#1 Edited by markini6 (445 posts) -

Before retiring my PS3 (until Persona 5 comes out), I only have the HD collection of Metal Gear left to play. I played a few hours of MGS2 and eventually got too frustrated by the design and remembered reading an article that quoted Kojima saying that MGS3 would be more accessible for first-timers in terms of gameplay.

To get up to speed, I've been watching "movie" versions of the first two games. My eyes are beginning to get motion-sickness though from the amount of rolling that they've been doing whilst watching the second game's story unfold. The anime tropes, the unending chain of betrayals/hidden agendas and quite poor voice acting have left me doubting my desire to play MGS 3 and Peace Walker.

Does it get any better, or is it just a case of loving or loathing Kojima and his ninja-favouring ways? (Ninjas can be badass, not hatin')

EDIT (as quite a few people have missed my later post halfway down) - I played, enjoyed and completed MGS 1 when I was a younger, so do have some affection for the series, but MGS 2 in terms of story and plot points seemed like nonsense.

#2 Edited by Yummylee (21471 posts) -

MGS3 has the best story of the lot by far, and one that can stand on its own. Though it's still pretty steeped in the Kojima-isms, so... I don't think MGS is the series for you from the sound of things.

And for the love of God if MGS2 is too much for you, you'd do best to stay well clear of MGS4 like the plague.

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#3 Posted by SteadyingMeat (1144 posts) -

MGS3 has the best story of them all in my opinion, but by the looks of the way you're talking in this post, I very much doubt you will ever grow to like the stories, no.

#4 Edited by Stealthmaster86 (642 posts) -

I agree with the previous 2 posts. If you don't like the stories of Metal Gear Solid, you aren't going to like the rest. The gameplay does get better as time goes on, but if you only want to experience the story, I say you can stop.

#5 Posted by Demoskinos (14727 posts) -

@markini6: It sounds to me like Metal Gear might just not be for you. Its a series where you either appreciate what its doing or you dont not a whole lot of people who float in the middle with Metal Gear. Honestly, it just keeps getting more complicated as the series rolls on. If you don't like 2 chances are 3 and most definitely 4 aren't going to change your mind.

#6 Posted by Pezen (1591 posts) -

I realize fairly recently around the release of Ground Zeroes that I probably got into MGS at just the right time. I was young and impressionable enough when I played through the original Metal Gear Solid so I've always felt like the stories are a lot better than people give them credit for. Probably because I see the games through the lens of that young kid who wanted to be a little profound in his own way at the time. Listening to Solid Snake be all lone wolf and the concept of war dogs who happen to be on different sides for arbitrary reasons just spoke to me at the time. So in some sense, I think the franchise is a bit of a either you are into it or it's just nonsense that may or may not be entertaining.

#7 Posted by damnboyadvance (4060 posts) -

Metal Gear Solid 4 is a fun game to play. If you really don't want to be bothered with the story, you can skip the cutscenes and still get a lot of enjoyment out of the game.

#8 Posted by ImmortalSaiyan (4676 posts) -

Metal gear games are mad silly and very messy in execution. Either you find what Kojima does endearing or maddening. MGS3 is the most laidback and thus best in terms of actual narrative but it is still a metal gear game. MGS2/4 are real steeped in nonsense and are more a spectacle than a exercise in quality story telling.

#9 Posted by markini6 (445 posts) -

Thanks for the replies guys. I should provide a bit more clarification for my MGS playing history:

  • I played through MGS 1 as a youngish child and enjoyed it so I do have some lingering affection for the series
  • When I first got a PS3 I played through most of MGS 4 (though stopped before the oft-mentioned microwave sequence). I didn't like Drebin. I did like touching a statue's junk. These are the facts.

So basically I both am and am not familiar with the series. I had to refresh my memory with regard to the first game's plot, but have never played 2, 3 or PW and was trying to see if I could get into the series, but then the nonsense of MGS 2 kinda put me off, so I was wondering if 3 would redeem it.

#10 Edited by Yummylee (21471 posts) -

@markini6: No harm in giving MGS3 a go, after all you do own it so, why not? But you should of course head in with the right expectations... it's still not as crazy as MGS2, that much I can assure you at least.

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#11 Posted by markini6 (445 posts) -

@yummylee: I think I'll give it a shot, the final boss fight being mentioned so often has piqued my curiosity enough to try and see it for myself.

#12 Posted by Stealthmaster86 (642 posts) -

@markini6 said:

Thanks for the replies guys. I should provide a bit more clarification for my MGS playing history:

  • I played through MGS 1 as a youngish child and enjoyed it so I do have some lingering affection for the series
  • When I first got a PS3 I played through most of MGS 4 (though stopped before the oft-mentioned microwave sequence). I didn't like Drebin. I did like touching a statue's junk. These are the facts.

So basically I both am and am not familiar with the series. I had to refresh my memory with regard to the first game's plot, but have never played 2, 3 or PW and was trying to see if I could get into the series, but then the nonsense of MGS 2 kinda put me off, so I was wondering if 3 would redeem it.

3 is a fantastic game. Not only does it have a better camera, if you play the HD or Subsistence version, it does have a less complicated story than 2. Metal Gear Solid 3 still has the best ending the series. To me, 4 had a great ending as well.

#13 Posted by Darth_Navster (30 posts) -

@markini6: Given what you've said about the series, I agree that 2 and 4 are lost causes. That said, give 3 a shot and play until the end of the Virtuous mission. It only takes an hour or two to beat and closes with a big chunk of the story revealed. If at that point you're still not interested, the rest of the game is not going to change your mind.

#14 Edited by kadash299 (278 posts) -

Metal Gear gets pretty far up its own ass.

That Being said, Its also one of the most dense and exciting stories, with endless twists and turns that exists in video games today.

Understanding whats happening in Metal Gear is something that I've spent a lot of time with in my life (I was quite young when MGS Started), and might I say understanding the whole arch is a really rewarding experience. You really learn to care about each character, as they are all so fully realized.

That being said, If you're not enjoying it, it doesn't get any better. But damn, that 4th game.. It still invokes emotion in me.

Damn.

Edit: Fuck Keifer Sutherland

#15 Edited by Humanity (9016 posts) -

@markini6: If you didn't find anything redeeming about the first two games then just stop now. When I played MGS1, back on the Playstation 1, I thought it was awesome. That game blew my mind. MGS2 tricked everyone into playing Raiden but it still had a lot of interesting new gameplay mechanics. Either way, I enjoyed both of those first two games and their subsequent follow ups.

So if you didn't like a lot of what you saw in the first two games, and thought it mostly anime tropes and/or dumb, then I guess you're just not into the series so might as well stop now. It only continues deeper in that very same direction.

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#16 Posted by Dallas_Raines (2146 posts) -

No.

#17 Posted by AdequatelyPrepared (387 posts) -

I love the story of Metal Gear Solid despite knowing that parts of it are pretty poorly written. The betrayals and twists and turns and the Cold-War espionage of MGS3 is just stuff I love. MGS4 has to be the absolute worst in terms of writing, just the sheer amount of redundant dialogue is amazing. Every time you think that a cutscene is about to end with a line, it just keeps on going. MGS2 also has an awkward place, in that the significance of its story only becomes apparent when you play later instalments. MGS3 definitely feels like the tightest written out of the current series, and if Peace Walker is any indication, than Kojima and co. have learnt their lesson in writing story, and Phantom Pain should be theoretically pretty good.

However, if you don't like the story at the moment, I would seriously recommend just dropping playing the series now. The story of MGS is not for everybody. MGS3 is basically its own self-contained story though.

#18 Posted by Oddballs (117 posts) -

I feel that the over-arching story and concepts of MGS are really interesting - Patriots etc. What lets it down is execution, the dialogue and characters are a little clichéd and weak, and random elements seem to be introduced so that Kojima can shoe-horn in an homage to a scene from a movie he likes.

If you're interested in MGS story you might be better off reading a synopsis rather than trudging through the hours of cut-scenes across the games.

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#19 Edited by Nodima (1156 posts) -

At the time it wasn't a surprise that MGS3 was a super interesting game to play, it was super innovative just like Sons of Liberty. But it was definitely a surprise how coherent and affecting the storyline was. Metal Gear Solid had great characters that Kojima either abandoned or severely distorted in MGS2, and it's no surprise it took him six or eight years or whatever it was to dream up the madness MGS4 demanded thanks to MGS2's loose ends. Most of the best parts in MGS4 are related to MGS1 and 3.

2 and 4 were the most revolutionary in terms of game design (I'm more confident in saying that about 2, I've only played 4 once and it was a blur) so if you find yourself enjoying the core concepts of the series they're very approachable from that respect even today considering no other game controls and looks quite like Metal Gear. But if all you really want is the story, MGS3 can stand on its own (plenty of allusions to the older games but the characters, CQC and setting essentially put it on its own pedestal from the jump) apart from all the other games so far.

I haven't played Peace Walker.

#20 Posted by thatdutchguy (1271 posts) -

It's really dumb and amazing at the same time, either you love it or you hate it.

#21 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (979 posts) -

Who plays MGS2 before they play MGS1?

#22 Posted by markini6 (445 posts) -

@jonny_anonymous: I had played MGS 1 already like I said in post #11 if you mean me.

#23 Posted by Cheetoman (103 posts) -

I don't think you will like MGS if you are getting annoyed by the little things. I have to learn to love the quirks.

#24 Posted by Clonedzero (4196 posts) -

The odd numbered ones are pretty good.

The even ones are kinda over the top garbage (well more over the top, 3 had a guy who's power was BEEEES)

#25 Posted by natdog (14 posts) -

Does the story improve? Hmm...you tell me:

#26 Edited by NTM (7320 posts) -

Well, it may be how you're going about it. For one, the gameplay's great and unique, you just have to get used to it. Each one takes time to master since none of them are the same from a gameplay perspective; they're similar, but not the same. So when you get better at the game, that won't be a problem anymore. For me personally, I've almost always loved MGS, but at times, when I heard my friend play it, like Peace Walker on PSP, the dialogue and voice acting I just couldn't get into, and it was easy to make fun of it.

At times, it still is, but not in the same manner. I think you have to play it to get the full experience. My only problem now with the MGS story, is that if you play all of them in order, you notice more clearly that they all basically have the same story and the characters like Snake always seem to be surprised when they shouldn't be anymore. It always has to do with Nukes and Metal Gears. It just feels like characters give very similar sounding speeches throughout, and the message that war is bad.

Furthermore, MGS1 and two are easier than three. The only difference is in controls and camera. I'm not saying it's hard, it's just more difficult than the first two when it comes to stealth.

#27 Posted by miko1222 (208 posts) -

@markini6:

Get the MGS Legacy Collection and Ground Zeroes. Then you'll get all canonical MGS console games. Have a marathon with all the games in the series. You can either play in Chronological or Release order. Please, do this.

The series is amazing, and if you're into games with great stories, characters and gameplay, you'll love this series.

#28 Posted by iBushido (106 posts) -

Well, Metal Gear Solid has a pretty simple story compared to all the sequels, but if you have to pick a sequel, 3 is the most grounded. 2 is a mess and 4 is sooooo complicated and the cutscenes are soooo long that it's definitely not gonna be a good experience for you. However, the gameplay in all of them is terrific and worth playing so maybe take my friend's approach to the series. He literally just skips every conversation and every cutscene and just enjoys the gameplay. I couldn't do it like that and admit that I did get into some of the story and some of the characters in the series, but for the most part, yeah, it drags and it's so overly complicated that you might want to skip it. It would just be a shame to miss out on all that glorious gameplay.

#29 Posted by crithon (3111 posts) -

depends, you have to let it go and embrace where it's going to go. Normally I'd say MGS4 has the worst of the story, but a few nights ago, I was replaying for trophies, and I let a few cinematics play out and just found I just enjoyed them for superficial reasons. And it can be the most shallow reason, like it looks rad or it fits in your own preference of geekiness. And where it goes in stories, they actually explore different themes and ideas that are actually quite exciting.

Peace Walker is probably the GREATEST Leap in quality of story EDITING in all of the MGS games. And because of it it's actually really remarkable how good it is. But your still going to grind to find out the zany stuff that makes this series so lovable like Kaz and Snake talking about Mate Tea.

#30 Edited by Humanity (9016 posts) -

I think the problem is also that MGS1 came out a long time ago. At the time of release it was really something else. All those little quirks and innovative gameplay ideas. The Psycho Mantis boss fight was truly a product of it's time that was hilarious and couldn't be duplicated today.

I'd say it's almost impossible for someone to pick up the collection today and be able to get even half of the pure wonder and enjoyment out of that first game as you would have back then. Of course it also wasn't for everyone even back then. Obviously Jeff played it and all he got out of it was that it was super short. Then again Jeff's gaming tastes are so all over the spectrum that I'd say he's an amazing fountain of game knowledge, but probably a terrible game critic - in that very peculiar and often irrational things will draw him towards or away from games.

So in a way, I'd wager the series is completely impenetrable for newcomers. To get almost anything out of it, you need to have played all the primary entries. Peacewalker is necessary for a deeper appreciation of the backstory as well. But to play MGS1 now is something really difficult just from a pure gameplay perspective, and to play and appreciate it? I dunno, thats tough.

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#31 Posted by Shirogane (3566 posts) -

From what you've said, no, it's not going to get any better from you if you havn't enjoyed the first two. That said, if you didn't actually play 1...

Though there's always 3 that you can try, which is considered by a lot of fans to be the best one. It's also the first one chronologically, so you don't even need to know the story of the other 2 before it, in fact it's quite viable to play it first and then onto 1, 2 then 4.

#32 Posted by Pie (7073 posts) -

Surprised to see people praising peace walker for its story. That thing is garbage

#33 Posted by falserelic (5394 posts) -

There's always going to be some weird conspiracy added to it for each game, so no.

#34 Posted by Aetheldod (3542 posts) -

I love MGS games unconditionally so Im biased beyond belief so .... shit dude I dunno what to say before becoming a mindless monster of hatred because people smears my beloved franchise. Ok yeah MGS 2 has the most convoluted story and people have problems with those it seems , so I wont blame you for not liking it.

But come on saying that the voice acting is bad ? WTF man that is bollocks.....

#35 Posted by Demmetje (201 posts) -

I think a way to reinvigorate your appreciation of what Kojima is doing is to watch this great video which delves deep into its themes and how they relate to the mechanics: http://superbunnyhop.com/archives/1352 (There's also a great one about Metal Gear Solid 3). Beware though, there are a lot of spoilers in the video, but I'm of the opinion that experiencing the execution may be more interesting than enjoying the surprises.

That said, if you're looking for actual story, the Metal Gear games may become very maddening. They're more about an experimental mess of styles, themes, gameplay ideas and well... cardboard boxes.

#36 Posted by TheLastGunslinger (222 posts) -

I've said it before and I'll say it again, Kojima needs a good editor. He has a clear vision of the story he wants to tell but it's muddied by too much exposition and repeated plot points.

#37 Edited by Nightriff (4972 posts) -

@ibushido said:

Well, Metal Gear Solid has a pretty simple story compared to all the sequels, but if you have to pick a sequel, 3 is the most grounded. 2 is a mess and 4 is sooooo complicated and the cutscenes are soooo long that it's definitely not gonna be a good experience for you. However, the gameplay in all of them is terrific and worth playing so maybe take my friend's approach to the series. He literally just skips every conversation and every cutscene and just enjoys the gameplay. I couldn't do it like that and admit that I did get into some of the story and some of the characters in the series, but for the most part, yeah, it drags and it's so overly complicated that you might want to skip it. It would just be a shame to miss out on all that glorious gameplay.

That sounds like the worst thing ever, what's the point in playing a METAL GEAR game and having no idea what is going on?

#38 Posted by hermes (1400 posts) -

2 is definitely the low point of the series. Both 3 and 4 are a better; with 3 being genuinely good, and 4 being half good/half fanservice...

#39 Posted by Sammo21 (3251 posts) -

I don't know...honestly, it is at the same click throughout in my opinion. MGS2 has the dumbest story, in my opinion. MGS4 has really dumb parts. Everything in Revengance is dumb.

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#40 Posted by Darji (5294 posts) -

I think MGS4 is the greatest thing in videogame history. Just do not take i seriously. It has no deep philosophical meaning it has just an crazy Japanese emotional story with awesome cutscenes^^

#41 Edited by iBushido (106 posts) -

@nightriff said:

@ibushido said:

Well, Metal Gear Solid has a pretty simple story compared to all the sequels, but if you have to pick a sequel, 3 is the most grounded. 2 is a mess and 4 is sooooo complicated and the cutscenes are soooo long that it's definitely not gonna be a good experience for you. However, the gameplay in all of them is terrific and worth playing so maybe take my friend's approach to the series. He literally just skips every conversation and every cutscene and just enjoys the gameplay. I couldn't do it like that and admit that I did get into some of the story and some of the characters in the series, but for the most part, yeah, it drags and it's so overly complicated that you might want to skip it. It would just be a shame to miss out on all that glorious gameplay.

That sounds like the worst thing ever, what's the point in playing a METAL GEAR game and having no idea what is going on?

Well, even the people who watch all the cutscenes usually have no idea what's going on. haha

I'm not saying I agree with it. I watched every last minute of every cutscene in the 4 games I played. I enjoy it, even though it's nuts and makes no sense. I'm just saying that for some people, the gameplay is so much fun that even if you HATE the cutscenes, it's worth skipping them and still getting to enjoy the gameplay rather than just avoid the games entirely.

#42 Edited by I_Stay_Puft (3155 posts) -

@markini6: No it stays the course. If you are not enjoying what you've seen so far you probably won't enjoy the rest of it. Even though the 3rd game takes a light hearted approach with a corny 007 route the 4th game and peacewalker game is more convoluted than ever.

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#43 Posted by Nightriff (4972 posts) -

@ibushido said:

@nightriff said:

@ibushido said:

Well, Metal Gear Solid has a pretty simple story compared to all the sequels, but if you have to pick a sequel, 3 is the most grounded. 2 is a mess and 4 is sooooo complicated and the cutscenes are soooo long that it's definitely not gonna be a good experience for you. However, the gameplay in all of them is terrific and worth playing so maybe take my friend's approach to the series. He literally just skips every conversation and every cutscene and just enjoys the gameplay. I couldn't do it like that and admit that I did get into some of the story and some of the characters in the series, but for the most part, yeah, it drags and it's so overly complicated that you might want to skip it. It would just be a shame to miss out on all that glorious gameplay.

That sounds like the worst thing ever, what's the point in playing a METAL GEAR game and having no idea what is going on?

Well, even the people who watch all the cutscenes usually have no idea what's going on. haha

I'm not saying I agree with it. I watched every last minute of every cutscene in the 4 games I played. I enjoy it, even though it's nuts and makes no sense. I'm just saying that for some people, the gameplay is so much fun that even if you HATE the cutscenes, it's worth skipping them and still getting to enjoy the gameplay rather than just avoid the games entirely.

I guess it is just my mentality in how I approach games (story is most important, gameplay is secondary) so it seems crazy to me to skip cutscenes. I envision weird people skipping the cutscenes in Persona 4 to dungeon crawl and wonder around the city with no idea what they are doing, and I cringe at this vision.

#44 Posted by SlashDance (1812 posts) -

MGS2 continues to be the most misunderstood and underrated game ever made.

#45 Posted by charlie_victor_bravo (981 posts) -

@damnboyadvance said:

Metal Gear Solid 4 is a fun game to play. If you really don't want to be bothered with the story, you can skip the cutscenes and still get a lot of enjoyment out of the game.

MGS4 is so riddled with horrible cut scenes that it really takes a lot away from the gameplay. MGS3 is my personal favorite of the series and after it, MGS4 was one of the biggest gaming disappointments I have felt.

#46 Edited by ZolRoyce (651 posts) -

I've said it before and I'll say it again, Kojima needs a good editor. He has a clear vision of the story he wants to tell but it's muddied by too much exposition and repeated plot points.

Not a bad idea, as someone who thought the new Metal Gear Game/s looked interesting and tried to get into the old ones to get the story, I have to say, while playing the games I hated them, but when I read the story synopsis online in a few places for a few of the games, I wound up not hating what I read because all it took was someone taking Kojimas way of presenting the story and laying it out in a way that didn't make me groan at how silly everything was. Same story, same characters, but in my mind a better representation.

I'd honestly like to see a company that has nothing to do with Kojima remake one of the older games and see what they could do with it if they were allowed to shift things around.

#47 Posted by liquidsnakegfer9 (145 posts) -

@markini6: did you get to the part in mgs2 when a certain character goes completely insane? Or the psycho mantis boss fight from mgs1? It's moments like those that lead to that series getting so much praise. If you are turned off by the anime cliches and other pretty campy stuff in the series, I will say you probably won't find much to like in the series. You have to be on board with the brand of ridiculousness that Kojima is selling to get anything out of those games, because the series only gets more ridiculous as it goes on.

#48 Posted by damnboyadvance (4060 posts) -

@charlie_victor_bravo: Personally I enjoyed the cutscenes. But, as I said, you can always just skip them if you don't like them. Kojima isn't forcing you to watch them.