June 11, 2010: One of those image things
Or to be less vague, a new La-Li-Lu-Le-LOL comic!!
June 7, 2010: SC2 Beta on pause, time for consumption and digestion of Peace Walker
The StarCraft 2 Beta has been stopped for a few weeks, just in time for the release of Peace Walker. Frankly I'm excited to get my hands on the full game and try it out, but before I write anything about it I'll need some time to develop my thoughts. In the mean time, I plan to do more articles and comics as usual, so look forward to that.
For those who are interested in StarCraft 2 and my experience with it, don't forget my StarCraft Chronicle blog.
June 2, 2010: Deconstructing Shadow Moses
The epic third guest article of Mad Jackyl is now available for your reading pleasure. It's about the progression of Shadow Moses from MGS1 to what we see in MGS4. Get ready to be impressed by some serious anyalsis, and make sure to thank him, not me. Here it is!
May 28, 2010: David Hayter @ MTV Blogs
The man who holds the world record for the most coughing fits and phlegmy hacking sounds ever recorded for a single product, David Hayter, is apparently MTV Movies' Blog's Guest Editor For The Week. What a title! Read his stuff and let him feel our love. He's a pretty good writer.
May 27, 2010: La-Li-Lu-Le-LOL #23 is here
It's been long enough that spoilers aren't an issue anymore, so here you go, the twenty-third comic!
May 21, 2010: StarCraft 2 Beta and Blog
Well would you look at that. I got invited into the StarCraft 2 Beta, which means I'll be spending some time playing that until it gets put on hold at the end of the month! Awesome.
I may very well still update this site in that time, of course, but if you want to follow my SC2 Beta exploits, you may want to head over to StarCraft Chronicle, which will serve as my SC2 Beta blog. I'll be documenting my failures!
May 17, 2010: MGS: Rising Wish List at GT
Gametrailers.com has produced a "Metal Gear Solid: Rising Wish List" featuring stuff like invisible stealth camoflauge, spastic swordplay, breakdance kicking atop a sword stuck in the ground, and a totally generic terrorist takeover storyline... with no returning characters. Basically they want Cyborg Ninja's Super Button Masher Batshit Frenzy.
Considering the receptivity of Kojima Productions to the bitching of Western game critics in the past, this is a wish list to keep in mind as the game goes further into development
May 13, 2010: Thank You, Shinkawa article
Please read this special appreciation article for the one and only Yoji Shinkawa, who has given us Metal Gear fans so much over the years and continues to inspire so many!
May 8, 2010: Meta Gear Hangout now available!
WELCOME TO THE FORUM
Consider this a 'beta' phase of the forum, where things are still being added and revised as it goes along. I'm expecting a handful of you will be interested in chatting amongst yourselves judging by the response I got from my earlier inquiry, and that would be good!
I hope you guys enjoy it, and invite you to bring whatever friends you want as well. Let's see how it goes!
May 6, 2010: Another guest article, and big news coming soon
Been trying to occupy yourself to avoid the temptation of spoiling Peace Walker for yourself? Don't worry, we're here to help. This week we have another excellent article by the author of "Metal Gear Confidential", Mad Jackyl! Enjoy it!
What have I been doing in the meantime? You'll find out... soon enough. Hopefully you guys make it worth the effort!
April 29, 2010: Special guest article; also, Hamaru-Gear teaches girls to strangle and abduct unsuspecting men
You're probably thinking "Gee, now that Peace Walker is released in Japan I'm tempted to find out as many possible spoilers as I can — but I know it would ruin the fun of playing it myself and finding out first hand!" Well obviously!
That's why you need to forget about Peace Walker news until it's released in your area, and instead think about stuff like Digital Foxdie and Raiden's Dual Role, a special guest article by none other than Metal Gear Confidential creator Mad Jackyl! (Err, be careful, his site is infected nowadays, lol.)
And hey, have you seen this place nowadays? It's got loads of important information, such as how obsessive horny teenage girls should violently incapacitate and kidnap guys!
Hmm, I wonder why they didn't reverse the genders in that animation? It would be funnier.
April 28, 2010: MGS2 Initial Setting?
Kojima has posted 3 tweets about an "MGS2 Initial Setting", apparently triggered by the fact that tomorrow is "Showa Day" as well as the day that MGS2 is supposed to take place (the anniversary of George Washington's election.) The posts seem to revolve around Raiden as a child soldier and his fight against Solidus, but aren't really put into context.
Was this how the game was initially supposed to start? Why are there two "volume 2" entries? What's with the "Solidus comes in contact with Solidus" typo? Anyway, apparently Kojima wanted to make the screen flash with Liberian flag every time Raiden fired a gun, and let players mistake it for the US flag until the end when it's revealed and juxtaposed with the Sons of Liberty flag. Rather drastic don't you think? But then again it would certainly have set up the revelation of the whole "child soldier" twist a lot earlier, as well as discouraging gunfire by the player!
April 27, 2010: Intermission, updated Part 10
So you read Part 10 of the MGS4: Sold Out series, but you didn't like the ambiguous conclusion? Well I updated that for you, so go back and read the REAL ending!
More importantly, check out the Intermission I mentioned, which reviews the purpose of the Sold Out series and prepares for even more down the road! Clicks and reads!
April 22, 2010: MGS4: Sold Out meets Big Boss
Here it is, the grand 10th installment of our MGS4: Sold Out series of articles. Wow, has it really been that long? This special article spans two pages.
Up next will be an "Intermission" article, followed by even more, so look forward to those as well!
April 21, 2010: Don't trust Peace Walker review, says Kotaku
Kotaku is openly challenging the legitimacy of Famitu's perfect 40/40 score for Peace Walker, saying that it's biased and suffers from conflicts of interest. I wouldn't doubt it, and they make a very solid argument.
I find this especially interesting considering what I've said in both my MGS3 analysis and my PW cross-promotion article, about Kojima becoming a Big Boss persona, doing whatever it takes to "complete his mission" as a promoter and game designer outwardly, while staying true to his beliefs internally.
Right now I'm in the process of expanded the scope of the articles I'm working on, so they'll take a bit longer, but should be a lot better as a result.
April 19, 2010: "Next" and "Confidential" Projects
So this is kind of interesting. Kojima has made a distinction between his previously mentioned "next project" and a so-called "Confidential Project" that is "in the works":
I’m going to leave my next project to the side while I focus on the “Confidential Project.” (source)
New article will be up soon by the way, along with updates to some already existing ones. Exciting!
April 16, 2010: Would you like a forum?
Several people have suggested that I make a forum for this place. If you agree, please go HERE and tell me about it. Or email me (here). It wouldn't be hard to implement* but I don't know how it would turn out now...
Just keep in mind: I would make sure it wasn't a normal forum, so be careful what you ask for.
* In fact I made one in the first days of the site and then took it down due to only one person joining, ha!
April 16, 2010: Peace Walker's "Theme"
Kojima said via Twitter:
"The game's [box art design] concept is structured in a way that your impression of the packshot will change after completing the game. The impeding danger that looms behind Snake... The Mechs & armed force. They are menacing to MSF, but while playing the game, they can be made part of your unit. You are fighting for peace... but by the time you notice, you are knee deep in militarization. That is the Theme."
April 12, 2010: Career-ending taboo?
Interestingly, Kojima has now said that his next project will challenge a taboo so controversial that it may result in him being forced to leave the industry! And while the dirty minds of the average gamer may jump directly to obvious "social taboos" or hot-button issues of the day, I notice that he says it's a certain "type" of taboo, that will ruin him if he messes it up. This seems different.
Since it really isn't controversial to make a game that tackles social taboos (on the contrary, doing so would probably win him artistic credibility for being "brave",) I can't help thinking that he is talking more about a creative designer taboo. After all, just look at the way the traditionally-controversial Grand Theft Auto series actually saved face with critics by including so much defense of gays, and it should be clear it's not going to be some liberal propaganda or a simple matter of preaching.
(Also, MGS2 had multiple bisexual characters, as well as incest, and an androgynous main character who got molested by the President of the United States — and none of it was considered controversial despite not being particularly "well handled".)
Hmm, so what could it be? Perhaps... retroactive continuity?
If Kojima were to remake the first two Metal Gear games as I speculated before, he would certainly be compelled to retcon things; and if he didn't do it right, it would be blasphemous to fans worldwide. Changing the setting, characters and plot of the first establishing games in the series would open wide the door to outrage. It would be a way to "challenge" the taboo...
Whatever it is, I think it's only reasonable to say that it must be fundamental to the very premise of the game, since there is literally no "taboo" so controversial that it's off-limits as a mere topic or theme in the game. (source)
April 12, 2010: Secret Policenauts development clue or passing fancy? Pinocchio?
Kojima has been dropping some strange and interesting tidbits on his Twitter. It's difficult to know how much to read into some of them, like when we combine this post about Policenauts surprising popularity with these posts about "the next project". Especially this part:
...story, characters, setting, mechs, casting, ...
Or what about this statement that Peace Walker is serving as an "experiment" for more in the series? Combine that with the age-old cries for remakes of the first two Metal Gears, and it's something to keep in mind.
I may have to do a bit of analysis of this revelation about a Pinocchio metaphor as well, some time in the future...
April 8, 2010: Heaven's Divide + Product placement analysis added to Go In Peace
Starting right around now there's going to be a flurry of news and stuff worthy of commentary going on, so I'm going to concentrate pretty much all pre-release Peace Walker analysis into the Go In Peace, My Friend feature. Page 2 is where you'll find the lyrical dissection. More pages will be added.
Page 3 deals with the cross-promotion controversy and how Kojima justifies himself.
April 7, 2010: 9:13 PM: Supertrailer
It seems the new trailer, in Japanese, is here. Goes through the structure of the game, revealing a ton:
Collecting enemies, both male and female, as well as entire vehicles; building your fortress and developing new tech; building new Metal Gears by dismantling the enemy's stuff! What an awesome trailer! I certainly think this is enough to generate interest in the doubters.
That's not to mention multiplayer modes, etc. You have to admit it's impressive, even if you're not easily impressed!
April 7, 2010: New comic, artwork, wallpapers!
In the wake of the recent Peace Walker cross-promotion revelations, I present a new comic and art piece in the spirit! Download the wallpaper and start being cool for once.
April 7, 2010: Can't say I'm surprised: product placement overload announced
Kojima is not shy about including product placement and "collaborations" in his Metal Gear, and Peace Walker will take it a step further, as 1up.com relays:
Among the many tie-in products slated to show up in Peace Walker: Doritos, AXE body spray, Pepsi NEX and Mountain Dew .... Sony's Walkman, and assorted Japanese game and manga magazines. Most of these tie-ins will have real-life counterparts, too. .... and if you buy one of Uniqlo's T-shirts, a code that's included can unlock one of 14 shirts for your in-game character to wear. [selective quote]
14 in-game shirts? Most of them are product placements that you "unlock" via purchasing actual shirts? I suppose if you were planning on buying the clothes anyway, that's a pretty awesome bonus. If, however, you're stupid enough to care about having all the unlockable superflous content in PW, you can go ahead and complain about the "high cost of the in-game item".
As for the other stuff, as long as we don't have characters using the items in retarded ways in the main storyline there's no reason to mind. After all, it's not really MGS5, so lighten up.
Lots of other corporate whoredom too, but you get the point.
April 5, 2010: New Podcast!
It's another wonderful podcast, as I'm joined by our friend Joey Urtiaga to discuss three interesting topics related to Metal Gear and its various appendages: the new Peace Walker trailers, the old Digital Graphic Novels, and the fate of The Unofficial Site. (No longer in chopped-up YouTube format!)
April 3, 2010: The (Philosopher's) Legacy of Metal Gear Solid 3 published
"Re-live the past to survive the future!" This article remembers the trials, tribulations and successes of Snake Eater, and asks whether there's more to its relatively simple story than everyone has given it credit for. Read on.
Also, noticed this when playing Snake Eater again, after knocking out Raikov:
April 2, 2010: Kojima death retconned, award given, more good stuff coming soon
Ha ha ha, judging by the amount of concerned, confused emails I've received in the last few hours, it seems that my April Fool's prank stirred up the hornet's nest and ruffled some eyebrows (if that's a phrase)!
Yes, Kojima is still alive and well folks. In recognition of creating such a hilarious and effective prank, I was given this strange and prestigious award:
By whom, you ask? The Internet of course. There were a lot of strong competitors and I didn't know they even gave awards for this, but thank you to everyone who voted for me(?) All it really took was laziness and a lack of ethics!
Real content coming up soon, so there's your reward.
April 1, 2010: R.I.P. Kojima
This just in via Japanese site EPUB, Kojima died only hours ago in the Roppongi Hills Clinic after snapping his own neck.
Doctors were able to stabilize the distraught Kojima — who had swallowed a potassium cyanide capsule — by quickly using a counteracting agent. However, even after learning of the April Fool's joke, he did not like it, and ended his life with his own hands, putting himself in a chokehold and ultimately breaking his own neck with a series of rapid "taps".
Meanwhile, some fans have become skeptical of the news reports after an apparent chronological anomaly, in that Kojima has been Tweeting since the reported time of the incident. Whether this discrepancy will be addressed and reconciled or not in future reports remains to be seen.
In any case, our thoughts and minds are with him and his family at this dark hour.
April 1, 2010: Pranksters arrested, identified
The two suspects have been arrested, and are being identified as members of the formerly disbanded terrorist organization called "TUS", who have been stalking Kojima and ingratiating themselves into his inner circle of friends.
April 1, 2010: Kojima hospitalized in tragic April Fool's prank, Peace Walker "not delayed"
In what is probably the most tragic April Fool's prank since the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act of 1970, Hideo Kojima is in critical condition after an elaborate practical joke accidentally resulted in the beloved game creator attempting suicide.
Details are scarce, but Japanese news site Yomiuri Online is reporting that early this morning, Kojima's family was "held hostage" by two unidentified young men claiming to want a long list of demands. Kojima's wife and son, initially thought to be innocent victims of the prank, were later discovered to have been "in on the joke" from the beginning, the report says.
Kojima, completely unaware of the prank, was working late at the Kojima Productions offices when he received the phone call. Apparently he refused to cooperate with the men, and made several counter-threats, at which point the "kidnappers" proceeded to "kill" his wife, whose screams and eventual "death" drove Kojima into a suicidial breakdown.
Konami officials have said that it will not affect the Peace Walker's release date, but refeused to comment any further. Police are investigating, and we will try to keep you updated.
March 25, 2010: New trailer, new insanity
I suppose we should have expected this level of crazy judging by the previous trailers and music video, but I for one have been shocked again. CPR, an ambulance box, a decoy explosive box, aerial mines, some kind of lightning bolt, a team-charged rail gun...?
And somehow I don't think we've seen the end of it by a long shot. Judging by MGS4 I could have sworn Kojima was out of crazy, fun ideas, but Peace Walker is shaping up to be something truly special.
I guess this is what he can do when his motivation is something other than avoiding assassination.
March 24, 2010: Timely good news
It looks like I picked a good time to become a bit more cautiously optimistic about Peace Walker, huh? Famitsu has previewed the game and gave it unabashed praise, saying it really is the best in the series, having more content and innovative game design than any of the others.
Honestly, wouldn't it be cool if it was true?
March 24, 2010: Yet another Peace Walker article, Big Boss eats a slice of pizza
Putting aside dangerous hype, what are Peace Walker's real strengths? This article takes another look at the Peace Walker demo and asks what it does right. Click and read! Also, the Reports page has been revamped to look better.
And what the hell, I can't help relaying Kojima's picture of Big Boss angrily preparing to eat a slice of Domino's.
March 23, 2010: Irresistible music video, Mountain Dew promotions; trailer Thursday
Kojima Productions has released this inspiring and dramatic music video starring the character Paz, and sung by her voice actor.
This kind of stuff is common in Asia, especially when they can try to semi-sexualize an underaged female character in the process.
Also, Peace Walker brand Mountain Dew. Hell yeah. I say keep it coming, you crazy bastards. I can hardly wait until Thursday's trailer.
March 22, 2010: Very first MGS1 article published
Isn't is crazy that I haven't written an MGS1 article yet? Not really, but it does make this two part analysis more special. It's called "Obscured by the Clouds".
March 17, 2010: More co-op trailer problems, downloadable full version will be cheaper?
Once again Kojima hath twittered:
The third gameplay trailer is moving but with no progress. Gameplay footage with 3 players does not go as smooth as I would like. We can't be waiting all day for an ok take so I'm moving on to the 5th trailer. ....
While Kojima is NOT saying that gameplay with 3 players is not as smooth as he would like, surely it must be part of the problem with creating gameplay footage? Apparently Kojima imagined that it would be easier to orchestrate a seamless stretch of gameplay in Peace Walker.
He also twat that the downloadable version of the game, supposedly announced by "Overseas Konami branches", will be cheaper than the packaged one by 529 Yen in Japan, which equals $5.80 US. No official word yet on what price cut the West will get for downloading the game.
If it's a $6 price cut, personally I don't think it's enough of an incentive to get rid of a physical disc and packaging. But then again I'm one of those old fashioned types who likes to own a real product, and not fill up my PSP hard drive when I have a perfectly functional disk drive.
March 16, 2010: StarCraft 2: Evolution of a Space War article
You may not know this, but I'm hugely anticipating StarCraft 2. I've been watching replays and keeping track of the evolving strategies. But one thing I haven't seen much of is any appreciation of the wonderful racial lore of the three races: Zerg, Protoss and Terran. This article is about exactly that.
March 14, 2010: KojiPro has trouble making co-op Peace Walker trailer cool enough for release
According to Kojima's mini-blog:
"We are having a hard time recording our second gameplay trailer for PW. The next one is going to feature a 2 player co-op stealth mission, a challenging task. Half a day has passed with no OK takes. What happened to our comradeship!! Lets and Daizaburo (who just got back from a wedding) are striving for a perfect cut." (source)
Is this an indication that the co-op is clusmy? If two of the developers can't make a couple of minutes of gameplay worthy of presentation while sitting next to each other, what hope is there of strangers on the internet creating epic gameplay together?
March 14, 2010: Encyclopedia Dramatica honors MetaGearSolid.org with mention and description
First of all, I want to thank all of the loyal fans and critics who made this happen, as well as Encyclopedia Dramatica for recognizing us as one of the top, premiere sources for Metal Gear gayness on the Internet. Although we have only been in existence for one year, we have quickly become a hot spot for basement dwelling MGS fans worldwide. It is a great honor.
Looking forward, I want to assure you that we will continue offering exclusive, possibly even gayer fansite content like no other; as well as off-topic reviews and news, like you'd expect.
With that said, however, we remind ourselves of the humble slogan that has, and will continue to serve as our compass: "...It's Just a Box!"
March 12, 2010: GDC news, twitterings, plus a new comic to match!
I'll admit, it's becoming harder and harder to resist Kojima's Peace Walker hype, since he is now calling it his "ultimate masterpiece". This is a far cry from the death threats and complaining about MGS4. He seems to genuinely love this game, and that makes me want to love it too. (source)
There's a new trailer as well, which shows some crazy ass gameplay. And according to his Twitter, the game was inspired by some news he saw 5 years ago about Costa Rica. Interesting! I guess we'll keep an eye on his blog, huh?
Also, inspired by the cool new trailer, here's a cool new comic about Big Boss!
March 6, 2010: La-Li-Lu-Le-LOL #20
Worlds collide in the newest exciting installment of our popular MGS comic series! Hurray for comics! Read read read!
March 2, 2010: MGS2 fans vs MGS4 fans
Mr. Singh of Snake Soup wants you to seriously reflect on the division of the MGS fanbase with this very serious comic.
Also a heads up: I'm trying to find a non-boring way to review Portable Ops soon... You know, before Peace Walker retcons the whole thing and the point is moot.
February 21, 2010: MGS4: Sold Out part 9
Another addition to the MGS4: Sold Out series has been added, focussing this time on product placement. Don't you just love it when corporate interests converge? Read on, brothers.
February 14, 2010: Valentine's Day artwork
Departing from the MGS3 holiday theme for a change, I present a Valentine's Day art piece featuring the one and only Meryl Silverburgh:
Happy Valentine's Day.
February 13, 2010: 404'd But Not Forgotten
In memory of Metal Gear Solid: The Unofficial Site, we present a look back at what made the site so good, and so bad. We call it 404'd But Not Forgotten.
Thanks for the memories guys.
February 12, 2010: Unofficial Metal Gear site dies
Yes, Metal Gear Solid: The Unofficial Site (better known simply as "TUS") has been taken down by its creators after years of dedication on behalf of its authors, who strove to live up to its weighty, self-given name.
In its place we now have KojimaProductions.net, which has yet to receive an abbreviation but will no doubt be full of the same antics as its predecessor soon enough. Good luck guys!
February 8, 2010: "The Favorite Website Award" given to Piece Walker
Yes, the must-play competitive puzzle game that is Piece Walker has already received a fancy award, being titled the "Site of the Day" by some website whose purpose it is to pick new favorite sites every day. I guess that's pretty good.
Japanese players are dominating the game, according to Kojima Production's Twitter page. This probably is due their ability to become obsessed with quirky marketing schemes.
January 26, 2010: Online Jigsaw Puzzle Battle!
Remember how Peace Walker was being hyped since before it was even announced? Well the Hype Train isn't stopping any time soon, as you can see from this exciting teaser site, promising some crazy "Online Jigsaw Puzzle Battle":
My bet? There'll be some little twist where you can unlock a hint about the game's story or some official art or something. I mean come on... There's gotta be something. We'll all be shitting ourselves with anticipation in any case, I'm sure.
January 17, 2010: METAL GEAR DECLASSIFIED
Remember when I told you about that secret information given to our humble site regarding Metal Gear Solid 4? I've finally finished analyzing the data and am ready to present what will surely become one of the most controversial behind-the-scenes reports in videogame history.
Go to our brand new Newgrounds page to see it for yourself!
January 12, 2010: The Full Peace Walker Demo Review has been published
I finally sat down and played through the English demo of Peace Walker, and the verdict is in. Check out the report for my analysis and impressions! Peace peace peace peace.
January 8, 2010: Vamp Becomes Science
As promised, another installment of MGS4: Sold Out is here for your enjoyment, continuing somewhat from the previous article on "Nanomachine Overkill". I also slightly updated some older Sold Out articles that had faulty layout.