Saturday, May 28, 2011

Metal Gear Solid Series...What?

As I sit here thinking about how fucking screwed up my life is because the people at my work are so incompetent that they cannot figure out how to make a schedule and then further lamenting that I will probably be working 46-52 hours this week because they just lost another full time person and have yet to hire anyone new....awesome, right? Well, you shouldn't fucking think so because that means less videos for you...

Every summer I play some new games and a lot of old games, the old games keep me rooted in where I was. They remind me who I was and let me know how much I've changed. One thing that hasn't changed is my hatred of the design of the fucking metal gear series, or if you could call it that. There are 4 games that bear the title of "Metal Gear Solid". However, I would like to point out that there is a difference between creating 4 games that contain a story and 4 games that just contain the title and the promise of  the story and giving you something completely different. It's like opening up a cherry pie making shop but only serving doughnuts, both are delicious but you went in to get a cherry pie and if you want a cherry pie you're pretty much fucked...

See that's the thing with the metal gear solid series, in terms of games they are good, but the problem is with the sequels. Metal Gear Solid was a revolutionary game, it was something that was different, it was a game where you had to use stealth to survive, there were a lot of enemies and only one of you so you had to be careful and not get spotted otherwise you'd get your BALLS ROCKED! See the thing is that Metal Gear Solid made you feel like the game was well thought out and planned, it only gave you limited ammo and you needed to rely on your wicked cunning to find solutions to problems quickly to survive. It wasn't about brute strength it was about intelligence. This is consistent throughout the series. But, after it gained its cult like following and they released a sequel I began to lose faith.

See, Metal Gear Solid 1 told a story. It was about Snake and Liquid and how nuclear weapons were threatening the peace of the world. Snake was an agent sent to stop Liquid who had gained a walking tank called metal gear that he was planning to use to launch nuclear weapons. A lot of shit happens and eventually the tank gets activated and you have to destroy it...awesome! It was awesome, there are a lot of really memorable characters here including all of FOX-HOUND, which is the group name of the 5 terrorists that you fight eventually (well, all but one but it was pretty apparent that you weren't gonna fight him, after all his only ability was to disguise himself as people...I mean that would have been a fucking awful boss fight...). But I digress, I'm not here to talk about the fucking storyline of Metal Gear Solid 1, I'm here to talk about how the series is bullshit!

See, the problem is that in Metal Gear Solid 2 you play as Snake for like 20 minutes and that's if you're a fucking retard like Carl!(Note Show reference) Problem is that MGS 2 is exactly like MGS 1 and they even say it in the plot, as if they were trying to be clever about it...bullshit, just because you realize that you were copying off the original and selling us a completely bullshit game doesn't mean that makes it any better. If you knew it, why didn't you fix that shit? While MGS 2 copies the MSG almost exactly it isn't a bad game and it does advance the plot...albeit very little...It gets way too complex and farfetched near the end to ever be real, even by conspiracy standards, and I promise you that most people didn't understand the whole story during the first playthrough...

The second game is NOT a sequel, you don't play as Snake dudes and dudettes. Fact is that you spend most of your time playing as this whiny moron who calls HQ every odd screen and bitches about how tough the mission is...Bro, we've played this game before in MGS 1, Snake didn't bitch like you, we wouldn't bitch like you, shut up and get on with it...

More than that, in order to save your game progress you have to call the guys girlfriend on the codec, because she controls the save feature and then you have to listen to her bitch at him for not remembering the exact hour of the exact day that they both saw the sunrise for the first time together or whatever. Dude's in the middle of a life or death mission, killing people, freaks of nature hunting him, bombs going off and nuclear war, all on his mind and this bitch is all over him...but even as a player, you're sitting there listening to her go on and on and on about NOTHING, ABOUT FUCKING NOTHING and you can't help but say: "...I just wanted to save my fucking game man...jeez".

The game quite simply is a remake of the first, and its a good remake but its not a sequel and it shouldn't be considered as one. If you do consider it as a sequel I would like to openly invite you to come to my house where I will shave your head and cut open your skull to make sure that you don't have a brain, where if upon discovering that you do I will confiscate it and likely give it to someone who will ACTUALLY USE IT.

The third game comes and people who didn't do their research buy it and think its actually what the title says it is MGS 3...yeah! Pardon us for fucking thinking that this would be the third part of the story right? I must have been stupid when I read the big FUCKING 3 on it. I guess now 3 means that you go back 40 years and tell a story there that has little to no relevance to the previous stories we've heard.

On the positives MGS 3 says good bye to the bitching whiny boy and his fucking babbling cocksucking girlfriend and we play as Snake again or rather "Big Boss" but its fucking David Hayter and it sounds and acts like Snake, its Snake again..why? because I say so mother fucker! Its in the jungle which is new and adds a whole new element to the stealth part of it which was interesting.

On the negatives despite is being called MGS 3 it's NOT MGS 3 its more like MGS .5 and even more than that its not at all relevant to the stories told in 1 and 2. This is just Konami wanting to milk the Metal Gear horse for all its worth at this point and they know they have a limited life span because once the final Snake/Liquid/Ocelot thing comes to a head, that's it, its over, done, finito! See the issue I have here is that this game cheated me out of 50 bucks because it had MGS 3 on it. It's not MGS 3, hell, it's not even MGS, Snake isn't REALLY Snake if you want to fucking nitpick and you're trying to blow up something called the Shagohod and NOT Metal Gear, though it is mentioned.

See, the thing is, because of this, I decided that I would never play MSG 4, even though it finally continues the fucking story, this should have been MGS 2! MGS 2 was a story that didn't need to be told, much like the fucking star wars prequels. What they should have REALLY done was combine MGS 2 and MGS 4 into one game and called it MGS 2. Oh, and leave Raiden out...he's a fuck off anyway. See, the reason why I refuse to play the next game is because they have already made me pay 50+ dollars for each of the metal gear games that promised to be sequels but never were. I can't stand for that bullshit, and it sets a dangerous precedent if we let them fuck us like this. They're already overcharging us for games, why let them overcharge you for a game that you fucking don't want in the first place.

Don't get me wrong, these games are good, in fact in some cases they're great, but they're not sequels, they're time killers that are only loosely related to the actual storyline. Its a lot like going on a blind date, you could still have a pleasant experience but it might not be the one you were expecting or that you necessarily wanted...and there is a higher chance of getting an STD...its in the research...


Friday, April 22, 2011

Portal 2

Ok, so, I had such big fucking plans and then I got held back by work and classes and other boring and unimportant shit, but now I'm back to the stuff that really matters, that's right, video games!

Now, I would like to point out that I said I was going to review a number of games after my reviews of BioShock and BioShock 2 *shudder*. But recently a game *cough* Portal 2, came out and I think I would be remiss if I didn't talk about that, seeing as how I finished it yesterday.

Ok, now, Portal, in case you're not familiar with it, then I would recommend that you find a crowbar to pry up that fucking rock you live under to get out and try it. But until you have played it, STOP READING BECAUSE I WILL LIKELY RUIN THE WHOLE FUCKING GAME FOR YOU...WHY ARE YOU STILL READING? WHY? YA KNOW WHAT, FINE! FUCK YOU TOO! NOW YOU DESERVE TO HAVE THE GAME RUINED FOR YOU! ASSHOLE!

Ok, so Portal was this puzzle platformer game that made you use your mind to accurately place portals and use physics to get to certain places or to achieve certain tasks like using a box to press a button that's on a platform that you can't get to. The game was an instant hit and will probably be known as a cult classic for many years to come. It originally came from a set of games featured in a package called "the orange box", this was a groundbreaking thing as the orange box was the first time you could get 5 games for less than the cost of one feature length game. The big attraction seemed to be Half Life 2 and its two following episodes but Portal was the instant breakout and was a favorite by fans and non-fans of the Half Life series alike.

In Portal they managed to combine dark humor with puzzles, which didn't make me complain one bit and that might come as somewhat of a shock, considering the fact that I'm such an amazingly cheery bastard. The game gave you a feeling of isolation as it is very clear that no one is watching you perform these tests other than the computer AI which has a cryptic foreboding in its inflections. In the end you end the AI's life and blow up the facility saving yourself from being killed by the same AI.

Portal 2 begins after an unknown amount of time has passed and you have been put right back into isolation again following the events of the first game. You'll be happy to know that the game hasn't lost any of its wit, and in fact has become even more witty, however the wit is no longer truly centered around GlaDOS, the AI computer that you destroyed but is more so centered around your new computer partner named Wheatley, who is voice by Stephen Merchant. Wheatley is the plucky side kick who is also the brunt of the majority of jokes. I won't ruin the plot twists for you but suffice to say that you and Wheatley are trying to escape the Aperture science labs that have held you captive for both this game and the last. 

During the story you'll encounter old test chambers, new ones and even some new substances like the "repel gel" which allows you to jump higher pending on your height. These add complexity to the puzzles and the number of challenges you face. Right off I will answer two questions you have, yes, I am single and no I am not interested in dating you, weren't interested in those questions, well, you must mean the other two, less popular questions.Yes, the game is substantially longer this time around, Portal originally was about 3 hours long on your first run, Portal 2 clocks in about 10-12 hours on your first run through and yes, it's also more challenging. But don't be discouraged, Portal and Portal 2 manage to be just challenging enough to be interesting and fun without being overly frustrating...that is, unless you have a particularly short fuse...GODDAMNIT!...sorry...

Portal 2 also allows you to see Aperture's history and how it was created, about midgame you stumble upon the initial labs that, by the looks of them, were created circa the 1960s. During scouting these areas you encounter the voice of Cave Johnson(voiced by J.K. Simmons, a comedy hero of mine), the hilariously honest and eccentric creator of the Aperture science labs who is prerecorded and playing over the loud speaker.

Near the end of the game there is a nice twist and the ending is satisfying...and hilarious. Portal 2's ending closes in a nice way by return and if you play it you'll see what I mean. But the ending almost assures you that this series is done, Portal 3 will not be made and to be honest, I'm glad, but more on that in a minute.

Portal 2 looks similar but different from Portal, there is more detail and the graphics are better but it will be a little jarring for old players, who think they are going to venture into the same Aperture. Its also worth noting that the gameplay doesn't take place entirely in the science labs this time, there is some outer world exploring but I assure you that its just as fun! With the look changed, the feel of the labs changes too, this doesn't feel like the old labs where you were alone, not because they have changed the setting as such, but you spend a lot more time in the backdrops seeing how things are made, plus the mood for most of the game is to see if you can get from point A to point B, whereas in the first game you could only complete the tasks given to you and hope you were headed somewhere. This time around you know the score and that the only way to survive is to escape the labs and the testing, and this changes the feel of the game. This isn't to say that its bad, just different, and it's good that it feels different, that's what a good sequel does, if you felt like you were playing the same game then it would feel like a waste of your fucking time and money eh?

Just like Portal, you'll want to replay this game again and again, I want to go play it right now, but I'm stuck writing this for you all...and who says I don't love you???

Finally, I love ice cream! While this might seem like an irrelevant point, allow me to tie it in. Ice cream is great and I love to eat it and put it on things and its amazing, but I eat it rarely. See the thing is, its special because I have it rarely so I have to enjoy it when I have it, like Portal. See the thing is, if Valve makes too many of these Portal games it will probably end, at least for me, the same way having too much ice cream would, usually leaning over the toilet wondering why such a good thing was overdone and of course vomiting followed by a genuine distaste for the product after, which would be tragic because these games are so good! In fact, I'm going to call it right now, Portal 2 is not only better than Portal, but it is probably the best game this year, it will probably WIN game of the year assuming Mass Effect 3 doesn't come out. Hell, even if it does, it will need to be a hell of a game to beat Portal 2! If you haven't yet, buy this game, its worth it, you'll love it, just like ice cream!