Kept You Waiting, Huh? – Metal Gear Solid 5 (MGSV) And What Could Have Been

It has been awhile since NoobTubeTV has given the world a piece of its somewhat unique views in the gaming world.  I know you have missed my sardonic presence – and I have missed your views and comments.

The newest and (final?) iteration of the Metal Gear universe has been out for nearly a month and it has proven to be everything I had hoped for from the gameplay perspective shown in the MGS5 Prequel Ground Zeroes.  We will start with the positives and the gaming gods know there are tons of them.  This game handles as well as any third-person title I have ever played and the presentation that comes with it somehow makes it feel like I am taking an active role in a movie throughout.

Here's to you Solid Snake.  The real protagonist of Metal Gear.
Here’s to you Solid Snake. The real protagonist of Metal Gear.

There are a few instances when you might get frustrated with the handling – climbing over seemingly non-existent rocks/hills/rises around the open worlds of Afghanistan and Africa.  It makes you roll your eyes when Snake/Boss/You/Whoever can’t run over and through a small area but can climb cracks in walls with the ease of Spiderman.  Similarly, you might encounter a few times where aiming your weapons at a target doesn’t account for some sort of rigid tent pole or the like (again, an eye roll… nothing to break a controller over).

While playing through the first twenty missions or so I started to find myself hoping to meet all sorts of characters as the story unfolded.  Some of the characters and reveals you come across are enough to make you use your inner-Keanu Reeves and say ‘Whoa’.  Then you keep playing through the game and it is like you are experiencing the first part of Kojima’s master symphony.  Then just as the crescendo begins to build in volume and you start marking this game down mentally as the greatest gaming story/epic of our time – it starts to fade from a master symphony and into Rick Astley’s Never Gonna Give You Up.

We have been Rick Rolled in the worst of ways by a gaming master director and his estranged publisher (Konami).

I felt like Dr. Grant and the Jurassic Park crew when they go on their sitting tour of the laboratories and they resort to breaking the bar over the seats and going to the lab anyway.  I felt like that… except the bar was not going to move and Kojima and Co. were riding away in a black SUV and counting my money.

I am trying my best not to spoil anything for you if you haven’t played the game all the way through (whatever that means…).

Okay.  I won’t spoil any plot points for you, but you should know that this game is built in such a way from a story perspective that you will pick and choose missions as you go through and there will be cassettes unlocked as you beat each mission, etc.  These aren’t some sort of optional cassettes though.  For those of you that complained about the MGS4 pointless video sequences – this is how Kojima tried to make you happy… and I hate you for it.

I put far more time into MGS5 than I probably should have over the last month or so and I must say I wish I had about half of it back.  When I play a game that starts with Chapter 1 I don’t expect Chapter 2 to be the last chapter of the game.  Yes, I am serious – Chapter 2… is the final chapter of this game.  Even Shakespeare and basically every other play/movie has three acts.  Not only does this game leave a sour taste in my mouth, it locks me in a room with a lackluster online multiplayer and no toothbrush.

The end of this game is such that you will be left disappointed and pissed off like Mass Effect 3 left many die hard fans.  Unless you are a Kojima apologist (like the Mass Effect groupies) that think everything about this is perfect and is a fine way to end a great story.

The only problem with the apologist point of view is that you have effectively done nothing meaningful to the story of Metal Gear by the time you have finished the main farce story.  I wanted this game to keep on being what it seemed like it would be as I saw a couple key characters in much younger forms.  It was almost like playing through a prequel of the Harry Potter stories as Lord Voldemort and just as you are getting your army of deatheaters together and prepping to Avada Kedavra everyone – the story is scrapped and the credits run.

At least I can still finish The Witcher 3 and look forward to Fallout 4.  Metal Gear Solid 5 went from being the best game ever to being maybe a Top 5 game of 2015.

If you are a die hard Metal Gear fan like my brother and I you should still buy this game and play it.  Otherwise, just stick to playing MGS4 over and over again on your PS3 and enjoy what should have been the final chapter of MGS.

Kojima-san, I would have rather kept on waiting.

Metal Gear Solid 5 Confirmed – Was There A Brief Sign In MGS 4?

It is one thing to grab onto a rumor and let it throw you around like a cat on a ceiling fanIt is another story altogether when the developer/director confirms the news.  Kojima has always been great at marketing his games and putting the pressure on himself and his game designers to make every Metal Gear title the best it can be.  It was after hearing this that speculation started jumping around the collective head of NoobTubeTV and the rest of the Metal Gear fanverse.

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is slated to come out at the end of 2012.  If you couple the return of Raiden (a badass bionic ninja) in the upcoming game with the fact that Metal Gear Solid 4 was Solid Snake’s ‘Final Mission’ you would think that the series would be meeting its end. Then again… this is Kojima’s story about Nanomachines and Cloning we are talking about!

Without trying to spoil anything for those that have yet to play Metal Gear Solid 4 (or any of the other MGS Titles) –

There is a cinematic scene in Act 2 where Snake is interacting with Naomi Hunter (the original scientist that injected Snake with Nanomachines “Foxdie” in the first MGS title).  As you can see from MGS to MGS2 and then finally MGS4, Solid Snake has aged like Mel Gibson in Forever Young.  This is the entire meta-story of MGS4 in a nutshell and it really seems to be the beginning of MGS5.

Dr. Naomi Hunter – The Queen of Jacking with DNA and Nanomachines… Do we have her to thank for MGS 5?

During this cinematic scene, Naomi takes a reading of Snake’s cellular structure and DNA.  In the process you can see her screen and it reads “Copying Solid Snake”.

While this seems like a crazy thing to grab onto as the basis for the next MGS game, you should take stock of all the hints and fun bits Kojima has included in past MGS titles.

The next step is for Kojima to give a projected release table… and he hasn’t.

This leaves two possibilities:

1 – Metal Gear Solid 5 will be among the final games developed for the XBox 360 and Playstation 3 generation of consoles.

OR

2 – Metal Gear Solid 5 will be among the first games developed for the next generation of consoles and could once again be a Playstation exclusive title in order to push sales of new consoles when they are announced.

Either way it goes there is some joy to be had in the Metal Gear fan community.  However, this does beg the questions –

If Snake is cloned again… what will he be like?

What will his name be?  (Solid and Liquid are taken… Gas Snake seems a little stinky)

How will the other characters develop? (Don’t forget about Sunny! She looks like a big part of the future of Metal Gear)

 

E3 Recap – Games To Keep An Eye On and Games To Give The Stink Eye

It was a great week for game fans of all ages last week, but that doesn’t mean that some announcements didn’t disappoint us.

There are some games that have great demos out there right now and there are also some games that shouldn’t have demos (because they are that terrible).

Keep and Eye On:

Spec Ops: The Line (Respawn Entertainment/2K) – This game plays smoothly and feels like a modern military version of Gears of War (executions and all).  In playing the demo there is something left to be desired from gameplay that seems slightly uninspired.  There isn’t a lot of holding your breath in worry that an army of baddies is coming to put you down.  However, the multiplayer gameplay looks like it could prove to be enjoyable, if not at least something different from Call of Duty’s first person syndication every year.

 

 

Madden 13 (EA Sports) – Finally, Madden has come out of the E3 gates with something to talk about other than their yearly subjective roster update.  Real-time physics, connected careers and a new XP system of progressing your players in career modes is a breath of fresh air that every football gaming fan will appreciate.  There are some tuning issues they are still working on for much of connected careers (which is to be expected); but hopefully they can use the next month or so before the game goes ‘gold’ to fix these things.  Don’t expect perfection off the bat, but you should expect some new joy in how Madden actually plays this year.

 

 

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (Konami) – Finally, something playable was present at E3 and did it ever live up to the hopes and dreams of Metal Gear fans!  Raiden was a character that upset many of the Metal Gear ‘purists’ (elitists…myself included) but when Kojima decided to make Raiden into an awesome Cyborg Ninja from Hell in Metal Gear Solid 4?… I was convinced that Raiden was cool enough to be a desireable character.  At this point, MGSRR is looking more and more like Ninja Gaiden put into the shoes of Metal Gear and it looks amazing.

 

 

Hitman: Absolution (Square Enix) – One of the favorites to make people gush over the wonders of Agent 47’s ability to silently make enemies hunker down in fear.  This is proving to be a game that you should be very excited about.  The gameplay is solid and the story of Agent 47 is usually an intriguing one.  Let’s face it, Hitman is a game that really has its set of fanatics and then the rest of the gamers that want to get their fill of digital violence.  The beauty of Absolution is that it seems to have a better feel and look than Blood Money.  There is a fine line for the Hitman series to walk right now but it is avoiding our list of stink eye games… for now.

Give the Stink Eye To:

NCAA Football 13 (EA Sports) – Talk about giving a game a fresh coat of paint and sending it out for the user to beta test.  NCAA Football 12 was decent, but with major flaws on release day that weren’t patched for over a month and a half (player tendencies after re-naming rosters, etc.).  NCAA Football 13 changed throwing trajectories but didn’t implement real-time physics like Madden 13.  They have the same button schemes this year, but after that similarity NCAA falls to the field with a thud.  The menu interface hasn’t changed and the game doesn’t seem to look different at all.  The demo is out there for you to give it a try – but it could be a 1GB file you regret downloading in the first place.

 

 

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 (Treyarch/Activision) – This series has been played out.  The fact that they are going to the year 2025 isn’t as impressive as some people want to make it out to be.  Not to mention the fact that they are ‘bringing back’ zombie mode.  What is going to be different from Black Ops or even Modern Warfare 3?  Nothing really.

You already know what to expect if you are a COD fan and that can be a good thing if you love COD games.  Black Ops 2 is like the third Transformers movie at this point –

All of the explosions, the hot girl that replaces another hot girl (albeit, with an accent) and our typical schlubs ‘heroes’ to save the world from bad foreigners (Insert xenophobia here) and you have yourself a “Brand New” Call of Duty Game.

Halo 4 (343/Microsoft) – Did you know that another Halo game was coming out?  Of course you did.   What better way to milk this cash cow of a franchise than to continue the saga of Master Chief from a ‘whole new perspective’?

Much like Call of Duty and even Gears of War, Halo 4 is a game that has many people excited because they worship the Halo universe and think Master Chief is the greatest thing since sliced bread.  Say what you want about the books and everything else… if you love Halo you will buy this game.  After that what is there?  One of the ‘features’ listed for this game on Amazon is telling –

The Master Chief returns to battle an ancient evil bent on vengeance and annihilation. Humanity and the universe will never be the same again.”

If you pay attention to the last sentence of their description, it is one of the most hilarious marketing ploys ever.  Consider what has happened over the course of Halo, Halo 2 and then Halo 3.  Then consider what happened with Halo 3: ODST and then the prequel Halo: Reach.  It is something of a guess, but after 5 games that gave us a great trilogy a prequel and even the perspective of a different soldier (ODST) there isn’t much more to care about is there?

It is always a funny argument to hear when a Halo fanboy and a Call of Duty fanboy come into a game store or game department… or God forbid – forums.  Both sides love to present their game as being superior in some way shape or form.  However, in the end they are both arguing over something that they both share in… being duped into buying the same game every year or two.

Gears of War: Judgement (Epic/Microsoft) – Say what you want about the story of Gears of War, it was original and the voice acting was impressive all the way through.  However, the latest announcement is bringing up the same old argument we just made about Halo and Call of Duty.  The most insulting thing you can do to a gamer is try and squeeze out more money for a prequel.  George Lucas was able to fool some people into thinking the new Star Wars prequel trilogy would be worth the excitement.  However, in the end… people still prefer to go back and watch the movies that are now nearing 40 years in age.

This announcement of a new Gears of War game is exciting for people that enjoy the Gears story and gameplay.  Unfortunately, outside of that group of people there are many other gamers that would prefer to see something original come out and blow our minds.  Maybe this is the last Epic game that will grace the 360 before they move on and develop a new series for the XBox 720.  We can only hope that this game is a final conclusion… or pre-clusion?