Snaking Bad

I suck at Metal Gear Solid games. Love them to death, but I suck at them, and somehow you just know there’s going to be a big heaping bubbling septic tank of criticism coming, so let’s put our feet up (knees above the waist) and let me take my own dump before I empty the whole thing into the ocean of collective thought to disperse and mutate the aquatic plantlife.

Metal Gear Solid 4 – yes, FOUR as in the one that came out six years ago – is a 12-hour movie you watch between a dozen 25-minute sessions of gameplay. It’s unconventional to say the least, but I suppose this makes it impossible to call it a short game.

Oooh that felt good. Let’s squeeze out another.

This movie, then, is about Snake the old fart ninja who wins every battle in spite of his bumbling, and yet manages to lose every war in spite of being a psycho badass. Infiltrate the enemy’s camp? Good job, your nemesis kills everyone and gets away. Make contact with the enemy scientist and kill a boss? Awesome, your base of operations is compromised. Every chapter so far ends like the Empire Strikes Back, and the prize for completion just gets worse and worse. Something makes you think that if Snake had just gone to a Cubs game that day he’d have had a better chance of seeing victory.

Plop ploppity plop plop plop.

It always drives me nuts that they say you should avoid conflict and try to sneak around instead of engaging the enemy. We all know that this is fucking impossible. Even with radar marking the positions and vision fields of the enemy soldiers, you’re going to get spotted, and it’s going to be a bloodbath. Not to mention that there are like 100 different types of weapons and dozens of accessories for them. And picking up weapons give you money to buy – more weapons! So basically they included and programmed all this useful heavy shit, and you’re supposed to ignore it all. Fuck that. Give me a P-90 and let me kill all these stupid assholes, please Santa Claus?

Courtesy flush. Let’s wipe up.

If you can filter out all of the stupid crap that annoys you about MGS (I’m not even going to get into the retarded flophouse of its controls), you’re left with a pretty awesome and powerful game. Basically, don’t listen to anyone on the radio, shoot everyone with a silencer, and have snacks and drinks at the ready in case it’s time to watch another goddamn cutscene. Nukes and robots, the modern war machine and its economy, stealth, weapon, and nano tech all mix together to make a killer batch of Grandpa Cigarette’s 21st Century War Time Cookies that you can dunk in blood. It’s great fun when you win, neck-stabbingly frustrating when you lose.

It would be a good game to take to a deserted island (off the coast of Alaska). If you put all other games and a good part of your life on hold, I have no doubt that you could become intimately familiar with the stages and patterns of the enemies and work your way up to the rank of Big Boss by being a slick motherfucker who never gets caught. Hell, you might even find a way to take down the bosses using Playboys or other non-lethal means, but it will take time. Time that the egotistical designers believe you should spend on their crazy-ass game. Time you could be using to polish up your Smash technique, learn a new language, have sex with a human, wash your pets, or otherwise live. Most games are like this, and it’s good of Konami to include nearly endless content in challenge form. But I suck at Metal Gear games, and they will never fail let me know that any victory I achieve will always glow pathetic next to Hideo Kojima’s big smart awesome and wonderful guy accomplishments.

Somebody open a window.


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