Is this a Team Fortress site?

No it’s not.

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.

As for the update itself, here’s an exciting video that actually explains it.

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.

No fan fiction! Plus status update

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.

Thank You, Shinkawa


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”:

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Obscured By The Clouds (pt. 2)

For your enjoyment, this article was updated as of May 1, 2011

The Puzzle Element

Taking Metal Gear Solid off of its grand pedestal and playing it from an analytical, critical point of view again, we can see past the coolness of the experience and see the real nuts and bolts: the design.

To me, the puzzle element is easily the most underestimated part of the old Metal Gear Solid for the PlayStation. It’s something that has been lost over the course of the series thanks to the rabid, pigeonholed nature of the conversation surrounding it. And what I mean by “puzzle element” is the way that you had to think in order to complete an area of the game smoothly. Remember the first level of the VR training? This is the most simple, pure representation of what Metal Gear gameplay is all about. A single guard patrols back and forth with precise timing, and the goal is just on the other side. If he sees you, it’s Game Over; if you reach the goal, you win.

Already, the puzzle is underway.

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Knee and back pain simulator in the works for KojiPro?

According to recent tweets it seems Kojima Productions may be developing some kind of new, next-gen pain simulator.

Although we cannot confirm that it will be a pain simulator at this point, there are plenty of juicy details to feed your active imaginations. Kojima has revealed some following tidbits:

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Kojima notices that green is vivid

Sorry I missed mentioning this earlier, but Kojima has recently noticed that green is a vivid color. [link]

Less importantly, but still sort of worth mentioning, are his heavy-handed compliments towards L.A. Noire:

It seems that “L.A. NOIR” will be released in Japan on 7th July(the Star Festival). It is the most and the only game that I am looking forward to playing. English version will be released in May. I cannot wait, but as it is the detective game, I should wait for the Japanese version. This game may change the future of “adventure game.” I’ve got a big expectation! [link]

It seems “L.A. NOIR” has all the elements such as investigation (on-site investigation, door-to-door investigation, hearing, tailing), car chase, gunbattle and arrestment etc. This will be the great title not only for whom like noir novel but also for whom like police drama and an old investigation type of adventure like me. [link]

Of course I agree with Kojima’s sentiments, since L.A. Noire looks to be both highly original and perfectly realized, which is a rare combination, but I doubt that it will change the future of anything. Kojima is an idealist, and he thinks that innovation will influence the direction of an industry, but he underestimates the game industry’s love affair with juvenile fantasy exploitation and low-brow frat boys. Even if the game is a success commercially, nobody else will be willing (or able) to attempt copying the level of intelligence, originality or class that L.A. Noire will possess.

The game industry may respect men like Kojima and applaud games like L.A. Noire, but nothing will budge it from it’s current trajectory.

 

Obscured By The Clouds: A Metal Gear Solid Article

For your enjoyment, this article has been updated on April 4, 2011

The year was 1998.

While President Bill Clinton was busy dealing with the Lewinsky scandal, the videogame industry was releasing some of the greatest games ever made. It could very well be single greatest year for videogames, before or after.  Games such as:

Resident Evil 2
Final Fantasy Tactics
Tekken 3
Parasite Eve
StarCraft
Unreal
Fallout 2
WCW/NWO Revenge
Grim Fandango
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
StarCraft: Brood War
Thief: The Dark Project

Oh, and a little thing called Metal Gear Solid.

That’s what I call a good year.

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Kojima’s favorite MGS2 scene!

When Hideo Kojima looks back at MGS2, what is his favorite part? Could it be the introduction of Raiden? Or perhaps the craziness of the Arsenal Gear section? What about the speech at the end about starting over and creating a new identity?

Well according to his Twitter feed, it’s the part where Raiden and Rose talk about King Kong:

My favourite scene from MGS2 is where RAIDEN meets Rose. When she was asked “Which building did the King Kong climb?” by the sightseeing ladies, she pointed at the world trade centre which is the new building by the direector John Guillermin. The ladies denied it. Then, the movie-buff: RAIDEN came in to showed the old empire state building.

via Twitter

Huh, who would have guessed?