Gaming Change of Heart - Metal Gear Solid
  • POSTED BY Joel Castro on Apr 15, 2016

    So, I’m introducing a new series I thought of doing for a while. It goes a little something like this: take a game you’ve had a sour opinion on, replay it with a different perspective, and see whether or not you end up enjoying it. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but sometimes it’s best to just explain your reasons.

    Most recently, I had a chance to retry the Metal Gear Solid franchise all over again. As you may know from this forum, I called the series overrated at first. I thought the story was over-complicated, the controls were clunky, and its attempts at self-awareness sophomoric and ill-informed. In other words, I wasn’t too fond of it for a while, going on numerous forums and expressing my constant disappointment in the series. However, something about the series kept calling to me. It was this nagging sensation I couldn’t shake off that I probably missed something along the way. I started giving the series another chance after watching a series of critical analysis videos on the series by a YouTuber named Super Bunnyhop (whom you should totally check out because he’s very intelligent). To my surprise, I ended up enjoying the games. But not for all the same reasons everyone else did.

    You see, where everyone sees Snake as this awesome badass stealth hero, I ended up seeing him the way Kojima intended: a tortured war veteran who’s kind of a dick to others and only does his job because it’s what he’s good at. With that perspective, somehow the themes made sense, especially its anti-war messages and the overall them of figuring out your own identity that pervades the second game (which is my personal favorite of the series…I’m serious about that). It also allowed for me to look at the other characters in a different light as well, especially those in MGS2 and 3. It made everything work itself out. Well…almost everything, considering the more fantastical elements of the series.

    And that’s another thing: I completely forgot Magical Realism was a thing. For those who aren’t aware, it’s a literary genre that is often (broadly) defined by having fantastical, mythical, or even magical elements exist in a realistic setting without anyone giving it a second thought. It goes a lot deeper than that, especially in its overarching theme, but if you look of the characteristics of the genre, you’ll find that Metal Gear Solid fits that genre almost to a T. With that context, I learned to just accept that this was a reality where weird things happened, and just observed the subtext of each bit of weirdness that came about. And you know what? It made the experience a million times better, as I grew to better understand the characters and themes.

    However, going back to the gameplay…well, at least the first two games can be somewhat forgiven due to the era in which they were made. One was on the PS1, whose games haven’t all aged the best in terms of 3D movement controls, on top of its backwards difficulty curve. The second simply a continuation of that same style of gameplay with a few tweaks to make it smoother while still following the template set by the first. From Snake Eater on, the gameplay is actually pretty engaging and allows for an insane amount of ways to sneak you way through compounds and other various encounters. As awkward as it can be, once you learn what to do, you actually start ignoring whatever bothered you about it in the first place. It’s one of those series whose clunkiness becomes a moot point after a few hours of mastery.

    So, yeah. I may not think its the absolute pinnacle of video gaming in general, but I’ve softened my stance a lot. It’s a game series I like now, and I’m planning on going through the games once again to encounter everything once again with a fresh perspective in mind.

    But I wanna ask you: has this ever happened to you? Have you ever looked at a game you disliked with a new perspective that ended in you liking it?

    POSTED BY elheber on Apr 16, 2016

    I also tried and gave up on the original MGS and want to give it another shot. Where should I get the game? Is there a remastered version I should play?

    Hmm. I don’t think I’ve ever given any game a second chance that changed my mind about it. There are a lot of games I want to give a second chance to; games like the original RE, Super Mario Sunshine, ICO and more… but I live in a world of too many good new games and not enough time. It’s hard to justify going back when this game buffet is so stacked.

    "A closet intellectual, he acts dumb to impress women."

    "A closet intellectual, he acts dumb to impress women."

    POSTED BY Joel Castro on Apr 16, 2016

    The best way to get it now is to obtain The Legacy Collection on PS3. It includes the first game, remastered versions of 2, 3, and Peace Walker, as well as MGS 4. I also believe they also include the international versions of some of them, as well as the more obscure titles in the series. As for Metal Gear Solid 5, you gotta buy it separately (Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain).

    POSTED BY elheber on Apr 16, 2016

    I gave away my PS3. I might be out of luck on this one.

    "A closet intellectual, he acts dumb to impress women."

    "A closet intellectual, he acts dumb to impress women."

    POSTED BY Joel Castro on Apr 16, 2016

    If you have a 360, you can get the Hd Collection, but it only has 2, 3, and Peace Walker. MGS 4 is PS3 exclusive, and as for the first game…either the original PS1 version or the Gamecube remake called Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes.

    POSTED BY xsuicidesn0wmanx on Apr 16, 2016

    I was actually a pretty big fan of MGS 1 & 2, and 2 is also my favorite so far. I think for me I had already beaten 1 & 2 a total of at least 5 or 6 times, so MGS got old by the time part 3 came out. Ever since though, MGS is just lower on my list of ‘must play’ titles, so I haven’t been able to get back into the series. I’ll get a new PS3 soon though so I can play MGS4  before I go finally dive into MGS5.

    You're all zombie thigh-fat people brought into animation by some evil force of forceful evil!!! - Happy Noodle Boy.

    You're all zombie thigh-fat people brought into animation by some evil force of forceful evil!!! - Happy Noodle Boy.
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