GamesDoneLegit has some Metal Gear reading suggestions

I’m happy to see that my humble blog has appeared on the list of recommended reading presented by GamesDoneLegit, called “6 Metal Gear Solid Reads That Will Change How You See The World“. Chris Hatala describes the articles, sites and books that had an impact on him. It’s great to see somebody really digging into the intellectual side of the series, as Kojima intended.

I noticed he said he’d like to know more about my upcoming Metal Gear book, and honestly I am so closed to finished that I’m planning to make an update video pretty soon. It may seem like it’s taking a long time, but considering I work full time and the book involves fact-checking and digging up old material, I think I’m making pretty decent progress. How soon is “soon”? Who knows, I don’t have a very open schedule!

Site update! Mystery thing!

I just wanted to let everyone know that I am still working on one of my two projects — the more important one — and it’s coming along very well.  Hopefully I can announce details within the month, because it’s something I believe you will all go crazy for and I don’t want MGSV to completely outshine it before I can get you guys hyped for it.

That’s right, my hiatus and my project is definitely related to Metal Gear, and I’ve been devoting all my free time to it in the hopes that you will love it.  Did you think I could abandon the series with Metal Gear Solid V on the way?  Come on.

Thank you for being patient with me, folks.  There’s a lot left to do, but I’m putting my blood, sweat, and tears into it.  I’ve probably lost 10 pounds from forgetting about meals and pushing myself to do more.  Every step closer makes me more confident that it will be exactly what fans of this site have been secretly wanting all these years.  I can’t say more than that, but I will say to stay tuned.

P.S.  Big congratulations to our affiliate The Snake Soup for making it to their 12 year anniversary!!

Major projects and changes

Hey, how have you been?  Waiting for that MGSV release date, am I right?  The announcement is like, today right?

Anyway, in the past month two major opportunities have fallen into my lap that I would have never previously imagined, on top of several radical changes that have already been underway for a lot longer, and so I have no choice but to shift my attention to those things instead of using my limited free time to write new stuff for the site.

These are the kinds of opportunities that you don’t need to get excited about for a while, which means it will probably just seem like I abandoned this lovely website of mine, but personally they mean a lot to me because a) they could both theoretically make money and lead to bigger opportunities if done correctly, and b) they are both tests of the creative skills I’ve been developing for my whole life.

Crazy timing of it all… None of these things are related to one another.  If it all goes horribly wrong, I will probably disappear from the Internet for a few years and come back with a new identity, if I still have access to the Internet.  If it all goes right… well, I don’t want to get my hopes up, but it could be really fulfilling.

Wish me luck, folks.  My sincerest Canadian apologies to those who I’ve left hanging in the wind by halting work on this site.

META GEAR is now a Steam Group with recommendations!

Now Recruiting!

Click here to visit the page!  The page where you can do things!

I can’t force you to join META GEAR on Steam, but I can throw some inspirational quotes at you and beg you to validate my fragile ego.  By making that little number on the group page go up, I feel motivated to work on new articles, draw comics, and more!

…Come on, I just want to have more followers than the gag accounts who review every game on Steam by saying stuff like “Hodor? Hodor” or “No, it’s not Postal”.

Unlike an intron of history, we will be remembered as exons!  The Patriots won’t be able to erase our existence, my friends. We will pass on our memes to future generations, through this Steam Group!  (And it’s not like you can only be subscribed to one group so don’t be shy.)

I won’t scatter your sorrows to the heartless sea… You will always be with me (on Steam).  So click here to check out our curated storefront and then find the “Follow” button in the top right!

Your role — that is, your m-mission — is to follow the META GEAR group on Steam.  You’ll ruin your eyes playing too close to the TV, but you will enjoy my funny announcements and meet other people who also like this website.

And I should point out the obvious…

Yes, this is the closest thing to a discussion forum this site will get.

This is good… isn’t it?

Follow me @GreenlightRview and let’s talk games!

Sick of the game media talking about everything except games?  Wish there was a better way to find out about new indie games without visiting dumps like Kotaku and RockPaperShotgun?  Me too, and that’s why I created @GreenlightRview on Twitter!

greenlight-review

Follow me and you’ll see concise but thoughtful critiques on as many Steam Greenlight projects as I can find.  Already I’ve seen some hilariously bad projects, and some amazingly good ones — like, stuff that I’m actually going to fund on Kickstarter.

Greenlight is one of the biggest forces for change in the history of games, but it needs intelligent people to pay attention and weigh in on the process.  We all know that it’s not perfect, and we know that even Valve is working on replacing it, but in the meantime there are thousands of games waiting to be seen and judged, with hopeful teams whose dreams of game development depend on you and me.  @GreenlightRview is a way for you to share my enthusiasm for upcoming indie projects, discuss game design with me, and help the cream rise to the top.

If you ever felt like there was a lack of game discussion and reviews on this site, you’ll definitely want to follow me there, because I’m going to have the same standards as I would if I was publishing it on this site, with the same wit and sharpness.

Thank you, and I look forward to discussing countless new games with you all!

[Check out @GreenlightRview]

Spec Ops and why I reviewed something I didn’t finish

I got an email from a polite reader about how I wasn’t qualified to review a game without finishing the entire thing. Specifically, my Spec Ops: The Line review.  I didn’t even play long enough to experience the “twist”, and yet I gave it a harsh judgment.  Is that unfair?

Below is my reply, without the original email I was sent.  I think this is a fair question, and I know that plenty of readers would agree that you need to experience the full game in order to appreciate it, so it might be worth sharing my defense.


I got started writing my opinions in a community with some of the biggest assholes and trolls out there, so don’t worry about offending me, I’m way beyond that. I’m glad to defend what I write.

I reviewed Spec Ops: The Line because I had enough spent money and time in order to experience the core gameplay features, difficulty, pacing, and “game design”, and I reached a conclusion. It’s not like I pretended that I finished the story.  But by your logic nobody should be able to review World of Warcraft until they personally reach the “level cap”, do everything there is to do in the “end-game”, and see the credits.  At some point, you make a judgment about quality along the way.  If a game can’t hook me within the first six hours, it’s shitty no matter what it holds in store.

Even if the story twist is mindblowing to some people, I’m perfectly justified in evaluating how much that story twist is worth. To me, it’s worth almost nothing.  I don’t respect games designed badly, and a cheap gimmick at the end doesn’t do anything for me.  “Pulling out the rug” only works if you’re invested in the mindless killing to begin with, which intelligent people wouldn’t be.  Therefore, it’s a game that only stupid people can enjoy.

Knowing how the game ends, I still saw these problems:

  • No compulsion to move forward and experience more (bad design)
  • No investment in the characters or scenario (bad writing/concepts)
  • No interest in the Call of Duty formula or fanbase (irrelevant twist)

I understood everything I needed to understand to evaluate what mattered to me. I did research on the remaining parts, and was equally unimpressed.


 

To me it’s a lot like those who say I shouldn’t review a game unless I’m able to master its gameplay systems.  Only expert who can get a high score should be able to say whether Metal Gear Rising is a good game, because “understanding” the game is a prerequisite for “judging” a game, right?  And I don’t understand a game unless I master it!

One of the main pillars of my reviewing process is that I don’t allow publishers, developers, or the community around a game to control the discourse around it.  I don’t have to judge a game by its own standards, or anyone else’s.  My own standard is what matters to me, and my review is the explanation of why I feel the way I do.  It’s idiotic to pretend that there’s any “objective” or unbiased point of view, so it would be pretentious to act like I’m giving a “fair” score by some universal score card.

On the horizon

Some exciting things are on the horizon right now, which I will be proud to share with readers of the site.  Although I can’t talk about them out of respect to the people who are still creating them, I will say that they are fueled by passion and conviction, and offer views highly compatible with my own.

One is a video, and one is a mega-sized article.  I’m involved with proof-reading and giving feedback on both, and you can trust that they are worth anticipating.

As for myself, I haven’t been writing that much.  I need to get around to finishing the commentary on Ground Zeroes, of course, but I’ve got other hobbies that are inspiring me more right now.  It’s a good thing this site has intellectual, creative followers who are willing to work hard and share their creations freely, in the hopes of edifying more people.

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