Talk about anything and everything Squad-related here -- what you've been playing, what you're looking forward to, and how big your Pile of Shame has grown after that last Steam sale...
User avatar
User

Angry Jedi

Posts

557

Joined

Fri Jun 27, 2014 3:10 pm

Real Name

Pete Davison

Favorite Genres

JRPGs, visual novels, adventures

Now Playing

Sword Art Online: Re:Hollow Fragment, The Fruit of Grisaia, Hyperdimension Neptunia U, Final Fantasy XIV

Re: Cult of Kojima, Rise in respect. Our time is nigh.

by Angry Jedi » Sat Sep 05, 2015 5:10 pm

The question of hype is actually an interesting one. You're absolutely right that former mainstays/"essential purchases" like Resident Evil and Final Fantasy no longer have quite the same cachet they once did, and there are a number of reasons for this.

Firstly is the way these series have evolved over time. Resident Evil today is now nothing like Resident Evil back in the day, for better or worse. Some people prefer RE since 4, others prefer the old-style ones. This immediately splits the market between people who will be more interested in new REs like 5 and 6, and those who will be more interested in the REmakes of Zero and 1 (and hopefully the others).

Final Fantasy is in a bit of a different position. Final Fantasy, and RPGs in general, are at least partly a victim of the console business expanding and growing around them, and their audiences not growing at quite the same rate. In other words, the sales figures for your average Final Fantasy these days would probably look world-shatteringly amazing by 1997 standards, but compared to a Call of Duty or a Battlefield they're a drop in the ocean. The series has gone from being completely mainstream to being niche interest, though not to the same degree as the broader RPG genre -- Final Fantasy still has high production values, even in its MMO incarnation.

The other reason, of course, is that these mainstays of the industry have been replaced by today's big names -- Call of Duty, Assassin's Creed (though arguably that series is waning in popularity a bit), Battlefield, Halo. Then there's stuff like Skylanders and Disney Infinity, too. There are thousands and thousands of games available now, so it's a wonder any get noticed at all.

That said, I've just started working part-time in game retail, and both Metal Gear Solid and Mad Max have been flying off the shelves this week. It's encouraging that the hype for MGS hasn't completely cannibalised Mad Max (while I have no interest in playing it, those I know who are playing it say it's very good), though I do feel a bit sorry for poor Until Dawn, which is fantastic but destined for complete and utter obscurity by virtue of the fact it came out last week instead of at Halloween. Stupid, stupid, stupid Sony.

Interesting comments about Peace Walker. I knew it was structured differently -- more mission-based, yes? -- than the older MGS titles, but somehow, that felt more appropriate for its handheld roots. I don't know. I still haven't played it, despite owning the HD collection; perhaps once I'm done with some of the other stuff I'm playing I'll actually pull my finger out and give it a shot. I might end up feeling differently about MGSV by the time I finish it. We shall see!
User avatar
User

RedSwirl

Posts

325

Joined

Tue Jul 08, 2014 5:22 pm

Favorite Genres

Man I don't know.

Now Playing

Fallout 4

Re: Cult of Kojima, Rise in respect. Our time is nigh.

by RedSwirl » Sat Sep 05, 2015 7:05 pm

Honestly I even consider Halo to be part of the "old" era of games that's now been subsumed by Call of Duty, Minecraft, LoL, or mobile. I think it was the beginning of the end when COD4 passed Halo 3 for most played game on Xbox Live back in 2007.
User avatar
User

Angry Jedi

Posts

557

Joined

Fri Jun 27, 2014 3:10 pm

Real Name

Pete Davison

Favorite Genres

JRPGs, visual novels, adventures

Now Playing

Sword Art Online: Re:Hollow Fragment, The Fruit of Grisaia, Hyperdimension Neptunia U, Final Fantasy XIV

Re: Cult of Kojima, Rise in respect. Our time is nigh.

by Angry Jedi » Sat Sep 05, 2015 7:25 pm

Halo's still relatively big news in comparison to other former giants. It just doesn't come around as often as a CoD so it's not as visible.
User avatar
User

RedSwirl

Posts

325

Joined

Tue Jul 08, 2014 5:22 pm

Favorite Genres

Man I don't know.

Now Playing

Fallout 4

Re: Cult of Kojima, Rise in respect. Our time is nigh.

by RedSwirl » Sat Sep 05, 2015 10:06 pm

Angry Jedi wrote:Halo's still relatively big news in comparison to other former giants. It just doesn't come around as often as a CoD so it's not as visible.


Yeah, I just don't feel like Halo is as big as it used to be. Halo 1 and 2 were cultural events. I don't feel like Halo 4 had the same proportional weight in the industry at large.
User avatar
User

A.I Impaired

Posts

127

Joined

Fri Jun 27, 2014 3:16 pm

Location

Ottawa, ON

Favorite Genres

Computer RPG's

Now Playing

Doom, Overwatch, Dark Souls

Re: Cult of Kojima, Rise in respect. Our time is nigh.

by A.I Impaired » Wed Sep 09, 2015 1:29 am

All those companies trying to catch billions instead of millions, definitely keeps things generic. Phantom Pain rides an interesting line. Collecting plants is old hat now though. I do kinda miss the old 1 epic mission evolving into an intertangled opera, but the storytelling is still impactful.
User avatar
User

Beige

Rank

Site Admin

Posts

342

Joined

Thu Jun 26, 2014 1:54 am

Favorite Genres

Arthouse, conceptually audacious, thinky, polarizing, masocore

Now Playing

Witcher 3, Axiom Verge, Monster Hunter 4 (STILL), Invisible Inc.

Re: Cult of Kojima, Rise in respect. Our time is nigh.

by Beige » Tue Sep 29, 2015 1:32 pm

What have I been doing lately? Playing Metal Gear, you know how we do.

Rationalizing that this is likely to be my last time through the entire series end-to-end (for a while at least), I wanted to take my time and do justice to the Hideo Kojima Funtime Show.

The first part of this quest involved waiting a long time for a copy of the Metal Gear HD Collection to arrive via Amazon since apparently nobody in the GTA has a single copy in stock anymore (this is true, I called around for a day or so). Should have bought it for $20 at Future Shop when I had the chance, but nooo.. I had to be lazy, so now… you must wait. Anyway, after it finally showed up in the mail after a week in transit I dug my PS3 out of storage and got started.

First up: Metal Gear (not Solid, the ORIGINAL MSX version) which I actually played via the HD Collection’s copy of Snake Eater which bizarrely includes both MG and MG2: Solid Snake as freebies in a submenu. Bonus: These games now come complete with a save system, so I was able to take my time and enjoy a couple of Hideo classics that I’ve actually never played before.

METAL GEAR

Image

When I was a kid I used to play Metal Gear on my old NES even though I didn’t understand a thing about it. Never finished it – I have a suspicion that my little kid brain was not capable of really parsing what the hell I was looking at and couldn’t comprehend this bizarre little beast in the context of things like Ninja Gaiden or Dragon Warrior. Much like later games, the original MG is a game about disempowerment. Snake is weak but he must sneak around a facility anyway, shooting when necessary but mostly just trying not to get shot and killed.

I’m surprised how Metal Geary the original Metal Gear ends up being. Playing this game ends up feeling like a fuzzy, half-remembered sketch drawing of what we would ultimately come to understand as the Fundamentals of Metal Gear. Many, if not most of the core the beats are there in the background. I loved the fact that the first thing one does when booting up the game is crawl up from the water and call Col. Campbell on the codec (at the frequency you’d be using for the next 30 years, natch).

The closest cousin to the original Metal Gear is actually something like the original NES Zelda, which is kinda nuts but makes sense if you take into account what was happening in the world at that point. It’s a quasi RPG… you adventure around rescuing prisoners (which levels you up, allowing you to carry more rations, ammo, etc.) and exploring a top-down world map that’s laid out in 2 main facility areas with a connecting bridge between them. This layout BTW will serve as the physical setting for 20 years – Metal Gear 1,2, Solid 1, Solid 2 all share this building-bridge-building design, with lots of backtracking between Tower Building and Zanzibar Land in every game, more’s the pity.

Knowing what I know, it’s hard not to see echoes of the future in everything I did while playing the original Metal Gear. Punch wall to “knock” and find hollow sounding area? Check. Use C4 to bomb south-facing wall to open hidden room containing the body armor? Check. Fight Hind-D helicopter with Grenade Launcher, check. Jump in cardboard box and ride truck as a quick warp zone between buildings? Check. Talk constantly to Big Boss and others via the Codec? Check.

Image

Weird character bosses? Check and check, though in the original they’re never more than just a single line of text. “I am the SHOOTMASTER. YOU WILL NOT ESCAPE!!!”. Everywhere echoes of what’s to come down the line. I have to say, it was interesting to fight Metal Gear (the original) and Big Boss at long last after about 30 years of anticipation. Somehow, even I, the world’s largest Snakefan, I did not realize that the boss fight with Metal Gear in the original title was essentially a big puzzle battle, with Snake trying desperately to C4 bomb the legs of Metal Gear in a specific 16-sequence pattern of R-L-R-R-L-R-L etc.. It’s interesting – I wonder why Hideo never went back to this?

Fighting Big Boss (at last!) was also a surreal moment. The two MSX versions of Metal Gear are the only time that Snake faces off with his biological father in battle, and both times are super surreal if you have any awareness of the later events, kind of like watching Obi-Wan face Vader after seeing the first 3 Star Wars prequels. I couldn’t help seeing Keifer Sutherland’s face and voice on half these interactions – especially in MG2. I’m just thinking “I can’t wait to see what drives this guy to the kind of madness on display here”…. Even though it’d be a generation and a half before that story would even exist.

Image
User avatar
User

Beige

Rank

Site Admin

Posts

342

Joined

Thu Jun 26, 2014 1:54 am

Favorite Genres

Arthouse, conceptually audacious, thinky, polarizing, masocore

Now Playing

Witcher 3, Axiom Verge, Monster Hunter 4 (STILL), Invisible Inc.

Re: Cult of Kojima, Rise in respect. Our time is nigh.

by Beige » Tue Sep 29, 2015 2:12 pm

Image

Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake

Red was right – playing this game is critical if you want to TRULY understand the Metal Gear legacy. I’d never played it before, but the MSX sequel to the original was a hell of a piece of work.

What’s truly remarkable about MG2:SS is how… uh… Metal Geary it is. THIS GAME - not Solid - is the originator of all the tropes. THIS game is where everything that we came to know later as Hideo Fun really began. This is really the Patient Alpha of Metal Gear. I had no idea.

I’m not kidding when I say that Metal Gear Solid, for all its hailed genius, is basically just Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake with a 3D skin wrapped around it. By way of example I present the big list of things I did in Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake

- Watched a sweet, 16-bit Genesis era cinematic with lots of words about Nuclear Weapons and some sick 3D pixel art showcasing mecha porn
- Called Campbell on codec frequency 107.85
- Met my handlers, each of which was helping me with a specific aspect of the game
- Began the game by crawling into a vent on the left hand side of area 2 to enter the big facility via the tank hangar
- … while talking to Master Miller
- Facility was 2 ultimately 2 buildings connected by a bridge.
- Spent a lot of time hiding in knee-high areas like under tables and in air vents while “alert” level declined from 3,2,1 “he’s gone!”
- Night vision goggles and cigarette smoke to get past the laser tripwires
- Shot the radio controlled missile to blow up the keypad controlling the electric floor (this goes back to the original)
- Crawling around picking up mines in the minefield while “my biggest fan” spoke to me anonymously over the comm
- Hiding in trucks in cardboard boxes to zap between locations, or in boxes as security cameras rotate
- Knock on walls in the basements until you find the hollow one that you blow up to reveal the body armor on the south wall
- Opening insta-death pit traps in the basement again, WHY HIDEO?
- Ran back to building 1 to grab the Stinger missiles out of the western room so I could fight the Hind-D
- Fought a tank with landmines in the space between buildings
- “Had a very long sequence where I ran up some stairs for a long time to get to the bridge between the buildings while dudes chased me for multiple floors”
- “Had a fight in an elevator with 4 dudes who tried to ambush me after a brief codec warning”
- Had to identify the female soldier by stalking random people until someone went into the women’s washroom, where I confronted her in her underwear
- Had brief melodramatic “love can bloom on the battlefield” sequence with the woman I met in the ladies room, we traveled together for 5 minutes
- … before she was shot and killed by a sniper in front of me. Live, Snake, live.
- Had to find cold medicine so I wouldn’t catch a cold after being in the wet areas
- Ran around trying to find hot and cold areas of the map to change the shape of my thermo-chamelionic keycard
- Had a multi-screen fight in a big grass field with a sniper who disappeared into the foliage as cover and moved between screens
- Had a late-game fight with an invisible assassin boss who was trackable by sound and environmental cues
- Fought metal gear with a grenade launcher, then fistfought a dude (grey fox) in the burning wreckage before big escape sequence
- Had to get “Eva” to the helicopter, Metroid-style as the base was blowing up and timers were counting down.

It’s eerie man. Eerie. That said, there’s still this whole list of things I have NEVER done before in a Metal Gear game:
- Hatched an egg in my inventory into an owl … which I used as an alarm clock.
- Hatched an egg in my inventory into a snake, who ate all my rations before leaving 
- Used specific rations that contained chocolate and /or beans to solve environmental problems that could only be solved by chocolate and/or beans
- Collected a bucket and hid under it like a cardboard box
- Had a boss fight with a boss who was gripping me in a chokehold the entire time and could only be killed by things like mines and directional missiles
- Used a smoke grenade to determine wind direction before leaping off a building in a hang glider
- Navigating a swamp by sound and feel
- A boss fight where the boss’ only strategy was to run away from you as fast as possible while the room filled with poison gas
- Punched out Grey Fox while fighting barehanded and badassed in a minefield after blowing up Metal Gear. We will revisit this exact same scene with Liquid shortly.

Image

MSX MG2 is like playing Hideo’s weird college age demo tape. The same songs you know and love are there in (mostly) the same arrangements, but it’s all raw and stream of consciousness style with no post-production. MG2 lacks the subtlety and refinements we’d see in the later games – and probably could have used a good editor - but still shows pretty much as a white-hot bolt of creative genius. Playing this game (remember - a product of the Policenauts / SNATCHER era) feels relentlessly, breathlessly creative. I would 100% bet that at the time of its release there was just nothing like it, and there STILL isn’t.

http://i.ytimg.com/vi/T-H0fmG9ffI/hqdefault.jpg

That said, I’m glad I’m playing MG2 in a post-gameFAQs world. There are some things in here… plenty of stuff actually… that would have 100% stuck me as a kid. Some guy knocking on the wall, tap tap tap, and I’m meant to infer a codec frequency out of that? Come on. Random places where I’m supposed to know to punch the wall to uncover secret passages? Throw smoke grenade to determine wind velocity? Just ‘know’ that I need to take the key to the freezer and then run back super quickly before it changes shape? Get outa here. This stuff would be handled much better in later games with tight codec prompting which gradually uncovered the game’s mysteries.

Still though, the scene where Solid Snake finally faces down Big Boss (yes, with a lighter and a can of hairspray) is something I’ve been waiting to do for 30 years. Bucket list, complete.

Image
User avatar
User

RedSwirl

Posts

325

Joined

Tue Jul 08, 2014 5:22 pm

Favorite Genres

Man I don't know.

Now Playing

Fallout 4

Re: Cult of Kojima, Rise in respect. Our time is nigh.

by RedSwirl » Tue Sep 29, 2015 5:43 pm

I remember someone called MG2 the LA Takedown to MGS1's Heat -- same script but with access to different budgets. And the tap tap code? That was in the manual. At least it was in the manual for the PS2 version of Subsistence... and it's based on the actual POW tap code.

Anyway, after reaching episode 20 in Phantom Pain, I've realized that if you were to string together the most important main missions of this game, it would probably form a logical evolution of what you had in MGS3 (bar the changes in location between Afghanistan and Africa). Episode 20 feels like it could have been sliced out of MGS3 -- a mostly linear path where you travel through some cool set pieces. But those set pieces are still designed so you have a lot of freedom in dealing with them, and it's all capped off by what feels like a classic Metal Gear-style boss fight. Like I said in an earlier post, this mission and others like it still feels significantly more open-ended than in past Metal Gear games, sort of like the first Crysis game. So, essentially, for people who miss "old Metal Gear," an "old Metal Gear" technically still exists inside Phantom Pain, but it's cut up and interspersed throughout this open-world game and base building simulator. The same is likely true for Peace Walker (though its boss battles aren't as good), but the altogether different generation of hardware Phantom Pain operates on makes a huge difference.

Beige's comments about MG1 actually remind me how much of a world map-oriented adventure game Metal Gear used to be. The early Zelda games are not a bad comparison -- the interface and some of the progression at least feel similar. Maybe some people lament what that kind of structure could have been in 3D. Maybe it could have been interesting had Kojima dropped Snake into one relatively massive world map for a single relatively linear mission like in the old games but on today's technology with today's controls. I still think MGS3 with more modern controls would be a near flawless masterpiece. But instead we got a frankly excellent stealth/action sandbox.
User avatar
User

A.I Impaired

Posts

127

Joined

Fri Jun 27, 2014 3:16 pm

Location

Ottawa, ON

Favorite Genres

Computer RPG's

Now Playing

Doom, Overwatch, Dark Souls

Re: Cult of Kojima, Rise in respect. Our time is nigh.

by A.I Impaired » Tue Sep 29, 2015 8:11 pm

Enjoy hearing the MSX MG love.
Ill say when I first played MG2, I hadnt any way to impose Kiefer Sutherland on BIg Boss.
It was on a MSX emulator, and there was something very familiar about Big Boss...

Image

So as you can see, I was reading all the lines as Mr. Connery.

Knowing how fanatical Kojima was about movies, it kind of makes sense why snake looks like Mel Gibson as well.

Image

Or why the original metal gear boxart was from terminator promotional art. Or why Snake used the codename Plissken in MGS2 (as Snake Plissken is the main character in Escape from New York/LA).

No way could they get away with this today.
It is very understandable why they changed the art for the bonus re-release.
The new art looks way more consistent with the franchise anyways.




On Phantom Pain:
beyond the sandbox, yes ... there are moments that mirror the excitement I felt infiltrating Groznyj Grad for the first time.... its actually quite a common feeling
User avatar
User

RedSwirl

Posts

325

Joined

Tue Jul 08, 2014 5:22 pm

Favorite Genres

Man I don't know.

Now Playing

Fallout 4

Re: Cult of Kojima, Rise in respect. Our time is nigh.

by RedSwirl » Wed Oct 07, 2015 5:51 am

It's done.

Honestly, after all this, going through the whole Metal Gear saga, I just feel drained, like a giant weight has passed out of me.

Look, it's cool that Kojima is a guy who actually tries to say some shit in his games. That was novel back in 1998 on consoles. Hell, the messages Kojima tried to deliver through MGS2 in 2001 are downright prophetic when you look back at them in 2015. Today I think some people lament what happened between Kojima and Konami because Kojima might be just about the last "auteur" given that level of directorial control over a blockbuster video game to deliver a message of any kind other than "this is fun." The upper tier of film today is saturated with Avengers and Transformers and Fast & Furious, but you still get motherfuckers like Chris Nolan who are allowed to transmit messages or at least make people think about shit with movies like Inception and Interstellar. You still get Mad Max: Fury Road which is simultaneously an accessible action flick and a vector for messages. Inception and Interstellar as video games would have to be $20 digital-only affairs. If you want to see someone spend $80 million to actually say something through interactivity, Kojima was almost it.

And yet, Jesus Christ this medium probably deserved better than Kojima. I'm not saying he's irredeemably terrible. I'm just saying he's kind of like George Lucas minus Gary Kurtz. I feel like some creators have great ideas but need another guy backing them up and chipping away the pieces. Lucas had Kurtz for A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back. Look at what happened when he left.

Anyway. I'm out. I can only hope Ubisoft examines the fuck out of The Phantom Pain because as a VIDEO GAME, it's pretty much the game Ubisoft has been trying to make since about 2009. The next Splinter Cell needs to freaking BE Phantom Pain without the anime storyline.
Previous

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

Powered by happyfish | phpBB3 Style by Beige
cron