Metal Gear Solid Delta Trailer

I’m going to take this as a good sign that the remake of MGS3 will actually be released closer to ‘soon’ than ‘later’, as in we may actually get to see it this year.

The original Snake Eater was one of the more personally significant / formative video games that I played as a teenager, and remains my favorite in the series. Literally, if they throw modern controls in the sense of MGS5 at it and remain largely faithful, I’m likely to be happy. When I originally learned of Delta, my first words were probably in the vein of ‘Shut and take my money!’, so it’s likely I’ll be buying it and finding out 😀.

Playing Snake Eater in the 2020s has generally been a somewhat grainy problem. My Play Station 2 can only output 480i, which looks pretty damn grainy on a modern 2160p screens compared to ’90s era tube televisions. That’s sort of alleviated by the ‘HD’ release for modern consoles where we get progressive output, but there’s really no fixing the control scheme with that. It’s ingrained in the design, just like it was in its predecessors.

I love Metal Gear Solid 3 very much. But even at the time it came out, the choice to retain the control scheme (and I assume engine) from Sons of Liberty made the Snake Eater experience less than ideal for the jungles. The mechanics and such worked really well in the first two metal gear and virtual reality training missions, where the majority of your environments are close quarters or high octane. Creeping through the jungle would have been better served by an already then contemporary shooter control scheme, like that seen in SOCOM and many others. The controls never were the good part of MGS3, but yet the game was freaking brilliant and the story poignant. Everything else about the game was superb, and perhaps was Metal Gear Solid at its finest.

Here’s hoping for a solid remake, and that we don’t end up crying tears of blood.

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!

Return to Metal Gear Solid

One upside of it being the weekend and not spending all of it working on computer shit, is I finally get to dip my hands in the new Steam releases that just dropped early this week.

Metal Gear Solid is a game that I greatly enjoyed, but never really got all the way through since I had to borrow my brother’s copy. I haven’t played the original ‘Solid in about twenty years.

Breezing through the really short VR training pre-amble to see just how rusty I am, was a great feeling. Nailed most on the first go, just had to remember the speed difference between crawl and run. making it through the docks in the beginning in complete stealth was certainly better than I ever did as a kid when the game came out in 1999.

I really got into Metal Gear Solid after the dedicated VR Training missions disc was released. Out of 300 training missions, I think I had completed somewhere into the upper two hundreds. Basically everything except for the more challenging time attacks. In particular, I was fond of the simulations where you’re given a handful of weapons and get very creative in eliminating enemies that far out numbered the ammunition provided. Those were always the more fun “Who dares, wins!” simulations that left you breathing hard and finding unique ways to make the most of things. I guess, it would prepare me for how many times I’ve been jokingly told I have a roll of duct tape and a aluminum foil, only to have to make a satellite dish in twenty minutes 😋.

Curious about how well my memory has held up after twenty years. Good enough to be wandering around B2 thinking m “Hey, aren’t there claymores or C4 to kill you if you’re careless here? Ahh, it was pit traps. C4s for the walls.” Someways after the tank battle is where my recollections of the first game becomes more derivatives from reading the strategy guide twenty years ago rather than how far I got.

Metal Gear Solid 2 was the first in the series that I completed, and aside from the fun times mugging sentries for their dog tags aside, was enough of a trek that I don’t have as much interest in revisiting it as the first. Particularly due to some of the more annoying boss battles like chasing a fat man on roller skates around as he plays mad bomber.

Metal Gear Solid 3 is the one that truly impacted me, and thus, I’m very much looking forward to the upcoming remake. If they basically made the game the same thing but in the engine from MGS 5 and modern textures, I’d be happy.

In the mean time I’m enjoying the trip back to 1999s original entry in the Solid series of Metal Gear games. As such a fan of Big Boss, it’s especially a nice contrast revisiting it with Solid Snake and Meryl at the focal point.

In MGS, Snake is already the legend who defeated Big Boss twice and lived. We all know his attitudes and that reality always kills your expectations, if they’re not driven by the results. Meryl makes quite the foil, as the naive rookie yet to find her own path. It’s a dramatic contrast from Big Boss, whose naïveté paints the story of how his innocence is lost in MGS 3: Snake Eater, as he’s forced to define his own meaning to what it means to be loyal to the end. Becoming both the hero and the villain of future Metal Gear games.

TheGamer: The 10 Toughest Boss Fights In The Metal Gear Solid Franchise, Ranked.

While I agree with the last one, I’m not so sure I agree with the rest.

To be honest the battle against Fatman is the number one reason I don’t revisit MGS2. I played that game very heavily and acquired more than a few dog tags in my mastery of Solid Snake Sneekery back when it was a young game. But I reflect upon how the old games were and how frustrating that speeding bastard was, and view it as the biggest challenge to actually completing the game.

You can probably tell that I don’t like bomb timers very much 😝.

When I originally played Snake Eater I probably would have considered The End the third biggest challenge amongst the games bosses. But having played through a few times, I’ve generally found that to be more one of strategy. Let’s face it: engaging The End in a sniper battle is cool but not productive. The controls and visuals being what they are, my preferred strategy was hunt him down and assaulting with automatic weapons and explosives. Because it’s a lot easier than seeing the camouflaged old bastard in the jungle. Especially if you’ve gone from a tube TV to a modern 4K, and are still stuck with 480i! Fighting this way makes it much less cool but also much more easily accomplished.

By contrast the battle with Quiet was much easier and actually fun. I owe this to two real factors. Metal Gear Solid V is built more like a shooter where as Metal Gear Solid III and prior were built more like RPGs: it’s just damned easier to engage in a sniper battle. Being faced with the wide open terrain also makes it a lot easier than finding The End. With Quiet it is more a matter of hitting first than hitting at all.

Metal Gear has always been known for its boss battles, and it’s rather eccentric boss characters.

The first right with Vulcan Raven is actually one of my favorites. See, when I played MGS for the very first time: that was about as far as I got. Coming back some years and around 300 VR missions later: I unleashed hell upon the bastard and his M1 tank. Being called a demon for taking down an Abrams main battle tank almost bear handed in that situation was something I relished. Because that was around the crossing point in my life when I actually got to be good at clearing games like MGS. Ironically thought, I have never completed the original Metal Gear Solid.

Fuck you, Colonel Volgin 🖕.

Most of MGS3’s boss fights are more a nuisance in retrospect but Volgin is a pain in my arse. Mostly due to how the checkpointing interacts with kicking his saddist ass in the CQC and his various special moves as the bout progresses. It’s the kind of fight that you’ll either find easy or very hard; me I find it very tiresome.

Fighting The Boss was without a doubt the hardest thing I’ve ever done in Metal Gear. The first time I cleared Snake Eater, I must have fought Boss for hours in that beautiful field. But it isn’t just about the right to the death, oh no. I think of all the things I’ve seen and done in Metal Gear: the story of The Boss influenced me the most.  Because Metal Gear Solid 3: Operation Snake Eater is as much our story as it is hers. We experience the birth of Big Boss through the death of The Boss. But in the aftermath we get to see all the threads unravel, and if you paid deep attention the threads run very deep. MGS3 and it’s narrative struck a deeper cord with me than any other in the series ever has.

Actually that makes me remember, her code name in The Cobras was The Joy, wasn’t it? Yes, I think it was.

RIP, Boss.