I Dislike MGS. I am not alone.
I think in the world of gamers we are split into two groups. Those who like Metal Gear Solid, and those who dislike Metal Gear Solid. I fall into the camp of the latter.
At first, I thought that there was something wrong with me. I played completely through the original Metal Gear on the Nintendo, and that’s a pretty big accomplishment for an 11 year old. I didn’t know why my opinion on the game changed so much. I made me doubt myself. Maybe my critiques weren’t justified. Maybe I was an anomaly. Maybe IÂ should be put down in case I carry an MGS hate gene and need to stop this evolutionary tree from spreading for the sake of humanity.
Well, perhaps eugenics may be a bit extreme, but at the same time, I couldn’t help but feel like an outcast from the gaming community on the MGS issue. My friends have told me tidbits of clever parts, and if you’ve read things by me before, you know that I like clever. It alsoÂ supposedly has cool characters, andÂ I like cool characters. So far so good.
But there’s something off putting about having to sit through 20 minutes of a contrived plot to get to the first moment of being able to play the game. And when the game does start, the game play is decidedly meh. I’ve always been of the opinion that a video game isn’t the greatest medium to convey a story, but I feel that the story is there to propel you to play through the game. In other words, I would prefer a game with good gameplay and no/poor story vs a game that has a good story and poor gameplay. There are so many other means of getting good stories, but video games are the only place that I can get good gameplay.
Even though it’s a argumentative fallacy, I think I’ll appeal to what others say upon this MGS issue. Listening to Zero Punctuation on MGS4, he brings up many of the points that I’ve said in the past, such as long cut scenes, whichÂ has historicallyÂ the low hanging fruit in terms of MGS criticism. In addition,Â and he puts an emphasis on this, another criticism he has is the poor inane writing. Like I said, I like cool characters, but if I have to wade through 10 hours of uncool stuff* to get to hear a cool character say one clever thing, I’ll just pass, thank you.
Also, Tycho from Penny-Arcade has a similar opinion as mine. I WANT to like theÂ MGS series. I’ve purchased MGS2, and when I getÂ a PS3, i’ll probably pick it up when it’s cheap in a few years. For MGS, it’s not about gameplay or story, but I think it’s about the experience. MGS is like Phantom of the Opera for opera goers, it’s full of production but short on game.
*And I have put in my due because I’ve watched Phokal play many many hours of this, most ofÂ which consisted of the most uncool gameplay/dialogue I’ve seen. ThisÂ included a 10 minute ladder climb. Yes, that’s it. It cost me 10 minutes of my life to watch him put one arm over the other. Of course, he seemed to enjoy it because he was willing to jump off when he got to the top. That may be what separates those who like MGS4 and those who don’t. The ones who like exciting ladder climbing gameplay and those who don’t.