Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Man On The Silver Mountain

The one "advantage" to working outside is the occasional rain day. When there is flash flooding all around you, you will rarely do a full days work. This is terrible for the paycheck, but good for catching up on rest. Which is exactly what I've done today, as well as a bit of homework revisions.

This also meant a bit of time for games after rest and homework were finished, which I was glad to have time to actually do. Stopped and picked up 'Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes' this afternoon, after having re-played all the older Metal Gears over the last month or so. I can't say it was worth $30 (this is just a one level demo, after all), but I can honestly say I enjoyed it and am now looking forward to 'The Phantom Pain' even more. So, in a sense, Kojima is again victorious.

But I do nit-pick, and I do always find something to complain about (If I don't have something to bitch about, I'm not happy) and 'Zeroes' does give fuel for the fire. First off: Kojima is not a genius. He had a genius IDEA and like all creatives who have only one good idea, he rode it's coat tails to millions. Then did it again. And again. And again.

While 'Zeroes' does incorporate new gameplay mechanics and controls, which are fairly intuitive and make you wonder why they are only now new to the series, it does have it's rip-off moments. As Metal Gear always does, it harvests the back catalogue of Metal Gear to rip-off ("Homage" if you're nasty).

This is not a "He fucking RUINED IT!" rant, this is merely one little complaint, so do not take this as a whole as being negative. It's fairly simple, 3 letters, in this order: Xof. THAT'S the best you could come up with? I understand names like "The Sinister Six", "Legion Of Losers" (an honest to God group of Spider-Man villains. 'Spectacular Spider-Man' #260something if I remember right. Possibly 280's), and "Legion of Doom" were taken, but still.

But The Red Skull looks awesome. Fantastic to see him branching out of his "Captain America" gig.

Keifer Sutherland does a good job as Big Boss. I'm a die-hard David Hayter fan, he owns the role of Snake and Big Boss to me and always will, but it's Keifer Freakin' Sutherland. When has that guy done a bad performance? Bad material maybe, but bad performance?

After scrounging around just exploring the Cuban base to see what it is I could do and what I could find, my experience was somewhere around two and a half hours. Short, but fun. There are extra missions available upon completion, and they are a bitch from what I've played so far. It is raining and nighttime in the main "campaign", which suits Big Boss', er, suit perfectly. Black is the new stealth, and stealth is Big Boss. The "side missions", however, are set in full blown daytime, which is not complimentary to Big Boss' suit. It makes it a bit trickier, forcing you to really mind your surroundings. Which of course, can be it's own sort of fun or nightmare depending on the view.

The story is... meh. I'll admit to not finishing 'Peace Walker HD', so I was un-familiar with the characters and why I should feel compelled to rescue them. But it was refreshing to see Master Millar in a positive (and alive) light. I'd been looking forward to seeing him in action, and I was pleased. The ending tries to hard. It's a good ending, don't get me wrong, but it feels forced. It's as if Kojima feels he's "wasted" away his talents as a writer (one trick pony or not, he IS creative. Even if it doesn't make sense sometimes *cough*MGS2*cough*) as a "lowly video games are for kids" writer and is now trying to be taken seriously. This is my perception, I could be wrong. It feels as though it was made with the intention of starting controversy. Again, it's not bad, it just feels forced for some reason.

Harry Gregson Williams again returns to the score, and the sound design has been stepped up considerably, as it always does with a new installment. And it looks gorgeous, except for one little bit you will know when you see.

Overall, Big Boss has had a hard life. We know this. And it's going to get harder, which we also know. And we have the opportunity to control and navigate him through a few spells of hardships. And I for one am now looking forward to it more than ever. Is 'Ground Zeroes' worth $30? That depends on what you expect and what you enjoy in a Metal Gear game. Is it fun? Absolutely it is. And isn't that what we play games for?

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