Retrospectives – Metal Gear Solid series part 3

Continued from part 2.

Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty

Metal Gear Solid 2 is impossible to discuss nowadays without at least establishing what the game is “about”; the message that Kojima intended for the player. First, we need to understand that Raiden, everything about the character and his experience, represents the player (more specifically, the modern Japanese gamer/otaku, but it works well enough for Westerners). Second, the game’s surreal nature, crazy AI and double crosses are all commentary on the Information Age, which has made information not only more widespread, but has changed how one can wield it. The final message from Snake (the hero we aspire to, but cannot control for long) is clear; just believe in something, and pass your beliefs and your genes on to the future. →  Read the rest

Clouding Judgement with trends and fads

I know the last time I posted I promised a week of Guitar Hero goodness, but I have to break the promise to rant about something else.

As you might have noticed, Portal has become something of the darling of the games industry right now. Everyone seems to be in love with it, which I am glad to see, as it truly is a remarkable game.

At the same time, I’m not glad to see it. I look at the videos of people’s best speed runs through Portal’s challenge levels, and I am amazed at how much power the simple portal concept has given gamers. The solutions you can find are incredible mixes of speed and creativity, and it fills my mind with a flurry of ideas for fast, visceral platforming levels using the portal gun. →  Read the rest