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Zero Punctuation: MGS4

By Shamus
on Friday Jun 27, 2008
Filed under:


I don’t usually link to Zero Punctuation because Yahtzee is most often talking about games I’ve never seen or heard of, and so there wouldn’t be much for me to add. But as someone who was exposed to Metal Gear recently I felt an immediate and profound sense of relief after I saw his review. Apparently there’s at least one other person on this planet who doesn’t think Hideo Kojima is some sort of god.

Be warned that his review is filthy, profane, abrasive, and agonizingly true. This is to say, it’s not at all safe for work and might even be bad for you, although not as bad as playing MGS yourself.

I played a few hours of Metal Gear 3 a couple of weekends ago and thought I must have gone insane. This morass of sophomoric nonsense is the famed Metal Gear everyone keeps raving about? I was too inept at the controls – which are about as straightforward and easy to learn as piloting the space shuttle – to be any sort of judge of the gameplay itself. So I’ll have to take everyone’s word for it when they say it’s more fun than ice cream and unicorn rides.

But no amount of peer pressure can convince me the story is anything other than a toxic mix of the inane and the preposterous. The ludicrous plot and fanfiction dialog wouldn’t be so bad if there wasn’t so dang much of it, and if it didn’t take itself so horrifyingly seriously.

Two minutes after Snake touched down in the dense jungle inside the Soviet Union to begin his mission, base called him to ask if he’d gotten his lunchbox stuck in a tree. Snake admitted that yes, that did just happen. Then his commander reminded him that he was a secret agent and could climb trees. That seemed to help, and Snake was good for a couple of minutes until base called back to drone on for about four minutes on what everyone’s code names were, and why they were given those code names and what was the symbolism behind them, and who the people behind the code names actually were, and what those people will be contributing to the mission. Note that the preceding sentence is not kidding as much as you might think it is.

The appeal of the Metal Gear story will forever elude me, but at least now I know I’m not the only one.

Comments (50)

  1. Poet says:

    If we could somehow get Zero Punctuation and Shamus to write something together, it would be the funniest material ever. The universe would then explode.
    But it would be worth it.

    PS: Fiiiiiiiiiiirst.

  2. Jeremiah says:

    Add one more to the list, Shamus! I’ve never been into the MGS series, either. Someone showed me the first one once and went on about how awesome it was, but I just never saw it.

  3. Factoid says:

    The only one I’ve played is Metal Gear Solid 2 on PS2. The gameplay was infantile at best. You ran around taking part in some incomprehnsible story, with the game constantly breaking immersion by (and I’m not kidding here) using the phrase “Press the action button” during radio communications with Raiden’s handlers.

    I walk up to a catwalk, the first such railing I’ve come across in the game thus far.

    Over the radio I hear: “Raiden, there are guards approaching the other end of the catwalk. It’s broad daylight outside, they’ll SEE YOU.”

    Raiden: “Okay boss, this should be good! What do I do?”

    Radio: “Walk up to the railing and PRESS THE ACTION BUTTON (X) to climb over. Use the movement buttons to move along the underside of the catwalk until they pass you, then PRESS THE ACTION BUTTON again to climb back up!”

    Raiden: “Um…were you talking to me or the player there?”

    Now I know some people will say that MGS2 was some sort of Virtual Reality sim that Raiden was immersed in, so it might make sense that the handlers were actually speaking to Raiden as though he were the player of his own avatar…but come on that’s just silly.

  4. Bryan says:

    Not to nitpick, but

    “recently exposed to Metal Gear recently…”

    Apart from that, I haven’t played too much of the MGS series, but from what I’ve seen the story seems overblown, pompous and a little ridiculous. Or as a co-worker likes to say, it’s ricockulous.

  5. Hey D&D Reference!

    I discovered that guy 3 days ago and I foresee wasting countless hours listening to his drawl!

  6. Freaky Dug says:

    I’ve heard lots of people saying that the first 5 or 6 hours sucks and then you reach the bits that are making everyone give it tens out of tens and claim that it’s saved the PS3, but any game which makes you sit through 6 hours of rubbish game before you et to the supposedly good bits is doing something terribly wrong and probably isn’t worth playing. You could play Portal twice in that time, without having to sit through any rubbish bits.

    Although I’ve never played an MGS game, I can’t say I have any wish to, they sound like over hyped nonsense.

  7. henebry says:

    What’s with the strange grey rectangle in your post, Shamus? I thought at first you were spoilering something that was NSFW, but there doesn’t appear to be any grey-on-grey text there, or any links or anything, for that matter.

    The rectangle appears between the “Be warned …” and the “I played …” paragraphs.

    No one else has asked about it, so I suppose it must be some new Flash encoding that my browser can’t read, or something like that.

  8. Freaky Dug says:

    Henebry: It should be the Zero punctuation video. Maybe your browser is blocking flash or doesn’t have the latest version of flash.

  9. Sarah says:

    I like the story in Metal Gear.

    It’s like being on crack.

    But, no really, I think Metal Gear was originally a cartoon of some sort, or at least that’s how the story reads. It’s more like…a huge joke about serious plotlines rather than one of those itself. A comedy movie.

  10. Nilus says:

    Yeah this game looks amazing. All the MSG games do, but I have not been happy with one since the original MSG on PS1. Seems like they should worry more about improving controls and less about bat shit crazy storylines

  11. Jason says:

    MG:S for the PS1 was the only one I could play (and I had a blast). The others just got way too pretentious and excited with themselves. Why the heck do I want to play games that 45 minute cutscenes in them? Kojima’s not that great of a game designer. If he wants to push agendas and make films, then he should be doing that.

  12. ShadowDragon8685 says:

    Hideo Kojima, is in fact, a genious.

    In the form of Metal Gear Solid, he’s created video-game crack that’s a serious rival to GTA and WoW.

    I hate MGS. Can’t stand it. I want to beat the people who keep making him make more MGS (IE, the people who keep BUYING more MGS).

    This is because I, myself, am a die-hard Zone of the Enders fan, and every time he makes an MGS game, he’s not making ZoE 3.

    Shamus, do yourself a big favor. Hell, [b]I[/b] will do the favor if you want me to. Get a copy of Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner, and review it. It’ll be the most awesome giant-mecha anime you’ve ever played, or the most awesome giant-mecha game you’ve ever watched.

    Yes, there are the usual long cutscenes, but they’re neither as long nor as awful as in MGS. You start playing ZoE almost immideately after pressing “new game”, and you can skip the tutorials if you want – as a bonus, they’re not delivered piecemeal for the most part, but given to you in one large VR simulation section, which you can do from the title screen if you wish (though the opportuity also presents itself in-game). And since it’s in the context of a pilot inside a giant mecha’s cockpit, the AI voice explaining the controls dosen’t break the fourth wall.

    And I was serious about that offer, I’ll buy the thing and have it shipped to you if you’ll review it. It’s totally worth it to prove that, yes, Hideo Kojima can make good video games.

  13. Dannerman says:

    I actually really enjoyed the first game and stayed away from all the rest partly because of the never-ending cutscenes and the irritating ‘Raiden’ character and partly due to the fact that I never did get a PS2…

    By the way, thanks for linking that Shamus – that video actually made me laugh out loud for the first time in a long while!

  14. Cardboard says:

    I think the appeal for most people who like MGS comes from the fact that the weird crap heaps up until it hits some sort of critical mass wherein it becomes more fun than tedious. Being already familiar with the terminology the characters toss around willy nilly without explanation helps too. What’s a PMC? A private military contractor probably. I haven’t played 4.

  15. Zukhramm says:

    MGS2 is the best game ever.

    Raiden owns.

    Aaaand I actually like the controls.

  16. Avatar says:

    They’re all logy in the “why are we talking about philosophy for ten minutes before we try to kill each other” department. The newer iterations use cutscenes instead of the radio for more and more of that, but Zero’s right, blue editor needs food badly.

    On top of that, a lot of the humor in MGS4 falls a little flat, purely because of bad timing. If it were done a little snappier, some of the jokes would work much better.

    All that said, MGS4 -does- do a pretty good job of throwing different kinds of gameplay at you. One straight-up sneaking chapter, one where you’re running interference for a bunch of militia, one where you’re tailing a guy through a city, one almost completely without live enemies, and… well, the last chapter is a quick, short sneak in front of a gimmick boss fight and about a billion hours of cutscenes. There’s something wrong when the credits start rolling and you’re still an HOUR from the title screen!

    Incidentally, Raiden is back for MGS4, but (a) you don’t play as him, and (b) it’s too bad, because he’s been infused with the bad-assery of a thousand burning suns.

  17. Lady Kat says:

    Hey Shamus, long time reader, first time poster(well, “long time” being a couple of months, but whatever). Love the site.

    Anyhoos, it’s good to know I’m not missing anything. My friend and I were looking to pick up MGS 2 for the mocking after one too many viewings of Metal Gear Awesome, but we couldn’t find a copy for rent or used either. I feel better about the whole thing now.


  18. JFargo says:

    I had the same problem as Factoid with the immersion being completely screwy. In-game hints about what buttons to press, in a game that’s really supposed to be seriously immersive? That doesn’t work for me.

    Plus, all I remember is something about some psychic guy who can counter every single thing you do, unless you plug in the 2nd player controller. Is that the right game? Because, really, that could have been cool, except as I understand it there was NOTHING in the game that hinted at this, so you basically had to find out from someone else.

  19. MikeSSJ says:

    Starting with MGS3 is probably not a good idea – although it is a prequel, the gameplay differs from the previous games, and a lot of people had problems adjusting at first.

    Oh, and the story doesn’t take itself as seriously as you might think – there’s quite some comic-relief in there.

  20. wintermute says:

    There is a wonderful comic trying to make sense of the backstory for MGS. And it’s recently come to a conclusion, too.

    I’ve never played the game, but if it’s as insane as this seems to suggest, maybe I should…


  21. ccesarano says:

    I played the first Metal Gear Solid and enjoyed it. I got MGS2 back when I had a PS2 and never finished. I was about 3/4 of the way through when I just felt….done. I didn’t have any desire to pick the controller up and play it again. Then MGS3 was introducing all this crap about eating different foods, doing this and that, and it felt to me that they were throwing in more tedious gameplay elements instead of fixing the broken ones. Twin Snakes, the GameCube remake of the first game, is a better playing engine, but the cut-scenes are so ridiculous it’s even worse than the regular MGS titles.

    On one hand, the first one was an interesting enough story because you didn’t know what was coming. The cut-scenes that were long didn’t bother you because the story had you intrigued, and when they broke the fourth wall it was sometimes amusing (though the Psycho Mantis thing was just ridiculous: I know people that never touched the game after that, as there really isn’t enough of a hint to suggest swapping controller ports. It was an interesting idea, but blacking out the screen and writing HIDEO is just going to make people wonder if their game is broken).

    Of course, when you get right down to it, the only people that care about MGS4 are the Metal Gear fanboys and PS3 fanatics, and even then it’s not a whole truth. I have a pair of friends that loved the first three MGS games, but it’s not worth spending money on a PS3 for. They are the only people I know, be it in real life or on the Internet, that really care about the series. Everyone else is more “Eh, if it comes to the 360 I’ll give it a whirl”.

    Maybe PC, 360 and Wii gamers have enough original and excellent IP coming out that we don’t need to rely on franchises that have only added tedious elements and endless reams of dialogue to the formula. :/ (though it does look like the gameplay was improved some….but to the standards it should have had back when it was on the PS2).

  22. ngthagg says:

    Play MGS, then MGS 3. I haven’t played 4 myself yet, so I can’t say if it’s worthwhile or not.

    Don’t get hung up on the radio dialogue. It’s there instead of textboxes, or stupid attempts at immersion (see Assassin’s Creed, Morrowind). Some people hate it, I love it. If you hate it, press X and just read the dialogue. Or get a friend to explain it to you and skip everything. You won’t miss anything important until you actually start meeting people in the flesh.

    Give the controls some time. Third person games don’t have a huge history of standardized controls to draw on like an FPS does. I’m not a particularly talented gamer, but I can play all the games through on most of the difficulty levels.

    And finally, if you don’t like, don’t play it :) I love it, but I can understand if some people don’t. It has a very Japanese feel to it, unconcerned about switching between silliness and seriousness with no notice. But the story in the first and third games is worth it. My two roommates at the time I was playing MGS3 both wanted me to play it just so they could follow the story. One got angry when I won the game while he was at work.

  23. JKjoker says:

    Ive only tried mgs2 for pc and after the game gave me the finger after 2 or 3 hours in and suddently switched my character from ultra super baddass : Solid Snake to gayest operative ever : Raiden i felt like somebody punched me, i tried to keep playing but i just forget it and keep having fun (actually the game didnt let me with its incredible annoying “stop!, i something very important to tell you : i saw a mudcrab the other day” radio moments) so i was never able to finish it.

    i saw part of the opening cutscene for mgs4 in the mall the other day and i have to say the graphics look breathtaking but the 90 minutes cutscenes thing is just too much for me, i doubt ill ever try it unless i can do it for free and with way too much free time on my hands.

  24. Jeysie says:

    But, no really, I think Metal Gear was originally a cartoon of some sort, or at least that's how the story reads. It's more like…a huge joke about serious plotlines rather than one of those itself. A comedy movie.

    Yes, precisely. I’ve never played the games myself (definitely don’t have the dexterity skills), but I have a couple MGS-fan friends who have told me about the various plot details over time… and I think it’s pretty much supposed to be a slightly ridiculous satire. Or at the very least, it’s an existential experiment that purposefully does silly things in the course of it while still pretending to be straight-faced.

    It’s the sort of game that needs to be approached with a fair bit of willingness to enjoy intentional absurdity.

  25. Alex says:

    Whenever I stumble onto a topic of “Video Games That Should Be Made Into Movies” in forums, every single poster seems to think Metal Gear Solid would be a good fit. That all of the other games that have been attempted or those to come wouldn’t work, but surely this one would, because it’s all cinematic and shyte.

    To which I offer a counterpoint:


    I like the Metal Gear games, but certainly not for their EPIC STORIES OMG. Although I do find a wacky charm in the cutscenes, I too feel they take themselves too seriously to be effective parody, let alone anything close to dramatic material I can take seriously.

    I don’t even like the sneaking(it’s too easy to get caught, or I just suck too much at it). Which just leaves the boss fights. Now THESE I like(the showdown with “The End” makes all of the inane drivel preceding worthwhile). Which I guess makes me the polar opposite of Jerry Holkins on the issue…

  26. scragar says:

    Can I point out that if you call around using the codec for a bit someone does tell you to use the second controller, so it’s not like the mantis fight is completely without help(and you can beat him without switching pads either, just use grenades to get his health down till he takes Meryl over again, then kick his ass normaly when she faints/gets KOed).

    I love MGS, although I do have a habit of skipping cutscenes and flying through the codec chats(if you get stuck in the game call the people up using it, they offer much more accurate help without tons of back story), the first MGS being the only one I have failed to complete on any difficulty above hard, due mostly to the annoying fight with liquid at the end.

  27. Duffy says:

    Sadly I was one of those MGS addicts, and after just finishing the latest iteration last night I’ve come to the conclusion that Hideo sucks at writing dialogue (or whoever is responsible for it).

    The overall plot is a typical conspiracy and believe it or not, somewhat plausible over all. Some specifics are bit weird, but hey it game out of Japan, what do you expect? The biggest problem is the writers seem to lack the ability to say anything in less then 2,000 words or without repeating themselves 5mins later. That has been aggravating me no end as the installments progressed. But they had me hooked, I wanted to see how it all tied in, and I will say, they did at least manage to bring closure to the series, albeit with more words the necessary.

    It might be cultural thing, it is a Japanese game being made about the U.S., I don’t know.

    As for the controls, I’m suprised which actions aren’t quicker, and that the controls have not changed that much between the games, a little bit, but they have stayed basically the same since MGS for the PS1.

    But in terms of affecting my will to play the game hmmm, let’s it put it this way, despite its sometimes annoying cut scene dialgoue I kept playing. Assassin’s Creed has amazing controls that I wish were in every action game…yet I haven’t continued play since the 2nd assassination, several months ago. Take what you will from it.

    I’d say at this point I don’t hate the series, but certain things about it irk me enough to not claim it to be the best thing ever.

  28. John Alexander says:

    Most, if not all, of the over-the-top silliness is not real. (Warning, the preceding sentence may contain spoilers).

    No, really though, there be spoilers in this post.

    The whole ghost-arm thing? That was the one big thing keeping me from playing the 4th game. Once that came up in MGS2, I was very upset. Until then, it was a conspiracy-theory-with-giant-mechs game, with a little bit of supernatural spice thrown in, but a ghost possessing you through your arm? I thought that went too far. Turns out, it was as true as cake…

    Okay, yes, the dialogue is overly windy and rather poorly timed, but the story itself is great. It just might be a bit hard for people to find it through the poor dialogue. It makes me sad that even MGS, one of my favorite game series’, suffers from everything I hate about Japanese games…

    As for MGS3, I think that one is the worst of them all; there is no middle part to the game, and no mystery. It is a short beginning, and a VERY LONG WALK to the end of the game. It’s not until the ending cutscene that the actual conspiracy comes out, and until #4 was released, it seemed to have no connection to the series at all, other than ‘this is Big Boss. This is Ocelot. LOOK, FAMILIAR CHARACTERS!’.

    As for the breaking immersion, I have mixed feelings. I like the humor, but hate the broken fourth wall. Same goes with some of the silly, poorly implemented jokes; Hideo Kojima seems to have horrid comedic timing, much like most Japanese slapstick.

  29. Joshua says:

    I’ve never liked the MGS series either. It’s just how everyone’s saying it is. It takes its over-the-top self too seriously.

    “Yeah, I’m a secret government operative. I infiltrate secret bases and gather information so my employers can protect the safety of whoever from their GIGANTIC MISSILE-LAUNCHING ROBOT!”

    And all the references to the player seem like they’d be annoying.

  30. Carriage says:

    Reminds me of anime the story and its stupidness. That said, i still found the first two immensely enjoyable but haven’t really thought about it enough to explain why.

  31. Smileyfax says:

    I only ever played MGS1, and I was never really good at the stealth aspects. Fortunately, you can still blow people away real good with guns, so I never had too much trouble with it.

    I always wanted to play 2 and 3, though.

  32. Doyle says:

    Personally I’ve only ever found the games to be good for a “Mystery Science Theater” type evening. Handing off the controller, running about like a tit, lambasting everything that the characters say, and generally trying to break the game by playing in increasingly outlandish ways… It’s the only way I’ve ever found of making the franchise fun.

  33. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Well yahtzee agreed with you about halo as well.

    As a rule,every time you see something released with a number higher than 2(as in second sequel,not as in warhammer 40k)following the title,you can be sure its just a boring crap released to milk money from the fans.There are so few exceptions(monkey island,leisure suit larry(without the remake though),warcraft and civilisation),and for each of those comes at least 10 titles that confirm such a rule.Luckily though,games still have exceptions to this rule,unlike movies that I cannot name a single title before or after godfather that has all its sequels worth watching.

    Saddly,Im really doubtful fallout 3 will be an exception(bethesda did make elder scrolls 3 which was great,but they also made elder scrolls 4 which was just average).I do hope that you will review it soon after its release,because you do cover major points like gameplay,story and bugs in great detail,unlike paid reviewers that just mention these in a sentence or two at the end of their OMFGSHINYPIXLZ!!! praises.

  34. Kel'Thuzad says:

    Strange… I had never played any Metal Gear Solid games, and I just bought the fourth. It seems like a pretty good game to me. I enjoy the story so far, and I don’t really undestand what’s so bad about the gameplay.

  35. Griffin says:

    With regret, I stopped listening to Yahtzee after he described Smash Bros. as a “button masher.” (Sure, beginning players can have fun and even occasional success by just mashing buttons (which I consider a feature more than a bug), but there’s great reward for skillful play.) On the one game he’s reviewed that I’m familiar with, he didn’t understand it or describe it accurately. How could I trust his opinion on anything else? I’m left with the uncomfortable realization that I now have a negative impression of several games that may be unjustified.

  36. Shadani says:

    Curious. I’ve heard all these complaints before, but I have genuinely no idea why people consider MGS’ writing and plot to be anywhere near subpar (and the common critism about the controls leaves me scratching my head as well). I suppose the many years of exposure to Japanese games and anime have allowed me to stretch my willing suspension of disbelief further than most people’s, or something. Lucky me.

    The story of MGS is, by the way, supposed to be more of a deconstruction of the action genre than anything, with particular care given to precisely how screwed up the main cast of such a story would have to be (hint: very).

    Griffin: Yahtzee’s hillarious and all, but taking his opionion too seriously is… well; unwise. He’s about as objective as a wild boar, and his primary goal is to entertain, not provide constructive critism. I thought the Witcher, for example, was easily one of the best games of 2007, and most fans of the genre seem to agree. The only games he’s even remotely kind to are those that meet his very narrow criteria in design, genre and style.

    It’s amusing to watch a witty guy rant on about something he hates, but that doesn’t mean the world has to agree.

  37. Meta says:

    “if it didn't take itself so horrifyingly seriously.”

    I think this is a misunderstanding. It does seem to be so at first, but there’s always something between the lines suggesting “Yeah, we know this is ridiculous, but it’s cool!”. For actual lines, watch the extra content.

  38. Daemian Lucifer says:


    You shouldnt take yahtzees reviews(nor anyone elses for that matter)for granted.Tastes differ,so you should only trust yourself.However,if you dont like a certain genre,and yahtzee reviews a game of said genre,you can be almost sure you too wont like that game.If you do like certain genre,than you should watch his reviews just for laughs.

  39. BurningStickman says:

    Actually, in the first MGS, if you call Campbell, he flat out tells you to change the controller port, so I don’t think it’s fair saying “there’s barely a hint.”

    And the rest of the “breaking immersion” stuff is part of the reason the fans like the games in the first place. Metal Gear Solid isn’t, and has never been, a series that takes itself seriously; saying it takes itself “too seriously” is missing the point entirely. It knows it’s a game, and it knows just how silly the whole thing is, and to its fans, that’s part of the charm of the whole series.

    The games are meant as a deconstruction of the whole superspy archetype, by playing every tired trope and cliche of the genre so straight they curve back on themselves and turn into something new.

    Granted, MGS2 went more than a little nuts in the crazy twist/mindscrew department (I believe the logic was something like, “Hey, they liked the twists in MGS1, so let’s turn it up to 11!”), which is why MGS3 is somewhat more straightforward, and much of MGS4 is dedicated to unraveling and making sense of the storyline up to then.

    Also, yeah, MGS3, though a prequel, isn’t the place to start. A good chunk of the game’s humor and nuance is dependent on you knowing what happened in the other games up to then.

    And here’s a little secret about Yahtzee’s reviews: They’re almost always nothing but negative about the game in question. I think there’s maybe two times, total, he’s given a positive review. He’s hilarious, but he makes his living by shitting on games; he’s not a serious reviewer. Taking any of his reviews as “proof” that a game is bad is pretty silly in and of itself.

  40. Mark says:

    Metal Gear Solid, as a series, is highly polarizing. Either it clicks for you and you love it, or it misses the mark for you and you hate it. It has nothing to do with the quality of the game.

    There’s a certain concept for the sort of entertainment value they provide, but I’m not sure there’s a word for it. It’s sort of a ridiculous, stupid, over-the-top, indulgent exercise in pure fluffy entertainment than it is a comedy or dramatic story.

    Hideo Kojima badly needs an editor, and MGS3 had awful controls. Even his biggest fans will admit those without provocation, so it’s not exactly a grave insult to say it. One of the reasons I like it, at least, is because his personality and vision are so clearly communicated in the game. This is not a game designed by a committee – it’s the work of an auteur, made with extreme competence and that anonymous entertainment principle listed above.

    It’s sort of a cop-out defense to say that something is “a matter of taste” since nobody has a taste for dog shit, and some things unquestionably are. This is a game to which that can reasonably be applied.

  41. BurningStickman says:

    Really, I don’t get how you could say MGS3 in particular had awful controls because, really, they didn’t change between 2 and 3, except for the addition of CQC (though that, I admit, could have improved. I slit a lot more throats than I meant to just by holding down the button to hard).

  42. StingRay says:

    I really loved the first game. Metal Gear Solid, as I remember it, had tight controls, a fantastic story and stunning graphics. Granted, this may be nostalgia speaking, and it may not hold up as well if you were to play it today, but I played and replayed that game so many times my wife actually grew to hate it, and would get angry at me when I started it up.

    Then came along MGS2. The prelude was great. It was everything I was hoping the sequel would be. Then the prelude ended, and Snake was ripped away in favor of some whiny, wussy blonde-haired moron. The story took a nose-dive and everything really went to pot.

    Additionally, there was a big deal made out of how you could sneak through the game, tranquilize all the enemies and never kill anyone. I took up the challenge with my first game and succeeded in not killing anyone, except for when the cutscenes took over and the bosses were suddenly bleeding profusely out of wounds I didn’t cause. Apparently they’d gotten so sleepy they shot themselves.

    I bought MGS3 for 10 dollars a couple months ago. I’d avoided it like the plague out of fear of another MGS2, and still haven’t worked up the courage to start it up. I think I’ll pass MGS4 up even if I find it in the value bin.

  43. R4byde says:

    Note the following post may contain minor spoilers for MGS 1-3, run-on sentences and be very long winded.

    I have to disagree with everyone here except for Shadani and Stingray. The rest of you are just looking at the games wrong, they’re comedies, extremely high action very over the top comedies. Think Lethal Weapon on crack, not Tears of the Sun.

    The first game is the best of the series -I haven’t played MGS4 yet- its story is the least off-the-wall, and it has the simplest gameplay.

    Number two is, besides the opening chapter, an abysmal pile o’ crap. Despite what everyone says the story is not difficult to understand, it’s just stupid, and the humor is almost non-existent. This one does take itself far too seriously.

    Three is nice because it, in the director’s cut, has a third person camera that makes the game far easier to control in outdoor areas. Its not as good as the first game, though it has the most and best jokes, mostly at the expense of the Bond films, but as was said the more serious aspects of the story don’t appear ’till the last ten to fifteen minutes. Plus Eva seemed like she was only there so the game could have breasts in it.

    In closing you may just have to have been following the series since you were wee lad (I’ve loved it since, as an eight year old, I first played through with my dad the year it came out.) to enjoy it, but it still kicks arse! :)

  44. Bobby says:

    Yeah, if you think it takes itself too seriously you haven’t been approaching it with the right mindset. Though if you’re not familiar with the series’ tendancy towards parody you probably won’t realize the game’s making fun of you until you’ve played for a while, or are lucky enough to do something silly early on. One of my first actions in the game luckily was to take down a flying squirrel, and after the ensuing dialogue with the survival specialist about what kind of crazy person you must be for wanting to eat a flying squirrel it’s hard to take the remainder of the game seriously.

    Another aspect that may be a problem is that a lot of the weird stuff and jokes the game has in store are somewhat hidden. It rewards you for being weird. Doing things in a straightforward way will give you a somewhat straightforward game, do unexpected things and the game will show you just how much of the apparently weird stuff you can do is expected and rewarded. SPOILERS follow.

    You can blow up weapons caches to weaken enemy squads, use wildlife against them, poison them, stick C4 to people, you can snipe a boss from afar long before his scheduled boss fight or save while fighting him, stop playing for a week and have him die of old age, make your character sick by spinning him in the status screen (which in turn is one of several way to escape prison), there’s a dead guy haunting your first-person view who can at some point provide you with help. There’s a wonderful moment where the game reveals that it does, in fact, remember every enemy you’ve killed and how.

    As mentioned earlier there’s a psychic in one of the earlier games whose power is actually that he can read player 1’s input and memory card so switching to the second port will incapacitate him. In fact in his opening dialogue he is talking to the player and not the player character, which is pretty unusual.

    Those are just a few of the better known examples. Basically it rewards you a lot for thinking outside the box, but on the surface it indeed looks like an horrible thing with horrible dialogues, and it certainly is one at times. The people who like it, though, like it for all the weird inventive stuff it hides behind that.

  45. Balerion says:

    Heh, you gotta love people who are bashing something which they never really played. ;)
    You played few hours of MGS3, congratulations. I hereby declare you the expert on MGS series.
    Don’t judge the book by it’s cover they say.

    MGS were always lover or hate games, but judging them by a few hours of just one game? Oh please.

    If I was like you, I’d never finish reading Lord of the Rings as the start was really boring. Well, I got over it, finished it and actually read it few more times. Same with MGS games.

  46. Jeff says:

    I just read and reread the plot stuff for the MG series. It’s hilariously bad. It seems like it’d be cool to uncover bit by bit, but if you get the whole thing in one infodump, it’s… not so cool.

  47. Chris Arndt says:

    I have played MSG2.

    I enjoyed it.
    I have other thoughts on the games and series and but that’s not relevant. What is relevant is that anyone who thinks that the games take themselves seriously does not understand what the heck he is talking about.

  48. Josh says:

    Spoilers A-hoy:

    Y’know, I have come to the conclusion, as have many others, that Kojima is really just a frustrated director who wants to share his message, gameplay be damned. ie. war & nukes are bad, patriotism is worthless, etc.

    Frankly, I enjoy the gameplay of MGS and MGS 2; MGS 3 took me much longer to get used to as the difficulty seemed to have skyrocketed without your trusty radar map in the upper corner. Had to rely on your eyes a lot more.

    However, while MGS 2 had its moments of silliness (the ending area where you stroll around buck-naked), and some preachiness, I almost ended up turning off MGS 3 when playing through some of the cutscenes and codec messages. It wasn’t due to the gameplay, though. It was due to the utter preachiness of Kojima that made me roll my eyes and want to take a break. Really, I understand how you feel about soldiers and love blossoming on the battlefield, Hideo, but could I just get back to playing your little stealth game? Plzkthx.

  49. Spike242 says:

    dude dude dude, am guessing your such a pansie that you didn’t even try to play the game on THE BOSS EXTREME mode, witch is ABSOLUTELY JACK HARD, its like trying to shit a coffin nail sideways, you fart and die, you equip a weapon or item to close to an enemy and they hear it and you die, the boss extreme mode is that stupidly hard, and its amazing, i completed the game in 12 hours on easy, and am 4 hours in to the first level taking on laughing octopus and i die every 10 min’s, but i will complete it. the cut seance yes can be a bit long (an hour +) but all you have to do is ignore them and the game plot plays its self out. (plot spoilers) so what if you don’t find out that johnny the shit machine is hiding in a drum can and that’s how you get it, or the fact that sunny is Olga’s long lost daughter, the fact that Naomi is dead and she is like vamp, or the lovely fact that you don’t ever know what the shit, why the shit, or how the shit things are happening, its just fun to sneak about floor fucking every were in the adeptly thought out sneaking equipment like the drum, the cardboard box or using things like the playboy mag, or the empty mag’s. i love MGS4 and i don’t blame you if you don’t like it, ad just love to see you do as well as me on the boss extreme mode.

    yours lovingly Spike x…

  50. Dreadjaws says:

    Old post, yeah, but the thing is, to enjoy the MGS games you can’t look at them with a western mindset. You have to be fond of all things japanese. Some of the greatest animes are even more absurd than MGS. And they should be approached more or less the same way. You’ll see some anime with a great, serious story, fantastic characters who seem almost real and then some weird ferret with wings will lift a girl’s skirt and every guy in the room will start shooting blood from their noses.

    I think MGS would be more understood if the characters were designed in anime style instead of the more western one it actually uses. The actual style messes with people’s expectations.

    The important thing is that you most likely won’t enjoy the MGS games AT ALL if you don’t play them in order. In fact, it’s even better if you actually start with the Metal Gear games before even considering moving to Metal Gear Solid. Still, even if you never touch the originals, the first MGS is the most important starting point. Don’t expect to get even a glimpse of understanding MGS2 or 3 if you never touched the first one.

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