(This article has been updated on May 31, 2011 for your enjoyment)
PART 2: War is Routine
Old Snake: War has changed. It’s no longer about nations, ideologies, or ethnicity. It’s an endless series of proxy battles fought by mercenaries and machines. War – and its consumption of life – has become a well-oiled machine.
When the first game trailers were being shown, it was a shock for many to see that the setting of Metal Gear Solid 4 was the Middle East, and more shocking yet to hear the commentary of Snake about war being “routine”. What could such a thing mean? It wasn’t the same stylish, “cool” Metal Gear world we had seen before: it was desolation and massacre for no good reason. For literally the first time ever, there was no enemy stronghold to infiltrate, no big scary dude with a Metal Gear threatening the world. Indeed, we were sneaking into an actual battlefield, a neutral agent passing through somebody else’s pointless war. Why would Kojima break his successful formula for something as bleak and complex as that?
For as much as I liked the unique style of the previous blog format, I just couldn’t live with it. The fact that “Continue Reading” messed up your position in the post, the disorganized way that content was distributed on the main page — I finally decided to just go for a classic approach.
I’ll be tweaking this theme here and there in the coming days and weeks, bear with me.
Yes that’s right folks, I submitted a drawing for the Kojima Productions Fan Art Contest back… uh… whenever that was, but now the winner’s are finally announced, and it turns out I made the cut with something as bizarre as Christopher Walken dressed up as Solid Snake. The folks over at the KP Report talk about it before any other ones, so listen to it for their comments and love, and (my favorite part) the fact that Yoji Shinkawa actually picked it, and acknowledged that he was instructed by Kojima to make Snake look like Christopher Walken originally. He said it made him reflect on his old days. What an honor indeed.
I actually forgot I submitted it, but apparently enough people over at Kojima Productions enjoyed it to bump it up to #10. Of course, this probably means that they just had a tiny number of submissions, especially when you see the pathetic scribbles that also made the cut, but hey, a win is a win, and I’m proud. Personally I NEVER thought it would win, but now I can look forward to getting a special bandana and T-shirt. Having Shinkawa appreciate the thought of it is the best prize I could have asked for, however.
Playing games, working on projects, enjoying Spring — you know, fun stuff. Namely, I’ve been playing L.A. Noire, Portal 2, and most recently The Witcher 2. That’s on top of Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Team Fortress 2, and Minecraft. We gamers are living in a pretty good time right now. But games and entertainment have never been enough to pull me away from writing about Metal Gear: the fact is, I always need to be creating something.
I’ll keep writing articles for the site, doing comics, and so on when I feel like it, but if you want to know what I’m working on right now, keep reading…
But maybe it should be, because hey, it’s my site and it’s sure as hell more interesting than any Metal Gear news.
This is a new, fancy, cool comic done by the guys at Team Fortress 2 — ie. Valve Software — for free.
Do you see it? Here’s the link again in case you missed it. That’s 10 pages of extremely well done digital comic, deepening the already surprisingly deep story/world of the Team Fortress 2 universe. Why? Because apparently they wanted to make their new, interesting, completely unnecessary update more awesome. We learn some actual backstory about the Heavy, see pictures of the Sniper’s parents, and (for some reason) have an actual story explanation for the existence of the Meet the Team videos. Allow me to remind you that this is a cartoonish First Person Shooter multiplayer game.
The story also explains why the update is being made: as a cunning plan to allow the Administrator to spy on everybody without having to deal with annoying directors.
Basically, TF2 will now feature a “Replay Editor” which can be used to capture, edit and share impressive/funny/memorable moments of gameplay. That may sound lame, but then you watch the video and realize they’re running a contest and giving away a digital award to the people who submit the best movies! There are a bunch of categories, and they can be easily shared on YouTube and Steam.
Why do I mention this? Because dammit, other companies COULD BE DOING THIS KIND OF STUFF.
Just a note: there were zero submissions for the silly Fan Fiction Contest! You people obviously don’t give a damn about that stuff, and frankly I respect it.
So anyway, I’m wondering how good this new format is. I really like some aspects of it, such as the permanent links to news stories, tags and categories, but stuff like the disorienting “Continue reading” function is getting on my nerves, and it’s difficult to edit the format of the “grid” posts. Little things like that make me question the new format. I’d like some feedback, so if anybody wants to add comments, please do so. I think you just need a WordPress account.
I’m looking at Tumblr and other sites, and thinking that they’ve got some great functionality too, albeit with a really generic template and some drawbacks of their own.
In other news, between my regular day job, my constant keyboarding, and my videogame playing, I’m starting to get some kind of carpal tunnel shit going on with my hands, so that’s why I haven’t been writing more. Sucks, but I really need to cut down on the amount of typing I do right now. Oh well, maybe I’ll pick up a video camera and start making videos instead or something.
Yoji Shinkawa, born Christmas Day of ’71, joined Konami at the age of 23.
It was 1994, and young Shinkawa was given the honorable task of debugging Policenauts, as well as doing the graphics for the pilot disc, and the 3D graphics for the PlayStation version. It was a humble start for the man who would four years later be the Illustration Director and character designer for one of the best games to ever be released. The question is: would it have been one the best games ever if it hadn’t been for Shinkawa?
If you’re like me, it was the character of Solid Snake that truly made MGS1 endearing, allowing me to connect with it emotionally. He was a lean, mean, smoking machine who always got the job done and didn’t let his feelings get in the way. Essentially, he became everything I wanted to be in my juvenile fantasies for years. And yet when we look at this interview from an old player’s guide, Kojima explains that the original incarnation of Snake was “totally different”: