metal gear solid

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

First Hour Review

Metal Gear Solid 4 CoverI’ve always enjoyed the crazy and convoluted stories of the Metal Gear Solid series, even when the controls seem to be fighting against me instead of cooperating. I’ve played the series on the PS1, PS2, GameCube, and Xbox, and with every release both the story and controls become more complex. So in some ways I’m very excited to finally be able to play Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, but at the same time I’m leery that it’s going to be a mess of bad aiming and Snake behaving badly.

Released over four years ago(!), Metal Gear Solid 4 puts us back in Solid Snake’s shoes in a war-torn future where armies for hire are the norm. It’s a disturbing vision, but if anyone can sell it, it’s Hideo Kojima and his team at Konami.

The game has sold very well and was a major critical darling. Heck, one of our very own writers gave it a 10/10 a few years back. Needless to say, this has been on my to-play list for many years. Here’s hoping the first hour lives up to my hype.

2010 Prediction Results

Editorial

god of war 3 CoverOn the first of the year, the writers here presented their predictions for 2010 in the video game industry. It was our first attempt at anything like this, and since we're primarily gamers first, writers second, and industry experts in a distant last, this was definitely more of an exercise in fun forecasting than put-your-money-down-now predictions.

Well, we can't let bad predictions go forgotten and made fun of, so here we are again. We'll quickly cover what went randomly right and what went horribly wrong, but then we'll be back again on Friday for our fourth annual Game of the Year Awards.

Fanboy Fantasies - Capcom vs. The World

Editorial

Marvel vs Capcom 3 art Iron man ryu Morrigan Wolverine HulkFanboy is a column about gaming what-ifs, hopes, dreams, and the inevitable realization that we will probably never get what we want.  But it’s always fun to speculate!

In April, Capcom shocked the world by announcing the sequel we all wanted but never thought we’d see: Marvel vs. Capcom 3.  The Vs. Capcom series is always filled with surprises: another recent one is releasing Tatsunoko vs. Capcom in the America, which many thought would be a licensing nightmare.  Capcom has crossed paths and punches with four companies: comic book titan Marvel, legendary Japanese animation studio Tatsunoko, fighting game rival SNK, and even Namco in a Japanese-only RPG.  But what other companies should Capcom square off against?  Here are five that I’d like to see.  Keep in mind, I hope for all of these to be fighting games (sorry Namco x Capcom).

A Tale of Two Days - E3 2010 Press Conference Recap

Editorial

e3 LogoThe question at the beginning of E3 always seems to be, "Who's going to win this year?" The gaming community eagerly watches the big press conferences for showstopping announcements and game demonstrations, looking to see which company will have the edge for the next twelve months. E3 2010 featured five big press conferences in its first two days: Microsoft, EA, and Ubisoft on Monday, and Nintendo and Sony on Tuesday. So much has happened in the past 48 hours that I think it's important to take a moment and recap each company's showing. I've definitely missed a few announcements and details in this quick-and-dirty summary, but I think I hit all the major points.

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

Full Review

Metal Gear Solid 4 CoverMetal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots is the final chapter of the Metal Gear saga (kind of).  It seeks to wrap up the complicated plots from the previous three games, which up to this point seem to be fairly divergent.  It also seeks to perfect the gameplay and presentation for which Kojima-san and his Metal Gear Solid games have become famous.

It is also the first game in the series on the PlayStation 3, and it uses this hardware to be one of the best looking games ever.  The MGS series has always used the in-game graphics engine to render its cutscenes to prevent a jarring disconnect between graphic styles, and this is the first time it works perfectly.  The in-game character models look good enough that you can't complain a bit.  The facial animations and lip-syncing is increbible.  The game is, in a word, stunning.

So we know the game looks good, we can tell that from screenshots and trailers  Is it good?  Is it fun?  Is it worth buying?  For those of you with short attention spans, the answer is yes.  For everyone else, read on.

The Famitsu 40/40 List: A Review

Editorial

Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker CoverOver the last 24 years, popular Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu has awarded 14 perfect scores.  For Famitsu magazine, a game review's final score is actually two to four total scores assigned by a collection of reviewers.  Technically, there's no such thing as a 40/40 score, but four 10/10's.  But gamers love numbers, and we love comparing one game's numbers to another game's numbers, so the 40/40 perfect score list is a great way for fanboys to scoff or gyrate in anticipation.

Outside of the country, Famitsu is the ultimate barometer of what Japan thinks of a particular game.  Famitsu scores are thrown about in headlines and rattled around in forum discussions, but you almost never hear why a score was awarded one number instead of the next.  This is undoubtedly because of the language barrier between Japan and the rest of the world, but also because numbers are easy for everyone to understand and the fact that Famitsu editors give their reviewers about 100 characters to explain what they thought about a game.

While I'm not personally a big fan of a game review's score (I'd much rather read the why and how), the Famitsu perfect score list is an intriguing specimen.  The eighth game in two years just garnered the spotlight: Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, but let's start at the beginning.

The Most Cinematic Moments in Gaming History

Gaming Nostalgia
Metal Gear Solid 4/metal Gear Solid 4 Cover

You know the scenes I'm talking about. These are the kind of scenes that you have a save file just moments before so you can replay them over and over. These are the scenes you invite your friends over to see so you can show off your system in all its technical glory; the scenes that surpass mere nostalgia and still to this day retain legendary status in the gaming community. These are some of my favorite impacting scenes in gaming history. What are yours?

Spoilers inside.

2010 Predictions

Editorial
Final Fantasy 13/final Fantasy 13 Cover

Going to try something new this year, we're going to make some completely wild predictions that may have little base in reality. I think they're pretty self-explanatory, and hopefully at the end of the year I'll remember we did this and we can have a good laugh at how wrong we were (or be shocked at how right).

So while these are guaranteed to be wrong, they are my current feelings about the industry from hopefully a non-biased gamer's point of view. Well, non-biased until it comes to BioWare games that is.

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater

First Hour Review

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater CoverMetal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater is a third-person stealth action game for the PlayStation 2. Though it is the third game in the Solid series, Snake Eater serves as the prequel to the entire Metal Gear series. Released in 2004, the game drops the original Snake in the middle of a dense Soviet Union jungle during the height of the Cold War. Political tensions are high and the game holds nothing back in terms of cut scenes. Heck, the version I own includes a disc with over three hours of cut scenes edited together to make the Metal Gear Solid 3 movie. This is a common complaint thrown against the series, though many fans enjoy their dramatic and over-the-top directing. But how will they affect the game's first hour? Now that is a question we are about to answer.

I'll be playing the Subsistence version of the game, a re-released enhanced version of Snake Eater. The only difference that I know of that will affect this first hour is the much improved camera. Let's get to the first hour of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (Subsistence).

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