Metal Gear Solid V – The Final Theory

MGS V – SPOILERS AHEAD!  YOU’VE BEEN WARNED!!!

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The next Colonel?

After my last article about getting over what seems to be a terrible ending to a game that we have put far too much thought into I started to look away from Metal Gear Solid V – The Phantom Pain and back towards Ground Zeroes.  I have come to realize a couple things about these games and how we are looking at them from the wrong perspective (figuratively and maybe even literally).

Bear with me on this ride, it might get a bit silly as far as theories go.
There Are Three Chapters to MGS V
Ground Zeroes, Chapter 1 and Chapter 2
are all a part of the story we have played through, assuming we played both pieces of software.
That said, if you look at the story and think about them as a stand-alone multi-disc game you will see that they are certainly a complete story in many regards.  They aren’t a great story in any sense, but it is also the nature of the beast with games anymore.  Now that we have seen the fallout of Konami/Kojima, I am sure there was a lot left out as well.  Regardless, it doesn’t take away from the fact that if you look at both games you can see that it really is a rather full story in most cases.
The Deep Theory
Naked Snake- AKA, Big Boss was never a part of MGS V – Ground Zeroes.
I have come to look at the story as a whole in a new light.  I believe we have all been lied to since the beginning of MGS V (Ground Zeroes).  It is my theory that Big Boss was never present in either game.  Venom Snake (AKA ‘Boss’ in MGS V – GZ & TPP) was set up from the beginning to undertake what turned out to be a strange mission of vengeance against a faceless enemy.
This rings of all sorts of metaphors and such if you let your mind wander down the ‘rabbit hole’. or maybe it’s a snake hole?
Ground Zeroes Observations and Points
From the beginning we have an eye patch (much like Snake in MGS 3 – Snake Eater).  We also have two functioning arms, as far as we can tell.  The intro sees Skullface interacting with Chico and Paz in Cuba as prisoners/torture victims.  Snake goes on to rescue both of them and evacuate on a chopper.
A few things to note –
+ We are on good terms with Huey.
+ Skullface seemingly appears out of the blue as far as storylines go.  They say he secretly commanded for Cipher and such, and that is likely true.  However, it doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense for Big Boss to have any beef with the guy.
+ Chico and Paz both react strangely to Snake rescuing them.  They almost don’t fully believe it is him – sounds quite similar to what happens later, no?
+ The entire mission and aftermath of the destroyed Mother Base, etc. seems manufactured to me.  Afterall, Big Boss is supposed to be building a nation in Africa, not the ocean.
Ground Zeroes Theory(ies)
I believe a few things about Ground Zeroes that will make sense of the entire MGS V experience.  The first is that from the beginning Big Boss was never under our control.  I believe Venom Snake was being brainwashed and sent on this mission from the beginning.  He wasn’t a medic on a chopper protecting Snake from some explosion on the platform.  He was in the chopper with Miller on a mission that was supposed to play a part in him being tested as the doppelganger for Big Boss.  We have always been Venom Snake as far as MGS V goes. V isn’t 5 in this case, it is V for Venom Snake.  Roman numerals were never used for the other MGS games and I believe there is a good reason for that.
GZ – Off the beaten path Theory – There are a few other things that happen in Ground Zeroes that make me question everything as well.  The Déjà vu mission is both a flashback for us, but also a strange flash forward for Venom Snake in the supposed time of MGS V (around the early 1980s).  This makes me wonder if the snake hole is even deeper than we thought.
Maybe this is all a weird experience within a strange AI.  Maybe none of this is happening, from GZ through TPP.  It would make sense for this to be a total mindf**k if Kojima wanted it to be.  If you played through MGS through MGS 4 you can see that nanomachines and mind altering have been integral within the entire experience.  Maybe we are simply experiencing the created memories given to a clone of Big Boss?

The Phantom Pain Theory –
        Every other complete Metal Gear Solid game (1, 2, 3, Peacewalker and 4) has had numerous boss fights and interactions.  In TPP we also have boss fights, but they aren’t set up to feel that way.
        We have to fight Quiet, Eli, The Man on Fire and Sahelanthropus (on a couple occasions).  I think a lot of what we experience in this game as far as feeling like something was missing is when we consider two characters that we never really fight – Skullface and Psycho Mantis.

These aren’t important interactions in the sense of the overall story. I believe Kojima made these all rather forgetable because this isn’t meant to be a Big Boss story or Solid Snake… it’s Phantom story… a ghost story. It is supposed to blow away like ashes.

Also… nuclear disarmament and Peace (The elusive Chapter 3) will never happen. Why? Because if they happen there is no MGS – MGS 4. Sure they reference the tech being there in the future… but it is a losing battle.

Ocelot Protects The Man He Will Become. Eli (Liquid Snake) –
There was so much potential for holes to develop in the story that I believe Kojima was brilliant in this way.  Ocelot didn’t seem like the Ocelot we have known in every other MGS title.  Every other title has him acting incredibly arrogant and sometimes even foolishly.  He is so even-keeled in MGS V – TPP (Keep in mind, he isn’t to be seen or heard from in GZ.?) that it makes me wonder if he is on Xanax.
        The only time Ocelot really shows his true colors is in the torture room. interesting.  Considering the game ends with a discussion between the two men about the future roles of David (Solid Snake) and Eli (Liquid Snake) in the fight for dominance as the real ‘Big Boss’.  I think the real reveal is yet to be known. I believe there is something bigger on the horizon and it involves Solid Snake.

Kojima’s Good Bye To Metal Gear –
More than anything else with the Metal Gear Story from Snake Eater through Metal Gear Solid 4 as far as literal story timeline goes – Kojima has completed the circle/spiral.  He started it all back in the Early-Mid 80s and then MGS grabbed us and put us on this wild ride.  It is my belief that Kojima wanted to finish any of the holes in his timeline.  I believe TPP was an effort to if not explain every detail maybe fill the gaps with something. anything.  He had referenced on many occasions a wish to move on from Metal Gear.  As selfish as I am for more Metal Gear from Kojima, I also understand how much it sucks to work on the same thing for a long time. let alone being an artist that has to work on the same art for decades.  It sounds dreadful when you think of it that way. does it not?

Final Theory –
Metal Gear Will Go On And David Hayter Will Return As Snake
This might be more of a hope than a theory.  However, there is something to consider with all of the Metal Gear Solid Storyline finished through MGS 4.  Solid Snake is still living at the end of MGS 4. and Big Boss has made it to be alongside his clone as well. 
Metal Gear as a series is now owned by Konami without the presence of Kojima. 
It is my belief that Solid Snake has been cloned and they will find a way to develop a way for him to go on fighting with Hal by his side in the future.  Before The Phantom Pain was announced, I posed a theory as to whether or not there would be another MGS game after MGS4 (see here).
I believe we will see Solid Snake once again and it will end up being around the year 2032-2040.  This is because I believe Naomi took Solid Snake’s DNA (while probably possessing that of Big Boss and perhaps even Liquid Snake/Ocelot) midway through MGS 4.  She seemed to be full of so much regret for having taken part in what turned out to be the brief life of Solid Snake that I think she wanted a chance to for lack of a better phrase – pay it forward.
Solid Snake isn’t dead by the time MGS 4 rolls credits, and Hal is still alive and kicking with Meryl, Johnny and Sunny.  It is my hope that we will see Meryl become the new Colonel and Solid Snake’s clone enter the future world of stealth espionage when he reaches the age necessary to learn the skills that are waiting in his DNA.

Metal Gear Solid 5 And The Nuclear Quest(ion)

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After beating the known storylines in Metal Gear Solid 5 there are still so many small things to do and accomplish as far as side-ops and further development go.  The biggest sticking point for many MGS players is the building/disarming of nuclear weapons in the FOB Resource section of their game.

I have yet to develop a nuke on my own to this point, but that didn’t keep me from reaching 150,000+ Heroism (unlocking the Hero Trophy and therefore making it possible to infiltrate other FOBs that already developed or stole a nuke for their own base).  After breaking into the rival FOB last night and stealing their nuke while completing my infiltration I realized a couple things about my status when in possession of a nuke in MGS 5 – I am a huge target when I have a nuke.  Now that this game has been out for nearly two months and gamers have been pouring over the details after completing the storyline there are really only two things left to accomplish.

  1. Develop A Nuke/Disarm A Nuke
  2. Develop the remaining items for Venom Snake (I refuse to call our character Big Boss) and the Buddys

This is where the entire basis of the FOB started to make me think that it really becomes meaningless after you have developed every item (including a nuke).

By the time most MGS gamers have earned enough heroism to break into an FOB and steal a nuke they won’t have any reason to break into a non-nuclear FOB.  This means that having a nuke isn’t so much a deterrent as it is an invitation to have your FOB jacked with constantly (as long as you possess a nuke that is).  The only reason I have been bothering to break into rival FOBs is to steal their minor metal and fuel resources… why?  To develop a nuke, get the trophy and dismantle it.

Why dismantle it?  Because if someone has played the game enough and is able to break into FOBs – your nuke is as good as gone and your resources have been wasted as a false deterrent.  Also, there is no actual use for the nuke other than making it impossible for non-hero rated gamers to raid your FOB.  Again, if you have all your weapons developed and have already developed/disarmed a nuke – who cares if someone breaks in and steals the resources you are basically done with?

It would be different if you could use your nuke against someone that has been trolling your FOB (I’m looking at you Crimson157).  If we were able to unleash our nuke and totally destroy another user’s FOB this game would become total anarchy and probably lose even more gamers to the coming nuclear aftermath of Fallout 4.

So, to answer the nuclear question as far as MGS 5 goes – Develop and dismantle a nuke to get the trophy.  Then focus on developing the rest of your FOB, weapons and such.  After that, you can basically focus on trolling the CPU in single player and wasting more time with Metal Gear Online.

Speaking for myself – I plan on getting every trophy for this game and setting it aside for Fallout 4.  It really is too bad that Kojima and Co. jacked with our minds and the end of a great franchise so much as to make it downright trivial to develop nukes.

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.

Tapping Out – My Month With Bloodborne

In case you didn’t catch my recent post about the wondrous world of Yarnham and Bloodborne here it is (50 Shades of Pain).

This is Bloodborne's message to gamers like me.
This is Bloodborne’s message to gamers like me.

Now that you know that I quickly fell in love with Bloodborne and all that the wonderful world had to offer in the ways of a beautiful game and challenging experience.  And now, about a month after falling for it – the relationship has ended like a high school romance.  I’m not bitter about the game, or even the initial purchase price (as I am currently looking at getting around $35-45 for it on eBay – the auction ends tomorrow).  I just realized that I couldn’t bring myself to care about the character in a story that doesn’t really exist in a game that punishes me to the point even Christian Grey is saying ‘That’s effed up.’.  In the end, much like high school romances – I knew I was getting sick of this game and didn’t want to pour time into a game that wouldn’t give me as joy as I wanted out of something that I do to enjoy downtime and escape the stress of life.  I am looking forward to playing some new games in the meantime and truly can’t wait until Metal Gear Solid 5 – The Phantom Pain is released in September.

I would say I am sad about the fact that I never beat the game if I didn’t know that it basically ends abruptly and throws you back into the fray in ‘New Game Plus’.  Basically, you are simply being given another chance to go through the world, get brutalized again and deal with all the same anger issues this game brings – as well as the joy in defeating the tremendous bosses.  That is all well and good and I commend those of you that worship this game as a demigod in the current lackluster lineup that is quality PS4 titles.

That said – knowing that the game doesn’t really feel like a rewarding experience when you finish it and you simply repeat it all over again reminds me quite a bit of Super Mario Brothers on NES.  When you defeated King Koopa on world 8-4 and thought you beat the game and celebrated the victory – you then get thrown into a ‘New Game Plus’.  This new game had black beetles instead of the brown mushroom guys and was more difficult in some ways.  I’m sure those of you that love Bloodborne probably played through Mario’s ‘New Game Plus’ as well.

For those of you that think I am backtracking on my love of the game or that I said it belongs in your library… I’m not.  It is more about me not being ready to put myself through the ringer to deal with it right now – especially when I can get $45 for it on eBay.  In the future, ask yourself a question when you sell or trade your games.  Did you get your money out of them?  Meaning, I payed $65 for Bloodborne and will get $45 once I sell it.  Did I get my $20 of enjoyment?  Did I learn a lesson from this high school romance in gaming and the strange girl that my friends were warning me about?  Yes… and I have no regrets.

I will say this as a final warning and analogy about Bloodborne.

It is what I imagine it would be like to date a high maintenance model/person (yes, I think there is a difference between the two).  He/She/It might be beautiful and amazing to ‘play with’.  You might even get addicted to ‘playing’ with them – for awhile.  Then their true nature and everything else starts to wear you down.  You realize they want you to only play with them and not hang out with other friends like Call of Duty, Battlefield, Injustice, Metal Gear, etc.

Then, you finally work up the nerve to hang out with your other friends and realize that you are being mentally abused by this ‘Medusa Siren’ of gaming in an ocean full of great and fun activites with too many friends to name.  Bloodborne is the brat of a super model that some gamers will put up with – I’m not and never will be that gamer.

XBox One and PS4 – Are Exclusive Titles Still A Selling Point?

On the XBox 360 and PS3 there was the constant bombardment of exclusive titles like Gears of War, Halo and Forza versus Killzone, Resistance, Gran Turismo and for some sports gamers – MLB: The Show.  Now that the next generation of consoles have finally started to become more common in households around the world it is interesting to see that the focus has shifted away from the exclusive titles and more towards the features of the systems themselves.

MGSV
Snake isn’t limited to just Sony consoles these days. But some of his missions are exclusively on one console or the other.

Sure, there are games that XBox One and PS4 have exclusive agreements and rights for, but they aren’t exactly the same type of focus that we saw last generation.  While there are some gamers out there that will have certain games that they simply must have like the Halo or Killzone titles for each respective console… that time is changing.

One of the most obvious changes can be seen in the Metal Gear franchise.  Metal Gear has always been a Hideo Kojima/Konami production.  In saying that – it has also almost always been seen as a Sony Playstation title as well.  Now that they have announced Metal Gear Solid 5 is going to be multi-platform it seems that they are starting to realize that more console availability also means more sales overall.  This isn’t always a blessing as other content within the game will be exclusive to each console.  This is more annoying than anything as it drives many gamers to wonder why they bother spending more and more money on microtransactions.

With multi-platform releases like Call of Duty, Battlefield, Madden NFL and other titles that prefer mass marketing based on volume of sales rather than simply having an agreement with a certain company to release on a specific console.  The one caveat to this is when companies like EA and Activision make agreements (like they did with Microsoft) to release certain downloadable content (DLC) on one console before other another.  This is a practice that is rather insulting to users that buy a game like Battlefield 4 on PS3/4, XBox 360 and especially PC as well as purchasing the $50 ‘Premium’ service.  Primarily because they are being cheated out of content that is obviously available for XBox One users far earlier than anyone else that have purchased the same service for a different platform.

As we enter into a new era of gaming and an eventual move into a focus on digital content, it will be interesting to see how long exclusivity really plays a role in corporate gaming decision making.  As it stands, there are a lot of gamers that are sick of feeling cheated out of their money when it comes to ‘exclusive’ titles and other DLC not being available for whatever reason.

Why Difficulty Isn’t The Same As Challenge

Dark Souls Meme

After years of playing games from all sorts of genres there is one aspect that determines whether or not a game is truly enjoyable.

Difficulty.

There are many different ways to look at a game (of any sort).  Whether you are playing a board game, video game or even a card game – it is always the first question asked.  “Is it hard?”

In the case of video games, this is something that is as subjective as any review that can be given.  Primarily because there are different settings for most games out there.  Sports games even have sliders that allow you to customize different aspects of the CPU/AI and even your own players to make the game more realistic, challenging or even simply more difficult.  Other games (like Dark Souls) are built to put the gamer into a submission hold of difficulty.  Often, these games are cast to the side as ‘not worth the trouble’.  In the case of Dark Souls I must agree.  I played the game for a few hours and couldn’t beat the first boss without wanting to shoot my LCD and throw my PC out the window.

I have experienced both sides of gaming when it comes to a game being nearly impossible or simply so easy it is laughable.  This is why it is necessary to make the distinction for those of you out there looking for solace.  Some games like Madden, NCAA Football and other sports titles have communities that will trash on someone for winning games 50-0 and taking home the championship every year.  These slider Nazis are often as bad as any other internet troll when it comes to raining on someone’s gaming parade.  This is also why it is necessary for us to understand that making a game more difficult doesn’t mean the same thing as increasing the challenge.

What makes sports games difficult for a noob/novice isn’t the intelligence of the opposing CPU team as much as it is learning the controls and maybe even the basic strategies.  Once the complex control schemes are learned the game can become relatively simple.  In some cases sports games become far too easy for most gamers.  This is where you must turn up the challenge in order to have a better experience.  Changing the sliders and even your play-style can make for a more challenging and enjoyable gaming experience.

Other games like Call of Duty have difficulty levels that really do nothing but increase the damage done to the player by enemies.  This isn’t so much difficulty as it is a minor change in how ‘challenging’ the game is.  What would truly make the game more difficult would be to make it less forgiving when a player dies.  Much like Dark Souls makes it almost infuriating to die (because you become weaker) and lose everything (unless you go pick it back up).  Call of Duty, Halo, Killzone and virtually every FPS let you save your progress at numerous checkpoints to prevent you from needing to play through the same long sections every time you die.

Some games are just not the preferred style of gamers.  Often you will see a rift between fans of Splinter Cell and Metal Gear Solid.  While neither of these games are necessarily more difficult than the other they have different functions and handle differently.  It is always going to start with style and preference but in the end a game comes down to complexity.  It is in that spirit that Metal Gear is a bit more difficult than Splinter Cell.  That isn’t to say that Splinter Cell isn’t challenging or possibly more ‘realistic’ but many gamers decide on these two games based on style rather than challenge.

This isn’t to say that I want my experiences in first person shooters like Call of Duty to be more difficult.  I often play those games for a break from my life that can be difficult enough.  Perhaps that is why we need to realize that there is a difference in how we should look at our gaming experience and even the experience of others.  While some games present us with almost impossible tasks and difficulty others will give us the ability to lay back, hang out and wreak digital carnage all over the place without breaking a sweat… or thinking too much.

Where do you stand?  Do you prefer a game to be downright difficult/complex or do you prefer something simply more challenging?

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)