Metal Gear May Madness - Episode .00

Oh Dan, will you ever learn that writing these serial blogs isn't good for your health? Don't you remember the gruelling, demanding task of both playing video games and writing creatively for several hours a day when you spent A Month in Skyrim? And what about the long-running, still unfinished blogging behemoth that is Enduring Final Fantasy VII? Haven't these exercises in episodic bloggery taught you that the whole experience is seldom more than a mentally draining endeavour that saps one's will and wrecks one's sleep pattern, all for ultimately very little pay-off?

Apparently not, readers. Yep, I've decided to once again grab the serial blogging bull by the horns and dive into another episodic project, with all the reckless abandon and personal disregard that usually entails. This time I won't be looking back on a divisive JRPG classic, or converting my adventures in Tamriel into a daily diary. Instead, I'm tackling another of one of my most-revered gaming franchises - the Metal Gear saga. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the inaugural instalment of...

Episode .00 - Kept You Waiting, Huh?

Well folks, here we are once again - at the start of yet another of my crazy blogging concepts. My aim for this one is simple - to play every core game in the Metal Gear franchise within the thirty-one days that make up the month of May. I'll try to outline some of the finer points and offer my reasons for pursuing the challenge below.

Why Am I Doing This?

To be honest, I'm not completely sure what's possessed me to embark on this crazy gaming quest. I'm fairly confident that a big factor in the decision was my acquisition of my own PlayStation 3 back in March, a purchase which finally rendered me able to play every core Metal Gear game within the comfort of my own home. I've been eager to revisit the series, whether in whole or in part, for some time now, so that desire to spend some more time with Solid Snake is probably an influential reason as well. Another possible reason is the recent confirmation of Metal Gear Solid V, an announcement which made me keen to revisit the previous games in the series as a story refresher. As for why I'm deliberately limiting myself to the next thirty-one days, I can only say that clearly the only thing I like more than a challenge is alliteration.

Which Games Will I Be Playing?

My plan is to try and make it through every game I own which is recognised as being part of the core Metal Gear canon. As far as I'm aware, that includes all the games below:

That's eight games in total, so I'll need to be working through them at an average of about one game every four days. This shouldn't be too much of a problem for the home console titles, which are pretty long but can be sped through with a few days' worth of committed playing. Where I'll most likely run into problems is with the handheld games, which are split into smaller bite-sized missions but ultimately add up to a longer playing experience due to all the sub-mechanics at work. I'll be playing them in order of release, rather than in the order of the series' timeline, mainly to avoid any hugely jarring mechanical discrepancies between the games (leaping from Peace Walker into the original Metal Gear doesn't seem like it would be much fun). In the games with selectable difficulties I'll be playing on the default Normal difficulty, so as to avoid any major delays to progress that harder difficulties can cause.

How Often Will I Be Blogging?

Anybody put off by the daily updates that constituted A Month in Skyrim won't have to worry about that this time around. I'll only be blogging about a game once I've finished it, so if I manage to stick to the plan of roughly one game every four days, then you can expect blogs to be posted on a similar time frame. Even then, the resulting blogs probably won't be too long, most likely topping out at a few paragraphs each (mainly because I'm going to need to devote as much of my free time as possible to actually playing the damn games). Entries will most likely offer some brief notes on what I enjoyed or didn't enjoy about each game, whether I think the older games in the franchise hold up, and perhaps even some jokey statistics and awards.


In terms of other gaming, I've been a pretty busy boy since finishing up Telltale's The Walking Dead at the start of the month. I played BioShock Infinite, followed very closely by a return to Rapture with BioShock 2. I thoroughly enjoyed both games (Infinite more so than 2), and hope to write a blog shedding a bit more light on why in the coming days. Right now I'm caught tightly in the grip of Pokémon LeafGreen, a remake of the original Red and Blue games that's hitting all the nostalgic pleasure centres in my brain while being a little more bearable to look at than the crude monochromatic sprites on those old Game Boy carts. I've earned four of the game's eight badges so far, although I expect progress to slow a little in light of the initiation of Metal Gear May Madness. I've also invested in a copy of Pokémon SoulSilver, in the interest of continuing my adventures once I've mastered the Indigo League.

I hope you'll join me on this frankly insane quest to experience all of Kojima's crazy in as concentrated a form as possible. I'll be starting the original Metal Gear as soon as I get in from work tomorrow evening, so expect my first blog in the next few days, most likely this weekend. Thanks very much for reading, and I'll see you around.



Currently playing - Pokémon LeafGreen Version (GBA)

Posted by Ravenlight

Do you own the release of MGS2 that comes with the skateboarding bonus disc? Because I'm pretty sure that's canonical.

Posted by audioBusting

I don't think Portable Ops is considered canon. Either way, good luck with that... the cutscenes are unskippable, you know!

Edited by Winternet

Well, good luck on playing all of that. It's going to be a hard quest to finish.

Also, did you buy the rights to use that blog font from @video_game_king?

Posted by Video_Game_King

Also, did you buy the rights to use that blog font from @video_game_king?

That couldn't have been the case. It's part of a package, and I don't see Sieger's background from Samurai Shodown II.

Posted by Winternet

@winternet said:

Also, did you buy the rights to use that blog font from @video_game_king?

That couldn't have been the case. It's part of a package, and I don't see Sieger's background from Samurai Shodown II.

Oh, I didn't know that it was a package. I thought it could been used separately. It makes sense, though.

Also, fuck Sieger.

Posted by Demoskinos
Edited by NoobSauceG7
Posted by Demoskinos

I don't think Portable Ops is considered canon. Either way, good luck with that... the cutscenes are unskippable, you know!

That's been debatable....its not on the official time line but it fills in a very specific line of events after snake eater that leads in to Peacewalker. Including all of the stuff with where and what Frank Yeager was (Null) at the time.

Edited by Mento

So glad someone else is doing something Mad for May. I didn't want to be the only maniac in the nuthouse. Good luck Dan, and I'll be checking your progress.

Also good to hear that the dankempster blogging truck have started to move again. This place could use some decent community writers after that exodus during the site switch.

Moderator Online
Posted by dankempster

@ravenlight: I do indeed own that version of MGS2. Now that I know the skateboarding is canon, I'll be sure to play it thoroughly!

@audiobusting: I always thought Portable Ops bridged the gap between Snake Eater and Peace Walker pretty nicely. Then again, its omission from all the collector's editions getting banded around at present hints that maybe Kojima isn't as pleased with it as I thought. Might have to look into this.

@winternet: Thanks. As far as the font goes, I haven't approached @Video_Game_King regarding the font because I'm well aware that Lunar copyright laws are a metaphorical minefield to navigate. I'm just hoping my minuscule community presence will ensure it passes under his radar. If it doesn't, I'll just default to expecting my law student sister to fight my corner.

@demoskinos: Dude, I have no idea how I missed that post of yours, but congrats on meeting your target and seeing the series through. I hope me doing this doesn't seem like I'm encroaching on your territory in any way. I guess with a franchise like Metal Gear, series-encompassing playthroughs aren't out of the ordinary, but it's still pretty weird to encounter someone on the same site who had the same idea, right down to the month-based alliteration. I'm sure my May will have nothing on your March, though - your posts are fantastic.

@mento: Thanks for the well-wishing, Mento. Also, I need to buck my ideas up and get fully caught up on yours and everyone else's blogs from the last month or so (it's not just my writing of blogs that's slipped in recent times). The new site layout doesn't make finding blogs particularly easy, and nor does it draw attention to new entries very well, but those factors aren't really an excuse.

Posted by dankempster

@video_game_king: I said that I'm expecting her to fight my corner. I'm definitely not expecting her to fight it with any degree of competence. Also, that blog looks phenomenal sir. I'm looking forward to spending the rest of my evening deciphering it.

Posted by Demoskinos

@dankempster: Haha thanks. I don't take any "offense" by it at all I just found it really amusing that someone like you said had the exact same idea as I did. Although you're taking it one step further by doing Portable ops and the first two metal gear games. I had access to both but just didn't get around to it. Hell... almost didn't finish Peace Walker in time because I got stupidly distracted for a few days by Tomb Raider.

None-the-less I'll look forward to seeing your progress. Are you just going to plow through all of them? I think what took me so long with a few of them was I ended up trying to play the best game I could on each title I went through. Ya know, no alerts, kills etc... that lead to me redoing some areas quite a few times which ended up being more of a self imposed roadblock than anything else. I'll be looking out for your stuff! Good Luck!