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  1. So, I'm sure we all expected Konami to keep milking the Metal Gear name even with Kojima out on his own, but...I'm not sure anyone was expecting this: According to Konami, it will be a "stealth/action co-op survival" game set just after the events of MGSV: Ground Zeroes, will take place in an alternate dimension, and will feature something akin to zombies. Yep. So anyway, how do you all feel about this new Metal Gear game? Does it look like something you'd enjoy playing, or are you already writing it off as a desperate cash grab for Konami to make money off the series name without delivering anything remotely resembling what you'd expect from Metal Gear? Or are you just going to wait and see how you feel when there's more information about the game? Obviously Metal Gear was never going to be quite the same without Kojima at the helm, but this...seems like a pretty radical shift. I mean, yeah, Metal Gear has had online multiplayer/co-op components before, but not an entire game that revolves around just that. I can't honestly say this sounds like something I'd enjoy playing, and only a small part of it is due to the fact that I'd be expecting an actual Metal Gear-style experience from something that...probably won't be very Metal Gear-ish at all. I'll still follow along with it and see where it goes, though.
  2. With Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain just coming out, a lot of people are likely going back and enjoying the first four Metal Gear Solid games for the second or third or twenty-sixth time, taking in the sights and sounds and over-the-top boss fights that have long set the series apart from its peers. While I haven't actually done that, I still thought it would be fun to do my own little thing involving the previous games, so what better than a quick look back at the moments that really stood out in each game? Reminisce with me as I take you on a fun-filled journey back through time involving Snakes, walking nuclear weapons, and storylines so tangled with intrigue that you'd need a PhD. in Kojimantics to understand any of it! *** NOTE: THERE WILL BE CARELESS SPOILERS AHEAD. THIS IS YOUR ONLY WARNING! *** Metal Gear Solid - You Like Castlevania, Don't You? "Stand right where he can see you...and tell him about Konami's exciting new games!" C'mon, what did you expect? Even now, 17(!) years after the game released, the fight against Psycho Mantis is still one of the most unique and memorable boss fights in all of gaming. Every little trick and mind game, like having to swap controller ports, serves to keep you on your toes and challenge what you thought you knew about playing action games. Of course, the precursor to the fight is just as mind-blowing, when Mantis not only reveals that he knows you like Castlevania (or Super Mario Sunshine if you're playing the remake) but then moves your entire controller with a single thought. Okay, yeah, we all know how it was done...now. But back in 1998, we'd never seen anything like it, and I'd argue that we still haven't seen anything quite like it, at least outside of the Metal Gear series itself. Honorable Mentions - You're a Real PAL, Snake So you need three PAL keys to override Metal Gear REX's activation, but you only have one key. What do you do? Why, use it at room temperature, and then after exposing it to both extreme heat and extreme cold, of course! Now that you've figured out the puzzle behind the key, you insert it three times into the console that will deactivate REX. You did it! You saved the - what!? Metal Gear!? It's already active! Yes, finding out you've been duped into turning the ignition key to a walking, nuclear-equipped death machine is enough to put a damper on anyone's day, but just to add insult to injury, Liquid Snake also reveals how you were manipulated into helping him by posing as your old mentor, Master Miller. Now it's time to REALLY save the world the only way you can - by blowing Metal Gear REX to bits. Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty - Infiltrating Core 1 of the Big Shell "Freeze...tag! We should play freeze tag!" First, if you thought I was going to say "the Tanker chapter because you play as Snake" then kindly go sit in the corner. No, I'm not defending Raiden or anything of the sort, but the twists and turns you'll experience while playing the Plant chapter hit no less hard just because you're not Snake. Anyway, of all the places Raiden goes and the things he does, one part I always look forward to is when he's tasked with infiltrating the core of the Big Shell to rendezvous with an agent named Ames. What's so great about that? You do it disguised as one of the enemy soldiers! While, on its own, that's not anything special, what is really great is how you can mess around with the enemies. Punch them in the face, shoot them in the eye, do cartwheels in front of them, then run around the corner and they'll be none the wiser when they come looking for their comrade gone rogue, because you look just like any other soldier. Granted, it's not actually part of the game's objective for you to do any of that, but the fact that you can if you want makes what would otherwise be a short, fairly uneventful section that much more entertaining. Honorable Mentions - Fission Mailed Oh, sweet! Raiden's got that high frequency blade and he's ready to carve through some enemies! Why, here's some bad guys now! Time to get slicing and dicing and--what!? How did I die?? Wait, am I dead? I'm not? WHAT'S EVEN HAPPENING I CAN'T SEE!! Aside from the Colonel's crazy Codecs, one of the side effects of installing the GW virus into Arsenal Gear's AI causes the entire game to start wigging out and throwing up fake death screens, while you're up in the corner just trying to kill the bad guys you can barely even make out anymore. It's a crazy section in the craziest act of the game, but hey, you get to use a sword and pretend you're a ninja, so it's still pretty awesome. Or you can just use your guns and shoot the enemies, I guess, but why would you waste a good sword? Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater - Sorrowful Recollections Arriving Naked to someone's pool party is generally considered indecent. I could have easily just filled this entire article with boss fights from the games, because each one is unique and amazing in its own right, but the "battle" against The Sorrow is in an entirely different league. First of all, though you can see him and he can actually hurt you, you can't attack The Sorrow at all. Secondly, as you wade through the waist-deep water, you'll see ghostly apparitions of soldiers coming at you with what seems like a vengeance. That's because they are! The soldiers and other characters you see during this haunting journey are actually all of the enemies you've killed up to that point in the game. So if you've been a pacifist, you might find it to just be a leisurely stroll through an unpleasant looking river, but if you had an itchy trigger finger, watch out. The other thing that's unique about this fight is that the only way to win is to lose, or, more specifically, die. You can't actually DIE, though, because that just gets you a game over. If only there was some way you could fake it... Honorable Mentions - I Like MGS2! Before starting Snake Eater, the game asks you which of the first two Metal Gear Solid games is your favorite. If you choose Metal Gear Solid 2, you'll get a bit of a surprise upon seeing Naked Snake for the first time - he'll look less like the grizzled soldier you've seen in the previews and quite a bit more like the baby-faced, nasally voiced, perpetual whine machine Raiden from the previous game, sporting a firm, clean-shaven face and shoulder-length blonde hair. You find out shortly after the opening cutscenes that it's just a mask, and you'll actually need it later in the game, but starting out with it on is quite a bit more jarring - not to mention hilarious - than if you'd known about it and put it on yourself. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots - Shadows of the Past "Snake, I've disabled the use of weapons on this floor, even though there's no one here." To say Metal Gear Solid 4 has a lot of (nigh incomprehensible) callbacks and allusions to previous Metal Gear games would be an understatement, but the one that stands out most is the one that manifests itself in the form of a playable level. I'm talking, of course, about the return trip to Shadow Moses Island. Retreading the dilapidated ruins of the original game while Snake recalls many of the game's stand-out moments is a much better way to revisit series history than long-winded monologues. The real icing on the cake though is the two boss battles that play out here - the first being more a more or less straight up recreation of the Sniper Wolf fight from the first game, and the second being a no-holds-barred brawl between Metal Gears REX and RAY, with you in REX's pilot seat. This was the first and only (in the console games, at least) time players were allowed to climb inside one of the titular Metal Gears and take it for a spin, and it was an absolute joy stomping about and shredding RAY to pieces with heavy artillery. Honorable Mentions - What's Your Secret? Call me shallow, but the section where Snake dons a mask that makes him look like his younger self stands out because we were finally (sort of) playing as the Snake we all know and love, and not what appears to be his grandfather. That's not the only good thing about this level, mind you - there's also the fact that the first part of the act is pure stealth, and the consequences of failure can be dire. Snake must tail a member of the Paradise Lost Army through the dimly lit streets of an unnamed European town, avoiding being seen not just by the resistance member he's following, but PMC units patrolling the streets as well. It's a tense section where going guns-blazing upon getting spotted isn't really an option, so you have to stretch your stealth legs and learn to become effectively invisible. Just like Snake would do it. BONUS: Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes - Déjà Vu Wait, I only have an Options button... Oh, hey, Metal Gear Solid V did sneak in! Kind of! While Ground Zeroes was a nice teaser of what's to come, the main mission didn't really offer much to keep you busy since, other than finding the XOF patches, there wasn't much reason to replay it. Thankfully, there were side missions that gave you more chances to play around with the new gameplay elements before The Phantom Pain arrived. One of these missions stands out more than others, that being the Déjà Vu side op, unlocked after you've tirelessly searched (or looked up online) and found all of the aforementioned XOF patches. In this op, your goal is to recreate scenes from the original Metal Gear Solid by following visual clues, while your radio contact throws out several memorable lines calling back to Snake's first 3D adventure. The mission can be pretty short if you know what you're looking for, but it's still an entertaining and often funny way to recall the series' history in a new setting. Honorable Mentions - Reflexive Ground Zeroes introduced a new feature to the Metal Gear games in the form of Reflex Mode, where, upon being discovered by an enemy, time slows down for a brief period and gives you a chance to put down the enemy (or enemies!) that spotted you before they can warn others. The first time it kicks in is a rush, especially if the enemy is a good distance away or was somewhere off screen, because you only have a few precious seconds to locate and silence them. Even after the 50th (if you're not very good, like me) time the mode kicks in, it still provides an intense adrenaline kick as you shoot down enemies and disappear back into the shadows without a trace. So there's a fun little retrospective of just some of the amazing things the Metal Gear Solid series has offered players in the past. Now that you're in a proper nostalgic mood and sporting your rose-tinted glasses, what are some of your favorite moments from the series? Are you excited to play The Phantom Pain? Already playing it? Whatever you've got to say about Kojima's wonderful stealth-action series, say it loud and proud down in the comments!
  3. Jordan Haygood

    Psycho Mantis

    From the album: Kaptain's Gallery

    © Konami

  4. Developer: Kojima Productions / Platinum Games Publisher: Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. Platform: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 Release Date: February 19, 2013 ESRB: M for Mature This review is based on the PlayStation 3 version of the game. A retail copy was provided by the publisher for this review. I“ll come clean: this is my first Metal Gear game. I“ve always been interested in the series, but I“ve never been able to get into the stealth gameplay. That“s why I was intrigued when it was revealed that Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance would be a hack-and-slash action game and excited when Platinum Games“ involvement was revealed. It may be an atypical entry, both for me and the series, but I finally understand what I“ve been missing all these years. My biggest fear with this entry point was that I wouldn“t be able to follow the story, having only a loose understanding of the plot from second-hand experiences. It is a bit heavy with jargon and abbreviations, but the story works well as a standalone. Taking place after the events of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, you play as the cyborg ninja Raiden, a member of the private military company Maverick Security Consulting, investigating the underhanded dealings of another PMC, Desperado Enforcement. Thematically, the story revisits familiar concepts The purpose of war in society and the role of soldiers in times of peace are central to the plot. They“re interesting concepts, but I found myself more interested in the character of Raiden and his motivations, especially compared to his foes. The story doesn“t always work and the ending is underwhelming, but it“s interesting, cleverly directed, and well paced. As you might expect from Kojima Productions, this is a slick product. It looks impressive and takes full advantage of the available hardware. There are a few textures that look odd and occasional stutters when loading or using AR vision, but these issues never interfere with combat. Given Metal Gear“s reputation for long cinematics, I was impressed by how well the cutscenes flowed, never detracting from the pace set by the action. The audio design is also solid, with strong vocal performances and pleasing sound effects. Driving the whole experience is the soundtrack, an interesting mix of rock and electronic sounds that compliments both the action and aesthetic of the game. While the story and presentation will be the draw for many, mine was the action. I had high expectations going in, given Platinum Games“ history, and I wasn“t disappointed. The controls are as tight as you“d want and the feature set is typical for the genre. There are multiple difficulty settings, with more unlocked upon completion, as well as titles awarded for your performance, giving players of any skill level plenty of goals to work toward. You can customize Raiden to fit your playstyle through upgrades, costumes, and additional weapons by using points acquired through battle with the option to replay previous missions at any point. My only complaint is that, as with most games, there are times where the camera is your biggest enemy and there are times when the lock-on has trouble shifting targets. Every hack-and-slash game has its own focus, setting it apart from others in the genre. Revengeance“s calling cards are the parry, Blade Mode, and Zandatsu. Parrying makes up the bulk of your defensive options. When an enemy attacks, you move toward the blow and press the light attack button. If you get the timing right, the enemy will be open for a counter, otherwise you“ll simply block the attack. It“s satisfying to get a perfect parry, even more so when you block a string of attacks and get to follow up with a combo of your own. The signature feature of the game is Blade Mode. After charging your fuel cells by attacking enemies, you can enter Blade Mode and use the analogue stick to control the direction of your cuts, strategically dismembering your foes. When your fuel cells hit a certain level, you can use Blade Mode to perform Zandatsu. This technique has you line up your cut with a marker on the foe, instantly killing them and restoring your health. Tougher foes require the Zandatsu to remove armor and expose vital areas before they can be killed. It“s a very fun mechanic, especially when you end a heated fight by slicing the enemy into a hundred pieces and smashing their spine in your hand. To me, the best aspect of Revengeance is how open it is. It may seem odd to say, given the linear story progression, but you“re given the freedom to play any way you want. You can choose to skip through cutscenes and calls or use the codec to see additional scenes to learn more about the world and characters. Missions can be a simple dash from point A to B, but there are collectibles and other easter eggs to be found as well. They aren“t huge choices, but they make the length largely dependent on your playstyle and priorities. Even though stealth isn“t the main focus of the game, it still has a role to play. Rushing out and killing everything in your path is a valid approach, but there are options with more finesse. Whether that option is silently taking out foes from the shadows with ninja kills or sneaking past everyone to reach the objective is up to you. The stealth features aren“t as robust as in the Solid series, but veterans won“t be completely out of their element. Not every section has this freedom, but there“s a lot of room for personalization, making it feel more thought out than any other game in the genre. Looking at Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance“s history, I understand why people might be wary. It dropped the Solid name and stealth genre, was revealed as a Kinect-enabled watermelon-slicing game, and had a troubled development cycle resulting in another studio“s involvement. Those are issues that most games would be left the worse for, but Kojima Productions and Platinum Games made it work. It“s an extremely satisfying experience that blends the best of the hack-and-slash genre with that distinctly Metal Gear flare that people, myself included, have come to love. Pros: + Fun, visceral combat + Open-ended gameplay + Slick, stylish presentation Cons: - Minor camera issues - Some stuttering in non-combat areas - Underwhelming conclusion Overall Score: 9 (Out of 10) Fantastic Marrying the best of Kojima Productions and Platinum Games, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is an amazing experience for fans and newcomers alike.
  5. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance isn't exactly a main entry into the Snake-filled series we've been playing all these years, but it still looks cool. With the game's unique style of gameplay and loads of promise (especially apparent after seeing the main character, Raiden, slice up watermelons), Kojima ultimately decided to hand the project off to Platinum Games, responsible for such games as Madworld, Bayonetta, and the upcoming Wii U exclusive The Wonderful 101. So how's the project holding up under Platinum's wing? Well, this new trailer that was just released certainly shows one thing: the bosses are looking awesome! In this new boss trailer, our favorite cyborg ninja (and former nudist) Raiden faces off against four unique cyborg baddies - the million-armed Mistral, the sliced-up Monsoon, the heavy-hitting Sundowner, and Raiden's ninja rival Samuel. As you will see in the trailer, each of these bosses have their own special abilities that will make fighting them quite challenging. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance slices its way into North American stores on February 19th for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Are you looking forward to Raiden's solo adventure? Are you excited about this game's bosses?
  6. America's got a collector's edition for Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance announced, but you're going to forget all about that dumb crap when you see Japan's. Instead of an admittedly pretty fresh lamp to look at, Japan will be getting some sweet toys with which they can play. There are two versions of the Japanese collector's edition: The Premium Package and the Konami Style versions. The Premium Package is what you'd expect, to a large degree. A steel case, the OST, an art book by iconic Metal Gear artist Yoji Shinkawa, and a creepy-looking magnetic Dwarf Gekko. As if those tiny ball monsters with human-esque arms weren't godless horrors enough on their own, they can split in half and magnetically reattach, guaranteeing that I would never sleep if those were in my house. The Konami Style version, however, includes a fully poseable Raiden figure. Don't let anyone tell you that it's a figurine, that guy's got all manner of articulation! The figure is a Play-Arts figure, and has a sword and fancy white body and stuff. It looks rad, as you can see in the gallery below. They aren't cheap. The Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Premium Package will run about $125 USD, or 9,980 in native currency. The Raiden-bearing Konami Style package is 12,980 yen, roughly $162. Raiden also gets a Cyborg Ninja DLC costume code for both, so, you know, don't worry about that. Goes to show... Japan gets way cooler stuff than the West. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance will be hitting shelves February 19th of next year in the US. But, you know, without the toys.
  7. Despite the recent thrust of news regarding Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes, it seems like it may be conspicuously absent from Konami's Tokyo Game Show. Looks like the whole show's off. Or not, because Konami still has plenty of other things to show off, like the following, courtesy of Gematsu: Games: Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (PS3) Silent Hill: Book of Memories (PSV) Silent Hill: Downpour (PS3) Zone of the Enders: HD Edition (PS3, 360) Social Games Metal Gear Solid: Social Ops (GREE) Mixi Park (Mixi) Star Wars Collection (GREE) Crows X Worst: Strongest Legend (GREE) Sengoku Collection (Mobage) Sokku Museum (Mixi) Dragon Collection (GREE) Dream Stallion (Mobage) Powerful Pro Baseball (GREE, Mobage) Secretary Collection (GREE) Pro Baseball Dream Nine (GREE, Mobage, Mixi, Tsutaya.com Kiwi) Yuru Veggie Farm (Mixi) World Soccer Collection (GREE, Mobage) Smart Phones and Tablets Jubeat Plus (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad) Reflec Beat Plus (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad) Amusement Games Jubeat Saucer Monster Retsuden Oreca Battle So not only is Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes absent, but as is any mention of an Xbox 360 version of Metal Gear Solid: Revengeance.Well okay.What we do get to see, though, is the HD Collection of the Zone of the Enders series, as well as the two upcoming Silent Hill titles. Aside from that, Konami appears to be bent on showcasing all manner of and smartphone and social-type games. We probably won't ever see them here in the West, but hey, you're not the center of the Universe, you know. Jubeat Saucer and Monster Retsuden Oreca Battle are "amusement games," or arcade games over here, and they'll also get some stage time. It's not that unusual to not be able to see Snake, but given the press its received recently, you'd expect there to maybe be something to show off about Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes. Who knows? Maybe Ground Zeroes will make a surprise visit. Konami's not the only kid on the block for TGS, so keep your eyes and ears open (actually, we're a website on the internet, so eyes will probably be sufficient) for news on that. Of course, we'll be delivering TGS news as soon as it happens right to your eyeballs, so stay tuned.
  8. The nighttime mission is a thing of the past -- or at least, only half of the thing of the present -- in Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes. It just wouldn't be an open world if there weren't days and nights, so guess what? There are days and nights. Not that there were never any days in the Metal Gear series; both Snake Eater and Sons of Liberty were largely done by the light of day, as well as most of the spin-offs taking place largely under the sun's watch, but the in-game cycle is a novelty to the series. This isn't too weird, considering the fact that the whole open world thing is equally a novelty, so it seems like this is as good a place as any to input this. This isn't just for the aesthetic, either. Kojima went on record with Eurogamer to tell them that the change in time period brings about other changes, such as troop patterns and other such, as of yet unrevealed, things to improve replayability. Given how many times I've played through Snake Eater myself, an improvement in replayability is really saying something. The world isn't completely persistent, however. Traveling to new areas will cause loading screens, so don't expect to roam the countrysides without any interruption. Given the history with the series, this may be anything from a plain black screen to a scene card for the next area's name. No word on release dates or consoles, but Kojima assures us that it will be ready to ride on modern consoles, so probably PS3 and Xbox 360... Just don't expect it to look like the the PAX footage.