To Metal Gear Scanlon 2 or Not - An MGS2 Virgin's Dilemma

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#1 Edited by andthentrumpets (28 posts) -

I played through MGS and MGS4 at the times of their release, but I decided earlier this year to buy the HD collection with the intent of playing through all the games sequentially to hopefully wrap my head around this insane story. I played through MG and MG2, but then paused to watch Metal Gear Scanlon instead of replaying MGS1 myself. Of course, this wound up falling to the backlog, and only over this Christmas vacation have I really had the time to dig in.

I just chain-watched all of Metal Gear Scanlon 1 and loved it! It was a perfect mix of nostalgia for the pieces that I did remember, surprises of the stuff I had forgotten, brand new Easter eggs, and fruststration/heartbreak/satisfaction/relief from Dan, Jason, and Drew.

But now the reckoning has come: do I watch Scanlon 2 or do I play the game for the first time myself? I don't think that I'll want to playthrough the whole game and then watch someone play, though maybe episode-by-episode play-then-watch or watch-then-play in chunks would be appealing. Experienced MGS2 GBers, what do you say?

EDIT: I just played through the Tanker chapter on my own. I think I'll both play and watch, and just make sure I never watch ahead of where I've gotten on my own. Thanks everyone for the suggestions!

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#2 Posted by Corevi (6796 posts) -

Play MGS2 and 3 now then when Metal Gear Scanlon 3 starts watch 2.

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#3 Posted by csl316 (15004 posts) -

Part of the charm is knowing what's coming up and seeing Drew's reaction. I beat the game a dozen times, but watched my buddy finish it earlier this year while watching ALL the cutscenes and Codecs for the first time since release. Thought it would be boring to see again, but Dan and Drew (and Jason) made it a ton of fun.

It's a classic game. Worth playing.

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#4 Posted by Oscar__Explosion (2980 posts) -

I say play the game for yourself first and later watch Metal Gear Scanlon. That way you can watch everything that is happening with the knowledge you'll have from finishing the game and be able to appreciate or catch things you didnt notice during your playthrough.

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#5 Posted by nophilip (687 posts) -

I began my first experience with Metal Gear a few years ago. I picked up the HD collection and decided to play through the whole series chronologically. Played 3 and loved it. Enjoyed Peace Walker quite a bit. I tried the original Metal Gear but got really bored so I just read a plot summary for that and Metal Gear 2. Went through Twin Snakes on the Gamecube and really enjoyed it. Then I got halfway through MGS2 and got sick of it (I found MGS2 the least fun to play of the whole Solid series).

I decided to watch through Metal Gear Scanlon 2 in lieu of actually finishing the game. The day I watched the end of that series, I booted up MGS4. Just finished Act 3 today.

The way I see it, I value knowing what happens/watching the cutscenes way more than actually playing the games. Except 3, that game is a damn masterpiece. Basically, I'm saying just watch Metal Gear Scanlon 2. Play the game later if you really feel like it.

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#6 Edited by probablytuna (5010 posts) -

I played through MGS2 for the first time before Metal Gear Scanlon started this year and I kinda regret being so far ahead. I wished I had played alongside Drew so I could experience it with him. I've restarted a Snake Eater playthrough during his time with MGS2 but kinda fell off. I intend to continue the playthrough when Drew picks up Snake Eater.

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#7 Posted by CornBREDX (7371 posts) -

I played it again first and then watched it. I plan to do that with all of them.

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#8 Posted by development (3180 posts) -

I, personally, would have preferred if I never played any of the MGS games before this series. I'd have preferred to experience it first watching Drew play, and then play the part on my own. I barely remember any of Snake Eater, so that's what I intend to do with that game.

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#9 Posted by Shindig (4963 posts) -

Put it this way. Do you want to react to Drew reacting to the way that game spirals or do you want a first hand experience with no interruptions?

Play it.

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#10 Edited by HatKing (7453 posts) -

Turn on Metal Gear Scanlon and start up the game. Then see if you can beat him through it.

You're in a unique position here, and one of the only people who could have that experience.

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#11 Posted by korwin (3918 posts) -

You need to go into MGS2 pure, don't watch the series until you've had your mind bathed in the pure madness that is Son's of Liberty.

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#12 Posted by Winternet (8448 posts) -

Playing games is overrated. Go watch Metal Gear Scanlon 2.

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#13 Posted by robbparris (301 posts) -

I had played MGS1, but none of the others, and have watched all of Metal Gear Scanlon 2. It was fun reacting along with drew to things I had never seen/had no idea of before. I don't plan on playing 3 or 4 either.

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#14 Edited by Soap (3774 posts) -

I would say go play it first, and then watch Drew go through it. You'll probably enjoy it a lot more as he goes through the same confusion and excitement as you do.

... You will also get a second chance to try and process the crazy story while watching Drew play, which will undoubtedly help.

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#15 Posted by chimpchamp (49 posts) -

I recently replayed MGS 1 and 2 and played 3 for the first time and watched 4 on youtube. Personally, 2 has a great story in retrospect, and the gameplay is good, but the two don't gel like they do in 1 and 3. I'd skip playing 2 and watch Drew play instead. 3 blows 2 out of the water because the gameplay really integrates with the story, which is also better. 2 is, IMO, good to watch but boring and painful to play because there never really seems like any purpose to what you're meant to be doing.

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#16 Posted by Rincewind (416 posts) -

I watched MGS:1&2 and started playing 3 for myself to get a sense of whats going on. I've stopped playing 3 about halfway through the game so I can experience the ending at the same time with Drew.

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#17 Posted by KirillOrlov (347 posts) -

I have only played MGS ages ago and never finished it...I've only beat MGS4 and that's when it came out. For me this series is great since I get to experience everything with Drew and I have Jason/Dan helping out and explaining things I wouldn't otherwise know/understand/connect.

Also the fact that Dan knows a lot of the Easter eggs helps so you don't have to play the game 5-6 times just to finds all/some of them.

Really it's up to you if you'd like to watch it, the playing through it while watching it may be a cool idea for MGS2.

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#18 Posted by Humanity (18948 posts) -

@andthentrumpets: I say start playing MGS3 and just watch MGS2. You'll get a lot more enjoyment of seeing Drew take on a game you have fresh in your mind, and watching a game you've never played yourself will be also very fun.

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#19 Edited by Castiel (3488 posts) -

I played through MGS 1 back in the day and completed it a second time 2-3 years ago but I have never played any of the sequels and I finally decided to just accept that I will never find the time to play them. Also I enjoy watching MGS getting played more than actually playing because some parts of MGS 1 and also MGS 2 just seem super frustrating to play. Just to make it clear though: I totally love the first MGS game but I just never really got around to playing any of the sequels so even though I have nostalgia for the first MGS I don't have any nostalgia or desire to play the sequels today.

I also think a lot of the "storytelling" in MGS 2 is bad storytelling and not bad in a funny way but just plain bad. The momentum stops multiple times to dump 15 minutes of information on your head. That kind of storytelling where you just have loooooong periods with talking heads that name this and that organisation and this and that name in a endless stream I honestly find frustrating. The game definitely has some cool/charming moments but the fact that you have to sit through multiple monologues, or dialogues, with information getting told to you I don't find particularly riveting. I think that's why I'm totally fine with not playing any of the sequels in the MGS series but just watch Drew experience them for the first time, like I'm experiencing them for the first time, only I don't have to play through them and I'm totally fine with that cause I don't think I have the patience for Kojimas bullshit.

There are definitely cool moments in the game I just wish they weren't behind a wall of steaming hot Kojima turds.

I can see the angry MGS fans approaching in the distance so I better brace for impact.

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#20 Posted by kasaioni (2397 posts) -

If you just decide to watch Metal Gear Scanlon 2 I think that'd be okay since they cover all the story stuff.

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#21 Posted by AlisterCat (8093 posts) -

If possible try and watch while you play. It's possible that you will be faster than Drew and end up just ahead so you can react freshly to something, then see how they react not long after.

I watched Persona 4 on the site first, but then watched it again while playing and there's a lot of value in playing along.

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#22 Posted by Jaalmo (1752 posts) -

I'm not entirely sure. I found it entertaining knowing what is going to happen next and see how Drew reacts to it but I also found it fun to replay the series alongside Drew. Like whenever a new part of Metal Gear Scanlon comes up, I’ll play up to that part. All I know is bring on MGS3!

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#23 Posted by musclerider (895 posts) -

I started watching Drew playing it and at some point waiting for a new episode I just played through the whole game. I thought it was great waiting to see how Drew would react differently to the parts I thought were total horseshit.

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#24 Posted by Quid_Pro_Bono (1134 posts) -

For what it's worth, I played MGS2 after watching the series. It didn't effect my enjoyment of the game at all. Playing and watching someone play are really two different experiences.

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#25 Posted by PrivodOtmenit (553 posts) -

Play the Tanker and watch the rest.

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#26 Posted by FinalDasa (3231 posts) -

I played MGS2 after the 1st Metal Gear Scanlon but did the Tanker and only a bit past.

I'm glad I had some understanding of the game, it's controls, and it made me understand what Drew went through.

That said I'm glad I didn't move ahead and finish the entire game. I liked the surprises (even though a lot of people openly talked about that game) and look forward to maybe playing it for myself one day. Those games are just too much effort for such a crazy payoff that doesn't seem worth it for me.

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#27 Posted by Quid_Pro_Bono (1134 posts) -

I should mention that I really enjoy the series' gameplay (from the original Metal Gear to MGS2 that is), so if all you're after is the story you may as well watch Drew play. If you like the mechanics you should play the game, but whether or not you get surprised on your own or watch the events unfold during a different person's playthrough feels irrelevant. Honestly, I'd be more worried about spoiling boss mechanics for your own playthrough than actual story beats.