Fortunately, I think this is the last thing I ever have to write about Metal Gear. (My MGS4 review was written nearly a month ago and is sitting on ice, waiting to be unleashed when silly things like “embargoes” and “NDAs” no longer apply.) A glance at the hub should give a good indication of why I am pretty tired of the series at the moment — I’ve written a stupid amount about Solid Snake and his talkative pals in the past month or so. In writing about Metal Gear’s long-windedness, I have become as long-winded as Metal Gear. The void gazes back, I fear.

This week, unfortunately, marks a pretty flabby finale for my efforts: Our WTFiction!? V.2 didn’t turn out nearly as well as I’d hoped since it was produced against the hard deadline of our artist leaving to go work at Telltale. And I aimed to take a somewhat different approach to the series’ history with today’s overly lengthy retrospective, but it never really gelled. So now it’s simply too long, highly disjointed, and not nearly interesting enough.

On the plus side, the latest episode of Retronauts (on, yes, Metal Gear) is actually quite fun, if you ignore all the parts where I talk. Especially ignore my Solid Snake impersonation, which used to be spot-on, and now is… not.


  1. I have to disagree with your placement of Raiden; not to sound like an internet troll. The playable and main character who was, at least within the self-contained story of MGS2, outlined as a successor to Solid Snake, and easily out-preformed Snakes MGS1 triumphs (killing a gajillion metal gears, instead of snake’s one, actually killing solidus instead of snake only living past liquid’s wrath because of the fluke of foxdie). He overcomes his oppressive mentor/parental figure and commits metaphorical patricide just like Solid Snake, or Big Boss, he’s got all the ingredients of being in your described Snake-family. But I guess it’s a little too late for that.

    The WTFiction sections are always entertaining though; I think having the individual connecting lines highlight in the flash applet when you scroll over them to see where they lead would be a good enhancement for the feature.

  2. I’d also drink when Shane proclaims he’s the biggest fan of whatever game is the topic for the week, but otherwise that mysterious man nailed it.

  3. Eh, the Raiden thing… All that Snake stuff was thrust on him. When he comes into his own at the end of the game and takes responsibility for himself, he branches away from the Snake style and goes down the ninja path.

  4. honestly, metal gear on NES and MSX had so much more depth, challenge and playability then anything from solid and on. This is sort of the reason why I just watch youtubes of people playing through the games. the MGS saga is cool, but it still seems way too quasi-playable movie to me.

    Awesome job as always with retronauts by the way.

  5. Good episode of Retronauts. Sharkey kills me every time. With thermal goggles and a knife.

  6. As someone who mutters “Metal GEEEEAR???” to himself from time to time, I appreciated your intro immensely. I’m still listening to the podcast but it’s just making me depressed that I’m not going to be able to play MGS4 for a long, long time.

  7. Podcast was great the retrospective was great, Parish, take pride in knowing that you wrangled up the series in a damn good manner.

  8. I used to try and play Metal Gear, but I couldn’t figure out that you were supposed to be sneaking. I wasn’t a very smart kid. :P Also, someday I will play Metal Gear Solid 2 so that I can listen to a series restrospective without fear of spoilers (oh wait, Snake gets replaced at the midpoint by a feminine ninja? Oh. Damn.)

  9. Best episode of Retronauts in awhile. Or at least a month, since I’m mostly remembering that the one two weeks ago, while somewhat amusing, didn’t really work as an episode.

  10. I Liked the noble attempt to make sense of everything in wtfiction. It’s a bit stupid to pick on the already ridiculous story, but for me, the 2 things that make the least sense in the world of this non-sensical (but awesome) game are the fact that Otacon, a computer genius, couldn’t figure out that he was creating a weapon of mass destruction, and Solidus’ entire existence. And Ocelot’s allegiance. And Liquid’s hands ability to possess – okay. okay, I see how stupid I am now. Forget I said anything.

  11. I’m sure you hate writing about Metal Gear at this point, and I can’t say I wouldn’t after the tremendous effort you’ve put forth, but as a guy on the outside looking in: I’m loving this.

  12. -Parish: You eloquent phrase maker, you. But everyone takes their own paths; The Boss & Big Boss walked very different paths, the same true with Big Boss and Solid Snake. Big Boss’ matricidal mission and subsequent title was thrust upon him as well. But then and again, I’m probably one of only twelve or so Raiden fans out there.
    -carpboy: It’s comforting to know other crazy people out there do the same thing.
    -Daytime_LanTern: Most of those things are pretty whack, except for liquid’s hand: MGS3 heavily implies Ocelot has the blood of a psychic/spirit channeler in him; graft the appendage of a particularly strong and vengeful spirit to yourself when you’re not aware of your own latent powers, and it isn’t a far stretch to see Liquid taking over Ocelot’s body… that is, only if you’re willing to forgive and buy into the whole supernatural aspects to begin with.

  13. I don’t know if this comes up in the episode yet, but if you’re really being generous, you could say that the bulk of MGS2’s unnecessary revelations and confessionals throughout the game served to reinforce the allegation that ‘trivial information is accumulating every second, preserved in all its triteness.’
    But then, I’ve always been a devil’s advocate for MGS2 – the last 2 hours or so are one of the only gaming experiences to really creep me the hell out.

  14. Ken – you hit the nail on the head in regards to Ocelot. It makes sense, as you said – in the context of the MGS universe after MGS3 – it just didn’t make any sense in MGS2. As for Raiden, I don’t think people dislike him; they just wanted to play as Snake. Well, that’s how I feel about him anyway. On second thought, most people seemed to find him annoying.

    And Jeremy, I can definitely understand the MGS burnout – it kinda showed in the WTFiction feature, which to be honest, wasn’t too helpful (not that you can be blamed for Kojima’s craziness). Still, it’s a tremendous effort you’ve put into the series’ coverage lately, and as a major fan of yours, it’s much appreciated.

    Also, I’m not really sure if you’re allowed to discuss this, but why aren’t any MGS4 reviews mentioning MGO? Will there be a separate review for that, or is it included in your review? As a major part of the game, it’s kinda surprising no one has really mentioned it in their reviews. Or is it even available for you to play yet? A common complaint about the MGS games is their short playing time, so you’d think a multiplayer mode that adds some replay value would be important. Probably part of the NDA. Damn you, Konami.

    Random thought: I really wanna play Rondo of Swords. That battle system sounds quite different than the average FFT clone, and for some reason lately, I’ve had a penchant for pain (of the Atlus variety).

  15. I can’t speak for other publications, but as of our review session MGO was still simply the beta. And the version included with MGS4 is basically a permanent edition of the beta; the real MGO will be delivered piecemeal through DLC. It seems more like an afterthought, and I imagine we’ll only review it once Konami actually gives us the full thing.

  16. I am glad you acknowledge how terrible your Snake impression was, but it was laughably terrible.
    I understand how tired you must feel of writing so much Metal Gear articles, ‘It is the fate of great ones’.
    I just read some serious end-game spoilers in a thread title in the Games forum on 1up.
    Zeouterlimits is now a sad panda :(.

  17. Ah, thanks for clarifying, Jeremy.

    Also, Zeouterlimits – that was a joke, if you’re referring to the one about Snake and Raiden. It’s a thread about fake spoilers. Just saw it myself.

  18. So, I heard EGM didn’t actually review MGS4? Why is that?

    I heard it was something to do with Konami trying to limit what you guys could say in the print review, or something. Or am I just totally crazy?

  19. I still think Twin Snakes gets alot of undeserve flack. It wasn’t Ryuhei Kitamura’s fault that it was over-the-top: It was Kojima. If’ you’ve read the interview with him, he explicitely says Kojima was unsatisfied with his original takes on th cutscenes because they actually were faithful to the original, so Kojima told him to go all out.

    It also corrected the whole issue with the cardkeys, along with the shape memory alloy problem (you can change the card in one spot ifyou’re cleaver).

  20. EGM gave a round-table discussion on the game instead of a traditional review. They figured if they can’t talk about what makes the game great or crap, then why review it all?

  21. Actually, I kinda wish all reviews would be that way and ditch the scores, but that’s just me.

    As for Konami, from the press side, they are total jackasses. But from the fan side, they are my heroes.

  22. The importance of having a score with a review is an endless debate, but when 1UP moved to letter grades, it still seemed like a compromise – after all, that A+ is a 10, A=9.5, etc. etc. It doesn’t seem to solve the problem of people looking only at the reviews. Personally, I like how Retro Roundup is done – a simple Yea or Nay. That should be applied to all games. Yeah, try to fit that in your system, Gamerankings.

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