Tag Archives: Games

Metal gear solid 25th anniversary news…

Well it has been one hell of a busy day in the world of Metal Gear. Enviously I looked on towards Japan, this morning news came from Tokyo at the big 25th anniversary evet, which before had promised to have “Industry shattering” announcements. Well the event did not disappoint with 3 big, big announcement made!

Lets start small,

Metal Gear Solid: Social Ops

Social Ops looks to involve characters and possibly story arc’s, from many different era’s of the metal gear saga (credit: Konami)

Social Ops is a new smart phone game, it will be fully 3D and allow player to relive past battles and stories from the series. I may be reading the news completely wrong here, but the game looks to use a card system to help with the battles, perhaps similar to the Metal Gear Acid series; or it could just be used for setting up the battles themselves. Given the name of the game, I would not be surprised to see online connectivity (such as trading and battles) being the main features for the title. Now everything so far talked about the game, looks pretty cool. But, after the huge disappointment of the last metal gear mobile game “Metal Gear Solid touch” I am a little wary about the game. But as I can only look at the little information that is currently available, I am hopeful that this could be a great little game for the series.

Metal Gear Solid the Movie

Yes, I know this was announced years ago. That project went nowhere and but now at the 25th event anniversary the project has been restarted. This time with long time marvel comic film adapter  Avi Arad set to produce the film. To say that I’m a little worried about this would be an understatement, Hollywood long history of video game adaptations hasn’t be great to say the least. Metal Gear’s cinematic nature means that it will lead itself to a film adaptation much more than say… pacman but that only doesn’t mean anything where Hollywood is concerned. Now there is always the chance that the series could get the movie it deserved, I won’t however be holding my breath. That is if the project even gets off the ground first.

And now the biggest announcement….

Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeros

Solid and liquid?

Even without having the number, many people will be classing this title as the big ‘5’. Nearly nothing is known of the title; a video was shown at the event, though has yet to be leaked to the public. What little we do know is, that the title will be using the newly developed fox engine, it will be out on PC, PS3 and xbox360 (perhaps the next generation consoles too?)  and the title will be open world. There is no date set ye…… wait back up a moment. Open world? Yep, it looks like this new title will be Metal Gear’s first open world title. It is an interesting turn of direction for the series – but is no more drastic than next year’s hack n’ slash game Metal Gear Rising. It will be interested to see how it will work but as it seems that stealth will still play a large part of the game, I’m going to allow my excitement build to levels last seen before MGS4.

So it looks like after 25 years of Metal Gear the franchise is still alive and kicking, and in fact is looking stronger than ever.

A metal gear song of the month

A special song of the month to celebrate, and to say a little ‘thank you’ to a video franchise  very close to my nerdy heart. Metal gear, which is now over 25 years old.  Annoyingly, as I forgot about it, this post is a couple of days late of the actually date of the – but never mind.

Here is some great music from the franchise, it sums up emotion, action and energy of the series.

 

It might be a little strange to think that a video game franchise, is older than myself. However, my earliest memories of playing video games (on my sister’s PS1) were of Metal gear solid. At the age of 7, I first saw the advert on TV. And in a way only a 7 year old can, I somehow persuaded my parents to buy me this game – which was age rated at over double my age (granted that might have been slightly irresponsible but they are great parents). Ever since that time, Metal gear solid has been a huge part of gaming life – sometimes to a point of obsession.

Happy Birthday Metal Gear!!! And thanks for all the games

Top 5 Metal Gear Solid boss battles

It is the return of the my infamous top 5 list…….

In terms of trademarks, the Metal Gear series has got a few, contrived but epic plot lines, a odd ball sense of humour, long cut scenes, but most famous of all (or at least, easiest to make a list of) is the boss battles. The battles range from tense shoot outs to fourth wall shattering oddness. So this is my top5 list

5) Rex vs Ray

It isn’t the hardest battle, it is is not particular that fun compared to other bosses on the list, but it is the only time in a series called “Metal gear” you get to pilot one of the fuckers. One of the most memorable moments in Metal Gear Solid 4 is the return to Shadow Moses, this section of the game is filled with nostalgia. As Snake moves in to the hanger, which housed metal gear Rex, on his first visit- and in here he sees the crumpled wreck of Rex. There is a slight amount of sadness seeing the beast that caused so much havoc in the first game, so damaged and useless. That is until, the wreck is revived and put back into action – it is a great moment. In a unique gameplay moment for the series, Snake pilots his old enemy against another Metal gear. It is a quite departure for the series, more reminiscent of Zone of the Enders than metal gear solid. And that is why it is in my top 5.

4) Liquid Ocelot

Also in in MGS4, a hand to hand battle between two brother (kind of) – for the second time. The fight starts as a clear reminder of the fight atop of metal gear Rex in MGS1, between liquid and solid. The fight uses a completely different control scheme preferring to use a beat-em-up style battle to what has come before it. It is a real fun battle, but the real special thing about this boss battle is the atmosphere. The battle comes in four parts, each with it own music, heath bar and style of fighting – each correspond to different game in the series. It is special fight, stylish and tinted with sadness. It might turn out to be the last of solid snake’s battles, and if so it has to get a place on the list.

3) Psyco Mantis

Some people might be surprised to see this battle so high (low?) on the list. There has been much said about this boss in the past, the dark humour, the breaking of the fourth wall and the BDSM – I won’t repeat all this. The Psyco fight is the perfect example of how games can do things that no other  medium of entertainment can do. I was 7 when I first battled Mantis and it is something that has stuck in my psyche ever since. It is impossible not to put him on the list.

2) Metal Gear Rex

In Rex’s second entry to the list, friend is turned enemy. MG Rex was was my first meeting with a Metal Gear, and I was pretty bad at it. Rex was very scary to a 7 year old, the whole game had led to this battle, and I ashamed to admit I had hand the controller to my mum to get past it. But as I got older I revisited the game and found a great boss battle. You are given a huge area, a stinger missile and told to fight a huge walking tank with nukes on its back. What is not to love?

1) The End

In first place, and my favourite boss of this great series is the End. On the surface the prospect fighting an old man whose only ally in the battle is parrot. But this old man happens to be an expert sniper and you are on his home soil. It takes nerves of steal to take on this man, especially on hardest difficulty, and to complete it you may need a few spare hours. The battle is the ultimate free roaming moment in the series, you are given lots of different ways to kill the end (some hidden) and a massive area in which to do. To outfox this eye popping sniper, you need to use nature to your advantage. Well I guess that is the end.

So that is my number 1, do you think I’ve made a glaring error in the list? Why don’t you comment below…..

 

Mass effect 3 ending – thoughts (spoiler of course)

For most it has been two years since they last got to control the goody two shoes (or bad ass) commander Sheppard. For me it has been less than a year, with me being among the late franchise adopters on PS3. While it had only been a year, it was more than enough time to get my saliva glands working overtime for Mass Effect 3. 

Mass Effect 3 like its predecessors’ is filled with great cinematic action, poignant moments and big choices. One of the great things about the series is when you are presented with a choice, you pause the game and have a long inner discussion about the best course of action. Even when you have made the choice and the repercussions of the choice are made apparent, the turmoil does not stop. While living with the choices made,  I end up spending more time thinking about my second play through where I will get to make the reverse choices and see how the game differs. In many ways Mass Effect 3 is a much better game than the previous one, the combat is slicker and the game is the first of the series to contain multi player.

However, many wasn’t that happy with Mass Effect 3, well at least  not with the ending. The fan outpouring about the end cinematic has been so strong that BioWare issued an apology and even promised new content that would offer a new ending or at least more closure to the series. (http://uk.ps3.ign.com/articles/122/1221273p1.html)

In the many ending (only small variations) Shepard dies (or in the perfect ending a slight breath covered in rubble). I’m not sure if this is what irked most fans into a frenzy only possible by fanboys with a highspeed internet connection. I’ve heard many fans also complain about the fact that, the many, many choice they have made in 90 odd hours in series previous has only a minimal effect on the endings possible.

Of all the arguments I’ve heard, Shepard dead, no last moment with the characters you’ve grown connected too, not knowing how the universe will be  affected by the last choice made; I have the most sympathy with the choices argument above. Not that I think BioWare deserved the nerdy outcry by the fans though. However, a game with a selling point of  choices, you would expect that the ending, would be affected by the choices made previous. I though personally thought that the ending was great, it was certainly memorable, and it left the series open to more games in which the universe will be vastly different to the current games out there.

As for BioWare apologising to set of very vocal, upset fans and even promising to change the ending for them, I think this show a complete lack of back bone. Fans don’t know what’s best for a game, sure they may come out with one or two good ideas, but most won’t be good or only good for some fans. The few good idea will get diluted by another 1000 people adding their own take on it. There is a reason most of these fans aren’t designing or writing games of their own. Because they are not good enough, or haven’t had the training  needed for it. What happens once this new content comes out and it overrides the previous ending? Are we, who liked the old ending meant to simply ignore new content we want to play? Do we get a say? and will then BioWare change the content again to please this group of fans?  BioWare should stick to their guns, but it doesn’t look like that will be happening now which is a shame. I am believer intellectual property, Mass Effect is BioWare game and if this was the ending they had planed it should be the ending that there is, fans might have bought the game but that doesn’t give that gamer a right to change the game to suit them. If it did then 100000’s of fans that bought the game would all get a say and it would be a massive miss match of shit.  All this does not take away from what great and original game series Mass Effect was.

Top 5 games of 2011

The last top 5 of the year and the last post of the year. There are only two formats that I am heavily invested in now, that is books and games. Films have taken a back seat, as has new music, and with the fact that stargate is now dead and cold I have not started many new TV shows this year either. This has been a good year for games, however annoyingly most of them seem to be in a series, because original games are getting rarer; or maybe I am not giving the ones that are out there the chance.
So here are the games I’ve been playing the most this year.

5. Dead space 2

The original dead space was a bit of a revelation for myself. I’d never been particularly bothered about horror games, the most i’d played of the genre before was 20 minutes demo of the original silent game that came with Metal Gear Solid. I was 7 at the time, and slightly traumatised at the whole thing, it put me off horror games. But I bought dead space 1 not knowing that it was a horror games, I thought it was just expecting another action adventure game in space, I was wrong. However, I found the experience unlike silent hill to be a enjoyable one. Dead Space 2 takes place soon after the first game, and with a cooler suit. There were some crazy moments, such as being forced to stick a needle in your eye. Some parts are infuriatingly hard, and in a rare moment of gaming courage for myself I completed this game on the hardest difficulty. The story is as good as anything Hollywood can offer (not great), but with the added immersion factor.

4. Portal 2

A spin off from one of my all time favourite game Half-life, albeit loosely. With a story that could only work in a game. It follows a crazy robot or two, who do science and like to test a young woman, who is forced to take part in puzzles using a portal gun. The physics bending puzzles make this a great game in the first place, but add on top, an over the top story line (which works perfectly strangely enough) and you’ve got a game. Most will want to complete in two playthrough, many like me did. It contains the voice acting of Stephen Merchant who works perfectly as both a loveable robot, and a evil though useless villain. A great game that will get you completely engrossed from the get-go.

3. Uncharted 3

One of crowning jewels in the sony crown. A funny, fun, fantastic and action packed game, that adds upon the experience from the first two games. Most games will either, be open world or give you multiple option to complete a game, and if they don’t they will try and mask this to give the illusion of it. Uncharted doesn’t give you options and doesn’t mask masks it, it is is clear you only have choice. However, the developer makes sure the one path it does give you is pretty amazing, filled with twists and cinematic events that flow seamlessly into the gameplay. It is also has a addictive and fun online multiplayer (and co-op), which is much improved from the second game. Also I think the graphics in this game are the best out there.

2. Skyrim

Perhaps this game would have made it in to the number one spot, if it wasn’t for the big framerate issue  that is effecting PS3 users (and in turn me). To be fair to the issue only started to effect my enjoyment of the game 50 or so hours in (many game you don’t play for half that amount) but I still have to completed the main quest plus many more, but the game is unplayable sometimes! It is not all bad though otherwise it wouldn’t be number two. It truly is a epic game, in which you can do so much more than any other game I know, the graphics can take your breath away at times (if they load correctly).  Combat is fun, the story is great, and with me hopeful that a patch will soon fix the issue that plagues me, I am looking forward to playing the game again. Hopefully

1. Mass effect 2

I’ve never been jealous of halo, nor gears or war. There was always a clone of them, which would satisfies my lust for those games. Only Mass Effects ever came close to tempting me to buy the 360 (not out of any fanboyisum, I just don’t have the money). So when I  learned that the killer franchise was coming to my loveable blackbox, I was understandably excited. A good RPG are rare these days (I played two this year with skyrim). And even rarer is one set in space. The other day I looked just how much time I had spent on ME2 it turns out I have played the game for 100+ hours. I said that with slight embarrassment, but  I can honestly say I don’t regret the time I spent on it, as it will just give me more options for when the third game comes out.

Well that is my list complete, hope you all have a great new year, which starts in four hours for me.

Metal gear rising trailer – Thoughts

My favourite game franchise is back with a new game trailer. It is not the metal gear games I grew up with however, it is different and not just because of the absence of Mr Solid Snake. The father of stealth games is going to be no longer a stealth game. The newest trailer for metal gear rising, starts very similar to trailers of past metal gear titles. A cinematic, a bit of narration giving some of the story away, but 30 seconds in you start to see that this is not the same as past games which were directed and wrote by Hideo Kojima. Metal gear has now turned into a hack and slash, and if it was not for the familiar graphics and characters (Raiden and Vamp) you would not assume this was a Metal gear gear.  1 minuet into the trailer, there is still the same epic music that is expected from the series. After the minuet mark the next striking change came, with the musical difference now guitars play out as Raiden chops soldiers with his sword.
As a long term (started to play when I was 7)  and huge metal gear fan, I’m glad that the title is being made but i’m very wary of the direction it is going in.

It is not the fact that I don’t like hack and slash games, one of my favourite games are in the Devil may cry series, and as the devloper of rising is the  made Bayonetta  and has the original creator DMC on board, so I have quite high hopes for the combat in the game. But I do wonder if a series that has always been stealth should change this drastically, in fact a hack and slash game is the complete opposite to the stealth genre. Ignoring my preconception on what this  metal gear game will be (perhaps there will be stealth elements, I hope so) there is still lots to look forward to, none more so than battle with metal gear ray, which does look awesome. I like the fact the trailer used the text from the original metal gear from the 80’s in the trailer, and I’m very glad they are not using the word ‘solid’ in the title as this game is not apart of that series. What is hard to tell from the trailer is if the game will have the epic story which are another staple of the franchise, if it does then this game could be just as good as the past, if not hopefully the gameplay will be enough to carry it.

Watch the trailer below!!

A few days in Skyrim

In my first few days playing the new Elder Scroll game skyrim, now lets just ignoring the fact it sound like sky has a new gay porn channel, I have seen and done many things in the my time. I have killed 3 dragons, shouted at a small child, stopped a bully, seen a mammoth riding another mammoth (a game bug), attacked a tree, been flung a 100 meters in the air by a giant (bug), found a butterfly in a jar, had two of my horses die and then eaten their meat, and fought a dragon that has not fully loaded so was half invisible (bug).

It is easy to get sucked in to the Tolkienesk world, far too easy. The world is huge, and more importantly detailed you can’t walk 2 minuets in any direction without finding something of interest. To date I have played the game for over 15 hours and still only visited two of the 5 major city’s (one only briefly when getting arrested for using a shouting at a guard) this is testament to the scale of the map. I am not new to the Elder Scroll series, my first entry into the series was with the last game oblivion, since the basics of the game, is for the most part the same it meant I could jump straight in without too much complications. The major changes from the last game other than obviously graphical improvements, is the simplicity of the menus. If you mainly play FPS type games, it will still take you a while to get to grips with the inventory, favourite and the levelling up system, but it is much simpler and easier to use for ventren RPG(ers) yet it still has the depth you want from a RPG.

The key word in RPG’s should be choices or at a good illusion of choice, skyrim has plenty. I have been playing uncharted 3 for the last few weeks and while a great game you are stuck following the same path throughout the whole 10 hour story. In skyrim I spent 20 mins just choosing what race I was going to be, which is down from the 40 mins I spent in Oblivion. You can play the game in complete freedom (in game terms), you can complete the main story first, play that last or in between the hundreds of side quest, or you could explore the vast planes of Skyrim missing the story out completely, or just become a murder who loots city’s and towns. I find the best experience is doing a bit of everything though.

The game is far from perfect, there is a certain charm in some of the bugs and glitches in skyrim, seeing a huge mammoth atop of another mammoth literately made me laugh out loud, I was annoyed that I did not film it. Lucky that some else caught it though.
However sometimes the bugs are not funny and they make the game unplayable, two times someone has disappeared into a wall making it impossible for me to talk to them, once a key item has failed to appeared, so far reloading a previous save (I save a lot learning my lesson in from the previous game) seems to solve the problem in all these cases.

Skyrim is a great game, huge and probably the best value for money game out there. It is of course not without it’s problems, I think given current technology it is probably impossible to make a game as big as this and for it to be perfect.
This is not a review of skyrim, I think I need many more hours before I can make a proper judgement.