MGSV video: “It’s just a box…” + map!

It’s good to see Kojima bring back cardboard boxes and give them a new twist (popping out of them to surprise and shoot enemies), and obviously we’re going to need all the hiding places we can get in these massive new areas, so this snippet of gameplay footage is cool.  Although it’s not the focus, we can see that the area features a horse, a mortar launcher, lots of grass patches, sandbag walls, a stone building that’s almost completely dark inside, and plenty more variety.  I suppose all the areas Big Boss will be infiltrating are going to be “battle ready”, which explains why they’ll have weapons, sandbag cover, enemies, and other conveniences for players to utilize, while also having many doorways and buildings boarded shut, which is also seen.  When I see the floodlights and power lines in the area, I imagine how the place will different look at night time, as well as the ability to follow the power lines from location to location.

Even more impressive is the scale of Afghanistan in The Phantom Pain, which is shown to scale compared to all the previous Metal Gear games.  Note that Portable Ops and Revengeance are not shown, indicating that they’re not part of the main series.  The map is gigantic, and I suggest you go here to see pictures and read about the translation of what Kojima is saying.  Apparently parts of the map will be sectioned off for each mission, and unlocked as you proceed further in the game, perhaps like Assassin’s Creed or Grand Theft Auto.  It’s still not clear what kind of format the game will use when it comes to picking missions and traveling from place to place, but judging by Ground Zeroes I’m going to assume that each mission starts you in a pre-set location and create arbitrary “game over” boundaries within a radius of your objective.  Who knows!

Kojima further ruins the mystique of Ground Zeroes with this behind-the-scenes video

Kojima wants to show off, but as I just wrote in my analysis of their marketing, they don’t seem to care about preserving the intrigue and mystery around this game at all.  I’ve always hated behind-the-scenes videos for my favorite things, unless it’s years later and I’m not “into it” the same way still.

Revengeance analysis video “Give War A Chance”

Here’s a thoughtful commentary on Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, and action games that posture as “intellectual”.  It’s an interesting take on the subtext of Revengeance (yes, apparently it has some!) in which the “true nature” of action games is explored.

Give credit to Chris Wagar from GatherYourParty for this.

Yoshi’s New Island: Abomination League

Yep, I’m giving Yoshi’s New an approximate rating already, based on over an hour of direct gameplay footage.  It’s somewhere between -3 and -4, I just don’t know where yet.  Because you don’t do this to Yoshi’s Island, and you don’t call it Yoshi’s New Island either.  That’s a retarded naming convention which Nintendo never should have used.  They can’t keep track of their own numbers, want to “reboot” it for a new generation, or don’t want to find some new story theme to use as a subtitle?  Fine then, add the console name afterward like you did with “64” in the N64 days, or “Super” with the “Super Nintendo”.  Don’t add “new”, because that’s extremely shortsighted and confusing.  “New Super Mario World Land Bros 2”, which system is that for, again?

As you can see, everything about the game is soulless, pointless, and lullaby-boring.  Every character, animation, and sound effect is either recycled in an uglier form from the original or just “who cares”.  Concepts are about as weak and predictable as you can get, too.  Remember those cool transformation bubbles that turned Yoshi into a helicopter or subterranean mole tank?  Now you can jump into the binoculars transformation bubble to… pause the game and look at the surrounding area more clearly… because they don’t know how to fit the puzzle in the screen or create an intuitive way of giving you the hint, so they’ll just force you to scan around the area.  Weeeeeeee!

The original Yoshi’s Island is one of the best games ever created, and it’s N64 sequel was a steaming load of garbage too, which is why I hope this one burns and fails.  I dare you to watch 20 minutes of this gameplay and then try to remember what happened afterward.  You won’t be able to, because it’s the very definition of bland and unmemorable: [Nintendo removed the video, sadly.]

Compare it to this masterpiece, where ever piece of music and every frame of animation is contagiously memorable 20 years later, even while some jerkoff is talking over it:

Nintendo keeps taking a hot whiz on our nostalgia, instead of reinvigorating it.  The 2D “New Super Mario Bros” games are crappy, uninspired, and formulaic.  They obviously want to keep the property rights to these franchises, so they pump out something lame without thinking too much about it.  The music especially is a big giveaway that they’re not trying, since Yoshi’s Island is known for being full of god-tier melodies, and this one doesn’t have a single tune that I could hum along with if I tried.

I won’t be paying for this game in order to properly review it, but this will suffice.