Am currently replaying MGS4 right now and I'm really enjoying it. For some reason this surprised me.
See, the expectations for the game was at fever pitch and when the IGN and Gamespot 10/10 reviews showed up it felt like the return of Our Lord and Saviour. Even Giant Bomb did a dedicated spoilercast for the game, which was a sign of their reverence for the game.
I bought a 60G PS3 on the promise of MGS4, Final Fantasy XIII and Fumito Ueda's next game. In hindsight that is a hilarious statement but at the time I was thinking gimme those three games and I'm set FOR LIFE.
So when MGS4 finally came out I soaked it all up and loved every moment of it. I remember thinking "this is one of the best games of all time".
When I finally put the game down after a couple playthroughs, my opinion on the game began to change drastically. I felt like I'd been played by Kojima Productions. I couldn't put my finger on it exactly (ok, the 7:3 split between video and gameplay was certainly part of it), but it left me with a sour taste in my mouth, to the point where I didn't even look back on it as one of the better experiences on the PS3.
Heck, IGN ended up giving their game of the year award to Fallout 3 that year, and MGS4 didn't even make their recent "Best PS3 Games".
GTA4 received very similar massively positive critical reception but as time went on it began looking more and more dated. I played it and loved it back in the day but replaying it now I'm struck by the terrible gunplay, checkpointing and on-the-nose drama.
The difference between MGS4 and GTA4 for me, however, is that, when I started playing MGS4 again last week I fell in love with it all over again. From slick as fuck octocamo, the beauty of the character models, the super sexy weapon reticle that tells you if your shot is blocked by a wall, to the endless "Kojima" touches and bombastic conclusion to a fantastic franchise.
I'm under the game's spell.
I just finished Act 4 and am preparing for Act 5 and already the spell is beginning to lift. I'm reminded "there is so little gameplay in this," "chapter 3, 4 and 5 are about 30 minutes long without the cutscenes".
At the end of the day, replaying MGS4 has reaffirmed that I still love this game (to my surprise).
Where am I going with this, you might ask? Well, nowhere really! Just thought it was strange how I'd let my opinion on something I'd really enjoy waver because of my memories of it (and mainstream opinion), as opposed to actually playing it -- a sort of inverse nostalgia perhaps? Not that I take IGN any more or less seriously than any other website (ok, maybe a littleless seriously), but I still feel a little stunned/confused that in a year where they award two perfect 10s, neither of them did they award their Game of the Year title to.
Are there any other games you guys really loved when they first came out but time has made you change your opinion (which was then shattered/reaffirmed by replaying said title)? Or perhaps, inversely, a game you'd written off only to come back to it way later and actually start enjoying it. Diablo III was an example of the former for me, with Final Fantasy VIII being an example of the latter.