Isn’t that just such a clever blog headline? I should freakin’ write for Details or something.
Anyway. I wouldn’t be a true member of the gaming press if I weren’t party to large-scale “independent” projects that ultimately serve as reinforcement for some publisher’s marketing efforts, and to that end I have been placed in charge of our “four weeks of Metal Gear Solid 4” hub page. And, it turns out, the bulk of the content that goes with it. Today we start with a hands-on preview, which I tried to make as spoiler-free as possible as a courtesy to you — you won’t learn anything new about the story that you hadn’t seen in the early trailers for the game — and the coming weeks will have additional in-depth previews, a retrospective and even a smart-ass video feature from Sharkey. Because you demanded it.
Well, actually, you didn’t demand. But you’ll click, and I guess that’s what matters.
I hope this isn’t coming off as too cynical. If it is, you can blame all the behind-the-scenes nonsense surrounding this game like a suffocating miasma of stupidity. That LA trip I took last week was actually to go to Konami’s offices and review the game, and some of the fallout of that whole process seriously makes me want to warn people away from ever even thinking about getting sucked into a gaming press job. I’d explain, but I’m legally prevented from doing so. Ha! Ha! Ugh. Normally the gaming press operates on a series of gentlemen’s agreements to pretend we don’t know nothin’ about a game until such-and-such a date, but in this case it was less an agreement and more me being thrown to the ground with a bootheel on my throat and my arm twisted until it nearly snapped. Nevertheless, ever the obedient corporate lackey, I have written up a preview of the game’s first hour — which I (re) played last night at a press event — while pretending I have no idea what lies beyond these sections. Even better was the Metal Gear saga plot synopsis I wrote the other day for an upcoming feature in which I feigned ignorance of the upcoming title’s revelations (and in a few cases wrote things that will ultimately be dead wrong).
Seriously, guys, do something better with your life than write about video games. Let me be your living cautionary tale.
The thing is, I enjoy MGS4 and like writing about it. But the rest… well, it’s quite a downer to think that my 20-year relationship with a great series culminates on such a sour note, especially since my negativity has nothing whatsoever to do with the game itself. I imagine the closer you get to the inner workings of things you love, the more you learn about their sickly awful truths. I shudder to think what would happen if I ever actually worked on things like this. I’d probably set fire to an EB Games or something.
Oh well, at least nothing’s tainted my enjoyment of Castlevania… yet. I’ve gotta say that Order of Ecclesia looks a heck of a lot better than I expected. (The link is a preview! You can learn the game’s amazing truths there!) And I have even updated “Metroidvania.com” (such as it is) to reflect the new announcement. Hmm… there’s been a real dearth of this genre in the past year or two, eh? But yeah, it’s nice to be pleasantly surprised every once in a while. Yes, yes, the still capture image blown to several times its actual size looks poopy — in motion on a DS screen this will look very nice.