Taedium Edax Rerum

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Posted by Doug on March 28, 2009

Solid Snake’s a roadmap on my way to be a man*.

Reading the TV Tropes Wiki’s list of Crowning Moments of Awesome led me, through a rather convoluted sequence of hyperlinks to a performance of the Metal Gear Solid theme by the Eminence Orchestra…which led me to dusting off my poor, neglected PlayStation 3 and putting Guns of the Patriots in.

MGS 4: Guns of the Patriots is not the best Metal Gear Solid game—that honor has to go to either MGS3: Snake Eater (Big Boss + the Eyepatch of Power = Bad Ass) or the original Metal Gear Solid (Metal Gear Rex FTW). I’m still not sure which is the better game, but this may be just because I do not generally take graphics into consideration when I think of what makes a game great (if I did, MGS3 would clearly be better).  Both games have an awesome storyline, interesting characters, kick-ass boss fights, great voice acting, the works.  Both are an A+ in my book.

MGS4 is a close third, a fitting conclusion to the series, but worthy only of an A−, for it was lacking in the boss fight department.  The Beauty & the Beast unit just did not seem as impressive as either Foxhound or the Cobras before it.  Still, there was a lot for a Metal Gear Solid fanboy such as myself to enjoy: the Metal Gear Rex vs. Metal Gear Ray battle, for example, and finally getting to rearrange Ocelot’s face.

MGS 2: Sons of Liberty, while still an great game, really suffered in the storyline department, especially late in the second chapter, when everything stopped making sense I HEAR IT’S AMAZING WHEN THE FAMOUS PURPLE STUFFED WORM IN FLAP-JAW SPACE WITH THE TUNING FORK DOES A RAW BLINK ON HARA-KIRI ROCK.  I NEED SCISSORS!  61!  Further, Kojima’s choice to change the player character from Snake to Raiden was an interesting idea, but…allow me to be generous and just say it didn’t work for me.  Something in the execution, in the way it played out, in the fact that we were never allowed to switch back to Snake for the rest of the frigging game…  Score: B+.

As much as I enjoyed the four Metal Gear Solid games, it really wouldn’t bother me if Kojima never made another one.  The story is over, all story arcs have been resolved, and let’s face the facts: does anybody want to see Solid Old Ancient Snake on yet another sneaking mission, hobbling around with a walker?  Making another Metal Gear Solid game would require a new hero… Johnny/Akiba had some badass moments toward the end of MGS4, but I could never take Diahrrea Boy seriously, M82A2 rifle or no.  Raiden, who is more machine than man these days, might be worthy of his own game, where he wasn’t a replacement Scrappy and wasn’t living in the shadow of someone else far more beloved by the fanbase at large (yeah, I’m still bitter about that switcheroo in MGS2, and I don’t think I’m the only one).  Even still, I don’t think there are that many stories left to tell in the Metal Gear universe.  It would be better, I think, for Kojima to retire the series once and for all.

UPDATE (29 Mar 2009): And, yeah, Metal Gear Solid 5 is in the works.  Even though I hadn’t been paying attention, I should have seen that one coming.

*Yeah, I know I got lost.  I can’t help it I’m lousy with directions!

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