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#1 Posted by RainVillain (704 posts) -

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.

#2 Posted by deadmoscow (286 posts) -

It's almost impossible for some games to maintain their shiny luster once they get outdated. There's a reason why I'm perfectly happy to leave Goldeneye where it is in history, because it would play and look like absolute butt compared to anything else out there today.

To answer your question, I really can't get into Torchlight or Borderlands or any of those endless loot games anymore. After a certain point, once you peel away the mechanics they just feel like random number generators. It's like, press this button! Then press it again! And again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again! Now you can press the button even faster!

#3 Posted by Marcsman (3375 posts) -

You lost me at lord and saviour.

#4 Edited by Animasta (14820 posts) -

Mass Effect 2, personally.

#5 Edited by RainVillain (704 posts) -

@marcsman said:

You lost me at lord and saviour.

'twas a joke ;-)

#6 Edited by Ravenlight (8057 posts) -

Diablo III suffered from not really having a fun endgame progression. I had a ton of fun running three characters to max level but there was nothing to keep me interested in the game after that.

FFVIII hooked me right from the start. Gunblades trigger my "that's awesome" gland.

MGS4 is on my To-Play list.

GTAIV was hella disappointing in my mind. I expected a larger PS2-era GTA with better graphics. What I got was a pretty-looking game that didn't feel like a GTA game anymore.

#7 Edited by Sooty (8195 posts) -

I didn't like either on release. GTA IV on console had really bad frame rate issues and too much filler, I didn't like the more serious tone either. Lack of activities / fun stuff too. My favourite thing about GTA IV was some of the random events that can happen but they don't seem to happen very often, not sure if that's a good or bad thing. (the car jackings, pedestrian violence)

As for MGS4...fuck camo, octocamo is so dumb and really isn't fun to use. I didn't like the camo system in 3 much either but 3 overall was just a much stronger and more interesting game. Have to put them in order of Twin Snakes / MGS1 > MGS3 > MGS2 > MGS4.

Annoyed me because they were by far my most anticipated games of this entire generation. I tried so hard to like them.

#8 Posted by believer258 (12708 posts) -

I thought Borderlands was freaking amazing the first time I played it. When I finally put up a review of it on this site, I gave it three and a half stars. It's a good game and fun, but I think it has its flaws.

I didn't too much like Mass Effect the first time I played it either. "Wait, what's so special about this cheesy sci-fi game with sub-par third person shooting, terrible framedrops, and horrible level design?" Then something clicked and I liked Mass Effect. I never loved Mass Effect, though.

Dragon Age Origins is a game that I seem to have an on-off like of. I'll play it at one time and love the detail and care put into the lore and story, the tactical battles, etc., but then another time I'll start it and I'll roll my eyes at the sometimes-hammy, emotionally stilted dialogue or the cheesy fantasy oozing from the game. Hell, I could level those complaints at any Bioware game.

I'm sure there are more of these examples that I can think of, but they're not coming to mind at the moment.

#9 Edited by Yummylee (23197 posts) -

I still like GTAIV. I'd have trouble playing through it again because it does have an incredibly slow start, which I love, but it's not very accessible when you want to head back in from the beginning. Fortunately there's still the DLC stories, and besides that I've still completed GTAIV vanilla like 5 times anyway.

MGS4 on the other hand, I'm not a huge fan of. Though like a lot of people, I was suckered in during my first playthrough, but thinking back it all started to fall apart and it's undoubtedly the weakest of the main four MGS' in my eyes.

#10 Posted by BlatantNinja23 (928 posts) -

GTA IV just wasn't enjoyable. It made me realize why I hate most open world games in general.

Now MGS4 I loved, plan on re planning it soon to see how it holds up.

#11 Edited by Miketakon (533 posts) -

MGS4 felt like a forced way to end Solid Snake's journey. Old Snake and the ending was a straight up cop out but overall I enjoyed MGS4. GTA 4 on the other hand felt soulless. The bank robbery(?) mission was the only thing that stood out.

#12 Posted by Fredchuckdave (6961 posts) -

GTA IV is a boring game with a good story, vastly inferior to San Andreas

MGS4 is a fun game to play with a terrible story, vastly inferior to MGS3

Game reviews are a fun game to play with a good story, vastly superior to all other forms of reviews

#13 Posted by ImmortalSaiyan (4745 posts) -

MGS4 is great. That game is so dumb, I love it. I can't think of any instance of that for me.

#14 Edited by Atlas (2558 posts) -

I'm pretty sure that GTAIV would be a game that ages poorly. I find that a lot of open-world games age more rapidly - I played inFamous maybe 2 years after its release and couldn't see what all the fuss was about.

But what do I know, because I thought GTAIV was boring back when it was new.

I have never and probably will never play MGS4.

#15 Posted by sonicrift (320 posts) -

I still like loading up GTA4, but I don't think I could play through Niko's story again.

I ordered the Metal Gear Solid collection today, so I'll probably play through the whole series again really soon. I bought my PS3 when my 360 died for like the 7th time about 2 weeks before that game came out. I loved it, but there was that one part where you're wandering around this city trying to be stealthy that just pissed me off. I remember loving the game but hating the ending.

#16 Posted by Veektarius (5300 posts) -

I'd say Oblivion is a game whose stock fell drastically in my eyes over time. When I started out, I rolled my eyes at all the Morrowind fanboys, but though my reverence for that title would never equal theirs, I eventually found TES IV to be an easy game to get tired of, thanks mostly to the ugly and repetitive Oblivion gates. In my later playthroughs, I would never advance the storyline so as to avoid them entirely.

#17 Posted by PhilipDuck (627 posts) -

I see where you're coming from but both at the time were great stories to play through at the time. I completed both games several times when they were released, and have nothing but fond memory's of them. If you analyse any game you're bound to find flaws... Right?

#18 Posted by Humanity (11437 posts) -

I think MGS4 was fine in the way that it was a natural progression for that peculiar series. All MGS games had lengthy cinematics and the PS3 hardware just let Kojima kinda run wild with it. I'm sure more gameplay would have been awesome but all in all, that game hits all the right Metal Gear Solid notes. Going back to Black Mesa and having that PS1 flashback, fighting in a Metal Gear Rex, the microwave room, meeting up with Psycho Mantis again - all of that was awesome.

GTA4 on the other hand I thought was one bold step forward and at least 10 horrible steps backs. The graphics, physics, and gunplay all were amazing improvements on the original formula. Even though it didn't look the best out of all the games coming out during that time, it still was leaps and bounds above all previous GTA titles. The story on the other hand was awful. I know Jeff is insane, but I mean he's REALLY insane for liking the dithering, meandering story of GTA4 over Red Dead Redemption. A story that basically has no real purpose except for this big statement about how the American dream is a huge joke except somehow the joke ends up being at the players expense as you realize that after countless hours of gameplay Nico hasn't really accomplished anything worthwhile. Somber and melodramatic throughout, peppered with characters that somehow lost that humorous quality of past GTA caricatures and ended up being more annoying than anything else.

So I think that good games will retain that positive quality despite the passage of time. I think Metal Gear Solid 4 still tells a great story in that franchise, shortchanging gameplay or not that story is always going to be there. If you were never invested in Snake, or Meryl, then it won't mean anything to you but to fans of the series there were some emotional chokepoints for sure. GTA on the other hand was this sidestep into more serious storytelling that in my opinion didn't pan out that great. I won't get into the subjective matter of how I thought they completely ruined the driving physics - that aside it was mostly the story that ceased to impress and engross as past titles did.

#19 Posted by Phatmac (5918 posts) -

I'm not a big fan of MGS4 though I don't hate it. I still think it just isn't a good MGS game in general but it certainly has its moments.

#20 Posted by Demoskinos (16208 posts) -

Love me some MGS4. I almost died of nostalgia overload when they went back to Shadow Moses. It was so so weird knowing exactly how to navigate that level before I ever got there yet it being so strange at the same time.

GTA 4 is kind of garbage IMO. I just didn't really like anything they did with the game. Okay, well I guess "garbage" is harsh because I did play the game through twice and I have the complete edition on PS3 with all the DLC scenarios. However, I dunno I guess Saints Row came along and rekindled my love with open world games in a way that GTA 4 never quite touched for me. Brucie was fun and there were a few missions like the bank heist that were neat (although Kane and Lynch has a way better bank heist level which sadly, is also the highlight of the entire game.) but overall nothing stuck with me. Metal Gear Solid 4 however Is up there for me on my all time games list. Then again, that should come as no surprise as Metal Gear Solid is the most influential game I've ever played.

Metal Gear Solid 4 felt like a direct thank you letter from Kojima for sticking it out. Yes, I'm sure Kojima was making up all the shit in the story as he went along but in the end through its complicated web of jargon, characters and events the end of that game felt like all of it made sense and belonged in the world. And Metal Gear online man... Metal Gear Online how you were a misunderstood game.

I can safely say Metal Gear Online has my favorite memories of any online game ever. Period. There was nothing more fun than playing as Liquid Ocelot running around using your finger guns to kill everyone via the Guns of the Patriots or dodging right at a firing opponent as Vamp watching them get more and more frantic as you effortlessly dodge bullets. I'll just stop here cause really I could go on about Metal Gear Online for paragraphs.

#21 Posted by Conzed92 (188 posts) -


Somehow I manage to still love the shit out of Goldeneye's multiplayer. Load up on beers and get three of yours friends to come over and you are SET! SET! :D Oh the value of that game...

#22 Edited by Cyrus_Saren (552 posts) -

I can not play through GTA IV or Oblivion any more. GTA IV is the only GTA that I've never gone back through. I just find it incredibly boring. Oblivion I also just find incredibly boring now. Very dated.

I'm with the OP in that I also hated Final Fantasy VIII but ended up coming back to it later on and enjoying it a lot more. I remember the only thing I liked about it was Squall back then. I still hate the Draw system in it though.

EDIT: I suppose I should also say that I still love MGS4, despite the massive amounts of cutscenes. That is not something that has ever changed although MGS2 is still my favorite.

#23 Edited by Mrsignerman44 (1105 posts) -

It took me three times to play mass effect before I ended up finishing it and loving it, the same thing happened to me for Dragon Age: Origins but I blame that mostly on the stupid mage's tower quest about halfway through the game(depending on when you choose to do it) that was so tedious and long that it always made me stop playing at that point. Once you get past that point however, the game was fantastic!

#24 Posted by Grelik (172 posts) -

When I first played GTAIV I somehow completely missed out on the fact that you could fast travel with taxis lol... Not sure how that happened. But I drove everywhere in the game for about the first 75% of my play through lol. I still laugh about it. (On topic, I did feel GTAIV didn't appeal to me like it did the majority, liked it, didn't find that I enjoyed it any abnormal amount)

#25 Posted by Azteck (7416 posts) -

I can kind of get the criticism that MGS4 gets in that it has too much cutscene but goddammit if I don't love that game to bits, and nothing can keep me from it.

#26 Posted by gogosox82 (441 posts) -

I love MGSIV. I know all the complaints but i don't care. I was engrossed and amazed by it. The game was essentially a big love letter to all the fans of the series and i fucking lovehd every minute of it.

I'm actually trying to playthough GTAIV right now since the new GTA is coming out soon. And i still think its pretty boring as far as open world games go. I think i prefer the Saints Row style of open world games where you can just do anything you want and the game is just about having fun, not about telling some deep, serious story.

#27 Posted by MikeJFlick (452 posts) -

People played GTA4 expecting san andreas which was looney to the point of being stupid, some people enjoyed it, I personally didn't, some features were nice without a doubt like getting fat or getting tanked was neat, car customization was neat, but where did that fit into GTA4? Niko isn't the type guy besides besides the cartoon graphics that the PS2 had in comparison to PS3 those zany aspects of SA fit where it wouldn't have in GTA4's realism, I loved the story, and loved the world I rated it high then and still rate it high personally to this day(having played the expansions not too long ago on pc)

MGS4, I don't know why people harp on it "being a movie" they needed to start tying up some of the story lines and they did exactly that and you can't do that in optional codex transmissions nor could you do it while sneaking or in combat, the game which was there was great it, while I don't consider it as giant of a leap in terms of gameplay that snake eater was, it was and still is one of the most impressive games I've played to this day, I'd take it over the longer but much more stagnate feeling that MGS2 was.

#28 Posted by GERALTITUDE (4229 posts) -

GTA4. Along with the fidelity of the world, the quality of writing and acting, the strength of the characters in combination with the animation of their faces, as well as some of the themes of the game, were all really, really amazing when it came out way back in 2008.

MGS4 is fucking amazing, that's all I have to say about that.

#29 Posted by JasonR86 (10003 posts) -

I've seen this same thing happen with Argo since it won best picture. It happened to the King's Speech too. And The Artist. It's one of those things were, on the internet, whenever something gets a lot of recognition people can't help themselves but drag it back down. Plus both of those games don't hold up as well as they did when they first came out. But, importantly, it doesn't matter if they hold up that much now because the people who yell about the quality of these games already played it when it was new or fairly new.

Basically, the internet needs to develop a sense of perspective. But it never well because the internet is the equivalent of a 1-year-old screaming baby.

#30 Posted by DeathByWaffle (696 posts) -

I still fucking love GTA4. I feel like I'm one of the very few who still holds that game in high regard, as everyone loves to hate it now.

#31 Posted by ArtisanBreads (4533 posts) -

Some angry people on forums = INCREDIBLE BACKLASH

Not really speaking to the OP but yous see the sentiment around.

I think GTA V will be a huge step up from IV so looking forward to that.

#32 Posted by HistoryInRust (6584 posts) -

I mean, look at what's happening with The Walking Dead. Once people started realizing everyone loved it, it became a race to see how quickly they could form the best contrarian opinion about it.

That's just the vocal minority speaking, though. I think a broad spectrum of people who played Metal Gear Solid 4 and GTA IV can and do acknowledge they're both important, if not totally enjoyable, games.

#33 Posted by bluefish (633 posts) -

I tried going back to Oblivion about a year before Skyrim came out and wow. That game does not hold up in most respects. My disinterest in it's style of gameplay went so far as to me being bored out of my mind in Skyrim when I finally got around to playing it about six months ago.

#34 Posted by TangoUp (327 posts) -

I had never played a single Metal Gear game before MGS4 which is why I didn't pick it up until a couple of years after its release. And somehow, the game had a powerful emotional impact on me. It is hard to pinpoint why but as the game wore on, I could feel the weight on Snake's shoulders even though the 'old hero comes back for one last mission' story has been done to death. Masterful storytelling. It doesn't hurt that the gameplay was awesome as well.

#35 Posted by Cold_Wolven (2353 posts) -

When I first beat MGS4 I was a little disappointed by it, usually a MGS game would have me replaying it as soon as I'd finish with it but not MGS4 and it wasn't until mid last year that I decided to do a series play through of MGS and played through MGS4 twice to get a better impression. Though there are a few gripes I have with earlier levels being a little boring, lame bosses and old snake I have enjoyed it more than what I originally played of it. Mass Effect is a also a game I did not like when it first came out but playing through ME2 and 3 gave me urge to try and finish it and was glad I did.

#36 Posted by Pezen (1768 posts) -

I remember putting in GTA IV for the first time and going "Is there something wrong with my tv? Has the game engine bugged? What.. oh.. it's supposed to look like this." -- The extremely jaggy shadows and pretty much any edges were horrible. It took me several hours of play before I could get past that. And by that time I had already been annoyed by the dumb systems they had for some side stuff. They made buying clothing much more of a chore with worse menus, and instead of having a few unique stores they had several identical stores for no reason. And the overall story was just ok at best. I think taking the cab in the rain and watching out the window was one of the few really novel things in the game. And some of the missions were pretty memorable. But overall, it was such a huge step back from San Andreas in every way. It never even felt like it had a sense of place and time the way the earlier games did. And for a Rockstar game; no memorable music at all.

As for MGS4; love that crazy bastard of a game.

#37 Edited by mercutio123 (507 posts) -

I hated GTA4 when it first came out because even then the mechanics just sucked, I've gone back to it and enjoyed it more purely for the storyt and characters, but having to fight against the awful mechanics is not something a game should make you do

#38 Edited by MooseyMcMan (11949 posts) -

I replayed MGS4 last year when they finally gave it Trophies, and I still think it's just as rad now as it was then.

GTA IV though? Well, even back in 2008, I thought that game was really clunky (specifically the shooting and the driving), but I really liked the story stuff, so I imagine I would enjoy it about the same today.

#39 Edited by probablytuna (4136 posts) -

Well I still enjoy both those games as much as I did back in 2008. Yes, there are flaws in both games, and they don't necessarily justify the ridiculous 10/10 reviews, but I still think they are incredible games.

#40 Edited by xyzygy (10592 posts) -

I agree with everything about MGS4. It felt like the story was rushed way too much and they basically spend a whole game beating around a bush. It took advantage of the whole "WILL SNAKE DIE!?" thing all throughout the game and put it up front as the reason to experience the game through to the end, instead of relying on clever, new, well written characters and thought-provoking themes like the other games did so well.

I still think MGS2 was the best in the series because it made me really think about life and freedom and what we take for granted. It touched a world that no other game comes close to. MGS3 was great too, but not on the level of 2. IMHO.

4 just used the Metal Gear name to take advantage of some nice looking animation and a lot of jibberish. I loved it at first because of the wow factor, but that fades fast and you're left with a sour aftertaste.

#41 Edited by Sooty (8195 posts) -

People played GTA4 expecting san andreas which was looney to the point of being stupid, some people enjoyed it, I personally didn't, some features were nice without a doubt like getting fat or getting tanked was neat, car customization was neat, but where did that fit into GTA4? Niko isn't the type guy

Type of guy to what? Customise his car? Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

I guess he's not the type of guy to massacre people too? But he still does that.

#42 Edited by xyzygy (10592 posts) -

I mean, look at what's happening with The Walking Dead. Once people started realizing everyone loved it, it became a race to see how quickly they could form the best contrarian opinion about it.

I know absolutely zero people who say that and really have not heard that anywhere, even online, ever. And I think I'm about the only person in my city who hasn't seen The Walking Dead yet. (Not because I'm one of those people, but simply because I haven't gotten around to it yet)

#43 Posted by TruthTellah (9632 posts) -

@rainvillain: I feel like this post is like those games. I started off with interest, and as I got into it, I liked what I saw. Then you'd point out how things fell apart, and then you said you liked one again. But wait! Now you're not liking it. But maybe? No. It's a rollercoaster of emotion from initial interest to confusion to appreciation back to confusion and ultimately just ending with some satisfaction with a decent bit of mixed feelings.

#44 Edited by HistoryInRust (6584 posts) -

@xyzygy: I was referring specifically to the game. These boards get one or two threads a day undermining The Walking Dead game in some way or another. Which is fine, of course, since that's obviously a matter of subjectivity. But they didn't really kick up in frequency until the Game of the Year buzz started. At first, everyone was all in on the game, then a reflexive contrarianism followed shortly thereafter.

I think I'm misunderstanding a bit of your reply though. Are you saying you haven't heard anyone outright hate the show? You and I must peruse vastly disparate landscapes of the internet, then.

#45 Edited by Zero_ (2011 posts) -

I wasn't even aware there was a backlash? I didn't love MGS4, I liked it - but this is coming from someone who thinks MGS3 is one of the best games of all time. MGS4 was a little too crazy for me, but I still think it's one of the most important but not best games of this generation.

#46 Edited by dropabombonit (1541 posts) -

I had the same reaction with MGS2, loved it the first time I played through it but on my 2nd playthrough I felt the boss fights were weak compared to MGS1 and the story was pure nonsense. But I played MGS2 again last year in the HD collection and I felt it held up extremely well and because the way society has went, the story makes a lot more sense today than it did in 2001. Also there is just some really smart gameplay things he does that nobody has went back to (not even Kojima himself). Yeah so I can see the feeling you had when returning to MGS4 after souring on it and then loving it all over again

#47 Edited by Nekroskop (2831 posts) -

You lost me at "...slick as fuck Otacon"

#48 Posted by MikeJFlick (452 posts) -

@sooty said:

@mikejflick said:

People played GTA4 expecting san andreas which was looney to the point of being stupid, some people enjoyed it, I personally didn't, some features were nice without a doubt like getting fat or getting tanked was neat, car customization was neat, but where did that fit into GTA4? Niko isn't the type guy

Type of guy to what? Customise his car? Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

I guess he's not the type of guy to massacre people too? But he still does that.

How many former Yugoslavs do you know riding around in low-riders? or banging out the dubstep from their quad 12" in the trunk? Also How many people does Niko kill directly which the player has no control over?

#49 Posted by Fearbeard (863 posts) -

I couldn't get past the completely awful story and writing in MGS 4 so any good parts of the gameplay were overshadowed by how I cringed almost every time a cutscene played.

Anyways, there are plenty of games which I really enjoyed at the time, but time has not been kind to them. Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion was pretty amazing at the time of release, but it has lost a considerable amount of it's luster since Fallout 3 and Skyrim were released.

#50 Edited by mrfluke (5657 posts) -

@jasonr86 said:

I've seen this same thing happen with Argo since it won best picture. It happened to the King's Speech too. And The Artist. It's one of those things were, on the internet, whenever something gets a lot of recognition people can't help themselves but drag it back down.

pretty much this,

but also its been like what 4-5 years since those games came out. i think we people that use gaming forums all the time have become... i wont say cynical, but a lot more analytical since then, so to look back at those games, it doesnt surprise me you have those smart asses going back to those games and tearing them apart.