Metal Gear Solid(s), revisited

I’m not impervious to hype. I have a high hype tolerance in fact. But on occasion, I can still succumb to the hype machine. I am, after all, a gamer. When a big blockbuster title comes out, I can usually avoid the hoopla with a series of well timed jumps, ducks, and dodges I learned in elementary school dodge-ball. That is, until all my friends pick up the latest and greatest and start talking it up even more.

“Oh-em-gee! <Insert title here> is everything I expected!”

“My head nearly asploded at how full of awesome <insert title here> is!”

And so on and so on.

So when Metal Gear Solid 4 came out, I was able to spend my June 12th just like 90% of the rest of the population. By eagerly anticipating Friday the 13th and the inevitable failure that would be M. Night Shamalamalmalmlayan’s “The Happening”. I was happily moving along my day, dodging well-timed MGS4 ball ricochets and “wowzers” until I started to think about my MGS experiences past. I mean, who didn’t play and thoroughly love the first Metal Gear Solid on PS1? Nostalgia reared its ugly, and in my case, usually costly head and began to whisper sweet little nothings in my ear.

“Remember the Psycho Mantis fight?”

“Psst. How about the fight against the ninja? Yah, cool huh?”

And so it was with those sweet pokes and prods from my gaming past that I finally caved and decided to get Metal Gear Solid… the “Essential Collection” box set. Yeah, I know. You were expecting MGS4, huh? While I’ve resigned myself to playing it, I thought that the only way to really experience MGS4 would be to do so after playing all three previous MGS games in chronological order- MGS 3, MGS 1, then MGS 2 (as opposed to order of each game’s release. MGS 1, MGS 2, then MGS 3).

I cracked open Metal Gear Solid 3 last night and was immediately drawn in by the story. I’d forgotten how awkward the control scheme was when compared to recent titles, and found myself fumbling through the first few minutes of gameplay. It’s like I was trying to “play Mario” in MGS-land.

“Oh noes! Where are my 1-Ups?!”

After a few hours of extremely compelling story-telling MGS 3 released me from its clutches. Not by choice, mind you. I’m sure MGS 3 would’ve kept me there til the wee hours of the morning, but I had to excerise some self-control and peel myself off the couch before the sun peeled itself off the horizon. Still, as I sit here and type, the nagging urge to play some more and see how else I can humiliate Ocelot keeps growing stronger.

I can handle it. I’ll play just a few more minutes before I get back to work. Yeah. A few more minutes…


(To be continued, I’m sure.)



1 Response to “Metal Gear Solid(s), revisited”

  1. 1 Brett
    June 14, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    I’m happy you get to experience this great series again, and in some cases, for the first time.

    If you end up liking MGS3 as much as I suspect you might, then you should consider Portable Ops for the PSP. Its story takes place a few years after MGS3’s conclusion, and it’s quite compelling. Unfortunately, the control scheme and especially the camera of Portable Ops are atrocious, but for the full Metal Gear Solid experience, it’s tough to ignore Portable Ops.

    Though, I there haven’t been many direct references to Portable Ops in MGS4 just yet, so you should be able to get by without playing it. It is easily the worst game in the series, by a wide margin.

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