Varying structure of MGS

A passing thought, from revisiting Metal Gear Solid after twenty years.

MGS2: Sons of Liberty, was pretty much an epic stretch of gameplay punctuated by boss fights to drive the convoluted plot forward.

MGS3: Snake Eater, was pretty much made with boss fights serving to section the various areas of the game as the plot moves forward.

MGS4, sadly I didn’t get to play, because it was a PlayStation exclusive and I haven’t owned one since the PS2. But I’m pretty sure, it must’ve had no shortage of annoying boss fights if Kojima was involved (^_^).

MGS5: The Phantom Pain, took more of a “What the fuck is this!?” method of leaping out of the closet and tossing an unexpected boss fight at you.

And then there’s the original Metal Gear Solid: a series of boss fights, punctuated by the rest of the game.

Metal Gear is kind of like James Bond movies, in its use of unique villains. except being a video game: they’re far more annoying IMHO. But I can’t help but feel that that the original Solid, feels a lot more like a marathon of boss fights compared to its sequels. Like SOL didn’t just add the features they didn’t have time to ship, it also brought a much needed focus on the core gameplay loop.

On the flip side in MGS1: we also get Kojima’s story at some of its finer moments in Metal Gear boss-battle mania. Sniper Wolf and Psycho Mantis’s boss battles aren’t very satisfying battles themselves, but they have well written finishes for Metal Gear villains. The difficulty is often skewed like mad, e.g., fighting Grey Fox is “Huh, is it broken?” kind of easy compared to Psycho Mantis’ zipping around the commander’s office despite being very similar fights. You hit the Ninja as he lumbers towards you and he’s stunned for ages. You hit Mantis, and you may have had to spray and pray to hit the bastard before he flys off again. Some are more strategic, such as going round two with Vulcan Raven where you can use claymores to counter the shaman’s mini-gun of death. And some are just kind of absurd but surprisingly well balanced, like fighting Vulcan in the M1 tank and Liquid showing up in a Hind-D. But if nothing else, the original game offers a lot of boss battles. And then to bracket it out some more, we get odds and ends like the elevator incidents :D.

Ahh, and next comes REX!