, way back when it was a Greatest Hits for the PS2. I had heard so much hype before the game’s release and then so much disappointment afterwards that I simply had to see what the big hairy deal was. Continue reading My Metal Gear Solid 2 Experience: Sons of WTF

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

Games as Art: Looking Back at MGS 2

Metal Gear Solid 2Metal Gear Solid 2 is a game that gets quite a bit of flack from some of the gaming community. The MGS fan kingdom seems to be split down two camps of people that have opposing feelings for the sequel to the hit PS1 game. Personally, I fall into the group of people that generally dislikes MGS2. I remember being so excited for its release, especially after playing the demo that came packaged with Zone of the Enders. I loved the first game’s comic book Die Hard feel, but the sequel just got much too campy, and Raiden was nowhere near as good of a hero as the beloved Solid Snake, in my opinion.

Some years ago, the Delta Head Translation Group published a formal analysis of Metal Gear Solid 2, which is one of the most fascinating pieces of writing I’ve ever read on a video game. It breaks down some of the meta-narrative of MGS2, and what the game might have actually been designed for: to leave the player feeling frustrated. Agree with it or not, it actually gives a really enlightening look at the game, and might even give you pause about your assumptions.

I was reminded of this article because I got into a discussion with JJ about Roger Ebert recently backtracking on his “games can never be art” infamy; he now says that some day they might be. JJ and I got on a tangent about it being hard for something to be fun, artistic, emotional and medium-transcending all at once. I was arguing that fun might not necessarily be a requirement for video games to be art- after all, is watching Schlinder’s List “fun”? In the MGS2 article, the author argues that perhaps the game was designed to make you feel the way it did, and not designed with a fun-factor in mind. If this is truly the case, then perhaps MGS2, as flawed as it is, might be a video game that approaches that territory, where games are turned on their head and go beyond the medium? Portal is probably one of the best examples of a game that deconstructs gaming yet manages to be entertaining and well made.

Anyway, all that mumbo-jumbo aside, you should definitely check out the article, it’s long, but worth the thoughts it gives on what games are supposed to make you feel. And while you’re at it, feel free to weight in on the “games as art” discussion.

Source- Delta Head Translation Group and Roger Ebert

Why Are Gamers Such Crybabies?

crybabyI am a man of passions. I mostly love things more than life itself or hate them with a fury that borders on the wrong side of psychotic. But even I am taken aback by the wrath that seems to regularly appear from gamers on the Internet. Perhaps it just that the Internet has given these people a voice. Or perhaps gamers are the biggest bunch of babies this world has ever seen.
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Video Game Characters Secret Confessions!

We all have secrets. There are whole websites devoted to people just telling their secrets and Conan O’Brien has a segment where celebrities can reveal their darkest truths. In this post, Anthony has uncovered some of the most iconic video game character confessions you have never heard!


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Top 5: New System Mascots That Aren’t Named Mario or Sonic

It appears as time goes on that Mario and Sonic (especially Sonic) are becoming almost irrelevant. Mario appears mainly in spin-off games, like Mario Kart and even that has lost its luster. Sure, he pops up in a true Mario game once every 3 or 4 years, but aside from New Super Mario Bros., was anyone really excited about any of those games? With that in mind, I thought it time to showcase the new mascots of the new generation. Feel free to disagree and add your own or make your own list.

Continue reading Top 5: New System Mascots That Aren’t Named Mario or Sonic