Caution: The following article deals with world events and society. If you enjoy games like Metal Gear Solid or Deus Ex with heavy social commentary about conspiracies and global elites controlling mankind, you may like it.Continue reading
I was pleasantly surprised by the Death Stranding trailer released today because it finally established in more clear terms what the main plot and game structure will be about, and showed off more genuine gameplay, including gunfights, fight fights, and motorcycle riding. If Kojima had continued to delay and tease without revealing the core of the game, it would have been a massive red flag for me, and a sign that the game itself isn’t worth advertising. Unlike Metal Gear Solid games, Death Stranding has no established fan base or legacy to fall back on, so it needs to attract people. This trailer showed that they have confidence in the core game, if nothing else.Continue reading
Howdy folks! Believe it or not, I was recently invited to be a guest on the hottest Metal Gear podcast in the world, Metal Gear Mondays, and it went fantastically. The whole thing is about The Kojima Code, and we had a blast for several hours and had plenty of laughs. They had great questions, and I felt like they were cut from the same cloth as my dear readers, so I really expect you’ll enjoy it.
Check it out right now, and listen to their special book review episode too! I’m very thankful to them for shining a spotlight on my work, and I was delighted to find out that one of the hosts was a huge fan of my site since he was in high school! Crazy how that works, isn’t it?
Listen to the episodes…
And to the book review episode:
Despite what you may have heard, it is no longer disputable that the Big Shell chapter of Metal Gear Solid 2‘s story was a computer simulation from beginning to end. The whole scenario of Raiden on the Big Shell was a VR mission. This isn’t a theory, but a fact. It has been a fact since 2002 when Hideo Kojima directly stated in this interview:Continue reading
This article was written by Jack Wade, who contacted me by email. Since I’ve written a whole book studying the careful forethought given to MGS2’s polarizing writing and design choices I find it invigorating to see a good old fashioned trashing of the man behind the legend. Although Jack clearly hasn’t read my book, which accounts for many of the strange disparities he points out about MGS2’s development, he makes a compelling case for not accepting Kojima as some literary genius — especially in the vein of the usual fanbase, who all seem to have blinders on when discussing the series. He casts doubt on the purported complexity behind it all. Since first proposing the VR Theory and fleshing out the metanarrative analysis of the series, I’ve watched the community slowly absorb the positive ideas I put forward about Kojima, but reject the unflattering side of the analysis. They don’t debate it, they just reject things they don’t want to hear. Ironic, of course. I much prefer people like Jack Wade, willing to step up and make the discussion more interesting.
There is no such thing as a clean and simple discussion of the Metal Gear series and it is the fault of a singular entry within it. Metal Gear Solid 2 had some of the most jarring idiosyncrasies, not just in its own world, but among fans of the franchise. If Metal Gear just skipped over MGS2, tweaked MGS4 to match the changes, and then proceeded normally, it would be another unremarkable series with a very high bar set by its opening iteration that just gets worse over time much like Deus Ex or StarCraft.
I love my Switch, but Nintendo’s online service has quickly gone from “acceptable” to “lousy” with the announcement that crucial games will prevent cloud saving.
I’ve come to terms with paid multiplayer to some extent. Withholding multiplayer behind a paywall is arguably worth the effect it has: reducing annoying casual/kid players you meet online and increasing server quality, in theory. It can pressure gamers into coming back and playing more often because they know that they’re subscribed to the service, too, which means a more active player base. But the other features are lackluster to begin with. Old NES games with hacked in multiplayer components, online save storage, and unspecified discounts. If they included SNES games in that list it would be a different story. No virtual console? No universal purchase library? No voice chat (except through your smartphone)? These are not easy to overlook.
But now, with the bizarre decision to disable online save storage for Dark Souls and Pokemon Let’s Go, Nintendo has officially dropped the ball. Their explanation makes no sense, claiming that it can theoretically be abused. Regarding the non-exclusive titles being affected, look at this quote from the Game Informer article:
It is worth noting that all of these games support cloud saves on PlayStation Network and Xbox Live.
While Pokémon Let’s Go can be explained away as The Pokémon Company’s often overbearing paranoia and a desire to drive business to the cloud-based Pokémon Bank subscription service, the other included examples do not make much sense.
A couple of assholes are going to exploit your online save functionality (if you don’t structure it in a way that prevents this) so now everybody has to suffer? Online saves are 100% about increasing the value of your Switch purchase by making it a little less painful to replace one if it breaks, and having your whole library’s progress backed up is essential, especially for something as in-depth and time consuming as Pokemon or Dark Souls.
Those NES ROMs had better be amazing.
Few games have caught my attention the way that Octopath Traveler did when it was announced. Coming from any other studio, for any other system, it may have been different. But a Square Enix RPG exclusively for the Nintendo Switch sounds to me like the Promised Land I was hoping we would see. The best case scenario for the Switch is exactly this: a blurring of console and handheld, where scale and scope don’t matter nearly as much as variety and purpose. From the moment you see it, Octopath Traveler assures you that the Switch will uphold Nintendo’s tradition of supporting colorful, unique, mid-sized games (mostly from Japan) that would be lost in the shuffle if they were released on a regular console. Yes you can have Xenoblade Chronicles 2 for the Switch in all of its 3D glory, but you can also have a text-menu-sprite-turn-and-grind JRPG that feels like the 1990’s again. These kinds of games don’t need to break the mold. They need to satisfy an appetite that very few people are catering to.