Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

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I said there would be old shit on here.

This is the first PS3 game I owned and I never really played it until I owned my own PS3. I always died at the beginning of Act 2, because I would just shoot everyone immediately. Which is funny considering if you sneak appropriately and you wait 8 seconds, you can shoot whoever you want with the rebels attacking.

You can shoot whoever you want, said no one ever about any MGS game. Which is why I’m so pissed off (partially) that I’m doing this before I finish the game and before i even wrote an Uncharted 3 review. I am very disappointed in this game, not as a whole but certain things.

The story is great, I have no complaints about it. The graphics do switch between being awesome or plain sucking, but it was early PS3 and no console graphics are good anyway. That’s fine, it looks mountains better than MGS2, or 3, or PW, or MGS, and it looks on par with Rising Revengeance. The voice acting is about as good as it’s going to get, I stopped paying attention to that kind of thing in games unless it’s atrocious. As long as it maintains trademark ridiculousness from the MG franchise, like below, it’s fine.

Meryl. Meryl! Meryl. Crab…broke my knife! Stop saying that!

David Hayter sounds odd at certain points, and Quinton Flynn definitely sounds weird most of the game. It’s fine, I gave up listening to anything but the tone of their voice because MGS, as always, throws way too much story at you way too fast until the mandatory 2D art-work cutscene explains what they are talking about. Whether you’ve played the games or not you aren’t necessarily going to understand it either way.

As a smoker, this shit made me want to smoke every time. How did the anti-tobbaco lobbyists not attack Kojima?

For a 20 hour long interactive movie with a little bit of gameplay involved, the game is good up until Act 5, in which all semblance of fun or game disappears. It takes all the things that make the tactical espionage genre a genre and either slaps them in your face, forcing you to play stealthy in a way no Metal Gear has enforced so strictly before, or it absolutely throws them out the window. You start Act 5 in a permanent alert status and have to sneak perfectly to even make it any further. You can’t go into Caution, at all, in the first stage. If you kill someone or otherwise alert them, you’re done. Just restart from checkpoint because its literally impossible to win at that point. So you’re like “I see how it is, let me try REALLY hard to be stealthy and do the things that you didn’t have to actually do for about half the game.”

In Sons of Liberty, for example, if you got Alert status, it was still possible to get out of it by either killing the guards and hiding, or just plain hiding. There wasn’t a point of no return that you involuntarily crossed by will of the game designers.

What pisses me off is the gameplay, nothing else in the game, and I understand it’s “tactical espionage”. However, for a game that devotes half of it’s actual game-play to action sequences where you are allowed to kill everything and you are supposed to kill everything (well maybe less than half), the constant jumping between game-play types – especially when  you just finished murdering everything with a Metal Gear – is offensive and really just serves to piss you off.

The game did teach me one thing though. The Rex is a lot better than the Ray, whcih I guess we should have known after destroying like 500 of them in Sons of Liberty.

Overall I really like the game and I hope the MGS saga continues, and that Phantom Pain is Metal Gear Solid V. I don’t like how they left the game open ended but that does mean there’s a possibility Snake squeezes in another game before he dies – though doubtful. Phantom Pain looks to be Big Boss, or it could be Solidus or Liquid. MGS4 was a really good movie and a good game. I give the game a 9.5 out of 10.

Resident Evil 4 HD

So I finally downloaded Resident Evil 4 HD a couple of weeks back (I have yet to get CVXHD), and have started playing it. Until then I refused to spend 20 dollars (despite buying an average of 14 games a month for the past three months, definitely more than 20 bucks a month) on a game I already have played on three systems – PC, GC, and PS2 (not in that order). Overall I would say I am both pleased and disappointed.

On Achievements:

The game only has 12 achievements. In comparison Resident Evil 5 has 70 achievements, though it was made 5 years after Resident Evil 4 and so better geared for the newer achievement-centric gaming of this decade.  I was honestly hoping for more achievements. All of the same achievements from Resident Evil 5, more or less. I guess that maybe, because of the age of the game, it was hard to actually go in and implement event based achievements, rather than objective based achievements.

For example, all of the achievements for RE4 are based on progress in the game. Beat a certain boss, beat the game, get all the bottlecap figures. Resident Evil 5 has these as well, but also has events – kill three zombies with a gas fire, kill a zombie with a transformer, kill a zombie with a rotten egg, etc. I will forgive Capcom and simply mark these off as a technological implausibility for the game. Except that even Assignment Ada and Separate Ways and Mercs don’t have achievements – which is a huge disappointment.

On Gameplay:

The game plays exactly the same as GC and PS2, as expected. Who would want it to play differently? . It may just be because it has been so long since the original, but I honestly find the game significantly harder than the original. This is also what makes the HD release so good – it is challenging and it is actually scary (as much as it can be when you’ve replayed it to death.)

This caused me to realize the actual reason Resident Evil 4 and 5 suck so bad on anything but the first play. The initial play-through of the game is like all other Resident Evils. You have no ammo, your guns suck, you are fighting 18 million zombies, and you have little health or health items. When you beat the game and play again, it’s easy. You have ammo, you have abundant herbs, and your guns destroy everything.

I actually find myself saying expletives when I’m in a challenging situation in the game, such as every time there’s a garrador, or every time I’m low on supplies and have to fight more than one person. Once you get to 3 – 1, the entire game takes a giant leap in difficulty.

I think part of the reason I was so hesitant to buy this game is that I have no interest in it’s replay value. I’ve played and beat and unlocked everything in Resident Evil 4 so many times in the past 6 years that I can’t deal with it anymore – who cares? I literally only have this game because I sold my Gamecube, my friend lost my PS2 copy, and it has achievements – and playing on PC blows.

There is one thing I hate so much that it’s worth mentioning:
Randomly spawning enemies, usually behind you. 

I don’t recall whether this happened in the other iterations of this game, or not; It’s fucking horrible. A great example of this is Chapter 3 – 1, when you must defend Ashley as she turns levers. There is a small door down the ramp, directly across from the door you use to enter the room. Inside this room are two pressure switches you must use – with the incredibly innovative partner controls of “Wait!” to get Ashley to stand still. Really Leon? Is she a dog? You couldn’t say “Hey can you stand on this and stop following me like a jackass for a second?”

So anyway, there is one way into this room – a door. I’m chilling, I ran in here for dear life because I ran out of shit, while killing endlessly spawning ganados. I say “Heeeeeyy I’ll be safe in here, thank god.”

So what happens?

Motherfucking “Ha I spawned behind you!” ganados, that’s what happens. I say to the zombie

“What the fuck!? How did you get in here? I’M WATCHING THE ONLY DOOR!”

He just responds to me with a blank “Cogedlo.” Whatever, you dick.

On Graphics

The HD release is basically, from what I can tell, a proper port of the GC game, which they have not done until now. The PS2 port looked awful, and the PC port was 100x worse than the PS2 port (funny, I know.) With mods the PC version had the ability to look good, if you could get them to work, and in some places looks better than this release. The textures basically look sharpened and cleaned up, as well as some of the camera work, but the game really is just the GameCube version with some higher resolution textures and slightly higher overall pixel resolution.

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