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Showing posts with the label Metal Gear

Style as Story in CounterSpy

It's time to come clean: most of my recent electronic gaming selections have been inspired by genre discussion threads on the Something Awful forum , particularly explorations into the "Shoot 'em Up"( SHMUP ) and JRPG genres. There are plenty of holes in my experiences with the medium, and I always love to hear people talk about why something does (or doesn't) work for them... especially when their suggestions are already part of my gargantuan game backlog . The most recent one, though, was for a genre I was more familiar with: "Stealth Games." Regular readers shouldn't be surprised here - given how often I bring it up, it should be obvious that my all-time favorite series is Metal Gear , which has defined much of the "stealth" genre. Not only those games, though, but also Tenchu, Hitman, Assassins Creed, and Dishonored , all of which I've discussed before as part of the "assassination game" sub-genre, and well as those tha

You Cannot Fast Travel When Plot is Nearby

You’ve probably been there. Trying to get from one part of the map to another. A sound effect cuts through the overworld music , an animation comes up, and the music switches to something a little more adrenaline-pumping. The first time it happens in a game, maybe the first few dozen times, you’re probably pretty excited. What monsters will you face? Will there be materials to upgrade your weapons? Just a little much-needed currency and experience? A surprise treasure box ? Then you get to that fourth dozen time…fifth…sixth? Somewhere in there it becomes a boring monotonous grind just to get anywhere, or maybe to find the last component you need to upgrade your ranged weapon. At best, the ritual becomes a minor annoyance while you pass through as quickly as possible. Would it be better if you could just fast travel ? Zipping between two points without subjecting your character(s) (and yourself) to yet another pointless battle? This can work well in video games, but do you use it at you

Thoughts on the American Withdrawal from Afghanistan, Primarily Informed by MGSV

Afghanistan's a big place. It's become something of a cliche to say that recent events are " just like Metal Gear games ," but this is often the case with science fiction. Good works are always about the time in which they were made, but with a focus on exploring certain aspects. Where it might go. As time goes on and these aspects develop, science fiction can feel eerily prescient. The Metal Gear series has incorporated real-world politics since the 2D days, portraying the governments of western nations, particularly the United States, as duplicitous and capable of monstrous atrocities... all while playing a character working on those governments' behalf. 1998's Metal Gear Solid was fundamentally about the fallout from the Cold War arms race, the dangers of the weapons created for a war that never came (which included Snake himself), and lengths to which the military-industrial complex will go to maintain its fiscal and political dominance in a world without

The Phantom Plain: Storytelling through Landscape in MGSV

I’ve recently come to the ending (such as it is) of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain . I’d been putting it off for a while, with a whole range of reasonable excuses. I need to play Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance first! I need to make more progress in Peace Walker - sure, I’ve made it to both endings, but not the Monster Hunter missions! I can’t hog the PS3, it’s our main household media device! And I don’t have the time for a game that size, anyway… Maybe I was scared by the reviews and references I had come across - did I want to delve into the final installment of my all-time favorite game series and be disappointed? One by one, though, they all fizzled. We got a PS4, so I was able to spirit its predecessor off to my desk for solo gaming whenever I have a chance… which meant I was able to play Revengeance ... and plow away at Peace Walker until I got sick of failing to take out that damn Attack Chopper (Custom) over and over. And finally… there was COVID. I should mention an a