As some may have noticed, I’ve been playing through my Metal Gear Solid: The Essential Collection and enjoying it quite a lot. I’m a big fan of the Metal Gear Solid games and am overly familiar with all their foibles and features. Playing them back-to-back certainly helps make MGS2 make a little more sense. The parallels with MGS1 are clearer.

My favourite is MGS3. It’s technically stunning and succeeds in feeling more advanced than its prequels even though its story is set a generation or so before either of them. This is reflected in the available technology in the game. No soliton radar for Snake this time! There are, as always, some self-deprecating nods to bits of plot and terms.

I’d planned on playing through Bully and then having something fill the time between that and the next major sandbox game on my playlist. Likewise, I’ve had my fill of Metal Gear for a bit but will probably be as keen as ever to get my teeth into Metal Gear Solid 4 when it ships in mid-June.

I think the Metal Gear Solid games come under a bit of flak because of their high profile and also because of the apparent linear or shallow nature of their gameplay. Another point of criticism is their indulgent and lengthy cut-scenes that deliver character development and plot exposition (and convolution).

Whilst it’s unlikely critics will be converted by this information, I’d like to present you with links to a couple of Metal Gear oriented articles.

The first, Driving Off the Map – A Formal Analysis of Metal Gear Solid 2, deals with the story and characters of Metal Gear Solid 2. A lot of players felt rather cheated by the game due to the change of lead characters. The article is lengthy and quite a challenging read but offers some interesting (though not necessarily authoritative) views on the various subtexts in the game’s narrative and interpretations of what messages it is delivering the player. When I first read the article it opened my eyes to a broader view of the events in the game and turned my disappointment to appreciation.

The second article is actually a collection of pages covering the gameplay features and quirks of the entire Metal Gear series. It’s an unfussy collection of tips, tricks and details that feature in all the games and shows just how much care and thoughtfulness was put into the gameplay of each game. There are details of literally hundreds of events and circumstances in the games that you can try out. It’s astonishing to see so much hidden content in games that feel so complete and rich in their ‘vanilla’ gameplay.

Fan or not, a look at some of the information available on those sites will give a broader appreciation of a game legacy that rightfully has fans across the globe and has resulted in one of the most watchable and compelling characters to ever grace our videogame screens. It certainly makes you wonder what will be hidden in the depths of Metal Gear Solid 4, doesn’t it?

4 thoughts on “Metal Gear Solid – Mission Complete”
  1. I didn’t know that collection was released outside of Japan…
    I’ll have to get it, especially considering the price it goes for.

    Is the first MGS the integral one or normal? Also, does MGS3 include the old MSX games in this version?

  2. All three titles are unembellished. The packages contains just the games as they originally shipped.
    To make matters a little more confusing, MGS2 is actually MGS2 Substance and MGS3 is MGS3 Subsistance.
    MGS1 is not the Integral edition. It has a handful of VR missions but nothing like the separate VR missions that was a stand-alone package.
    MGS2 Substance DOES contain all the stuff that was on the MGS2 Substance disk. That means you get the game, Snake Tales, Skateboaring and quite a few VR missions.
    MGS3 Subsistence is ONLY disc 1 of the 2/3 discs that Subsistence originally shipped as. So the replay theater or the online component are missing. You only get the content that shipped on disc 1 of MGS3 Subsistence.
    One final point to be wary of – if you’re playing the original MGS1 on a PS2 you’ll need a PS1 memory card. PS2 memory cards are not recognised by the game.

  3. Nice work, Koff!

    And the old games were disc 2 along with the now shut down online mode (never mind, the new Metal Gear Online Beta is great!).

  4. So, I got the collection and as irony would have it only MGS3 works on my ps2, which was the only title I already had on it. For some reason SwapMagic (which is what I use for playing imports) refuses to run MGS2 (it’s with that so far the only title it doesn’t boot) and MGS1 does not want to run with Breaker Pro (PS1 bootdisc), although that was a bit of a gamble. So… I’m out of luck. I’m going to donate the thing to the first person I come across that appreciates MGS and doesn’t yet have it, and I’ll have to look for a PAL MGS2 Subsistence (I have the PC version but I also have Vista).
    Ah well, it’s only a luxury problem, afterall 😉

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