Starting the show with a showstopper- Uncharted 2 & Metal Gear 4!

If you read my last blog about all this Playstation 3 stuff, you’ll know that I loved Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune. Most of the comments last time claimed that Uncharted 2 would blow me away- and for the most part, they were right! Again, I’m not trying to write an in-depth review- but rather just share my thoughts about my experiences with the games I should have played years ago.

So Uncharted 2 is fucking great- but you already knew that. I actually finished it almost two weeks ago... I probably should have written this then- I’ve got all this Metal Gear Solid 4 stuck in my head. Anyway, the game is graphically suburb- especially for a game from 2009. It didn’t quite impress me as much as I had expected- the glassy eyes still kinda freak me out a bit, and I’ve been spoiled by LA Noire, but the action sequences (especially that train part) are pretty much unmatched- at least that I’ve seen. There’s a ton of variety too- Destroyed cities in Nepal, Borneo’s Jungles, the icy caves... and it all looks fantastic.

The gameplay is improved quite a bit- though it blows my mind that people’s main complaint with the first game was that the enemies were too ‘bullet spongy’. That first fight with the Protectors was insane. I thought I was doing something wrong at first, but sure enough, after roughly 10,000 bullets pumped into them, they die. After you kill one and steal it’s gold crossbow though, it’s all smooth sailing, but until then, what a pain! Maybe I was missing something. Also... there’s another fucking “Restore power to the generators!” section... I can’t wait until we move past this- it’s so cliché. It’s all worth it though- the train sequence, the parts where you’re jumping between the truck beds, the vertical climbing up the falling train- all amazing, and did I mention you destroy more helicopters than 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand?

I liked the story more than the first game too. Once again you’re racing to a treasure, but THIS particular treasure doesn’t curse you (unlike that damned El Dorado) but blesses you with invincibility and limitless power... unless you get too close to the exploding magic sap- in that case, you’ll be easily defeated by a Nolan North with a shotgun. The new characters are pretty good- even though I could see some of the twists coming from a mile away, I still enjoyed them just as much as I did the first time around.

I know that everyone else played this game in 2009, so maybe you’ve forgotten all of the mystical shit that goes on in these games- but the spider effects we’re seeing in the Uncharted 3 beta totally fit in with the fiction. Looking back, I still think Assassin’s Creed 2 is my ‘game of the year’ for 2009 (maybe I just like the openworldlyness of Assassin’s Creed more than the linearity of Uncharted)- but I couldn’t be more excited for the next game- can’t wait.

Now for Metal Gear Solid 4, which I just finished last night. Wow, they weren't kidding about that 90 minute cut-scene, eh? That game keeps going! It was great though. Man, I don’t even know where to start with this, I guess I’ll just start from the beginning.

My original plan was to play through each game in the Metal Gear series before playing MGS4... however, that fizzled out about half way through MGS1. What I ended up doing was downloading torrents of all the cut-scenes from Metal Gear Solid 1-3. No regrets though, I’m extremely glad I played MGS1 a few years ago, because it gave me just enough nostalgia to FREAK THE FUCK OUT when the game drops you into Shadow Moses in the style of MGS1- and without watching the cut-senes, I wouldn’t have understood all those great reference to past games- that awesome Mantis bit, why they keep focusing on the closet where Snake and Otacon first met, or why they keep referring to Snake and Ocelot as ‘twins’. I would have been totally lost, after all, I can’t name another game series that’s quite as intertwined from game to game. I’m not really sure what it is, but I love the story and characters in this series- Snake, Otacon, Raiden, they’re all awesome in their own way.

So for the first few hours, I wasn’t sure if I loved the game or hated the game. I loved that loading screen while installing the game! Who doesn’t want to watch Solid Snake smoke for 8 minutes? Once I actually had to control Snake, I hated it! Of course I had just come off of Uncharted where I was climbing all over the place- now this damn old man can’t climb over a two foot barrier. It takes an hour or two to get used to the controls and gameplay... and the usefulness of the Cardbord Box- but once you adjust, they work just fine. The OctoCamo shit was awesome- I’d switch to Young Snake w/ Bandana for awhile, then go back Old Snake.

The graphics are still pretty good- they haven’t aged quite well enough to blow me away, I’m pretty sure they’ve been surpassed several times, even on the 360- though the amount of cut-scene in this game would probably still prevent it from appearing there. I’ve always fucking loved David Hayter as Solid Snake- he’s probably my favorite voice actor other than Nolan North. I don’t really know what else to say about MGS4, but I’m sure every fan of the series has played it already, anyway. I’m not even going to bother with a story synopsis or anything- it was crazy that they managed to wrap everything up in a tight little package, and I loved every minute of it.

I went back and finally listened to the Giant Spoiler Snakecast, and was blown away by how much they enjoyed the game- especially Gerstmann- it was weird hearing him be so overwhelmingly positive about an experience he had with a game, that doesn’t happen often. Whatever, I’ve heard the rumors that Metal Gear Solid: Rising is stuck in some kind of development Hell, but at this point, it’s probably one of my most anticipated games.

So... now what. I already feel like I started the show with a show stopper. Should I continue down that route and play something like Killzone, Infamous, or God of War? Or should I play something a little less well received, like Resistance or SOCOM... or Lair or Haze... After all, gaming for me is a religion, and I’ve heard Haze is the shit.

12 Comments
14 Comments
Posted by Slaker117

There is plenty of mystical bullshit in the Uncharted games, but I still feel like the spiders are pushing it. Drinking sap to become invincible is silly, but infinitely less reality breaking than transforming into a collection of other organisms. You'd have to make excuses of it, but at least the former could, in theory, follow the laws of conservation of mass and energy.

I am such a huge goddamn nerd.

Posted by Claude

Can you pause the cut-scenes in MGS 4? That always bothered me in MGS games. Hell, I might need to go to the bathroom or get my wife something.

Posted by AlexW00d

I feel bad because the cutscenes in 4 were my favourite thing in the game. Not that the gameplay was bad, but I just fucking loved the story and characters.

Posted by TooWalrus

@Claude said:

Can you pause the cut-scenes in MGS 4? That always bothered me in MGS games. Hell, I might need to go to the bathroom or get my wife something.

Yeah, you totally can pause (or skip) any cut-scene you want, which is a relief because some of those are real long.

Posted by Claude

@TooWalrus said:

@Claude said:

Can you pause the cut-scenes in MGS 4? That always bothered me in MGS games. Hell, I might need to go to the bathroom or get my wife something.

Yeah, you totally can pause (or skip) any cut-scene you want, which is a relief because some of those are real long.

Good to hear, well, if I ever get to play it.

Posted by csl316

You already know what to do next. Listen to Korn and follow the leader.

Posted by rmanthorp
@Claude "or get my wife something" Such a gentleman, I expected nothing less. :>
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Posted by Heltom92

I really really love the MGS series and I think Kojima did a great job with tying up the plot in 4 considering how convoluted it had become. Also, I love the final fight with Liquid and the cutscene just before it. Sooo epic!

Posted by ikwal

You should play God of War and infamous first, both are great games. Might even want to check out the gow HD remakes if you didn't play them on ps2. The Killzone games are pretty good to. Resistance hasn't aged well at all.

Posted by probablytuna

I've always felt the supernatural elements of the Uncharted series stuck out like a sore thumb. It was fine in the first game then all of a sudden you get up to this chapter and all this crazy zombie enemies start popping up. I felt that was really out of place when juxtaposed against the rest of the game. Having said that, I still freaking love the franchise and very much about Uncharted 3.

Also, weirdly enough I have no problem with the supernatural elements in the Metal Gear Solid series. I guess I'll accept anything if it's made by the Japanese.

Posted by razielrioux

Heh, 90 minute cut scenes, crazy... Smart move on just watching all the cut scenes instead of playing the older games right through. I did enjoy MGS4 but I thought the stealth game play was kind of swept aside, that was until I listened to one of the guys from GB (and I think it might have been the Snakecast one) but someone brought up the point of playing that game on Hard where you HAVE to take your time and not run and gun it. I tried it that way and loved it immensely. The game still looks great, although I would take to task the sound department and inform those guys that raising your gun up to aim NEVER results in the clicking noise as if you were cocking the thing. Would have been amusing/annoying if they slapped that sound every time Snake aimed his weapon.

Posted by TooWalrus

@razielrioux: Oh man, I totally forgot about this series of blogs... which died after two issues. Since then I've played some more PS3 exclusives, the Resistance games, Twisted Metal, the ICO/Shadow of the Colossus collection, Killzone 2 etc, though those probably aren't worth writing about. Also, going back and reading my own reading... I'm pretty sure that I'm no good. I'm sure I'll get around to InFamous, Rachet & Clank, KillZone 3, Valkyria Chronicles etc. eventually, but right now there's too many new games I'd rather be playing.

Posted by Arker101

I was ready to get all gushy about MGS4, but then I realized that post was half a year ago.

@TooWalrus: Infamous is a pretty fun power trip series. There's nothing like blasting fools with lightning you should give em' a shot.