Buns of the Patriots

Hope you’re ready for 25 hours of looking at Solid Snake’s rock-solid butt, folks. If MGS4 has a prevailing theme, it’s that Snake really keeps his glutes in great shape. Especially for an old guy. That hinder is front-and-center for an alarming portion of the game.

But yeah, Metal Gear Solid 4 is now officially out the world over, so I can finally talk to people about it. You know how annoying it is to have to clam up about this crap for a month? Honestly. The one good thing about the delay is that my 1UP review of the game has had a great deal of time to simmer and mature. I wrote it about five weeks ago and have revisited it from time to time since then, tweaking bits of text and tightening it up in places. I’m sure it’s completely awful. After all, I’ve utterly failed to dissect it category-by-category, Consumer Reports style. Oh well! I’m sure we’ll all manage, somehow.

I’m also looking forward to people second-guessing the score. “It’s a 9.0!” “No, it’s 8.5!” Actually, neither is correct: It’s an A-minus. The numbers-to-letters conversion scale only exists to help nudge old reviews into the current format; I don’t think in numeric terms anymore. I think instead: This is a great game, so it’s an A. But it has some issues, so it’s an A-minus. Ta-da! Very simple. MGS4 at its best far outstrips anything else in the series; however, the overall package is far less consistent (and consistently brilliant) than Metal Gear Solid 3. Especially the boss battles. Don’t let that deter you, though! It’s 50% phenomenal game and 50% above-average Japanese-issue Hollywood-style explosion flick wherein in love may, potentially, bloom on a battlefield.

I do have more to say on the game, but I feel like I should wait until everyone’s played it, since expressing anything beyond this review is contingent on specific, spoiler-y type information.

In sadder news, the girlfriend still hasn’t found work…but the bills from her final month of school have come due. I’m now spending the entirety of my monthly paycheck on rent and bills. Life’s awesome. I’d like to be able to eat next month, so it’s eBay time. Currently I have a bunch of DVDs up for sale, but soon I shall peddle away my entire existence!

Also, uhhhhh… probably a bad idea, but it’s always best to learn from tragic mistakes.

19 thoughts on “Buns of the Patriots

  1. I think that review gave me a better idea of what to expect then any Consumer Reports style review, be proud.

  2. I’ll include you and your girlfriend in my nightly prayers. Hope things work out!

  3. You’re a brave man. Expect death threats anytime now.

    But that conversion thing is silly. I honestly don’t see the difference between letters and numbers here. Gamerankings lists your score as 90% – fair enough. But doesn’t EGM still use numbers?

    And yeah, doesn’t that permanent wedgie always bother Snake on the battlefield?

    Anyway, ratings are stupid. Games should be graded like they are on Retro Roundup – Worth it, or Not Worth it.

  4. I’m assuming you claim Single with no dependents for your taxes: you could always check with your HR department and see about increasing your dependents, at least temporarily, to reduce your withholding and get a bit of extra cash each month. What you put on your W-4 isn’t legally binding; it’s just a metric to help your payroll help estimate your tax withholding so you don’t owe at the end of the year. It’s not the best idea, but it sure beats eating cardboard.

  5. I loved how you contrasted the game’s theme of free will against the dependency of the actual game to be faithful to it’s complicated past of plot twists.

    Real good stuff.

  6. GameRankings’ conversion metric is wrong. You can check my We Love Katamari review, which shows the actual value of something converted to A-minus. But it doesn’t matter anyway, because we don’t think in terms of numeric scores anymore.

  7. Parish, you realize of course, that even if you changed your 1-Up rating scales to random inanimate objects people would still try to convert them to numbers.

    Numbers are easy and people are dumb. Its pretty simple.

    What’s the metacritic for a toaster, garden gnome, and a rake anyway?

  8. Yeah, I know, but I still have this unshakable faith in humankind that the Internet loves to betray.

  9. Videogame women have been using the strength and agility increaseing wedgie technique for years. It’s time a man caught up with the technology.

  10. Having spent €460 ($710) and 90% of my day on MGS4, I can say that I am very tired. It’s 1am and I just finished Act 3.
    (5 mins later); Having read your review I can see what you are saying. I’m surprised you didn’t mention the Act 3 first half, but I can see the descent into linear paths already. That being said the 2nd half of Act 3 was fantastic cut-scene wise.
    More after I sleep. Good review Jeremy, fairer than alot of the 10s I’ve seen out there.

  11. One of the best reviews I’ve read in a long time. I wish more reviewers would contemplate themes, narrative, and basic conception and construction of experiences in videogames. Just as I wish more games would delve into mores of modern society or something other than giving you a gun and say “Shoot every enemy”.

    I hope you offer more well-balanced criticism like that in future reviews, jparish. I’m marking this as what game reviewers should reach and surpass.

  12. This rating obviously took a lot of balls to dole out, considering the grief you’re probably getting from Konami and a ton of angry fanboys alike. I’d personally like to say great job on the review though. Non-interactivity has always been the biggest threat to video gaming, not “non games”.

  13. I’m sorry, Parish, but you’re making it really hard to dismiss videogame journalists as ‘enthusiast press’ when you go and turn out readable, even-handed reviews like this. Even the rating makes sense, as a distillation of the review instead of some arbitrary point scale.

    Start sucking more, dammit.

    I imagine you’re going to get some criticisms for not talking more (at all?) about the graphics, but I appreciate that you judged the game on its own priorities instead of running down the list of graphics, sound, blah blah blah. If MGS wants to be a movie with gameplay attached, it should be judged on those merits.

  14. Hey, glad you guys enjoyed it. Aside from a few OMG MICROSOFT MONEYHATS remarks, though, no one’s really complained. The UK reviews have been far harsher, so it’s not like this was some bizarre deviation from the mean.

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