Finished the 2nd draft, and what’s next

The 2nd draft has been finished for a few weeks, which is excellent. The revisions made a big difference for the better, and I’m not the only one who thinks so. At this point the progress on the book is out of my hands, which means I don’t know how long it will take to complete. All I can do is hope for quick developments, like you guys.

After so much effort, planning, and research, it feels almost weird to not be writing about Kojima and his games aside from the occasional update to illkeepcoming.com. Part Two of the book will be more familiar territory for me, so less research will be necessary, but of course it would be nice to see some love (or criticism, if that’s how it goes,) from the community for Part One before I set too many things in motion.

The Music of MGSV You’ve Never Heard

mgsv-feel

The PC version of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain allows players to insert their own music into the game, which will play as their evac chopper comes in for a landing, or if you select it from your iDroid device. When I was playing I made sure to try this feature. Even though I haven’t played the game in half a year, I am vividly and immediately transported into the game whenever I hear those songs.

I feel that this is an accomplishment of Kojima’s that needs more recognition. At the very least, I want to recognize how it has affected me.


 

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Metal Gear Survive

This website has always been devoted to analyzing Hideo Kojima’s games, not the “Metal Gear” series including all the spinoffs. There are tons of stuff related to the Metal Gear “brand” that I don’t care about at all. Most of it, in fact. I understand that it’s a brand, and that brand is connected to Kojima’s intellectual property, but that’s all it is to me.

Today Konami revealed a new game trailer. It’s for something that technically has the words “Metal” and “Gear” in the title, and it technically uses assets and models from Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Konami is still using the FOX Engine, which means the game should be easily ported to many different consoles and systems, and the budget should be next to nothing. Speaking of next to nothing, that’s what it is. It’s technically not nothing… although it doesn’t register in my mind as anything more than an improvised, offhand hypothetical concept that a jaded Metal Gear fan might make to his buddies when they’re sleepy and can’t think of a good joke. It feels like nothing. Even as a way of stirring up controversy by insulting fans it feels profoundly lacking. The reality is that real employees of a big company which has shareholders actually sat down and produced things to make this trailer and the game it presents.  That doesn’t even click in my mind. If they had written this concept on a wadded up piece of paper and threw it at me, it would have sailed directly past me and into the trash bin next to me, never to be thought of again. It makes no impression. It takes effort to acknowledge that it exists by writing about it here.

I initially watched the trailer sans audio (because I find that you can get a much more objective sense of how interesting something is if you mute it first), and the basic gist is that apparently a dimensional rift has opened up and transported generic nobodies from the Metal Gear universe into a generic alternate reality with generic zombies. The generic people have generic zombie survival struggles in a generic wasteland, using generic weapons, and I suppose need to find a generic way back home. There you go. That’s the thing. It seems to be a cooperative multiplayer game too, so you can check that off the list of generic corporate selling points too.

Already, “fans of Metal Gear” (including those who don’t know how to distinguish real installments from corporate filler) have come out mocking the piss-poor attempt. Boardroom discussions memes, appropriate “zombie” analogies, and more have cropped up. I’d be impressed if Konami even managed to anger the fanbase with this, because it’s such a transparent recycling of content and branding that only the most braindead followers of the series will get confused about what it really represents. The fact that they straight up went to “alternate reality” is the funniest aspect, because it’s a total admission of creative bankruptcy.

I will say this, however: if they bothered to make a ton of carefully-designed levels that emphasized stealth and strategy, with clever enemies and features, I would totally be interested in the game as its own thing. I wouldn’t refuse to indulge the final product if it was high quality on its own terms, and I could overlook the marketing/branding in order to enjoy the gameplay. But assuming that the game design is as hollow as the rest, Metal Gear Survive pretty much exists in a vacuum of interest, aggressively demanding to be ignored.

Death Stranding and 2nd draft

Hi everyone, I’ve decided to start a blog for Death Stranding called “I’ll Keep Coming”. You can visit illkeepcoming.com to check it out, and if you use Tumblr you can follow updates easily, ask questions, and even submit information. I’m calling it an “infosource” because right now I’m mostly interested in keeping track of as much information as possible about it. Interview clippings, twitter mentions, website updates, trailer footage, screenshots, and everything else related to the game.

As I have been writing my book, I realized how much precious information was lost about old Metal Gear games. It was very hard to research details along the way, and even though we live in the age of Wiki’s and YouTube, it’s amazing how much information gets lost or distorted along the way. Just look at the fact that GameTrailers.com shut down. Who would’ve guessed that? By collecting information on illkeepcoming.com, I’ll have a copy of everything on my own computer too without needing to specially back up the html files or anything.

Speaking of the book, I’m now working on the 2nd draft. A couple sections of the book need work, and I’m going to do my best to make everything top-notch for you guys who are looking forward to it. Thank you very much for your encouraging emails and sorry if I haven’t replied to them all. The process is not as quick as I’d hoped, but I am always impatient about projects!

Small hints about Kojima’s next game: Uncharted fans will like it

Thanks to The Snake Soup for noticing what DualShockers translated from Weekly Famitsu via Hachima Kikou!

What we have now is a promise that Kojima’s upcoming game will appeal to fans who like Uncharted and The Division.  This means it must involve gunfights, 3rd-person camera, storylines and characters, and rather linear gameplay, I would guess.  You have to wonder why he wouldn’t compare it to Metal Gear Solid 4, since that’s basically the same genre.  Maybe he doesn’t want to give the impression it will involve stealth.  He specifically said he wouldn’t call it “open world” and also gave a disclaimer that people won’t think it’s “edgy” at first:

Last, but not least, he also mentioned that when the game will be announced, some will think that it’s not as edgy as they expected, but they will understand once they get to play it.

So we’ll get to enjoy secret edginess?

I’m not surprised Kojima is starting to tease his new game already, since it’s a very low-cost way of  building anticipation and staying in the spotlight to say such things during interviews.  Honestly, at this point his YouTube channel is producing more content than his game production studio, so fans of his are getting impatient to know what he’s really up to.  There are still a million ways that his next game can do something unique within the traditional genre of the “action-adventure” game, so it’s too early to speculate.  Those hoping for a “P.T.” or “Silent Hills” type of game will probably be disappointed already, though.

“MGSV: Parasitic Legacy” Video attempts to show the Sins of the Father

I won’t embed the video here since there is a special page for it over at the SnakeSoup.  It’s probably best to go there and see the introduction and follow-up material provided by Ravi Singh.  On this page I’ll give my impressions of the video and reply to its arguments.

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