Big Boss as Che Guevara

BIG BOSS AS CHE GUEVARA:

A LATIN PATRIOT’S VIEWS ON PEACE WALKER,
THE CIA, AND KOJIMA’S POLITICAL COMMENTARY

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If there’s one thing we have no shortage of in the world, it’s the perspective of the USA’s media and public.  Rarely do we hear intellectuals from other nations; they’re not relevant to “Americans”, no matter how deeply we’ve impacted their culture and history.  This insulated and ignorant way of living is why the Metal Gear series has always tried to include international viewpoints, raising awareness of global issues such as nuclear holocaust, oil shortages, and abuses of the military industrial complex.  The characters we meet are not usually one-dimensional bad guys for the USA hero to destroy, but outspoken victims of war themselves, reflecting the tragic aftermath of the struggle between self-interested superpowers.

This guest article explains the ongoing importance of Che Guevara around the world today, and how a silly little PSP game like Peace Walker can open old wounds that most Americans know nothing about.  The Latin folk hero of the 1950’s and 60’s may be “iconic” in North America, but in the most reductionist sense of the word, appearing on t-shirts and capitalist merchandise without a shred of irony.  And although Peace Walker focuses heavily on the Latin American struggle for independence and justice, few fans realize the significance of its political and historical commentary on issues that still burn with significance in the hearts of millions around the world today.

I hope you’ll share my interest in how Kojima designed Peace Walker and Big Boss to pass on a message of international sensitivity and awareness in a world dominated by US propaganda.  As we’ve seen, this awareness is only growing deeper and darker as we approach Metal Gear Solid V, and I think the words of our friend A. Sylazhov should be kept with us as we look forward to the politically-charged and insightful next chapter of the Metal Gear series.  Enjoy.

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Kept you waiting, huh? [Insert product announcement]

Ever notice how your brain gets a little bit excited and stupid whenever you hear the phrase?  Like a quick injection of Metal Gear anticipation that makes you want to enjoy whatever comes next?  Maybe that’s because we’ve been conditioned to associate it with our favorite memories and products, and now it’s being used to condition us as consumers to act like excitable children at the drop of a hat.  Ravi Singh talks about how badly the phrase has been abused in the new article, “Kept You Waiting, Huh?” is a Corporate Meme.

Personally, I’m a cynical guy, and I’m aware of corporate social engineering, the co-opting of youth culture, viral marketing, and so on.  Hell, I still think about how badly the “Now THAT’S how an assassin operates…!” phrase failed to catch on, with the Peace Walker cross-promotion with Assassin’s Creed:


Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker – Assassin’s Creed

I think this is one of the worst examples of trying to force feed Metal Gear fans a meme.  As the beginning of the video says, it was created for “rampant internet consumption”, complete with a big exclamation mark (!) and uses lazy repetition to try to make people go crazy for the novelty of a straw box that you can use to beat up guards with.

The cardboard box is even more iconic than “Kept you waiting, huh?” and we all know that Kojima is hyper-aware of its status in the gaming world thanks to the explosion of box-related items announced for The Phantom Pain not long ago.  It’s much like how diving into a bunch of hay is iconic to Assassin’s Creed.  So to make a collaboration combining these to elements is kind of funny and amusing, I’ll admit; but when you see a 6 minute video jamming the “meme” into culture it just feels gross.  Almost as gross as Kojima and the dude from Assassin’s Creed wearing masks and sneezing, because GET IT, IT’S SUPPOSED TO BE “VIRAL MARKETING”.  So now we’re viral marketing a running gag about how it’s a viral marketing video?  How internet-savvy and meta.  Oh and Kojima throws out “Didju rike it?” at the end, following by Kaz repeating “Now THAT’S how an assassin operates” just for good measure.

I really enjoyed Ravi’s article on the “Kept you waiting” corporate meme, and I recommend checking it out.

MGSV will kick mountains of ass, confirmed

It’s still hard for me to figure out how the hell Metal Gear Solid V will be able to fit on the PS3 and 360, because it sounds like a behemoth.  But, I have no reason to doubt that NeoGaf user “duckroll” is telling the truth when he/she says that, in the latest Famitsu magazine, Kojima has revealed the following things:

– Ground Zeroes is the prologue to Phantom Pain, and it is intended to be similar to the pre-title sequence of a Hollywood movie, where something major happens to catch the audience’s attention, before the real story starts.

– The main content in Ground Zeroes is largely meant to be a tutorial for Phantom Pain. He uses the exact word – tutorial, so there’s no doubt about this at all. The story content in Ground Zeroes is limited to the night setting in the rain, but you’ll be able to see other times of the day via the side op missions. There is no dynamic weather or day/night cycle in Ground Zeroes.

– Phantom Pain is the game which will feature the full range of expanded features carried over from Peace Walker – base building, recruiting soldiers, etc. Most of this will not be in Ground Zeroes at all. You will not be able to use the fulton recovery system in Ground Zeroes either, but there are optional captives you can rescue using the helicopter.

– The save data in Ground Zeroes will carry over to Phantom Pain, and there will be benefits in the full game for extra stuff you decide to do in Ground Zeroes.

– The reason Ground Zeroes is being released as a separate package in the first place is because the main game is taking a long time to develop due to the large amount of content. So the marketing team at Konami worked out this release format with Kojima so gamers can at least experience the prologue segment of the game earlier.

– Kojima wants to reward fans who buy both Ground Zeroes and Phantom Pain later on with some sort of content in the full game, but he hasn’t worked out the details with the marketing team yet.

– Ground Zeroes (and Phantom Pain by extension) will support a secondary display device via smartphones or tablets. It can be used to display stuff like leaderboards. There have also been feedback from people outside of Japan for a map display and so on, but Kojima has some concerns about players diverting their attention between two screens, so he’s still looking into it.

link to the post

 

Peace Walker’s systems in huge, open-world areas

Now, assuming this translation and paraphrasing of the supposed interview (which doesn’t display when I click on the link) is accurate, the real bombshell is confirmation that Metal Gear Solid V will include building Mother Base, capturing soldiers with Fulton Recovery, research & development, and (therefore) a massive amount of replay value and layers to its gameplay.

I could not be more excited by this news, even though it was sort of mentioned before.  Whether or not you believe that Ground Zeroes will be worth $20 because Kojima is calling it a glorified tutorial, doesn’t matter.  What matters is that eventually, when MGSV is released, we’ll be able to build Outer Heaven with our own hands, just like we should.  I’ve said before that I love how Peace Walker gives you an insight into Big Boss is different than Solid Snake, and how something as crazy as Outer Heaven could exist.  Now we’ll be able to fully immerse ourselves in that role, sneaking around freely in huge environments, stealing weapons and technology, kidnapping soldiers, and doing the dirty work as we try to get revenge on Zero.

 

More Peace Walker models seen on FOX Engine

Via Kojima’s Twitter

This doesn’t mean they’re working on a Metal Gear game, just testing the old models in the new engine.  We saw this before with Big Boss, and had confirmation that it was just a tech demonstration.  Nothing to get excited about, but it does remind me that they’re getting ready for a new generation of hardware, which is cool.