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.

Q1 of 2013 Is Going To Make It Feel Like Christmas Again

One of the best parts about the holiday season is the release of new games.  From Halo to Call of Duty and through the gauntlet of other adventure games like Assassin’s Creed and Hitman we are usually spoiled with a treasure trove of games to sink our free time into.  Typically, you will see a dramatic slowdown in the summertime because most people are on vacation or outside getting in shape for the beach (PS – You should be starting that now).

The second best time of the year for gamers is March.  March is the typical month where you will find that games have been pushed to in order to avoid competing with big-money/big-name titles like the Call of Duties of the world.  This year we have quite a few games coming out that should prove to excite almost every genre of gamer from late January through March.

company-of-heroes-2_pc_coverThe first game we have to look forward to is Company of Heroes 2.  CoH2 is continuing the franchise that puts real-time strategy into World War 2.  Real-time strategy is a simple concept that can (and does) get rather involved as you get further into the
game.  The general way of looking at this is from the base understanding that you are a commander telling troops where to go and what to do rather than just pointing and shooting.  Company of Heroes is a great game for anyone that is a fan of WW2 history or simply a fan of RTS games.  This game is for the PC, so be sure that you take a look into the system requirements before jumping into this title. If you need a game that will give you the ability to play online against others or simply go against the CPU and try to work on your decision-making and strategic abilities you will get that and more with Company of Heroes 2.

The best part about strategic games is that they aren’t always some sort of battlefield commander genre.  One of the best franchises ever has a new direction coming this February in Metal Gear Solid Rising: Revengeance.  Revengeance is taking the Metal Gear franchise in a new direction with an old face for fans of the series.  Raiden made his presence known in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty.  The downfall to this was that many fans (especially American fans) of the series were let down that Solid Snake was only present for the first part of the game before making a cameo in Raiden’s portion of 250px-Metal_Gear_Rising_Revengeance_CoverMGS2.

Why was Raiden disliked by American gamers?  He was designed as a long-haired blonde twenty-something (already sounds a bit feminine, right?).  Not to mention the fact that he didn’t have much of a personality.  Even Solid Snake (the ultimate non-emotional ‘Mr. Mission’) had something more to him than Raiden’s almost whiny persona.

That all changed in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns 0f the Patriots where Raiden came back as a cyborg ninja that resembled Grey Fox from the first MGS game.  Raiden suddenly became a character that people wanted to utilize and get to know.  He developed some sword play in MGS 2 but MGS 4 took it to new heights and now that he is the featured protagonist in MGS Rising: Revengeance – you know more people will want to check this game out.

Now that we are getting closer to March at this point – why not focus on the most anticipated title of 2013 – Grand Theft Auto 5.

GTAV is going to blow the minds of gamers everywhere when it releases (or rather – if it still releases) in March should break almost every sales record.  This is going to continue the trend for free-roaming violence with a decent storyline for people itching to get out and enjoy the chaos brought on by warmer weather.  If this game is delayed yet again, you should expect it to release in May.  This would simply continue the same trend that other Rockstar games have created over the last few years – namely Red Dead Redemption and L.A. Noire.

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)