In my articles on MGS4 I have emphasized the reduction of Solid Snake to a hired killer, stripped of the noble idealism we see at the end of Sons of Liberty. The “rapid aging” plot gimmick and the change of his name to “Old Snake” were early hints that his heroic leader status was going to be stripped away, and then we saw within the game itself that he doesn’t live up to his own ideals anymore; he gives up on teaching, and just focuses on trudging through his mission with little more fueling him than nanomachines and drug injections. People have tried to retroactively interpret his actions as something greater, but this shows a basic misunderstanding of the “Old Snake” character in my opinion.
Back in 2008, I did something similar when I put an old Solid Snake into Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. In the intro, Snake says “War has changed.” His codename was also changed to “Old Snake.” The letters “I” and “S” were removed from the word SOLID: “is” – or in other words “being” – had been taken away from him; he was now Old Snake. In much the same way, both Snake and Logan had their place in the world taken away from them. What place is there in the world for those whose very being has been wrested from them? All that remains is the end of their story – a story of their departure. I attempted to pull the same trick you see in Logan – of simultaneously writing an “end” for MGS4 while trying not to actually end the whole saga. [Emphasis mine]
This is confirmation. Solid Snake’s “being” is removed in MGS4, leaving only a shell of his former self. Once you remove who he “is”, he simply becomes “Old Snake”, the grumpy assassin trying to clean up the mess that is his legacy, devoid of ideals.
This is a pretty interesting video discussing a massive Chinese rival to Steam. The company owns League of Legends, which means it already has its “killer app” with endless player activity, and although it doesn’t have a lot of other big games yet, it’s directly aiming to compete with Steam in the coming year. This may be what’s driving Steam to majorly revamp its distribution system, curation system, and everything else. Although it seemed for the longest time that Steam would be the untouchable king of online platforms, the throne is always up for grabs.
I’m still fascinated by the Switch and what it may be hiding. There’s a fantastic interview here you can read, talking with the two designers of it. For the most part it’s standard information you’d expect, but I find some of it worthy of note:
There was a move away from “Old Nintendo” (ie. Miyamoto) to the younger staff who are full of endless ideas but usually don’t have opportunities. That’s a very important thing to consider about Nintendo today. Pokemon Go, Mario Run, Breath of the Wild, and Mario Odyssey all feel more thoughtful than the awful Star Fox Zero created by Miyamoto. The old staff is being pushed aside to make way for the young (who are probably still in their 30’s and 40’s, but just young by comparison).
Nintendo wants to make sure there’s a “continuous line” of products to keep the Switch interesting to people, and even their announcements are being treated as events. This is different from companies like Microsoft and Sony, who race to announce everything under the Sun, even when those games will never be released (such as the Rockstar game Agent or the Xbox One exclusive Scalebound). This makes it harder to judge, but they say they want to surpass past consoles in terms of the number of games available, which is why they included compatibility with Unreal engine, etc.
Here they claim that the Switch is primarily as “home console at heart”, but I still think this is just being cute with the marketing. The fact that it functions perfectly as a home console makes it hard to dispute, though.
When discussing the name “Switch” for the system, they give the straightforward answer that it would mark a break away from old hardware, and make it easy to understand for people overseas. I wouldn’t expect them to say anything about being able to switch the pieces of the hardware out, but there is this interesting bit…
Time will tell whether this is the true legacy of the Switch.
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