Metal Gear Solid just sucks. All of them. All along.

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I just beat Portable Ops tonight and the whole experience has made me reflect muchly on the series as a whole and just how much it has sucked all along. By the end of it, it was painfully clear that I could have beaten the game, with nearly all sidequests done in about half the time if not a third if I wasn't constantly redoing things as a result of the controls. This sums up my experience with every metal gear game up till now.

Now I'm aware that Portable Ops had a fixed camera where you literally have to manhandle it for EVERY little thing. Most of the time I wasn't able to connect with blows or ran into people/walls while I was busy getting pwned and having guys run off on me all while fixing the camera *BEFORE* I could do anything. Even though Portable Ops was extra guilty in this area, it got me thinking "you know, it really wasn't different for the other games either". The actual gameplay for this entire series has actually sucked. We've all been brainwashed by the cutscenes and a few neat boss encounters.

My history with the series.

Metal Gear Solid - The whole cinematic thing was quite cool for its time, as well as the cutscenes being so neat that you *wanted* to play them back as a movie. Also the boss formula was quite new and interesting, and hadn't become formulaic yet so the long dialogues with the villains were actually interesting. Despite the whole thing looking like a blurry pixellated mess on the PS1, because action games were still more fantasy pew pew based than military based at the time, all the military terminology and situations derived from actual events gave it an air of authentic cool. Gameplay still sucked but you got used to it and it was new (same as NES but in 3D = new!).

Metal Gear Solid 2 - My first experience with crappy console to PC ports and a harbinger of things to come years later. I never finished this due to a bug in the PC version that always pointed the Nikita to the bottom left corner for me so I got stuck at one bit where I had to guide the missile through the pipe. Nevertheless the fiddlyness of the controls was starting to get to me on this one (along with Raiden) , even less points for keyboard controls. Thank god someone edited this into a movie.

Metal Gear Solid 3 - THANK GOD SOMEONE EDITED THIS INTO A MOVIE!! lol I never even played through this one. I tried to get into it but I kept thinking it was too slow paced , or something was just off about the game design. The jungle survival and hunting was getting in the way of the stealth action which is supposed to be the draw of the series . One thing that I now realise that was subconsciously annoying me at this point were the controls, their suckage really becoming apparent now compared to other games at its time. Especially the number of button presses involved to get anything done.

Portable Ops - In addition to the above, I now start noticing the formula is really getting stupid. Does Snake ever have any enemies that aren't really his admirers/wanting to be his bosom buddies best friend warrior's honor bla bla by the time they die? Another thing about this game is that nearly 90% of the items you get you never use due to the ridiculously small inventory. You can also never truly enjoy the weapons as the "auto aim" likes to either point in the wrong direction or only turn halfway towards the right direction 90% of the time and manual aiming is slow as hell. The button presses *STILL* suck.

So... Metal Gear Solid 4. I've heard they're fixing the controls. They better. At this point I'm considering that this is a diseased cow that needs to be put down. And made into a movie by New Line. Even Kojima's gotten tired of it.

I tend to agree, except for Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence. The camera was much improved and the game was infinitely more playable as a result. I think Metal Gear Solid 4 will be the best yet, so far as controls and camera goes.

I couldn't play Portable Ops more than about 30 minutes before I quit in frustration.

I agree. The first one had a very cool cinematic beginning, but after that it was all downhill.

I am now disappointed with the gamers who say Metal Gear Solid is a great series.

Blasphemy! Your blood will appease Kojima for this is a slight that can not be taken lightly.

(Portable ops was meh with blah controls thats for sure.)

Mex wrote:

I agree. The first one had a very cool cinematic beginning, but after that it was all downhill.

I am now disappointed with the gamers who say Metal Gear Solid is a great series.

Thats because it is, gamers I guess would be disappointed in you because you can't see why it's great. Existentialism and metaphors aside it's a story of a soldier that is a biological tool of the government and how he's trying to cope with that fact. I'm not going to get into the details but it's something you would have to sit down and play them and pay attention to everything that is said.

Never got through MGS1 due to the awful camera system, specifically on the big stairway. I have Snake Eater and I'm loathe to even attempt it because the camera system was apparently so bad they had to re-release it as a whole new game (Subsistence).

Devmani wrote:

I'm not going to get into the details but it's something you would have to sit down and play them and pay attention to everything that is said.

Yeah, but I'd rather have fun.

Edit: It must be some kind of meme, that "Metal Gear is Great!" because the series sells stupidly well even in spanish speaking countries where most people just skip the text. I really, really don't get it.

The camera in Snake Eater wasn't very good. Typically you couldn't see enemies and usually got spotted before you knew what happened. This isn't saying the game was impossible to play or even absurdly difficult. It was much like Ninja Gaiden, hard but playable. The new camera was a big help to the game since the radar system was removed in 3 altogether.

As far as the camera system in the series it could have been a whole lot better but its never been an issue to the point of making me stop playing it.

Mex wrote:
Devmani wrote:

I'm not going to get into the details but it's something you would have to sit down and play them and pay attention to everything that is said.

Yeah, but I'd rather have fun.

The fun is the story, but you could just read a Wiki I suppose and get all the info you needed. I guess I like my stealth action games to have some substance so if I have to trade a slightly bad camera to get that then fine. and not be bull-poop like Assassin's Creed with good camera angles.

MGS is pretty ridiculous, and it's like in MGS2 they just wanted to see how much BS they could get people to pay for. Vampires? WTF?

Sure the controls are wonky, the camera sucks, but you can't deny the "artistic" significance of the series. It spawned every other stealth action game. You've also got to admit it's cool how Kojima always likes to try something totally unconventional in every entry (except Portable Ops). Switching controllers on Psycho Mantis, turning forward the clock on Captain Old Dude the Sniping Pirate, it's just neat how he pushes our assumptions about interaction.

The Metal Gear series is far from perfect but I've always enjoyed it and really appreciated its unique method of storytelling, even if it goes miles too far into the abstract at times. I've never understood how people who think Halo is the pinnacle of storytelling in games (it's boiler-plate sci-fi at the very best, ludicrous nonsense that only makes sense if you want it to at worst) and who say I just don't get it will also turn around and say that Metal Gear is terrible. Different strokes for different folks I suppose and MGS is definitely not for everyone but you can't argue it does a lot of things different than everyone else.

It spawned every other stealth action game.

Wasn't Thief released way before MGS?

The fun is the story, but you could just read a Wiki I suppose and get all the info you needed.

I suppose, but as a game it just doesn't work for me. Maybe it's too "Japanese" with it's faux philosophy and lame "pop existentialism". I'm not a big fan of anime or manga, so maybe it's a cultural thing for me.

I'd be surprised if an anime fan said he didn't like Metal Gear.

So since I think the GRAW games fairly well suck, does that mean I can say that "GRAW is fun!" is just a meme and I am now disappointed with the gamers who say GRAW is a great series?

[edit]And to be clear, I loved MGS1, found MGS2 to have some good parts and a lot of disappointments, hated the GC remake of MGS1 because of all the over-the-top anime stuff it added (jump-kicking missiles? wth?), and haven't picked up and played MGS3 yet since I just haven't had the motivation to do so.

LobsterMobster wrote:

MGS is pretty ridiculous, and it's like in MGS2 they just wanted to see how much BS they could get people to pay for. Vampires? WTF?

Sure the controls are wonky, the camera sucks, but you can't deny the "artistic" significance of the series. It spawned every other stealth action game. You've also got to admit it's cool how Kojima always likes to try something totally unconventional in every entry (except Portable Ops). Switching controllers on Psycho Mantis, turning forward the clock on Captain Old Dude the Sniping Pirate, it's just neat how he pushes our assumptions about interaction.

Vamp is my least favorite character but the bosses being on the edge of supernatural made the game interesting and made Snake into a bad-ass. Who's to say Vamp really is a vampire and not some drugged up freak, he is out in the daylight ya know....

Mex wrote:

Wasn't Thief released way before MGS?

MGS released in Japan in September '98, in North America it was October. Thief released in November. Given the typical development cycle, I think it's a fair bet to say that MGS did not in fact actually spawn Thief.

The MGS games have given me a sense of thrill and wonder that very few other games ever have. Despite the obvious and undeniable warts that everyone loves to complain about, Kojima has a sense of how to put together interesting gameplay, compelling characters, and cinematic storytelling that works for me. No game is perfect, so if I have to deal with less than perfect controls and the occasional odd gameplay conceit or ridiculous boss, I'm more than happy to do so to get the kind of thrill ride that this series gives me.

I'm also more than happy to be disappointing to gamers who clearly have better taste than me as a result.

That said, I can completely understand when people don't like the games. Not everyone has the same sensibilities as me, and many of the (again, obvious and undeniable) problems the series has would be more than enough to thoroughly piss off people who do look for different things in their games than I do.

Edit:

Farscry wrote:

and haven't picked up and played MGS3 yet since I just haven't had the motivation to do so.

If you like the series, then you should really give it a shot. It is far and away my favorite.

hehe, I just watch player made movies of all of them. Much much more enjoyable that way. MGS series has excellent stories, it is too bad that they didn't actually make it into a anime series or something like that.

Devmani wrote:

Who's to say Vamp really is a vampire and not some drugged up freak, he is out in the daylight ya know....

Doesn't he take a bullet in the forehead while Raiden is fighting with Fortune?

Farscry wrote:

So since I think the GRAW games fairly well suck, does that mean I can say that "GRAW is fun!" is just a meme and I am now disappointed with the gamers who say GRAW is a great series?

...:cry: So much hate!

So since I think the GRAW games fairly well suck, does that mean I can say that "GRAW is fun!" is just a meme and I am now disappointed with the gamers who say GRAW is a great series?

I agree! And don't get me started on GTA.

... Maybe I'm the one who is not much of a gamer. Oh well.

I recently started replaying MGS3:Subsistence after giving up on it last year. I decided I liked the "style" and how the game makes no apologies for the ludicrous nature of its world.

Play it on easy, and you can pretty much just run up to everyone and knife them, then get the next cut scene. Which right now is what I'm in the mood for.

I have a hard time seeing how anyone who had a PS1 and bought MGS when it first came out would be disappointed in the game, but I suppose there must have been some who were. Going back now, after the fact, sure, I can see how it's not as great as it was. At the time, it was revolutionary. "Gameplay sucked"? Not for me, not at the time.

Bought MGS2 when it came out and played through & enjoyed it. Not a huge Raiden fan, but c'est la vie.

Never played MGS3.

Enjoyed MGAcid #1 and #2. Didn't think much of portable ops.

A better question to the original poster might be "if you thought they all sucked, why did you keep playing them?"

There's really no point in trying to have people explain why they like something you DON'T like. People have different tastes.

Parallax Abstraction wrote:

The Metal Gear series is far from perfect but I've always enjoyed it and really appreciated its unique method of storytelling, even if it goes miles too far into the abstract at times. I've never understood how people who think Halo is the pinnacle of storytelling in games (it's boiler-plate sci-fi at the very best, ludicrous nonsense that only makes sense if you want it to at worst) and who say I just don't get it will also turn around and say that Metal Gear is terrible. Different strokes for different folks I suppose and MGS is definitely not for everyone but you can't argue it does a lot of things different than everyone else.

Well, for starters, the Halo narrative isn't all that great either. Pinnacle of storytelling in games? Definitely nowhere close.

That said, it's a case of orders of magnitude. Halo stayed within its boiler-plate sci-fi universe and didn't try to tie itself into things like the Cold War or berate players with some up-its-own-ass existentialism. It also stayed fairly consistent to its own "rules" (for lack of a better word), while MGS is an excuse to do any dumb random thing they want.

I don't think I have it in me to play a game and completely skip all of the narrative & cutscenes, but if MGS4 is a good enough game to get me to play, I'll probably wish I did.

I only played Metal Gear Solid, and didn't really care for it. Except for the guy (was it Mantis?) who you had to defeat with the other controller plugged in to the right slot, and the ".. and don't use turbo [buttons], because I'll know" warning.

SommerMatt wrote:

A better question to the original poster might be "if you thought they all sucked, why did you keep playing them?"

There's really no point in trying to have people explain why they like something you DON'T like. People have different tastes.

These were similiar to my thoughts upon reading the original post, but with more capitalization. I don't so much disagree that Metal Gear Solid sucks, but I also don't see any reason to piss in people's cheerios.

That said, it's a case of orders of magnitude. Halo stayed within its boiler-plate sci-fi universe and didn't try to tie itself into things like the Cold War or berate players with some up-its-own-ass existentialism. It also stayed fairly consistent to its own "rules" (for lack of a better word), while MGS is an excuse to do any dumb random thing they want.

Although nothing really wacky jumped into the picture, I'd argue that the second game did intend to wedge some more weighty issues into the plotline, but did so poorly. Also, I thought the third story did stray from the established rules. Neither issue ever to the extent of Metal Gear, but somewhat.

Mex wrote:
So since I think the GRAW games fairly well suck, does that mean I can say that "GRAW is fun!" is just a meme and I am now disappointed with the gamers who say GRAW is a great series?

I agree! And don't get me started on GTA.

... Maybe I'm the one who is not much of a gamer. Oh well.

Uh... yeah, I read more about games you don't like than games you do anymore. You weren't supposed to agree with me and move on to additional franchises, you know.

zeroKFE wrote:
Farscry wrote:

and haven't picked up and played MGS3 yet since I just haven't had the motivation to do so.

If you like the series, then you should really give it a shot. It is far and away my favorite.

That's strong praise if you're saying it's better than the original MGS release. It's on my list to try out eventually, maybe I'll bump it a little higher on the list (and I'll definitely be going with the Subsistence release from what I've read).

MaxShrek wrote:

I only played Metal Gear Solid, and didn't really care for it. Except for the guy (was it Mantis?) who you had to defeat with the other controller plugged in to the right slot, and the ".. and don't use turbo [buttons], because I'll know" warning.

I never figured that out on my own. I replayed that darn battle so many freaking times, and finally managed to kill him despite leaving the controller in the original slot. In retrospect, that's one of my proudest gaming accomplishments. I beat Liquid Mantis even though he could read my mind!

MaxShrek wrote:

I only played Metal Gear Solid, and didn't really care for it. Except for the guy (was it Mantis?) who you had to defeat with the other controller plugged in to the right slot, and the ".. and don't use turbo [buttons], because I'll know" warning.

So wait, that's the part you liked?

LobsterMobster wrote:
Devmani wrote:

Who's to say Vamp really is a vampire and not some drugged up freak, he is out in the daylight ya know....

Doesn't he take a bullet in the forehead while Raiden is fighting with Fortune?

Very true and he gets another one in MGS4. If he really is immortal then why is he half machine in MGS4? I mean there is an aura of disbelief surrounding all the bosses in the MGS games. But without that aura the hero isn't as bad ass, killing normal people is one thing but when you take on someone that can snipe you in a snow storm or catch bullets with their forhead I think that makes you a little more then human as well.

psu_13 wrote:

I recently started replaying MGS3:Subsistence after giving up on it last year. I decided I liked the "style" and how the game makes no apologies for the ludicrous nature of its world.

Play it on easy, and you can pretty much just run up to everyone and knife them, then get the next cut scene. Which right now is what I'm in the mood for.

Your fight with the Sorrow is so different if you try not to kill anyone in the game and only knock them out. It's little things like this that make me enjoy the series.

Farscry wrote:

That's strong praise if you're saying it's better than the original MGS release. It's on my list to try out eventually, maybe I'll bump it a little higher on the list (and I'll definitely be going with the Subsistence release from what I've read).

I actually played MGS2 first and then went back and played MGS1, so I never had that "holy crap this is something new and awesome" feeling about the first game. However, I would guess that many people who do have the added nostalgia factor as a part of their opinion about MGS1 would still probably agree that MGS3 was at least as good, if not better.

Farscry wrote:

That's strong praise if you're saying it's better than the original MGS release. It's on my list to try out eventually, maybe I'll bump it a little higher on the list (and I'll definitely be going with the Subsistence release from what I've read).

MGS3 is also my favourite of the series. It's not perfect, the injury system is lame and pointless, the food and camo systems add a lot to the game but have a very poor interface, as usual there are a number of pointless cutscenes that go on far too long (but nothing compared to MGS2's). It takes a little getting used to after playing the previous games, and I remember being extremely disappointed when I started it, but once I figured out how to sneak without the radar and the fact that there was a stalking button that nobody in the game tells you about, I fell in love with it. The jungle is just a cool place to sneak around, and it has some of the best boss battles in any game.

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