All mediums should play off of each other to some extent and because of this, games have the luxury of keeping in crew with three other very powerful mediums (i.e. literature, music, film). The tools those mediums present should be questioned before anything. However, when a cutscene’s length rivals the game’s actual duration of playtime, a very dangerous line is crossed and presents issues we’re going to get into now.
Archive for the “Video Game” Category
Monty Goulet in Video Game, tags: arcade, game, Legend, mggsound, Movie, music, nintendo, review, video game music archive, Video Games
I suppose I could apologize for the extended hiatus, but we all know that wouldn’t be very sincere—now would it? The holidays were full of weird things on my end, and the most prominent of them was that there was actual paying work floating around so I snatched it. Any of my spare time was obviously spent buried in my work shouting obscenities and firing off random sparks of hatred. The good news is that I actually played quite a few things between November and now, certainly more than enough to gallantly ride straight into 2011 here. I’ll open with the first in my next post. I just wanted to use tonight to metaphorically burst my hand from the ground in front of the gravestone that’s been ‘Video Games Music Archives’ for the past few months (though my views have surprisingly stayed consistent for whatever reason).
Demon’s Souls never explicitly states that it’s a hard game (which is already a lot less boastful than most titles), yet everyone has resigned to parroting their collective frustration with it. This also applies to those singing praises in its name as well (I include myself in this category). There’s even a consistent tendency to announce what an acknowledgement it is to older games too. While I don’t think the game itself is an embodiment of older game design tenants (which would require an abundance of mentionable intent on From Software’s part), I do think that any one player’s interpretation of it now is proof that games are simply not changing as fast as their players are. Not only that, but the players are oblivious to this fact (which is key here). It’s in this respect that such a game should be viewed, not simply analyzing whether or not it’s too hard and/or if its difficulty should take precedence in any kind of useful analysis. (more…)
Hardly, I mean yes, we could spout off some quick numbers and irrelevant facts that would seem to suggest as much, but I can guarantee you each and every one of those claims are made by a person who most likely has passed some sort of twisted and hedonistic event horizon, rendering all their opinions as amusing conjecture at best.The claim that things have been the same however, has far more of a lasting significance here (even if that’s somewhat fallacious as well). The growth in this industry is akin to that of a human being. It’s easy to long for childhood (i.e. retro games), and it’s just as convenient to pretend like ‘times are so much better now!’ (i.e. hop on XBL every night like a dumbass and refuse to question anything else).What’s difficult though? It hardly ever gets seen enough so it might not be that recognizable; its the appreciation of a overall continuum and not just ‘this is better, but this is worse!’ This means that we respect everything that comes along with it, both good and bad (as well as what it means to even perceive as such as well). People have trouble with such this antinomy, especially when trying to decipher meaning from it. This is particularly prevalent in the United States, as people have perverted happiness here as some type of end-game idealistic goal (and the morons think they can actually claim altruism at the same time with this attitude too). Here’s a quick napkin-list of why people commonly think we’re living in such great times now with the bold text just highlighting my thoughts.
1 – “These games look so great now!”
2 – “I can play with my friends online!”
3 – “So much work goes into them, it’s a thriving medium, it’s an art!”
If you’re honestly going to take the the money route (i.e. ‘games are a major financial force now!’), then we’re in more trouble than even I thought. I refuse to acknowledge that one beyond these two sentences.
The ‘Westernization’ of video games is a bigger problem than people are letting on at the moment and it expands well beyond what I’ve been bitching about with the likes of Dante and whatnot.
What’s not addressed is what’s actually relevant, the rather selfish tennis match that Japan and America have been playing with video games for over twenty years now. One very easy example would be concerning narrative thematics; with all the incessant whining about religion and its origins now, this planet is full of a lot of wacky ass mythologies that extend well beyond the limits of what Odin and his friends can offer us. That said, Europe has surely become a bigger factor, but it’s still akin to the second string quarterback in a football game, appreciated by not necessarily always needed.
Monty Goulet in Video Game, tags: arcade, game, hedgehog, nintendo, ps3, sega, sonic, the, video, xbox
Sonic the Hedgehog 4 is an interesting game in quite a few contexts, I mean that. Before I start ranting though, I should open up with a few things. After completing it for the first time today, I’m even more adamant that Sega either has absolutely no idea what they ever had with the series to begin with, or their perspective has developed into a radically sick sense of humor. I personally ‘gave up’ on Sonic a few years ago, as even if I got the game I actually wanted, my apathy would likely take precedence anyway. I’d much rather learn how to make my own ripoff of it than complain too righteously about Sonic Team these days.
Monty Goulet in Video Game, tags: mggsound, Movie, music, nintendo, review, starcraft, video game music archive, Video Games
First off its been far too long since my last post, I apologize
— Tom Chick
It wasn’t the game itself that inspired this post, but rather a recently released podcast featuring Rob Zacny, Tom Chick, Chris Remo and Troy Goodfellow talking about it on a podcast this week (good listen by the way).
Monty Goulet in Video Game, tags: game, Metal Gear Solid, mggsound, nintendo, review, video game music archive, Video Games, Zelda
I’ll go into my take on E3 and the press conferences next week but for now I want to address two specific games I noticed that interest me
A sort-of recurring complaint of mine these days is that not nearly enough games make use of the in-play camera. There’s a sort of tendency for this to be ignored in a larger context for quite a few reasons. A big contributor is that PC gamers always have access to this in one way or another (and the progeny of all PC gamers still affect consoles significantly). The second extends into ‘real life’ and is indicative of how shallow most people have become now. One can learn quite a bit about someone by giving them a DSLR of any type and demanding that they ‘go take pictures’. An instant reaction to my complaint here usually runes along the lines of:
“Well wtf am I supposed to do with a camera? Take pics? That’s not fun!”
Anyone that writes about their experiences with games will/should easily be able to empathize with my demands here, as the simple relation of a one’s vision through a photo is like — I don’t know, photography? There’s a tendency to avoid the mere notion of ‘art’ and photography is one of the biggest proponents of this ignorance. This is to say, the willful avoidance of craftily organizing one’s one sight of the world. Yes, it makes you an artist, no it does not make you special. It’s one of the most easily accessible forms of art there is, but at the same time it isn’t, as the craft is DAMN expensive. That in itself kind of bolsters my case for more in-game cameras, as developers can build a simulation of even the most expensive DSLRs in their titles; if there’s one thing gamers are actually good at, it’s the fanatics making use of the tools they’re given. How about an achievement that unlocks such a feature/upgrades (instead of some dumbass trophy)?
Given that so many games are quickly becoming so visually dense, it only makes sense to capture some of those moments using the digital age we live in. It means more to me as a single-player experience, but I’m aware that the social-bugs can make just as much use of them (take a look at Halo 3 for example). Outside of some of the more well-known titles, simply having a sliver of one’s experience can be thunderously rewarding. Gamers are always raising endless arguments for their personal creation of context (and also how the developers are meant to communicate to them that context). However, when push comes to shove, asking them to actually display a piece of themselves in that argument is equal to hurling dirt clods at a house and expecting it to fall over.
Oh, and don’t even get me started on trying to find a decent screencap of a game (sans the horrific watermarks you sites sometimes plaster on your images) either. This would easily kill off that not having a decent shot of a game. I don’t mind the developers watermarking an image, but game sites doing it is just an obnoxious and unnecessary filter I’m tired of veering around.
I was linked to an ‘Iwata Asks‘ segment of Nintendo’s E3 site. Amidst the conversations on several of their revealed projects at E3 was the one I’m obviously most interested in, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. There’s a conflation with my complaints in terms of what Twilight Princess did/did not do and it’s one both Aonuma and Miyamoto admit to in this video. The density of play in Twilight Princess for example, was very —- for lack of a better term, erratic. It ended up becoming far more counterproductive and it simply didn’t help that another title had launched right alongside it. Admitedly, had not Okami launched in the same year, I probably never would have even noticed something like that (but let’s avoid that comparison today). However it did, and it has affected the Zelda franchise in general to some extent, at least to an extent we all should pay attention to now. It’s almost admitted by them in the video that the Wii individually was meant to communicate their ideas of a ‘better way to play’. I among many have a knee-jerk reaction to the mere utterance of that, but there is a certain train of thought explained that I can respect (and by extension, give a chance too).That admittance was the portion of the video where Miyamoto comments on the Wii MotionPlus, which essentially turns the Nintendo Wii into what we were all hoping for to begin with. The control which Skyward Sword now grants the player over their weapon is significantly more resolute than that ofTwilight Princess (i.e. waggle). The problem now is that Nintendo squandered its reserves by launching Twilight Princess to begin with. That’s not meant to bash the game but rather point out the degree to which it will deflate the actual prominence and awe the new sword palatability is meant to communicate. Many of ‘us’ will end up taking it for granted simply because we’re familiar with and complacent to the Wii’s entire visage now. This means that Shiggy & Aonuma’s excitement in design becomes layered behind yet another slab of ‘language’. It also means that at the end of the day, granting Skyward Sword’s most idealrelease, its greatest muscle becomes ‘lost in translation’.Concerning the game’s new visual path, I’d have to say I’m a bit torn in two. First and foremost, I’m not a fan of Impressionism. Even given its proxy toRomanticism, it’s a bit too proud of being an excessive tangent spawned from that movement (liking the parent doesn’t mean I have to enjoy their bratty child). On the other hand, there’s a distinct factor I’m willing to admit excitement for towards the game’s release: use of movement and light (both very key to Impressionist works). Only those at E3 have actually seen how the game moves up close, but this also sheds light (no pun intended) on a darker side of the game’s visuals as well; this is that I think only a few (even Nintendo here to some extent) will look at the game’s usage of such a period beyond the general gist of:
“Omg cool! It’s using a relatively popular 19th century art period as inspiration! I shallowly feel a bit more cultured now!”
They’re actually more likely to just say ‘cool! art!’ these days, but you get my idea…
The way this game moves and feels is going to be immensely important now. The way its landscapes are rendered, the way those polygons move, and everything the light touches will become subject to intense scrutiny to those such as myself. Color is also an extremely important factor, but my detesting of it as an artistic ideal renders my opinion here a bit — unstable. I don’t like the colors that were shown in the trailer and I don’t expect that to change over the next year. I will however, easily get over them, granted the game efficiently makes use of any of the above factors in relation to it. If there’s a way to make the models ‘bleed’ to some extent, Nintendo might be on to something huge. As it stands though, I expect the Ueda games to remain one of the few (if not only) Impressionistically visualized games in existence (and I don’t think those guys really did it on purpose either).
Well this is my first year actually working at a game company Retro here in Austin but I am not at E3 but it got me thinking since we all know a new Zelda is imminent
A new Zelda game is always a ripe topic for speculation and discussion, yet when the latest release takes the stage at E3 on Tuesday, the pressure on its creators will be of a different nature to the usual expectations of living up to the high standards they have set themselves.
Moreso than the Mario series, which has kept the same basic rules of play but drastically evolved the framework in which they are employed every few releases, the Zelda series struck gold with its very first iteration and bar the inevitable enhancements that have come with changing technology, it has produced many masterpieces but few that offered any major evolutions of the tried-and-tested formula.
Since the series’ peak with Ocarina of Time however, fans have been growing weary of this repetition.Twilight Princess was a fabulous game (two-thirds of it anyway) but never felt surprising or new. Producing a masterpiece on your first attempt can be as dangerous in many ways as a failure because not only do you have to deal with massively disproportionate expectations of brilliance for your next work, but are also bound by how much of the original can be changed or replaced without attracted ire. Having achieved such success with both the series’ first 2D and 3D iterations, the pressure is now firmly on Nintendo’s shoulders to pull off an entry which both moves the series forward, but also keeps intact the elements that fans have come to love.
I’ve been thinking a lot about sequels this week, no doubt due to my most recently played games beingNo More Heroes: Desperate Struggle and Super Mario Galaxy 2. Striking the right balance between the new and the old can very strongly depend on the reception of your first entry, not just in positive or negative terms, but also how the scenario was received, the specific mechanics and even whether the removal of one poorly-received element of play can end up adversely affecting part of the game that was universally beloved.
I’ll probably end up writing a lot more about this on Wednesday, but for now my eye is going to be on what I consider as one of the greatest of all gaming sequels and a prime example of how familiar gameplay can be given the same freshness as something brand new by employing it in a subtly different way. In gameplay terms, Majora uses its mask system to add subtle variation and depth to its scenarios, but sticks pretty closely to the usual Zelda formula of items, dungeons and sidequests. But the context in which it places those familiar mechanics makes all the difference.
Majora picks up a short time after Ocarina ended with Zelda sending Link back to his childhood. The problem is that Link is not a child anymore: he has fought monsters and saved lives and worlds. Worse still, no-one around him is even aware of the battles he fought to protect them. So he goes in search of the friend with whom he shared his adventures, the only one who can understand what he has been through and the hero he has become. From the very beginning, directors Eiji Aonuma and Yoshiaki Koizumi are holding the truths of Ocarina up to a mirror and revealing their opposite reflections. Ocarina’s happy ending for the many of Hyrule becomes a tragedy for the individual who made it happen.
The use of these small reflections, showing us new sides to familiar things (remember that masterstroke of subversion when Link finally arrives for his final battle on the moon?), is key to how Majora manages to escape Ocarina’s long shadow while remaining true to the beloved elements at the series’ core.
Being forced to work under tight conditions has inspired many famous feats of creativity and in having to produce in less than two years a sequel to a game commonly considered as one of the greatest in the medium’s history, Aonuma and Koizumi managed something remarkable by taking everything that was loved about Ocarina – its scale, its epic interpretation of the Zelda mythology, its sprawling dungeons – and turning them upside down. Where its predecessor told the story of one boy saving the world, Majorashowed a boy discovering the stories of people who made the world worth saving. Each inhabitant of Termina is to their world what a dungeon was to Ocarina, yielding even the same rewards for solving their mysteries.
Where in Ocarina the rewards were items to empower the hero, in Majora the rewards are masks, representative of the people who gave them to you as thanks for your benevolence in helping them. Of course Majora has items too, but most of them are recycled and feel more like recovering something lost than gaining something new. The game presents its masks in the way many tribal cultures see them, as a captured spirit whose face can be worn to gain their power and wisdom. When Link solves a puzzle using one of the masks he has acquired, it is no longer a solitary hero overcoming an obstacle, it is him drawing on his friends and memories for the power to keep pushing forward on his quest to save them before their world ends.
This idea of heroes being built by their memories and friends is at the heart of the game’s story: both Link and his antagonist Skull Kid begin their stories as outsiders. But where Link goes in search of friends who can help him define himself, the Skull Kid shuns his friends in search of glory. Where Link acquires power by forming bonds with people around him, Skull Kid is betrayed and used by the mask he thought would give him alone great power.
Even we players are brought into this theme at the start of the game: when Link is transformed into a Deku scrub, it is an alienating experience so early on. Seeing an old friend we admire and with whom have shared many adventures suddenly transformed and left in a weakened state is scary. Nintendo are asking of you: are you brave enough to push through that fear to save your friend? Will you turn off the console and leave Link to his fate, or will you show the real strength of your friendship in helping him no matter how he looks or how weak he has become?
So many of Majora’s stories are little vignettes of humanity like this one: an ignored, wounded soldier looking for validation. An old lady being mugged on her way home. An overworked postman, a dancer’s spirit needing to pass on his art before he can rest in peace, star-crossed lovers divided by a cruel twist of fate. Ah, Kafei and Anju, whose final act on the eve of the world’s end was to affirm their love for each other. In how many of our cold gamers’ hearts are they still sitting in wait for the morning together?
The three-day cycle takes a familiar criticism of the series (NPCs repeating themselves over and over again) and gives us the chance to break them free of that loop. The Hero of Time discovering that a world is not saved by conquering dark overlords, but helping each vulnerable citizen, one at a time. The symbolism of the city at Termina’s heart being represented by a giant clock becomes all too apparent. One of Nintendo’s greatest skills is in putting little human frailties into even the most peripheral of their characters, but never before have we been allowed to explore and help them overcome those vulnerabilites.
Modern gamers might snort at the game’s N64-era graphics, but amount of HD technology can make a cast of characters seem quite as human and real as Majora. That’s the message Nintendo need to remember for whatever latest step they plan to unveil for the series at E3. We already love Zelda, but no matter how new her clothes and beautiful her body, sometimes more than anything we would like the chance to see into her heart.
Monty Goulet in Video Game, tags: game, Metal Gear Solid, mggsound, nintendo, review, video game music archive, Video Games
This was supposed to go first, I apologize it has been very long days while working at Retro
I wanted to address only one issue with this series as I played through it but that idea jumped out of the window. So, I decided to tackle each game as an individual by using whatever arbitrary idea pops into my head. For Metal Gear Solid (PSX), I decided to write up on each individual sequence in the game as I play through them. The difficulty is on extreme this time, as I wanted a drastic change of pace.
Omnipresence Beyond Castration // Docks, Heliport, and Tank Hangar
Despite the fact that I’m playing on extreme, the warped sense of realism that it’s meant to inspire is pretty much mutilated by the concept of perspective. Angles, views, and corner-cameras all of a sudden become immensely important as the difficulty is kicked up. Placement in any stealth title is a top priority and a fair sense of surrounding just isn’t granted in this game on the extreme level (The Soliton Radar is stripped from the player here essentially leaving them ‘naked’). The sense of distance in a third person game reeks strongly of the omnipresence always granted to a player in ANY title. For Metal Gear Solid specifically, there is an individual aspect to it which exacerbates this distance, and it’s a feature I’ve hated all the way up until Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence..
…The damn camera…
The bird’s eye view essentially puts Snake in a terrarium for the player to look at only semi-joyfully. Once he/she realizes the nature of the game (which will happen pretty damn fast), they’ll start seeing some glaring flaws in design. For MGS however, this has sort of in itself worked to series’ favor (astonishingly enough). Consider the point I made above. Basic psychology can come into play when addressing Metal Gear, as the brain is simply more likely to recall events laced with negativity and despite the love one may or may not have with the game, Metal Gear Solid does this lacing. I’m certainly not suggesting this was done on purpose (I think Kojima admitted the camera was meant to hinder Asian proneness to motion sickness). Not only is it embedded with fundamental design flaws, but it’s layered over with the visual design of the game as well. I’ll detail this point later, but the heliport has to be one of the most memorable experiences in the game due to the small touches of ambiance granted by the lack of music a and the snowstorm backdrop. The player will be forced to engage this as a sort of half-hearted tableau vivant. The fact that the player is stationary during most (if not all) of their observations in this game is immensely important to it as an individual title.
For all the love-harping I’ll do on Metal Gear, it will remain the most minimal stealth game series as things currently stand (people get usually get confused here because thematically the games are a mess). Most other purposefully designed hide-and-seek titles will introduce variables that the player is to be aware of constantly (e.g. light meters). Metal Gear didn’t even formally adopt that until Guns of the Patriots (though it kind of started in Snake Eater). Metal Gear Solid forces the player to rely on basics during every sequence. Particularly on the harder difficulties, the player will be stopping every few feet to hit triangle and survey their surroundings. This is obviously frustrating to even the most patient players, but lovers of stealth are rarely impatient to begin with, so they’ll probably eke out some sort of begrudging enjoyment here. It’s a retroactive sense of engagement to always be enclosed by surroundings and palpably grasping one’s own deficiencies in surveying it. Metal Gear shines (and burns) here.
“Maybe so, but I’m starting to develop kleptomania, I just keep putting things in my pocket.”
Due to this aforementioned distancing, the player will have grounds to engage the game’s story as well (I will admit praise of the game’s minimal mechanics leaving room for this to happen between players at their own individual pace). Now whether you think the game is a beautifully crafted tale or a cinematic mess of glory is totally irrelevant at this point, as both extremities can/will/should appreciate the concept of a game with a message (no matter how contrived it is). Metal Gear Solid certainly wasn’t the first (nor the best), but it was a bold and perhaps relatively new step for games to make nonetheless (it still kind of is in many respects too). Within the first few hours, the player will be introduced to the concepts of nuclear deterrence, technological politics, and various other real-world counterparts in terms of ‘information’.
Metal Gear has always gotten an A for effort from me due to it consistently going just a foot beyond what most games only do by allegorical function (and even that’s a generous stretch on my part). The sad reality however (other than the fact that it still remains one of the few big-name series to do as much), is that Metal Gear (as an overall series) often doesn’t deliver its messages coherently. It will typically leave the stupid confused, the critical appalled, and the remaining fans unable to articulate the true strengths of the series. It makes sure not to cross any lines that will be upsetting and it even actively retreats in some aspects of its narrative. That said, it does go to notable lengths to accurately introduce to the player just the general importance of nuclear waste, and by the time they make it to the nuclear weapons storage building, the mechanicsactually try (albeit miserably) to become an extension of the narrative. We’ll get to that in the next entry though.
In short, there’s a difference between blaming Metal Gear games and criticizing them. If it can inspire even one twelve year old to go crack open a book and find the half-life of plutonium’s isotope (239), then that message is far from a failure. Most of the things that people paradoxically whine about in the Metal Gear games are delivered elsewhere by titles such as Splinter Cell, but that’s another sad story for another sad day.
“So they just close the lid and pretend like it’ll go away?”
“Essentially, yes. And they’re not even doing a good job of storing it. Many of the drums are corroded… with nuclear waste seeping out of them.
—Solid Snake & Kenneth Baker
Monty Goulet in Video Game, tags: game, Metal Gear Solid, Movie, music, nintendo, Sequel, video, video game music archive, Video Games
Artistic Pixels // Canyon, Nuclear Weapons Disposal Building, Caverns
All of the Solid games have had a significant visual impact, but the ‘original’ was amongst the few to make gamers truly value underpowered systems for what they could accomplish in terms of graphical fidelity.
All of the cutscenes in Metal Gear Solid occur in the game’s own engine (with some effects masked over them), mouths/eyes appear more vague than most PSX titles at the time, and there’s an odd jitter to the characters as they speak. In fact, if one is looking for it, they can individually see the pixels in every corner of the game. Yet, because of these things — not in spite of them, the game looks better for it.
The odd jittering helps to give the characters life and often presses forth the illusion of individual mannerisms. The lack of facial detailing is compensated for (though a better word would be ‘complemented’) by the codec sequences, where the player will spend a good chunk of their time watching detailed drawings of the characters actually animating. If you would like to try something weird, play through the game while closing your eyes for every codec sequence (the difference is definitely jarring enough to make note of). Also, even though Shinkawa’s illustrations weren’t prominent in the first title (I’m not counting the codec avatars), this game helps to form synergy with his art as well. Despite the highly detailed illustrations of the series’ mainstay artist, there is consistently a type of vagueness to the likeness of how he drew the characters in every single game.
Tack these visual ‘strengths’ on to the general ambiance of the music (e.g. the sharp piercing sound cues) and the game becomes ‘coldly’ attractive in terms of its aesthetics (meshing with the game’s entire backdrop). The problem with such strength is that it quite effectively alienates some people, killing a chunk of its overall audience by giving off a distinct vibe of ‘aesthetic grit’; luckily for me, that plays to my passions.
“Well boss, I hope you are happy. He got the card.”
The codec/radio mechanism sadly becomes less integral in the series as it progresses and what’s really beautiful is that this even extends into Metal Gear Solid’s predecessors as well. If you want an example of this, in the Famicom titles, the radio was an often vital source for information while at the same time being essentially worthless due to localization, area cues, and just general weirdness in presentation (e.g. see getting the the rocket launcher from Jennifer in the original Metal Gear).
Around Snake’s first meeting with Otacon, the game does manage to find some wiggle room for itself in terms of dialogue and cinematics, but this comes at a cost as well. Again, it’s far from perfect, but some of the cues, transitions, and deliveries are more than solid (no pun intended), even by today’s standards in average films. This is mostly what Metal Gear Solid will be remembered for as well, its most sublime flaw.
“Huh, you don’t like girls?!”
So, after saving Hal Emmerich’s life is when Metal Gear Solid takes it’s most drastic and disappointing turn, which is also my harshest criticism of the game:
The cinemas take over.
Now, I don’t mean that in the strict literal sense some would take that as (especially concerning a Metal Gear game), but merely one where theExperiencism manifests rather violently in front of the players’ eyes (as opposed to the ‘global senses’ that the best games are known for). After this point in the game, the rest of it essentially cuts back on all stealth mechanics and strengths, and this lasts until the credits roll. Now whether or not the player is engaged at this point is a purely subjective phase, but the progression is as follows:
>> Finding Meryl by her ass.
>> The iconic encounter with Psycho Mantis.
>> A backtracking sequence intergrated into a Boss encounter with Sniper Wolf
>> Detainment and backtracking throughout the game’s initial areas.
>> A sequence of tension throughout the communications towers culminating in a boss fight and a ‘first grade math class’ problem.
>> Yet another encounter with Sniper Wolf.
>> Descending into the maintenance base where Rex is held.
>> Shape memory alloy craziness.
>> Betrayal, information, and the iconic boss encounter with Rex.
>> A high speed chase.
>> End of game.
Now the point of that isn’t to downplay the importance of the playtime in between these events, but to highlight that Metal Gear Solid is a game of experience, rather than play. It’s also why I won’t really argue with those who often take the stance that Snake Eater is the zenith of the series (which harkened back to Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake as a genuine synthesis of consistent ‘stealth play’ and story). The stealth portions in this game however, are so minimal they’re almost irrelevant for the latter 60% of the game. Every sequence not held in cinematic regard is merely edged along by a brief encounter with maybe two or three guards and every area is void of the terrorist occupation the game tries so hard to play with.
Metal Gear Solid lays its own definition out for the player, but the problem is that it’s the deviant of the bunch as well, drawing a rather fat-ass line between what should, could, and will happen in a Metal Gear game. It’s the only game that truly uses ‘the box’ and that box has ‘cinema’ plastered all over it.