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The Metal Gear Thread or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Snake

Jul 31, 2019
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So, I have been playing through some of the Metal Gear Solid Collection, and I wanted to get some thoughts down and get you fine people on Gaf's fine thoughts as well. So without any further ado, let's jump in and spoilers ahead!

METAL GEAR SOLID 2: Sons of Liberty (I want one of those Sons of Liberty flags to fly on my front porch come Memorial day)
Yes, I started with MGS 2. Mainly due to the fact that 1) I hadn't played it since back in the early 2000's and 2) I watched a Digital Foundry on the MGS 2 Tanker Chapter and it got me to want to play it.

Anyway, I wanted to talk about the flow of this game, or at least the story. It starts off so awesome! You see the same underwater infiltration opening like in MGS 1, while also getting a run down from the Colonel of the terrorist threat to the Plant (built to handle the clean up from the Tanker incident two years earlier). We get all these great shots of helicopters jetting around the Plant to deliver the separate SEAL team, it's SO COOL! Looks great, and is a great way to start the game. Then the proceeding game starts very similar to MGS 1, which is on purpose and revealed why at the end of the game. After the initial opening though the game slowly goes down hill. You have to thwart a bomb threat to the Plant (fighting the first boss, which once revealed is a fat guy with painted finger nails, drinking a mix drink with a crazy, and wearing roller blades), then have a Non-boss fight with Lady Fortune (just lay on the ground behind some crates for about 5 min and Boss fight ends), fight Vamp (which in the story doesn't really do anything since he comes back), and eventually get captured like in MGS1. After getting out from capture, the whole plot gets laid bare, and what a doozy of a plot twist it is.

Turns out you are playing a simulation setup by the Patriots (An Illuminati like org. that controls everything from the shadows) to perfect the ultimate solider, Solid Snake (S3). Which to me seems like a more meta commentary from Kojima on the actual player wanting to play again as Solid Snake and not really getting to do that. Is it interesting, yeah, does it make a great game ... eh. Don't get me wrong, I don't think this is a bad game. On the contrary there are a lot of great qualities in it like a lot of attention to detail (break bottles individually, tons of codec conversations), fun things to do (side flip kick soldiers, level up grip with pull ups or drop grabs) cool additions to the MGS format (First person view, Hold up guards, hanging/jumping), and a somewhat interesting story (at least at the beginning). But the story devolves down into something kinda lame and hard to follow, and if you don't spend time running around the plant after you get access to all key card levels, then you won't even see a few of the Struts within the game. So on the whole it is kinda limited in that regard.

Compared to all the other MGS games this is for sure at the bottom for me, but I do think it is good. Most importantly, if the Marvel and Star Wars movies from Disney have taught me anything it's that, even with a good formula (Read MGS 1 plot and gameplay) when done repeatedly even with slight tweaking, the whole series bleeds into itself and each entry doesn't really have as great an impact as it could have. In other words, I might not like MGS 2 compared to MGS 3 and MGS 1 but at least it stands out and on it's own. Kojima did his thing, which to me, is taking his games one at a time, pushing the limits and changing things up. That is a really difficult thing to do, especially if you have a hit on your hands.

Executive Producer 1: "We just made <Insert massively successful IP here> and people love it, what do we do about a follow up?"
Executive Producer 2: "Uhhh...I don't know. Let's just do the same thing as last time, but update the graphics and tweak the gameplay slightly"
Executive Producer 1: "So same plot, change some characters out, have the main character go through the same arc?"
Executive Product 2: "Yeah, that's a safe bet"

I think this is why I keep coming back to Metal Gear Solid and replaying the games, and also keep a tab on Kojima and what he is making. He at least makes his own thing, and it might not work every time but at least it is something with some substance, flare, pizzazz.

Welp, that was way longer than I thought it would be. What do you guys think on MGS 2? Or any of the other Metal Gear Games? I plan on playing through the other games as well, starting up MGS 4 next. I might write up something on that if anyone is interested, or even if no one is interested.
 

DonF

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The metal gear saga makes me so nostalgic. Makes me wanna go back to that time I could play all day and night. I remember playing MGS 2 and 3 on the ps2, all night long. I actually never finished 4. I finished peace walker cause it was on psp, since I could play on my commute. I love mgs v but the lack of the final chapter makes it an incomplete game in my eyes.
I would recommend every person the whole Solid saga. You can tell it wasnt a made by committee game. Kojima's vision is clear and its awesome.
 

Mista

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Yeah I don’t agree. MGS2 is one of the greatest games ever made and people shit on it just because they played with Raiden and not Snake. Honestly I can’t take your opinion seriously since you’re jumping around in the series and not playing it like how it is supposed to be played. Imagine skipping MGS1 and 3 and go from 2 to 4? Its like watching new Star Wars without watching the original trilogy🤷🏻‍♂️ Anyways, you’re doing yourself a massive disservice. My advice is you go through the entires series from 1 to 4 and if you have the chance to play the MSX games then go ahead! I mean do you expect understanding anything out of the series while jumping from 2 to 4 without playing 1 and 3? Impossible by just playing.

As I said, MGS2 was and still one of the greatest games ever made. MGS series? No series up to today even did half what it did in its genre, let alone topping it. I don’t care if someone decides to call me an MGS fanboy after what I said because all of what I said are facts. Good luck in your journey and have fun
 
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Yeah I don’t agree. MGS2 is one of the greatest games ever made and people shit on it just because they played with Raiden and not Snake. Honestly I can’t take your opinion seriously since you’re jumping around in the series and not playing it like how it is supposed to be played. Imagine skipping MGS1 and 3 and go from 2 to 4? Its like watching new Star Wars without watching the original trilogy🤷🏻‍♂️ Anyways, you’re doing yourself a massive disservice. My advice is you go through the entires series from 1 to 4 and if you have the chance to play the MSX games then go ahead! I mean do you expect understanding anything out of the series while jumping from 2 to 4 without playing 1 and 3? Impossible by just playing.

As I said, MGS2 was and still one of the greatest games ever made. MGS series? No series up to today even did half what it did in its genre, let alone topping it. I don’t care if someone decides to call me an MGS fanboy after what I said because all of what I said are facts. Good luck in your journey and have fun

As I stated in an earlier post, I have already played through all the games, in the order of release back when they were released. So, I know the whole story already. This is just more of me going back through and replaying the games.
I agree that Raiden did get a lot of flack and I understand why Kojima used him in MGS 2 as a new character to tell the story through, since Snake had grown and become a different more knowledgeable character since MGS 1. But, even Kojima doesn't really treat him that fairly, with everyone in the game making fun of him, keeping him in the dark on ulterior motives, and using him as a pawn in the greater game. To me, it just isn't as much fun playing as Raiden as it is playing as Snake; Solid, Naked, Old, or Venom.
 

Mista

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As I stated in an earlier post, I have already played through all the games, in the order of release back when they were released. So, I know the whole story already. This is just more of me going back through and replaying the games.
I agree that Raiden did get a lot of flack and I understand why Kojima used him in MGS 2 as a new character to tell the story through, since Snake had grown and become a different more knowledgeable character since MGS 1. But, even Kojima doesn't really treat him that fairly, with everyone in the game making fun of him, keeping him in the dark on ulterior motives, and using him as a pawn in the greater game. To me, it just isn't as much fun playing as Raiden as it is playing as Snake; Solid, Naked, Old, or Venom.
Of course it isn’t as fun as the snakes and even medic being a fake snake. But my point is it doesn’t make the game shit because of the main character honestly. People exaggerated in shitting on MGS2 just because of Raiden when its actually a superb game
 
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Of course it isn’t as fun as the snakes and even medic being a fake snake. But my point is it doesn’t make the game shit because of the main character honestly. People exaggerated in shitting on MGS2 just because of Raiden when its actually a superb game

I agree with you, and I don't think I was shitting on MGS 2 either, just looking at all the other MGS games as a collection 2 is lower on the list to me. It can't top MGS 1 or 3 (or even 5 maybe, but I look upon 5 differently right now and somewhat don't count it as a true MGS game).
MGS 2 has a lot of great ideas and qualities, and compared to many of the games on the market at that time, it was a huge leap above them all. But as I said earlier, when looking through the whole MGS collection 2 is one of the lower tier and it isn't just playing as Raiden that makes it that. The Plant chapter struts environments are extremely similar (remedied in MGS 3 with varying environments throughout), Boss battles are somewhat non-existent after battling Fat man (you do have Vamp & Solidus but that whole boss battle, level up, rinse repeat from MGS 1 is not there, and I think that is a detriment), and the cutscenes are fairly shallow with most of them switching the codec calls, even when they are in the same room.
MGS 2 is still a good and I recommend a play through, it just isn't as good as the others in the series (except maybe 4).
 
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The metal gear saga makes me so nostalgic. Makes me wanna go back to that time I could play all day and night. I remember playing MGS 2 and 3 on the ps2, all night long. I actually never finished 4. I finished peace walker cause it was on psp, since I could play on my commute. I love mgs v but the lack of the final chapter makes it an incomplete game in my eyes.
I would recommend every person the whole Solid saga. You can tell it wasnt a made by committee game. Kojima's vision is clear and its awesome.

Yeah, I agree with you. I remember playing MGS 2 and 3 (and even 1) all night long. By the time 4 rolled around I had grown up a little too much and couldn't play games all the time. The MGS games are fantastic and really stand out from the crowded game market.
 
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-Troid-

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Big MGS fan and funilly enough I started out playing Twin Snakes, because at the time I was a middle schooler and only had a gamecube. I thought it was a little awkward to control but liked the story and badass characters. MGSTS is still one of my favorite games in the series because it's just MGS with better controls and Graphics. After playing the original version (a while later) I can understand why some people don't like the cutscene changes in TS, but I still love the game regardless.

After playing TS I wanted to play MGS2, so I borrowed a friend's OG Xbox to play Substance. I didn't like it as much gameplay wise but dug the story going in a completely different/interesting direction.

Then a little later on I got a PS2 from my uncle and I finally got to play MGS3 Subsistence (and also MGS2 Substance again). MGS3 is hands down the best game in the series. A perfectly paced adventure with detail-oriented world/system mechanics, and story that both stands on its own and enhances the series overall.

Then a while later I played MGS4, and quite honestly I think its the worst MGS game. Only about 1/4 of it has gameplay and 1/3 of that gameplay is forced action sequences. This is frustrating because the game feels as liberating mechanics wise as MGS3, but the playground is way more limited. The story is also prone to information overload (even by Koji standards) and has some of the most ridiculous bullshit. If people have problems with Twin Snakes Cutscenes, idk how they can defend some of the stuff in MGS4. Not that I'm saying the ridiculousness is bad; I even like how they would eventually embrace it with MGR.

Peace Walker I bought a camo PSP just to play, and it became my favorite handheld joint since Metroid Fusion and Zero Mission on the GBA. Played through it entirely twice; such a good game gameplay wise despite its technical limitations. Unfortunately my PSP died for no reason, and despite being within warranty, Sony refused to honor it and wanted me to cough up significant cash to fix it; so RIP. I later got it again in the awesome HD collection.

MGS5 is weird because I feel it has the opposite problem of 4; it has too much gameplay, and not enough cutscenes/story (and listening to tapes gets boring real quick). I also wish it had brought back elements from MGS3 like stamina and eating animals instead of just using PW's psyche meter. It would've made the open world seem more worthwhile. Regardless it's still super fun to play.

Any way I think I would rank them:

1) MGS3
2) MGS/Twin Snakes
3) MGS2
4) MGSPW and MGS5
5) MGS4

Also Portable ops is kinda shit, but I guess it's cool it invented the recruitment system that PW would then make actually good in implementation.
 
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Big MGS fan and funilly enough I started out playing Twin Snakes, because at the time I was a middle schooler and only had a gamecube. I thought it was a little awkward to control but liked the story and badass characters. MGSTS is still one of my favorite games in the series because it's just MGS with better controls and Graphics. After playing the original version (a while later) I can understand why some people don't like the cutscene changes in TS, but I still love the game regardless.
Yeah, I played MGS Twin Snake when I got into collecting for Gamecube. I agree with the general sentiment that the cutscenes were worse than MGS1, but apparently that is per Kojima's orders. I couldn't really get over Liquid's front flip while balancing on a hand rail during one of his many casual expositions.

After playing TS I wanted to play MGS2, so I borrowed a friend's OG Xbox to play Substance. I didn't like it as much gameplay wise but dug the story going in a completely different/interesting direction.

Then a little later on I got a PS2 from my uncle and I finally got to play MGS3 Subsistence (and also MGS2 Substance again). MGS3 is hands down the best game in the series. A perfectly paced adventure with detail-oriented world/system mechanics, and story that both stands on its own and enhances the series overall.
The MGS 2 gameplay is great, especially if you come from MGS 1 over to MGS 2. MGS TS really has the MGS 2 engine within MGS 1, so I could see it not being as impactful. Story is pretty messy. MGS 3 really is the high water mark in the series along with MGS 1 in my opinion.

Then a while later I played MGS4, and quite honestly I think its the worst MGS game. Only about 1/4 of it has gameplay and 1/3 of that gameplay is forced action sequences. This is frustrating because the game feels as liberating mechanics wise as MGS3, but the playground is way more limited. The story is also prone to information overload (even by Koji standards) and has some of the most ridiculous bullshit. If people have problems with Twin Snakes Cutscenes, idk how they can defend some of the stuff in MGS4. Not that I'm saying the ridiculousness is bad; I even like how they would eventually embrace it with MGR.
Yeah, I am in the middle of MGS 4, and the gameplay is great, even after playing MGS 5 (but of course not as good as that one), but the sections are small and there is a lot of loading inbetween the chunks, sorta like Peace Walker. I heard that this was a limitation on PS3 with the amount of space in RAM they could load to, and had to break up the sections due to this.

Peace Walker I bought a camo PSP just to play, and it became my favorite handheld joint since Metroid Fusion and Zero Mission on the GBA. Played through it entirely twice; such a good game gameplay wise despite its technical limitations. Unfortunately my PSP died for no reason, and despite being within warranty, Sony refused to honor it and wanted me to cough up significant cash to fix it; so RIP. I later got it again in the awesome HD collection.

MGS5 is weird because I feel it has the opposite problem of 4; it has too much gameplay, and not enough cutscenes/story (and listening to tapes gets boring real quick). I also wish it had brought back elements from MGS3 like stamina and eating animals instead of just using PW's psyche meter. It would've made the open world seem more worthwhile. Regardless it's still super fun to play.

Also Portable ops is kinda shit, but I guess it's cool it invented the recruitment system that PW would then make actually good in implementation.
I have not actually completed MGS Peace Walker so I might take this opportunity while I am playing through this series to play that one as well. It is on the MGS Collection after all. MGS 5 is great gameplay wise, but I think I said in an earlier post it doesn't feel like a true MGS game. It doesn't really have all the staples that I come to expect, but it might be what was needed. Changing things up is a good thing in the end, and MGS 5 definetly stands on it's own. Like all the other MGS games. It really is a great series.
 
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I think Big Boss is much better than Solid Snake.

I like Solid Snake more overall. The shit Big Boss went through with Operation Snake Eater was brutal on a physical/mental level, but he eventually turned into a man who was revered by everyone, but rejected every thing and became destructive and deceptive to those around him; basically becoming as bad as the government he was betrayed by initially (evidenced indirectly in MGS5).

Snake went through his own ordeals in MG 1 and 2 (culminating in killing his war criminal father), and wanted to be left alone but was sucked back in to the shit with MGS. He got betrayed by collegues and the goverment but instead of becoming bitter he decided to fight against corruption in MGS2, all while being framed as a terrorist. He eventually inspired Raiden and others to his cause. In MGS4 everyone shits on him for being a relict both physically and metaphorically and it gets to him (wanting to kill himself) but he still pulls through and ends the global war economy.

Snake basically cleans up the shitty world Big Boss (and his peers) created but gets little for it in the end except for an early, but peaceful death, with his "memes" living on through Raiden.
 
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METAL GEAR SOLID 4

So I finished Metal Gear Solid 4, and the cutscenes are just as long and draining as I remembered. It starts out fine, control scheme is re worked and quite nice (even when coming back from MGS 5), and the story is a pretty cool setup. You are really playing in a distopian world with a heavy emphasis on proxy wars and the military industrial complex. Metal Gears have been mass produced and are more streamlined and versatile, and you get your very own gun launderer. If you run around playing the game as shooty mc shoot shoot, then the prices on guns increase, but if you setup the date and time to Sun, then 20% off baby!
I mostly played the game in a mix of stealth and killing everyone, as the only real penalty for shooting everyone is to have the guns increase. I don't think I have ever seen the implementation of not shooting your enemies done as well as in MGS 3 (which let's you drastically skip a boss fight towards the end). Playing the game this way was pretty fun. Usually I just start over anytime I am seen, but this time I would just go guns blazing. It made the game go much quicker for me. That and the fact that there is not that much game.
MGS 4 really is a TON of cutscenes. Some are cool, some are a lot of exposition, but there are a lot, and they are LONG! Also, the play areas are really small, which I read was due to how the PS3 handled RAM and how much it could store effected the play area before a new loading had to occur.
Still the game is fun, and the story is serviceable. This is not the best MGS game, nor is it really at the top for me, but again, compared to a lot of games on the market, it stands up really well. Great voice acting, good gameplay and mechanics, bat shit crazy story about nanomachines controlling everyone. Good stuff
 
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Terenty

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Kojima got bad rep because of MGS4. All the memes about him making movies instead of games is the aftermath of MGS4. And i agree it contains very little gameplay by Kojima's standards.
 
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Kojima got bad rep because of MGS4. All the memes about him making movies instead of games is the aftermath of MGS4. And i agree it contains very little gameplay by Kojima's standards.

Yeah, I could see all the bad rap on it. It was a pretty monumental game, seeing all the MGS 1 and 2 (and I guess 3) characters in HD for the first time was really crazy. Going back to Shadow Moses, etc. It really felt like a huge send off to the franchise, but at the end of it, I couldn't take the half hour long cutscenes. I really like playing as Snake, and not really just watching him.
 

Aion002

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Cool. I agree with you in parts about MGS2, but I liked a lot of stuff on it and the Snake Tales are really fun. MGS 1 is almost perfect, 3 is fine, I don't know.... I am Solid Snake fan.... and Big Boss is a jerk, so for me 3 and PW are just fine.

4 is amazing... Honestly, the cut cenes are long and the story is kinda great, dumb, weird and fun at the same time, However the gameplay is incredible and the online was so addictive to me.

V.... well, it's not Solid Snake.... and the story is terrible, but it has the best gameplay ever. The online is a notch down than 4 for me.... but still great.

Now... MGS VR missions, it's so good. No story, just gameplay, at the time, perfect:


 
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Don't think about MGS2's gameplay as copying a popular formula too much, besides it's not the dust Kojima does this, That MGS1 you love so much is actually a more criminal version of copying a formula as it's basically MG2:SS in 3D. At least with MGS2 there's a storyline reason for it which was groundbreaking at the time and also deserves credit from an artistic risk taking perspective.

It's a post modern masterpiece with a touching message about legacy & relevant themes to today's society about censorship & controlling information. It's philosophical brilliance & there's a bloody good game underneath too.