Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Metal Gear Solid... what?

When it comes to Metal Gear games, including to a certain degree those prior to Metal Gear Solid, I have often wondered about people's accolades of the story line. I mean, the main nemesis in the game is called Big Boss and the titular machines are called things like Metal Gear Rex. It sounds like the critical elements of a story stolen from a 5 year old.

I often think of the following when it comes to Metal Gear Solid games:
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex, it takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. Albert Einstein

The game's story line goes in a multitude of spurious arcs providing the most ridiculous names given to any characters in mature-based gaming history. Didn't anyone ever think, "What the hell kind of name is Solid Snake? Who could have thought that the names Liquid Snake, Psycho Mantis or Decoy Octopus were even passable ideas?"

The main characters themselves are not influenced-by or homages-to anyone, but serious rip-offs. Solid Snake is Snake Plisken, not similar to him (although I heard he was dead). Colonel Roy Campbell is Colonel Trautman from the Rambo films.

Don't start me on the cut scenes; I have no problem with them in principle, being a big fan of the cinematics in God of War for example, but they should at least have some relevance to the plot; not some long, long diatribe of some guy talking at great length to his dying sister, instead of maybe trying CPR or calling an ambulance.

As far as writing goes, the Metal Gear Solid games are great examples of terrible plotting. Compare this with the likes of Harry Potter which had a complex plot of many twists and turns over several installments, as did Watchmen; but they both had a comprehensive basis from which they were derived and a conclusion. Not some abstract jumbled-up mess that just adds gibberish on top of the ridiculous; allowing hermitted nerds to look for explanations to add to their page on wikipedia. I'm sure that they would find a story in a book of wallpaper patterns if somebody told them no-one else could make sense of it.

Which brings me to Braid...

(As an aside to discussing Metal Gear and Solid Snake - check out this link http://www.theonion.com/content/node/28288)

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