Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater Articles RSS Feed | Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Play Metal Gear Solid 2 & 3 HD On Your Xbox One Today Wed, 10 Oct 2018 11:08:13 -0400 William R. Parks

Larry Hryb (“Major Nelson”), Director of Programming for Xbox Live, just announced that Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty HD and Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater HD are coming to Xbox One Backward Compatibility today.

Released as part of the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection, these remasters were last available for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PlayStation Vita back in 2011/2012.

Be it a new gamer whose first console is the Xbox One or a seasoned vet who wants to dive in again, this news means that these classic games are now available for play on current generation hardware.

With Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3, writer and director Hideo Kojima delivered on the hype that the PlayStation’s Metal Gear Solid had built. Met with overwhelmingly positive critical response, these games refined the stealth and tactical gameplay fans loved from their predecessor and elaborated the vast (and often confusing) Metal Gear universe.

Major Nelson’s website states that Xbox Backwards Compatibility is one of the “most popular features” included in the New Xbox One Experience. As long as there are games as popular as these to be added to the list of compatible titles, I do not see that changing.

If you do not have access to a physical copy, both games can be purchased together here for $19.99.

Another 10 Badass Video Game Characters You Shouldn't Mess With Thu, 26 Jul 2018 10:25:41 -0400 Edgar Wulf


Ryo Hazuki

Shenmue (1999)

Shenmue's Ryo Hazuki may not be the most skilled fighter, but he gets the job done.


After being forced onto a path of revenge, Ryo must evolve from a regular, impulsive teenager into an imposing martial artist, learning new moves and styles from masters across Japan and Hong Kong. Ultimately, he develops his body and spirit to face the ultimate adversary, Lan Di. After almost two decades, his story is yet to reach its finale.




That is it for this list. If you think a character is missing, they may be on the original list. If they're not, then comment down below on who you would like to see and, as always, stay tuned to GameSkinny for more badass compilations.


Kazuma Kiryu

Yakuza (2005)

This man has been through it all; he has felled numerous skilled fighters, dealt with a thief of female underwear, and even taken care of a baby. A chairman of the highly respected Tojo Clan, Kazuma Kiryu is a master in many fields, including martial arts, which he gracefully employs to protect his friends, children, and simply beat up random punks on streets who annoy him. 


Yakuza's Kiryu has a distinctive dragon tattoo covering his back, he enjoys drinking whiskey, fishing, and singing karaoke. Call him.


John Marston

Red Dead Redemption (2010)

Perhaps one of the most tragic heroes in gaming, John Marston knows the definition of dire straits all too well. Compelled to reunite with his family, who are being held captive by the government, Marston embarks on a harrowing journey through the chaos-sphere that is the Wild West. 


He is an outlaw -- a criminal, even -- and has no doubt committed numerous questionable deeds. But despite that, it is almost impossible to not relate with his noble intentions.


Red Dead Redemption's John is a deadly sharpshooter -- especially during his signature "Dead Eye" mode -- and takes down many opposing factions on his quest which, ultimately and unfortunately, leads to a bittersweet conclusion



The Last of Us (2013)

Ellie might seem harmless enough; after all, she is just a child in the original The Last of Us. Past experiences and many gruesome events, however, have conditioned her to become a merciless killer -- being able to stand up for herself and those she cares about.


She learns that, in a world where nobody can be trusted, a switchblade and a sniper rifle are your best friends. Them, and that Joel guy who has taught her how to survive in a post-apocalyptic world inhabited by monsters. That helps, too. 



Doom (1993)

Not the fanciest name for someone who rips demons apart with his bare hands, but, thankfully, actions speak much louder than words. Doomguy is the eternally silent protagonist of the Doom series, one of the most historically significant franchises in the industry.


He is agile, brutally strong, and remorseless; he doesn't have a love interest, though he may or may not have a special relationship with his signature chainsaw or destroying hordes of Hellspawn.



Darksiders II (2012)

Death is the main character in the sequel to Darksiders, one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse, and a brother to the first game's protagonist: War. He uses stylish scythes to slice and dice his opponents while employing stylish, yet devastating combos to come out victorious. He even transforms into a terrifying reaper to finish off his most resilient foes.


The mask -- which Death never removes -- is not only for aesthetics: it adds a depth of mystery to the character, making him even more badass. 



Devil May Cry (2001)

Dante's twin brother -- Vergil -- is already featured on our first list of 10 Most Badass Video Game Characters, but Dante deserves a spot just as much, if not more, than his brother. 


Possessing the enhancing power to transform into a demon -- much like his evil sibling -- Devil May Cry's Dante gives preference to oversized swords. However, he never lets go of his trusty handguns (Ebony and Ivory), which he uses to soften enemies up before cutting them into pieces.


At times, Dante may act somewhat cocky and playful, but he always backs it up with unprecedented skill.


Big Boss

Metal Gear (1987)

Solid Snake may be considered the main protagonist of the Metal Gear Solid series, but let's face it: he wouldn't even exist without Big Boss.


Boss' first appearance was in the original Metal Gear, though he didn't become a playable character until much later when Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater was released. An unfortunate encounter with his former mentor leaves him with countless bruises, dislocated joints, and broken bones; later on, he even gets his eye shot out.


Despite all that, he manages to complete his mission, earning him the legendary title -- Big Boss. The rest, as they say, is history. 


Aranea Highwind

Final Fantasy XV (2016)

This gorgeous blonde may very well be the most stylish Final Fantasy character in over a decade. She joins Final Fantasy XV's party of heroes as a dominating force -- however briefly -- and adds an amusing flavor to their conversations.


Aranea dons stylish battle armor and employs an impressively-sized lance during combat, which, of course, decimates her opponents. Beautiful, confident, and strong, Aranea Highwind is not hesitant to take on multiple foes at once -- and deals with them in brutal, timely fashion.


Ada Wong

Resident Evil 2 (1998)

Ada first appears in Resident Evil 2 as a supporting character, but she later plays a much more significant role in Resident Evil 4, where she receives her own story scenario: Separate Ways.


Her personality and background are rather mysterious, though she seems to have an affection toward a certain someone (ahem). Ada tends to prefer lightweight, conventional weaponry like handguns and machine guns, but when push comes to shove, she is also a deceptively skilled hand-to-hand combatant.


In a franchise full of badass characters, Ada often gets overlooked by casual fans, which is just too bad. 


As it turns out, our original list of the 10 most badass video game characters needs an update. I mean, there are more than 10 badass characters in the pantheon of gaming. Surprising, right?


That is why we decided to whip up a follow-up list including more of those badasses; 10 more, to be precise. Some of these characters are defined by superhuman strength, some by unique traits, some by the armory of weapons they possess, and some by the events they've endured. Ultimately, they are all bound by the same uncanny traits: individually completing meaningful tasks, defeating their enemies and, basically, getting sh** done.


Much like our original list, this one is based on two simple criteria:

  • Only one character per franchise (per individual list)
  • \n
  • The character is playable at any point in the particular series in question or must represent a playable party of characters
  • \n

Let's get started. 

5 Emotional Games That Will Hit You Right in the Feels Thu, 09 Feb 2017 12:00:02 -0500 Caio Sampaio


Video games are becoming more complex and so are their narratives. It is natural that developers and writers collaborate in order to work toward the true potential this medium has to deliver.


The titles listed herein are only some of the examples of games that can evoke strong reactions in their audiences. As games continue to invest more into narrative, the number of examples will only continue to grow over time.


Games are powerful experiences and the best titles in this industry are by no means behind of the best books and films of all time, especially when it comes down to emotional engagement.

To the Moon (2011)

Developed by: Freebird Games


You do not need complex graphics and detailed animations to create an emotional experience. This game is an example of this.


This 2D game became famous on YouTube for making YouTubers cry, as it tells the story of two scientists whose job is to visit people who are in their final days of life and grant them their final wish.


The method, however, is unorthodox. They use a machine to enter the minds of their clients, in order to modify their memories, so they die believing their wish has been granted.


In To The Moon, the two scientists visit a new client. An old man whose dream is to go to the moon. To accomplish this, they travel through the memories of this old man, to know what to modify, in order to make him believe he went to the moon before dying.

Mass Effect 3 (2012)

Developed by: BioWare


The Mass Effect franchise is one of the best examples of how much a player can care about fictional characters and the last installment of the trilogy is the perfect embodiment of this assertion.


Through its dialogue branches and morality system, players spend three games developing deep bonds with their favorite characters and sometimes, even diving into romantic relationships with them.


In the game that marked the finale of the fight of Commander Shepard against the threat of the Reapers, an ancient race that aimed to harvest organic forms of life, players continued to develop bonds with the characters, but it all lasted until the very last mission.


I will not go into detail, in order to keep myself from giving away spoilers, but the fate of your beloved squad during the final push against the reapers will depend on the choices made during the game.


I must admit that my squad fell on the battlefield in my playthrough and seeing them dead, because of my actions, after three games of bonding sent me into one of the toughest guilt trips I have ever underwent.


One of the best example of how games can create guilt in a player. Needless to say, I dropped many tears.

Life is Strange (2013)

Developed by: Dontnod Entertainment


The first choice-driven narrative of this list. In this adventure, players control Max Caulfield, a photography student in an Academy of arts.


Fate plays its role in the story. While saving the life of her best friend, Chloe Prince, who she has not seen in years, she discovers she can rewind time.


This reunited dynamic duo starts to investigate the disappearance of Rachel Amber, a close friend of Chloe.


As players dive into the story, they learn the dark secrets of what they believed to be just a common small town. Most importantly, they need to make choices and as the game progresses, these do not fit into an obvious "right or wrong" category anymore.


This game offers some of the most difficult choices in gaming, ranging from picking the right dialogue options in order to talk a friend out of suicide, to choosing whether you should accept the request of a terminally ill friend to remove her from life support and put her out of her misery.


This game has moments that will linger with its players for a long time, if not for a lifetime.

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (2004)

Developed by: Konami


The third game of this storied franchise took players to where everything began, controlling an American soldier named "Naked Snake," who is traveling through the forests of the Cold War era Soviet Union, circa 1964.


Starting with a simple mission, Snake receives the objective of rescuing a Soviet scientist who wishes to defect to the United States. And of course, the mission goes awry.


Snake's mentor, a legendary soldier code-named "The Boss," defects to the Soviet Union and encounters Snake in the forest, recapturing the scientist and delivering two stolen American-made mini nuclear warheads to the Soviets, which were used to nuke the laboratory of the scientist.


The Soviet Union declares that the United States were responsible for the incident, but the Soviets gave to the Americans the opportunity to prove their innocence. 


Snake received a new mission, return to the Soviet Union and eliminate the traitor, his mentor, The Boss.


Emotions fly high in this game, as Snake clearly opposes his mission to kill his master, but he proceeds with his orders and infiltrates the forest after her.


For how long will he ignore his feelings, in order to do what is right?


This is the emotional conflict of the game and as players learn how deep the relationship between Snake and the Boss is, they will share the same inner plight as the protagonist, considering whether they should use their minds and do what is right, or follow their hearts.

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons (2013)

Developed by: Starbreeze Studios


No words, only feelings. This is the premise behind the narrative of this game that tells the story of two brothers out to save their terminally ill father. The only way to keep him from succumbing to his mysterious illness is collecting water from the "Tree of Life."


Throughout the game, players explore the beautiful universe of this title, as they listen to the masterful soundtrack composed by Gustaf Grefberg that can, at times, hit you in the feels itself.


And although the characters speak in a fictional language that is incomprehensible to the player, players are able to easily understand their emotions through deduction and context. What's more, the story and each characters' personalities are conveyed through gameplay, thus creating an inventive experience that mixes gameplay and narrative with mastery. 


Due to this, players easily connect with the characters and feel empathy for them as they seem to be an extension of the players. Combined with a powerful story, this game can certainly make you drop few tears.


Throughout the years, many works of art have become famous for evoking strong emotional responses from their audiences. This holds true for literature, film, television and more.


Video games can also create a vast range of emotions, but due to their interactive nature, they can evoke feelings that no other form of entertainment can, including pride and guilt, the latter of which is particularly effective in eliciting waterworks.


If you are a fan of books or movies, you have certainly experienced the trauma of either reading about or watching the death of a character you cherished dearly. It certainly did not feel good.


In videos games, you control the action, and even if you are playing a game with a linear narrative, in which you have no choices, it is your input that drives the story forward.


When a character dies as a consequence of your actions -- even if you had no choice -- it is natural to feel guilt. This remorse multiplies the sadness by a factor of 10. Interactivity give to players a sense of agency and this makes the experience more emotionally effective. You are not just reading or watching a story, you are participating in it.


With this said, here are five games that mastered how to use the interactive nature of video games to create powerful emotions -- and ended up hitting players right in the feels.


Warning: spoilers for the following games ahead:

  • Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons
  • \n
  • Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
  • \n
  • Life is Strange
  • \n
  • Mass Effect 3
  • \n
  • To the Moon
  • \n
6 Nostalgic Game Openings and Theme Songs Thu, 20 Oct 2016 09:47:17 -0400 chopchamen

When we were young, we all had our favorite games to play -- complete with awesome video game music. Since then, growing up and developing an understanding for music has definitely upped the nostalgia factor when it comes to sitting down and enjoying a piece of the good ol' days. 

Whenever you first boot up whatever game filled your childhood, you're met with an opening and theme song that you'll just never be able to forget. Whether they're iconic for all gamers or more personal, some theme songs will always stir up that sense of nostalgia. Here are a few of the games and opening themes that do just that. Enjoy!

1. Dragon's Dogma 

Starting the original game and seeing an epic pan view take you around the world of Dragon's Dogma was a great experience. Seeing a dragon perched in a tower, or roaming around in a lake....this song playing in the background supported the visuals well! Unfortunately, I was unable to find the original opening with this song attached. You'll just have to play the game again for the full experience.

2. Zone of the Enders: HD Collection

The opening on the HD Collection for this "high speed robot action" game depicts some epic battle scenes and offers vague sense of the story for both games in the collection. It's epic to begin with, but you can also enjoy it much more when you know what the series is all about!

3. Silent Hill 3

Who can forget this psychological horror game? With some slightly disturbing visuals from the game, the rock song "You're Not Here" has been on the opening for Silent Hill 3, and has also been on the credits for the Silent Hill movie, and it's even been featured on the game Dance Dance Revolution Extreme!

4. Chrono Cross

The song accompanying the opening sequence for this fantasy game has been performed by a few orchestras and has always sent a chill down my spine. Chrono Cross has a very distinct soundtrack that is properly epitomized by this track. 

5. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater

This opening scene has got some pretty cool effects in the video, and is very similar to a 007 film -- mostly because of the game being set in 1964, a couple of years after the first 007 movie. You can't deny that you want to sing along with this every time you hear it!

6. Red Dead Revolver

Most people recall Red Dead Redemption, but its predecessor Red Dead Revolver has a classic opening like an old western movie. This might even seem similar to a Quentin Tarantino film to some (but came before Django Unchained)!

There you have it! There are many, many games that deserve a spot, but these are just a few honorable mentions.

Do you remember any games from the past that had awesome openings, or were just awesome in general? Let us know in the comments!

Top Ten Unexpected Horror Moments In Video Games Wed, 19 Oct 2016 06:00:01 -0400 Timothy J. Ralston (TehMadCatter)

What makes horror games enjoyable? Whether it’s the adrenaline that rushes through you, or the deep feeling of paranoia that keeps you on your toes as you enter the next room, almost everyone has played a horror game or two in their life, and everyone has a reason for why they do, or don't play horror games.

There are several types of horror games, from psychological horror like Silent Hill, or those infested with jump scares like the Five Nights At Freddy's Series, from old (Alone In The Dark (1992)) to new (RESIDENT EVIL (2017)), there are still games out there that managed to scare the crap out of us, even if it wasn't a horror game.

10. Call Of Duty: Black Ops III (2015)

Back in my Xbox 360 days, I was a huge fan of the Call Of Duty Series, starting with Call Of Duty: World At War. The love of the series (As much as I hate to admit) has stayed with me over the years. But after playing the campaign of Black Ops III, I felt as if the series was trying too hard to differ from the previous games.

But that doesn't mean it wasn't a good game on its own. The game actually had a decent story, but felt too rushed. The moment I absolutely enjoyed, on the other hand, was during the mission Hypocenter. Just imagine, having to investigate a distress call that came from your old team, only to discover that the place is overrun by robots who love to pop out at random, whether it's in the flooded basement, or in narrow corridors.

The feeling of claustrophobia is pushed further when you're cornered as horde after horde of robots try to make their way to you. And throughout the continuation of the mission is intense beyond words, along with a fantastic boss to finish the mission.

9. Bioshock Infinite (2013)

The debate of whether or not the Bioshock Series is a horror game still goes on till this day. And even though I do agree that the first two games do feel like Horror games, due to their dark, gritty feel and claustrophobic surroundings, Bioshock Infinite differed away from dark and creepy, and turned itself into a bright, beautiful, yet still creepy game.

But the real horrors come later on in the game, after your companion, Elizabeth, goes missing. Your character, DeWitt, travels to the Comstock House, only to be encountered by the most disturbing enemies in Infinite. The Boys of Silence.

The Boys of Silence are young children who wear a type of lantern helmet, emitting an ear shattering screech, alerting your presence to those around you. Though, they do not attack you, they still are a huge threat to you, and are quite annoying while also looking terrifying at the same time. Especially the jump scare you encounter after viewing a monitor.

8. Mortal Kombat 9 and X (2011 & 2015)

The Mortal Kombat Series is one of the most gruesome fighter games of all time. It was even one of the causes of the PEGI rating system you see on video game covers and trailers, and stirred quite a controversy at the time. Now, not only gamers, but almost everyone knows what Mortal Kombat is, and has probably played it before with friends.

One thing that really got gamers the most, though, was the Krypt Demon/Monster found in the Krypt, a place where you could purchase unlockable content with the points you earned in the matches. The Krypt Demon/Monster had appeared in both Mortal Kombat 9 and Mortal Kombat X, though, no one really expected the one from 2011, but still scared players with its first jump scare.

In 2015’s Mortal Kombat X, the Krypt introduced not just one jump scare, but multiple ones, such as the Krypt Spider, still scaring players with different creatures and scares. It's best to avoid the Krypt, in my opinion.

7. Half-Life 2 (2004)

Half-Life 2 is a well known game to PC gamers, along with being known as one of the best first-person games to date. With a silent protagonist, a crowbar in one hand, and determination, the story expands past cliché, and creates a very unique experience to all players. (Along with a long wait for a third installment… Still waiting, Gabe Newell…)

Though, the game does have both action packed and creepy moments, the most haunting moment in the game, is the encounter with Ravenholm, a town infested with Headcrabs, Zombies, and a strange priest with a shotgun.

Though, not really titled as “horror”, the town and its environments do give off a feeling of being unwelcome, and manages to pop in some slight jump scares. Plus, the burning zombies still give me nightmares. Extra points for playing the audio backwards for more frights!

6. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (2004)

To not include Metal Gear Solid in this list is almost impossible. The series has its creepy moments, such as ghosts appearing in photos from Metal Gear Solid 2, or the creepy yet oddly amusing "Psycho-Mantis", who read your memory card and shook your controller.

But nothing had ever compared to the enemy of Snake Eater, “The Sorrow”. From turning into a ghost, to having you “die” while screaming in agony while flashing a traumatizing image of Snake, everything about this guy just makes you want to pull the disk out and drown it in holy water.

What makes it worse, is that “The Sorrow” can bring the dead back to kill you. Why is this disturbing? He brings back the enemies you had killed before, making it very difficult if you had taken the “shoot everything first” path.

5. The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998)

The Legend of Zelda has really been a big part of my childhood, from learning puzzles to fighting foes, it evolved the way that gamers thought, even without having to look at Walkthroughs or hints at the game, especially at the time the original games were released.

And though, the series itself had really dark moments, nothing ever compared to the first boss encounter inside the Duku Tree. After solving puzzle after puzzle, going deeper inside of the tree, you finally come across a large arena. But no enemies in sight.

As a child, the moment I looked up to see Gohma on the ceiling staring down at me, I turned off the console and refused to play it for almost a year. All the while my Arachnophobia began to increase by each day, waiting to wake up and see Gohma about to pounce me in my bed.

4. Batman: Arkham Knight (2015)

Batman is possibly the most well-known superhero, along with being known as the most badass character to ever face Superman, it was no surprise that Mr. Wayne would get his very own game series (Looking at you Superman… Have you no shame?).

But throughout the dark and brooding games, they have always had a few jump scares or two. From Arkham City having Scarecrows boat and a hidden surprise inside, to Killer Croc’s boss battle, nothing ever compared to the most recent edition, Arkham Knight, and the Man-Bat.

The Man-Bat was originally a scientist, who had transformed himself into a large scale humanoid bat, who loves waiting for Bruce Wayne at the edge of buildings, waiting to pop out, scream in your face, and fly off.

The whole mission (Creature of the Night) is just full of creepy moments, from spotting the Man-Bat through your detective vision, or exploring the ruins of his lab, you'll never want to grapple on rooftops again once you meet him.

3. Uncharted: Drake's Fortune (2007)

With the downfall of previous Lara Croft games (before the reboot), it seemed like we would never get a good exploratory game again. Then, out from the heavens of Naughty Dog, we were given Uncharted, a game where you place as the sly, yet charming Nathan Drake, as he searches for El Dorado, in hopes of discovering more of his ancestors true past.

The game itself had amazing moments, along with unbelievably fast paced action moments, a handful of classic puzzles, and something totally unexpected in the ruins. Towards the end of the game, Nathan Drake discovers creatures known as the Descendants, zombie-like creatures who are just dying to tear you apart.

The moment had scared players, yet caused them to fight to save the rest of their team, rushing adrenaline through the veins of those who want to fight their way to victory.

2. Super Mario 64 (1997)

Before I continue, let me explain why this moment scared me. I was five when I was given my first Nintendo 64, which was passed down from my older brother. The first game he had given me, was Super Mario 64.

I was raised on Super Mario, and Super Mario World was actually among the very first games I had ever played. So, being as psyched as I was, I did not hesitate as I rushed off to play my new game. And I spent days on it. But when I had encountered the Piano Room, I never thought much of it.

Then suddenly, piano comes alive and chases me around as I scream and cry, completely terrified. I have never trusted a Mario game after that.

1. Halo: Combat Evolved (2001)

Halo was a game that changed First-Person Shooters completely. Whether it's the design, characters, weaponry or story, the game made itself the most unique shooter of its time, and still manages to release ground breaking games.

But there were moments that did creep out players, and one moment that kept players on their feet. The Flood. After seeing a strange and disturbing clip of the team before being killed by strange beings, The Flood begin. Keeping you on your feet as you fight wave after wave of parasites and infected, and much like a previous entry on our list, they keep coming, trying their best to get to you.

While counting down the top 10 most unexpected horror moments, we have encountered killer robots, screaming children, zombies, humanoid bats, and the Flood. If you enjoyed this list, then check out GameSkinny for more hit news, lists, and reviews of everything gaming!

Waxing Lyrical: 10 Awesome Original Video Game Songs Thu, 01 Sep 2016 15:00:01 -0400 Richard Sherry


And that's a wrap, folks! 


I hope you've encountered something you like - or at least something that makes you think - in this selection of music.


What songs did I miss? Let us know in the comments!


Still Alive (Portal)

Artist: Ellen McClain

The cake is a lie. The end credits song from Portal, Valve's gem of a game, is a less-than-subtle hint that villain GLaDOS, whom you supposedly just defeated, actually survived your encounter.


"Still Alive" is hilarious yet sinister; so basically a perfect reflection of its singer, GLaDOS. The great contrast between simple, happy music and the darker meanings behind the lyrics is a highlight of video game writing and creativity in general.


Whilst she might appear to be fairly harmless if you're just casually listening to the song, GLaDOS is excited to use all the new things she has learned dealing with the player on all the other subjects who are "still alive".


GLaDOS's passive-aggressive remarks towards the player's success make the song even more entertaining - she's "so happy for you", despite the fact that you tore her apart and burned her in a fire.


There could hardly be a better way to end Portal than with "Still Alive". It keeps the game's wonderful humor alive right to the end, effortlessly sets up a sequel and simply cements itself as one of the best original video game songs to ever exist.


The Stains Of Time (Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance)

Artist: Kit Walters and various.

"The Stains Of Time" is the theme of Monsoon, a Cyborg Ninja and member of the Winds of Destruction elite unit in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.


The song is full of heavy guitar licks and thrash metal passages, with an especially memorable chorus. Its lyrics suit Monsoon to a tee, referencing the power of the Monsoon rains, "pouring down" like "a flood of pain".


"The Stains Of Time" begins to play when protagonist Raiden takes Monsoon on in a frantic and violent boss battle, and escalates what was already an adrenaline-fuelled scenario to unbelievable heights.


The song also reflects Raiden's recent turn of personality in the most horrifically badass scene of the game. Giving in to the blood-lust he'd been suppressing for so long, Raiden's psychotic child soldier persona - Jack "The Ripper"- takes control, leading to the blood-soaked battle with Monsoon (who quickly comes to regret goading The Ripper out of Raiden).


In this context, the "flood of pain" and pouring rain in the song also conjure images of the gratuitous blood and agony dished out by both sides throughout the conflict, and it's all wrapped up in a hard-hitting song led by riotous vocals and techno beats.


Honestly, all boss battles should be accompanied by this sort of epicness!


There's a whole album of this stuff and it's all incredible. For more music of this style also check out:


Que Sera Sera (Katamari Damacy)

Artist: Charles Kosei

Katamari Damacy's soundtrack is a wonderland of chilled, fun and whimsical songs. "Que Sera Sera" is most definitely one such song, which has no doubt contributed to the awards for originality that have been heaped upon this OST.


Sung by Charles Kosei, and evidently with Japanese influences, there's an undeniable Sinatra-like quality to the song's performance.


Like Katamari Damacy's gameplay, "Que Sera Sera" is weird and wonderful. Not only does it make the game itself infinitely more fun to play along to, it stands on its own as a great and easy song to enjoy listening to.


Check out the annotations from YouTube uploader Aubrey McKenzie in the video above - they paint a wonderfully colorful picture, and one that's suitably imaginative for its subject material!


Eternity (Blue Dragon)

Artist: Ian Gillan

"Eternity" is the boss battle theme that is synonymous with Blue Dragon. It plays so often throughout the J-RPG that it's all but imprinted upon your psyche by the time the game is over.


This song was sung by Ian Gillan from Deep Purple. Just let that sink in for a second: the guy who sang Smoke on the Water is singing this. It's not his best performance by far, but the song manages to maintain such energy, not to mention being super catchy to boot, that it doesn't really matter.


"Eternity" will pop into your head randomly for years to come, which is only fitting given its name. It was always a pleasure when this song started playing as I entered a boss battle, and like at least one other song on this list, it never fails to get you pumped up and raring to go!


I might add "Eternity" to my workout playlist now that I think about it...


The Poet and the Muse (Alan Wake)

Artist: Poets of the Fall / Old Gods of Asgard

"The Poet and the Muse" is just one of the songs by the fictional rock band Old Gods of Asgard in Alan Wake


Alan Wake is a psychological thriller following a writer who becomes caught up in a real-life mystery in the small town of Bright Falls. It delves into the supernatural and plays with a loop whereby certain peoples' writing can alter or recreate reality.


In this sense we never really know whether Alan ended up writing the band into existence or whether they perhaps wrote him. The song is very clearly about the overarching narrative of Alan Wake. It references Thomas Zane ("Tom the poet") and Cauldron Lake ("the magic lake which gave a life to the words the poet used").


It then outlines Alan Wake's own experiences, attempting to "bring back his love by stories he'd create" after she was taken by the darkness. Yet at the same time the song provides advice and instructions as to how to achieve this through finding the "lady of the light"; things that Alan doesn't necessarily know about when he can first hear the band's music.


With a whole in-game band history which becomes instrumental to the game's outstanding narrative, not to mention a discography of albums, The Old Gods of Asgard are in a very unique and central position within the game.


"The Poet and the Muse" is full of prophecy and supernatural themes; a musical microcosm of Alan Wake's core ideas. On top of this, it's a genuinely good song, with a great chorus, fantastic evolution from acoustic to full rock sound and deep, meaningful lyrics that tell a story even when separated from the game.


In our reality, the songs were in fact written and performed for Alan Wake by the real-life Finnish band Poets of the Fall.


With the questions Alan Wake raises, though, who's to tell whether we are in fact in the story?!


Three Minutes Clapping (The World Ends With You)

Artist: J. D. Camaro

Here's something a little different. "Three Minutes Clapping" isn't, in fact, three minutes of clapping at all. In fact it's an awesome mashup of Japanese stylistic influences and rock/rap/hip-hop. 


In fact the delivery of the song's rapping verses are somewhat reminiscent of classic hip-hop like The Sugarhill Gang.


It's groovy, rhythmic, and slightly neurotic. The World Ends With You is a similarly groovy melting pot of ideas, drawing RPG systems, youthful exuberance and modern-day Tokyo into an interesting and idiosyncratic world where music is paramount. The game does all of this whilst exploring ideas of social isolation and the importance of communication between people, yet remaining fun and involving throughout.


A large part of this success is down to the music, which is not just a backing but a feature to be interacted with through the collecting of songs and forming of relationships with local record labels and stores.


"Three Minutes Clapping" is especially addictive, and only gets more impressive when you remember that all this quality was achieved in a DS game.


Melodies Of Life (Final Fantasy IX)

Artist: Susan Calloway

"Melodies Of Life" is a ballad about the bittersweet nature of love and loss. The song's melody is integral to Final Fantasy IX, repeating in various forms throughout the game as the accompaniment to Zidane Tribal and Prince Garnet's romance.


This may not be the most popular decision, as many people often cite Final Fantasy VIII's "Eyes On Me" as the best song in the series. "Eyes On Me" captures the relationship between Squall and Rinoa; however "Melodies Of Life" does the same even more satisfyingly for Zidane and Garnet.


Its ultimate usage comes at the end of the game, where Zidane and Garnet are parted and Zidane is thought to be lost forever in the destruction of the Iifa Tree. As Garnet settles back into her life as a ruler, the song's lyrics find their most impactful footing. 


They reflect Garnet's feelings of loss and loneliness, of her "dearest memories" with Zidane and her struggle to continue "picking up the pieces that remain".


However, despite its melancholy, "Melodies Of Life" is ultimately uplifting as both the music and the story conclude jubilantly, with Zidane's return and a heart-warming reuniting of the couple that ensures happiness all round.


There are many versions of this song, including its original Japanese lyrics. This particular version is performed by Susan Calloway as part of the "Distant Worlds II" live concert album. And when the song sounds this good recorded live, you know it's special!


Other Final Fantasy songs include:


Deadman's Gun (Red Dead Redemption)

Artist: Ashtar Command

Rockstar always nail their music selections, but Red Dead Redemption is in a league of its own, even when compared to the likes of GTA.


Although the game's soundtrack is made up mostly of classic western movie-style music (of which Ennio Morricone would be proud), a select few songs are included to bring extra intensity to powerful scenes and themes.


"Deadman's Gun" is a moving tribute to the game's protagonist, John Marston. It mirrors his journey throughout the game as he works to move on from a chequered history of past misdeeds and protect his family from outside forces.


Playing over the end credits, we've already seen the painfully cathartic finale to the main story; as Marston takes a heroic last stand against the government officials he's been betrayed by, giving his wife and son a chance to escape as he dies in a hail of bullets.


This makes the song all the more poignant. Like the narrative in "Deadman's Gun", John Marston died like he lived. Refusing to bow down and "take what they've got to give" or let them "take your will to live", he stood tall to the last, giving "all he can give" for his family, his "reason to fight" in the end.


While I can't be 100% certain that this song was written solely for the game, it doesn't seem to appear on any other album or EP by Ashtar Command, except for the RDR soundtrack. Therefore, as far as I'm concerned it counts!


Snake Eater (Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater)

Artist: Cynthia Harrell

"Some day you feed on a tree frog". This amazing track is clearly inspired by the classics of the James Bond film franchise. We first hear it in the opening credits, which themselves take heavy cues from 007 movies.


With its stunning vocals, string frills and brass stabs, the song ebbs and flows, climaxing on Harrell's delivery of the game's title in each chorus. The interplay of instrumentation paints a rich picture of a classic jazz-themed song. Like Shirley Bassey in Goldfinger, Cynthia Harrell holds her own against the power of the band behind her to give balance and weight to the performance. 


"Snake Eater" is simultaneously timeless and relevant to its game setting. MGS3 takes place in 1964, as protagonist Naked Snake journeys behind enemy lines into a Cold War-era Soviet Union. Stealthing his way through the jungle, Snake must survive in his harsh surroundings.


The achievement of "Snake Eater" is that it can relate to numerous facets of the game. There's direct meaning in the most literal terms, in which Snake must subsist on local wildlife such as snakes and tree frogs; not to mention the elite enemy "Cobra" Unit that makes up the game's wonderfully memorable boss battles. But like any good lyrical piece it goes deeper than this.



"Snake Eater" can be seen as another theme song of The Boss, Snake's former mentor and apparent defector to the USSR. Sung from her perspective, it talks about and references Naked Snake as the titular Snake Eater.


Of course anybody who has played the game will know the tragic truth; that The Boss was loyal to the end, carrying out her orders to gain the trust of Soviet enemies, before giving her life to prevent an all-out nuclear war.


it seems that the chorus' lyrics: "I give my life, Not for honor, but for you" - could be The Boss's feelings as she engages in a fight to the death with Snake, knowing full well that she must die for both his sake and her country's.


This makes even more sense given that the song once again begins playing at the climax of this duel. When you look at it this way, "Snake Eater" is even more deserving of praise as a classic original video game song.


The Metal Gear Solid franchise is one of few that has produced quality original songs multiple times. Here are a few more of them:


Still Alive (Mirror's Edge)

Artist: Lisa Miskovsky

The Theme Song to Mirror's Edge is a cool pop-rock song in its own right, but when combined with the phenomenal game behind it becomes a classic of video game music.


That opening keyboard/piano riff is so satisfying, and made the game's main menu a place to pause and listen to the music every time I loaded up the game. "Still Alive" is deceptively simple and accessible, and has spawned multiple remixes from big-name DJs such as Armand Van Helden. 


Mirror's Edge was one of those games that felt truly unique and refreshing when it launched; and there's still nothing like it today. The amazing first-person free-running action and sterile utopian City environment were a winning formula.


"Still Alive" is an affirmation of forward motion and confidence, and invokes memories of standing on the edge of a skyscraper as protagonist Faith, surveying the city and feeling quite literally on top of the world.


Other listening suggestions:


Following on from my Stop and Hear the Music article, we're returning to the auricular artistry of video game music!


As I stated then, music in video games is an astounding medium that deserves to be explored and appreciated. It's not just instrumental music that makes games great though. There are a number of songs written for video games that put some popular music to shame. 


A good song can punctuate a scene, moment or event to build truly memorable experiences. Back in the 1980's it was impossible to even put a lyric-filled song into a game. Early-era game hardware just didn't have the power to cope with those sorts of recordings, so the relative abundance of songs nowadays is testament to how far we've come.


In order to qualify for this list, a song must have lyrics and be sung; however I have also chosen not to include any choral songs as I feel they were fairly well represented last time.


I have also avoided including licensed songs; that is, copyrighted songs included in the game for royalties and so on. Instead, I wanted to give focus to songs written specifically for the games they feature in.


Please also expect spoilers for the following games:

  • Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
  • \n
  • Red Dead Redemption
  • \n
  • Final Fantasy IX
  • \n
  • Alan Wake
  • \n
  • Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
  • \n
  • Portal
  • \n

Like last time, I have also included some extra listening suggestions where applicable.


So without further ado, let us begin!

8 PS2 games that need the PS4 upgrade treatment Mon, 20 Jun 2016 23:46:39 -0400 Anthony Pelone


That's our top picks! As the PlayStation 4's PS2 library grows, we hope it will include most, if not all, of these classic titles. With the PlayStation 2 library being so massive, you may be able to forgive Sony for taking so long.

Did we leave out your favorite PS2 game? Let us know in the comments below!

8. Okami

Our last game is Clover Studio's final hurrah for Capcom. In what's perhaps the PS2's stylized title, Okami blends cel-shaded graphics with Japanese mythology, producing a stunning world that still awes today. Amaterasu, the Sun Goddess who takes the form of a wolf, must utilize her Celestial Brush to rejuvenate the world and take on the forces of Orochi.


Okami was rereleased in HD for PS3, but has yet to be ported for PS4. Another HD update could go a long way in rendering this beautiful title even more gorgeous. Also while we're at it, why don't we let Kamiya make Okami 2?

7. Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3

This unexpected sleeper hit took the JRPG world by storm in 2008. Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 (or just Persona 3 for short) revolves around unlocking the secrets of the Dark Hour, a time period that begins before one day ends and another begins. To prevent its shadows from feasting on human minds, local high-schoolers (including the silent protagonist named by the player) must summon Personas, or manifestations of their spirits, to combat them.  Since this is high school, you can also expect some platonic/romantic hijinks.


There has yet to be any HD updates of Persona 3 or its sequel, Persona 4. Perhaps Atlus would be kind enough to bundle the Persona 3 FES, which was something of a director's cut.

6. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater

The mind-bending story of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty may have been too much for someone, but everyone loves Snake Eater. The journey of Naked Snake (who's not really naked) as he sneaks through the jungles and mountains of the Soviet Union is perhaps the PS2's most dynamic, as he forages for food, utilizes camouflage, fights an elderly sniper who's on death's door, and encounters betrayal after betrayal. It also has crotch-grabbing.


Snake Eater was featured on the PS3's Metal Gear Solid HD Collection, and we'd love to see them again on PS4. I mean, who still doesn't tear up after that ending?

5. Katamari Damacy

From the whimsical mind of Keita Takahashi comes PS2's quirkiest game. After the King of all Cosmos destroys the night stars in a drunken frenzy, the Prince is tasked with rolling a katamari, a sticky ball that glues everyone and everything onto its surface. He uses this katamari to roll up the planet Earth, much to the dismay of humans, cows and thunder gods alike while Japanese pop songs play in the background. Meanwhile, a Japanese boy watches this unfold on the news, having absolutely nothing to do with the story until the hilarious twist ending.


Katamari Damacy and its sequel, We Love Katamari, are perhaps the secret masterpieces of PlayStation 2, yet have never been upgraded to HD. Namco, could you please look inside your inner katamari and introduce the Que Sera Sera song to a new generation? We want to wad them up into our lives, you see.

4. Tales of the Abyss

Tales of Symphonia may be the Western Tales favorite, but this PS2 classic shouldn't be overlooked. Tales of the Abyss' meaty story is perhaps the series' grimmest, forcing the bratty Luke fon Fabre to engage in a genuinely heartfelt coming-of-age arc. The fact that it builds upon the addictive combo-based battle system ain't half-bad, either.


We'd love to see an HD remaster for PS4, as the game can be difficult to find and hardly matches the graphical prowess of other games on this list. Let's not get ahead of ourselves however, Namco's Symphonia remasters for PS3 and PC were more than a little sloppy. Then there's the matter of how Namco's struggled to transition the series into HD (not to mention their stagnant mediocrity, but that's another topic). We'll keep our fingers crossed for a proper HD port, but you may want to grab the 3DS version if the PS2 used copies are too expensive for you.

3. Dynasty Warriors 2

Warriors games--or Musou, depending on your preferred terminology--are still going strong, so why not reintroduce the one that started it all? Dynasty Warriors 2 wasn't just a PS2 launch title; it forged a new series (perhaps even genre?) featuring 3D crowd combat, hack n' slash combat and capturing bases. Don't be fooled by the "2" numbering: the original Dynasty Warriors was a simple one-on-one fighter.


Dynasty Warriors 2 was released on PS3's PSN back in 2012...but only in Japan. Perhaps that renders a Western rerelease all the more unlikely, but that it launched a popular franchise (which inspired spin-offs based off Zelda, Gundam, Dragon Quest and One Piece) means it deserves an HD uplifting.

2. Kingdom Hearts

Square-Enix's bizarre JRPG crossover with Disney has enchanted millions of hearts around the globe, as the anticipation for Kingdom Hearts 3 has been circulating for a decade now. But as amusing as the peppy sugar rush of Kingdom Hearts 2 is, there's just something special about the original title. Before the series dived into a convoluted mess of clones, data worlds and confusing name titles, it was simply a soul-searching journey of anime children interacting with the likes of Donald Duck, Peter Pan and Winnie the Pooh. And Cloud Strife.

Like Devil May Cry, the Kingdom Hearts series received an ample HD uplift on PS3, albeit split into two separate collections: the 1.5 and 2.5 ReMIXes. Director Tetsuya Nomura has repeatedly teased their arrival on PS4, but there's no explicit confirmation. For now, we'll just have to settle for winter's Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue (seriously, who comes up with these names?)

1. Devil May Cry

The game that launched director Hideki Kamiya into action-game stardom. What started out as a Resident Evil title grew into one of the most innovative, influential games of the sixth generation; with its stylish action and brutal difficulty. Be it the appeal of pulling off combos or its unique spin on Dante's Inferno (not the least of which is the main character himself, a bad boy who alternates between dual pistols and swords), it kept players coming back for more.


While all three Devil May Cry games on PS2 received an HD collection on PS3, the PS4 is, sadly, not backwards compatible. We'd love to see the original return alongside 3: Dante's Awakening for PS4, although perhaps Devil May Cry 2 is better left forgotten.


Let's step back for a moment and look over the list of downloadable PlayStation 2 games on PlayStation 4. As Sony only just got around to the service last December, it's not a terrible line-up, but we're missing quite a number of classics on the service. Let's be real though, even if the service took too long, updating PS2 games into HD, adding trophy support and including Remote Play isn't as simple as flicking a switch. We may as well deal with waiting, although Japan has yet to receive a single PS2 game on the service.

In the meantime, we can't help but wonder: what are the PS2 games that should be next in line? For this list, I've selected 8 classics that deserve the HD treatment.



Metal Gear Solid Pachinko trailer gets more dislikes than Infinite Warfare Fri, 03 Jun 2016 09:41:35 -0400 ChrisDeCoster

Konami's latest endeavor in what feels like a series of blatant cash-grabs is a pachinko machine based on one of their most popular franchises, Metal Gear Solid. And the reveal trailer has been met with negativity from almost everyone. The trailer shows a beautifully remade version of the climactic battle between Naked Snake and The Boss, one of the most iconic scenes of the Metal Gear Solid franchise. But at this moment, it has almost thirty thousand dislikes and less than a thousand likes. That's a significantly worse ratio than the infamously disliked Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare trailer received. 

While it's generally a bad idea to look at YouTube comments, it's hard to argue with most of them on this video.  Many are decrying this as the death of Konami, and others have compared the trailer to other poorly received trailers, most notably Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare.  Even Jim Sterling, the gaming pundit known for his long-standing distrust of the company, commented with the famous "#FucKonami," a sentiment echoed by many others.

Despite all of this, the visuals show in the trailer actually look amazing, remaking one of the most emotional scenes in the game in stunning HD.  Of course, given that it's just a pachinko machine, exactly how much of this will factor into the game itself is dubious, and it's a shame to see a company with such a longstanding and influential IP waste the technology on a gambling machine.

What's your opinion of the state of Konami and this new Panchinko game? Leave a comment below and sound off.

Fans outraged over Metal Gear Solid Pachinko game Fri, 03 Jun 2016 04:31:21 -0400 Stan Rezaee

In what has been considered adding insult to injury, Konami has recreated key moments from Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater using the Fox Engine for a Pachinko machine.

The announcement adds more friction to a tense relationship between the publisher and the gaming world. Konami has been the center of controversy following its open dispute with Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima.

Many in the gaming community were expecting some kind of a casino game after rumors emerged that Konami had filed a trademark for a Pachinko machine called "Big Boss". Still, it was a great shock when Konami unveiled Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater, which recreated several memorable moments from the iconic game using the Fox Engine.

The announcement has already been met with a massive backlash from fans of the series and the gaming media. The trailer has received over 22,000 dislikes and only 700 likes on YouTube, making it more unpopular than the trailer for Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare.

Back in 2015, Konami had a vicious dispute with Hideo Kojima that ended with him departing to establish a new studio. News of the dispute became public back in May when Kojima Studios was removed from all promotional material for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain followed by the controversial decision to cancel Silent Hills.

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater was released on November 17, 2004 for the PlayStation 2, and it has been praised as one of the greatest titles of the Sixth Generation console era. It was a prequel to the series follows Snake as he needs to prevent a major war by assassinating his mentor, The Boss, after she defects to the Soviet Union.

The Next Metal Gear Game Is Not What You Hoped For Thu, 02 Jun 2016 07:14:43 -0400 Justin White

Those desperately itching for one more outing with Snake/Big Boss are going to be a little disappointed with Konami's latest game announcement: Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater Pachinko.

If you find yourself crying foul, you're not the only one. The ailing publisher Konami is clearly milking the franchise for every last cent left in it. Japanese players already know well the ubiquity of Pachinko machines and the money they create. Stateside, the phenomenon can only be compared to the prevalence of slot machines in casinos. 

After Konami's messy and secretive separation with Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojimafans were certain it meant the end of the franchise. The announcement of a Pachinko version of one of the best and most beloved games of the series may very well prove to be the last of the series' death rattle.

Rest In Peace, Metal Gear. We'll miss you dearly.

The voice of Solid Snake to lend his talents to Metal Gear Solid fan project Wed, 06 Apr 2016 16:40:46 -0400 Scott Simpson

Following the cancellation of the planned Metal Gear Solid HD fan remake, Shadow Moses, (and assumed legal pressure from Konami) the developer behind it has started work on a new project -- and it seems like they have some star power behind it.

David Hayter, the man who provided the voice work for the Metal Gear Solid series' main protagonists up until the most recent installment, where he was disappointed to learn he would be replaced by Kiefer Sutherland, appears to be lending his talents to The Fan Legacy: Metal Gear Solid, a virtual museum dedicated to the series.

The developers behind the project announced their intentions in a post on their Facebook page:

The Fan Legacy: Metal Gear Solid is a first-person experience allowing fans the opportunity to revisit some of the most emblematic MGS levels in the form of a virtual museum. There will be no need for stealth this time around.

The Fan Legacy: Metal Gear Solid will feature many pieces of amazing fan art from devoted lovers of the series and our collaborators. As an unofficial, non-profit production, the project is a gift, from the fans, but also addressed to the fans; to share our affection for the seminal franchise.

The team intends to make it available to download for PC users in May and confirmed that it will also have VR support. Of course, it could well be the case that this attempt to make something from the ashes of the Shadow Moses project may also run into similar legal troubles.

5 memorable homages to David Bowie in Metal Gear Solid Tue, 12 Jan 2016 06:17:19 -0500 Stan Rezaee

The world of pop-culture suffered a tragic loss when David Bowie passed away on January 11, 2016. During his career; he released many memorable songs and performed in many critically acclaimed films while influencing a generation or artists.

Among those Bowie inspired was Hideo Kojima and that influence could be experienced in the Metal Gear Solid series. The game has made many references and taken influence from the works of Bowie.

These are the five memorable moments in Metal Gear Solid that were inspired by the works of David Bowie.

5. Diamond Dogs

One of David Bowie's most memorable album and song was also the name of the mercenary army that succeed Militaires Sans Frontières after the events of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes. It may appear that Kojima just made another nod to Bowie, but there is actually a hidden meaning behind the use of Diamond Dogs.

The album Diamond Dogs focuses on a dystopian future with themes of totalitarianism that were inspired by George Orwell's 1984. The use of this title could also be a nod to the phrase, "the dogs of war," a term often used to describe mercenaries thanks to Frederick Forsyth.   

The concept of totalitarianism and the role of mercenaries in modern combat are both common themes that the series has examined.

4. Major Zero’s code-name

Major Tom is a character who has become subject of several David Bowie songs with "Space Oddity" being the most well known. He is an astronaut that meets a tragic demise after technical problems hurl his spaceship into the darkness of space.

During the Virtuous Mission in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Major Zero informs Snake that he will use the code-named Major Tom during radio chatter. While Major Zero claims its reference to the movie The Great Escape (named after a tunnel), it's actually a reference to the character from “Space Oddity.”

3. A plethora of androgynous characters  

Besides his contribution to the musical arts, David Bowie will be remembered for his androgynous style that was best represented with his alter ego, Ziggy Stardust. This made him an icon in the LGBT community as he paved the way for other transgender leaders and icons as he took gender fluidity to the mainstream.

Ziggy Stardust also played a major influence on Hideo Kojima and the creation of many characters in the series. Among the most notable examples are Raiden and Vamp's depiction in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. One also has to note how Solid Snake underwent a transformation from being masculine figure in Metal Gear Solid to an androgynous figure in Guns of the Patriots.

The influence of Ziggy Stardust was not limited to male characters as several female characters were also created with an androgyny style. Strangelove from Peace Walker and Olga Gurlukovich from Sons of Liberty would be among the best examples to look at.

2. The Fury

Another tribute to “Space Oddity” in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater comes in the form of a cosmonaut who is engulfed in total rage. The Fury is a member of the Cobra Unit who is deployed to stop Snake before he could infiltrate Groznyj Grad.

Like Major Tom, The Furry was a space explorer who suffered after the computers in his spaceship malfunctioned. Rather then drift away into space, he was burned alive upon returning to Earth. The pain he suffered gave him a new vision of life as he was from that moment consumed by anger.

The Fury is just one of many moments in the game that explores the forgotten dark side of the Space Race.

1. The Man Who Sold The World (Spoiler Alert!)

This iconic Bowie song is played at the beginning of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and is the name of Episode 46. The song tells the tale of a person meeting their doppelganger while exploring the themes of multiple personalities. However, its inclusion was a major spoiler as fans were quick to deduce that the character they are playing as is not the real Big Boss.  

During the events of Ground Zeroes, an MSF medic was badly injured while Big Boss fell into a coma. After undergoing facial reconstruction surgery along with hypnotherapy, the medic became a body double known as Venom Snake.

When the real Big Boss returned to the world, Venom Snake was also awoken and are immediately hunted by XOF. Following their escape from a military hospital, Big Boss begins establishing Outer Heaven while Venom Snake helps spread the legacy of Big Boss with Diamond Dogs.

This could either be the most brilliant twist or one of the dumbest endings, but it could be denied that "The Man Who Sold The World" played a major role in creating this plot line. 

The world may have lost David Bowie, but his legacy will live on through his music, films, and the works of those he influenced.

How games use instinctual fear against us Mon, 02 Nov 2015 11:57:28 -0500 Clint Pereira

Psychologists tell us that there are five fears that everyone shares: extinction, mutilation, loss of autonomy, separation, and ego-death. These are fears that have plagued human beings since the dawn of man.

But how do video games, specifically, use these fears? There's more to spooking someone than jump scares.


What is it?

The fear of no longer being. The fear of complete oblivion. You no longer exist. You are no longer conscious. You have returned to a state of emptiness.

Games that do it well

Most games don't pull this off very well. After all, death is usually just a minor irritation. It's games like Limbo and Mirror's Edge that really make the act of death terrifying. That spider's leg through the chest or that whooshing sound before hitting the ground is terrifying.

Arcade games were probably the best at scaring their players, though, but not in the way you might think. Game over screens, like the ones in Ninja Gaiden and Final Fight, were designed to get people to feel like they were letting their character die, all so they could put more quarters into the machine.


Games that do it well

Losing a limb is extremely traumatic. People who have lost limbs will even experience phantom pains. Mutilation is closely related to extinction, though you can be mutilated without dying. We'd all like to live our lives in one piece, and even just seeing a person with an amputation can be unnerving for most people.

Games that do it well

Dead Space and Outlast are two games that come immediately to mind. In Dead Space, the loss of limbs and eyes is often preceded by death. In Outlast, you get to watch your character's fingers brutally amputated before escaping the asylum.

Loss of autonomy

What is it?

You are trapped. Whether in a literal space or not, your freedom and choices are limited. Like an animal, it is your instinct to go into fight-or-flight mode when you feel cornered.

Games that do it well

This is one of the most common fear exploits in games, often employed in games that have jump scares. P.T. and Five Nights at Freddy's are two games that restricts autonomy by limiting player movement to one (neverending) hallway. The fear is in the feeling of being trapped; the jump scares are just there to trigger the fight-or-flight panic.

Some games will use game mechanics and graphics limitations to their advantage. Silent Hill, for instance, has a constant fog or darkness around the player character. Resident Evil uses fixed camera angles and tank controls to keep the player from feeling too powerful or in control.


What is it?

You are alone. There is nobody around, at least nobody you can relate to. If there are any people, they are empty shells or alien personalities. You can't touch them or talk with them or relate to them at all. You start to feel less human...

Games that do it well

Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth has characters, but they all seem off and inhuman. Silent Hill, too, uses vaguely inhuman characters to its advantage. The town's fog also acts as a way of making the player feel isolated and alone. Additionally, Yume Nikki and Silent Hill 4: The Room, create a feeling of isolation by having a bland room be the only solace from a nightmare world that you have to traverse. In both games, dealing with monsters becomes a relief when confronted with the stark isolation of your apartment.

Ego death

What is it?

You are not the person you thought you were. A rift forms in your psyche. You can't tell right from wrong, the truth from the lie. Ego death is often considered the first step in a spiritual transformation, but it is in itself not beautiful or radiant.

Ego death is the death of one's identity. And if one cannot find a way to cope, it may as well be a real death.

Games that do it well

This is notoriously difficult to pull off, as players see themselves as separate from the character. Unless first completely immersed in the character identity, there's little the game can do to cause any kind of ego-death.

Still, some games are able to use the player's feeling of heroism and power against them. Spec Ops: The Line and Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater are two such games in which the player starts out as the hero but turns out to be the villain. Both the player and player character have to face the fact that they made bad choices and are not really the person they thought they were.


Games don't have time to condition new fears for players. Instead, they have to tap into instinctual, or sometimes cultural, fears.

All of these fears are survival mechanisms, to keep us from dying, from losing ourselves into the dark unknown. But in spite of the dehumanizing nature of these fears, sharing them through stories or games does one miraculous thing.

It makes us feel human again.

Image sources: Alien: Isolation via; Ninja Gaiden via; Dead Space via; P. T. via; Silent Hill 4: The Room via; Spec Ops: The Line via

7 of the most beautiful soundtracks in Video Games Wed, 09 Sep 2015 02:30:01 -0400 shox_reboot

I don't know about you, but half my iPhone's music library has about 10GB worth of music that has come straight from video games.

Games have come a long way from just being something you do for fun. We now have the opportunity to play them for the stories they tell us, more like an interactive movie in a sense. And like movies, games have started using everything they have in their disposal to convey the emotions it wants us to feel.

Apart from the cinema-quality cut scenes we've been getting treated to over the past few years, gaming companies have been setting aside a big budget in order to snag the best music composers out there to make soundtracks that echo the tone and emotion their games are looking to convey.

We can always find faults in gameplay, plot holes in storylines, flaws in characters and other things that can turn us off. But music has never been something to find fault in.  

Halo 3 OST - Never Forget (Martin O'Donnell)

Halo is a favorite for many. And it's not surprising. 

It's a game that really brought a community together. Friends were made through this, so many of us can remember the nights we've spent playing split screen or organizing massive LAN parties for this alone. 

We can't forget Master Chief's story either. But this particular soundtrack feels more like a love letter to the fans of the series. The nostalgia we get just by listening to this beautiful piece is enough to keep remembering the reasons why Halo will always be up there as one of the greatest FPS's of our time. 

Metal Gear Solid 3: Way to Fall (Starsailor) 

This is not a song made specifically for the game, but in no way is it any less fitting. 

The Boss was always a pseudo-parent figure to Snake (Big Boss). The ending of the game, the tone it carries is matched perfectly by this song, fitting together like pieces of a puzzle so perfectly that it's difficult not to think the song was made for this game.

Or if the game was made based on the song. 

Assassin's Creed II: Ezio's Family (Jesper Kyd) 

I count Assassin's Creed II as the best in the series. 

This beautiful piece probably contributes a lot to why I think that. With Ezio's father and brother's tragic deaths setting him on the path for revenge, ultimately making the master assassin we know Ezio Auditore da Firenze to be, this melancholic soundtrack manages to capture the emotions perfectly.

Despite the Assassin's Creed series falling from grace since it's initial few releases, the soundtracks have always exceeded expectations. For that, here are a few honorable mentions;

Assassin's Creed III: Aphelion (Jesper Kyd)

Assassin's Creed IV: The Ends of the Earth (Brian Tyler) 

Dishonored: Honor For All (John Licht and Daniel Licht)

This song was written specifically as a reward for players who finished Dishonored.

The heavy emphasis on the violin fits the theme of 19th Century London perfectly, and the overall tone of the piece serves as a fitting representation for Corvo Attano's journey you undertake throughout the course of this game. 

You can ask for no more fitting a reward than this masterpiece. 

Final Fantasy VII Crisis Core: The Price of Freedom (Takeharu Ishimoto)

Ah Crisis Core. One of the gems from the PSP age. 

This beautiful piece is a fitting send off to Zack Fair, the game's main protagonist. The title itself is an indicator to the price he paid for wishing to break free of Shinra's clutches and giving Cloud Strife his freedom. 

If you haven't played this game yet, you're doing yourself a disservice. More so if you are a fan of Final Fantasy VII. Zack is a character everyone should be familiar with. The price he paid should not be forgotten. 

Elder Scrolls Online: Beauty of Dawn (Malukah) 

Let's be honest, Elder Scrolls Online was not as good as everyone thought it would be. But can a song make up for the downsides of a game? 

Normally, no. But this piece does a great job in coming close. I prefer to just think of it as something composed for Skyrim instead. 

Either way, even if you don't like ESO, get the soundtrack. You'll be saving money while getting some of the best, if not the best parts of this game: The soundtracks. 

Far Cry 3: I'm Sorry (Brian Tyler) 

Did I ever tell you what the definition of insanity is? - Vaas Montenegro

Vaas is one of the most iconic characters to ever grace a video game. As such he deserves something to remember him by. For me, it's this soundtrack. 

That's it for now! What are your favorite tracks from video games? Share below so we may all experience them!

RR-sama Talks: On Metal Gear Solid V's hype Wed, 02 Sep 2015 07:31:17 -0400 David Fisher

Hello everybody, and welcome to the first RR-sama talks segment! These sections will be where I discuss games or series that don't make it to my Rewind Reviews but are interesting enough that I'd like to discuss them. This might be because of an upcoming sequel, or maybe I just don't feel like writing a full review about a game that everybody knows will get a decent score - even by my standards.

These games will be included in these sections for a number of reasons ranging from them being lost from my collection to otherwise being otherwise inaccessible to me at this time. Don't worry, though, the same rules still apply: No nostalgia glasses, no excuses, no rationalizing hardware limitations, and no sparing myself from angry fans and readers. So let's dig in!

What is Metal Gear Solid?

My first experience with Metal Gear Solid came from Egoraptor's Metal Gear Awesome parody. While the animation was hardly reminiscent of the actual game, when I first watched that animation I immediately wondered about what Metal Gear Solid was actually like. From my first impressions, it was supposed to be a game about stealthy infiltration of an enemy base of operations to stop, steal, or destroy whatever plans they had to do... something.

These expectations led me to believe Metal Gear Solid would be something like a hardcore version of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker's Forsaken Fortress where you would have to stay out of enemy sight or else suffer the consequences. This was true, in part, but I never suspected that the game would have been much easier and lenient than my expectations. I guess I was a bit naïve in that sense, but it did make sense to me.

So what is the real Metal Gear Solid?
The Twin Snakes was all about getting the jump on your enemy, as getting caught more often than not resulted in the player's death

The Metal Gear series is anything but easy to define. While Metal Gear Solid or Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes did a better job of blending combat and stealth mechanics than I expected, I found that later additions to the series unable to do so. With the exception of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, the remaining entries in the series did not punish you much at all for getting caught. In fact, combat gameplay was improved to the point that at certain points in the games that you could go on a one-man killing spree if you wanted to. 

Sure, in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty stealth was still important, but there's a reason they added the first person mode. It's a new way to combat the enemy, and any way to focus on killing your adversaries over staying invisible while making your enemies smarter is - in my humble opinion - a wrong course of action.

The worst game in the series for this lack of focus on stealth is Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. In MGS4, players can go through the entire game without a care in the world. Sure, there are portions of the game where stealth is required - namely the first 5 non-cinematic minutes. In a game literally labeled "Tactical Espionage Action," I didn't quite expect to be running down an alley shooting everyone down with an assault rifle.

 In Snake Eater, this scene would be your deathbed. In Guns of the Patriots, this is a target range on any difficulty below Big Boss mode...

MGS4 proved I couldn't be more wrong about the series...

Unless you are playing the game on the highest possible difficulty available, Guns of the Patriots is a cakewalk. Let me correct myself... It's a cakewalk up to the point where you get to the last mission that actually requires insane amounts of stealth. While I would have appreciated it if the game slowly built up to this difficulty, having got used to just killing everyone in sight made me have a severe case of whiplash. The short and sweet? I died over and over until I remembered how to "Snake".

So what about the rest of MSG?

I can't really speak for the non-console titles since MGS4 pretty much killed my expectations for the series, and as such I never bothered picking up the HD remasters of those games. I've heard great things about them, however. I would just be a bit hesitant to pick them up since - last I checked - they still have the online multiplayer mode.

My assumption would be that, as a result, they would resemble MGS4's combat-heavy gameplay. But as I said, I've never played them, so this is merely speculation.

 Metal Gear Online pretty much represents all the failings of the newer games in my point of view...

I guess what I'm trying to say here is that the Metal Gear Solid series up until this point has been a game with a great premise, but with a very inconsistent level of execution. More than anything, I know the games have a great story, provided you have the patience to sit through hours upon hours of cutscenes and take down notes.

If you really want a "Tactical Espionage Action" adventure, then I suggest picking up MGS3. If you want to just shoot everything, then rage quit after the game stops letting you do that, pick up MGS4. For everything else in between... pick the rest of the titles. Every single Metal Gear Solid title is well crafted, and they're all good games, but they might not all match your expectations.

And Metal Gear Solid V: Phantom Pain?

To be honest, I'll probably skip it. I really don't understand the hype. Maybe it's because it is the concluding chapter, and as such it has "last game in the series" syndrome where everybody has to "play it for the story" so to speak. In the future, I might pick it up for nostalgia's sake (I know, ironic coming from me).

Otherwise, I'll just wait until the hype dies down, and the user reviews have settled on where exactly this game stands on the action-tactical scale without the hype preaching "best MGS yet!"

Favorite gaming moments: Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater Sun, 30 Aug 2015 17:30:01 -0400 katlaborde

I know a lot of you out there are itching to play Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, which will finally be released this Tuesday. With the game's launch very soon upon us, I wanted to take a look back at the first Metal Gear Solid game that let us play as the hardened badass known as Big Boss.

Personally, Metal Gear Solid 3 is my favorite game in the series. In my opinion, Kojima's third entry in the series has the best and most comprehensible story, not relying too much on confusing exposition - especially in comparison to the later entry Metal Gear Solid 4. Metal Gear Solid 3 was critically acclaimed with praise often directed towards the game's overly cinematic style.

Snake Eater

The introduction to this game is great on its own. With moments such as The Boss' betrayal and Volgin blowing up a Soviet facility with a rocket launcher, the operation known as "Virtuous Mission" doesn't end so well for Snake. Following Snake's defeat and betrayal from his former mentor, The Boss, the Snake Eater theme blasts through our speakers - complete with a visual sequence reminiscent of a Bond film. The song's lyrics are, well, a little corny, but most likely intentional. It's similar to the theme from Goldfinger. The lyrics are silly, but the song is powerfully performed by Cynthia Harrell. It's a nice homage to the Bond films and perfectly fits well with the game's 1960 Cold War setting.

Snake vs. The End

The boss battle between Snake and The End is often cited as one of the best moments of the Metal Gear series. The End, one of Volgin's henchmen, is a very skilled sniper, despite the fact that he's over 100 years old! Unlike all the other boss fights in the series, this one is completely silent, as Snake must keep in cover all the while attempting to pinpoint The End's location. 

Oddly enough, yet true to the clever nature of the series, this boss battle can be avoided entirely by the player. During a scene earlier in the game with Snake observing Volgin and his henchmen during a meeting, the player can shoot The End in his wheelchair. Of course, Snake does end up feeling like an ass about it. Additionally, if the player waits a week, or moves the PlayStation 2's internal clock forward during the boss fight, The End will die of old age. Oh Kojima!

Master of Disguise

Kojima has always been one for incorporating moments of humor into his games. With this particular moment from Snake Eater, a reoccurring joke from the series makes a return: the crotch grab. In Metal Gear Solid 2, President Johnson performs a crotch grab on Raiden to determine if he's male or female due to his androgynous appearance. This time, Snake must disguise himself as Ivan Raidenovitch Raikov, one of Volgin's commanders, who looks exactly like MGS 2's pretty protagonist. 

However, when Snake encounters Volgin in his disguise, something unexpected happens. Volgin violently grabs Snake's crotch twice! It's an awkward moment for both Snake and the player as Snake's disguise is blown through Volgin's realization that the balls in his hand aren't that of his lover, Raikov. The use of Raiden's appearance as Volgin's lover could also reflect the negative fan reaction towards Metal Gear Solid 2 and its heavy focus on Raiden. Regardless, whatever Kojima's intentions were, it's still an awkward, yet amusing moment.

Destroying the Shagohod

Kojima certainly knows how to do a finale. Snake's infiltration of Volgin's base to destroy the Shagohod, a massive tank equipped with nuclear missiles, is quite a finale - complete with a motorcycle chase sequence! EVA, a spy and Snake's love interest, rescues him from the base as both are pursued by the Shagohod, manned by electricity-infused bad guy, Volgin. The sequence is exciting and progresses through multiple areas until Snake and EVA are able to put an end to Volgin. 

Similar to the crotch grab mentioned earlier, a motorcycle sequence with EVA is included in Metal Gear Solid 4. Although that particular one doesn't end well...


Snake's final objective for Operation: Snake Eater is to take down his former mentor, The Boss. The emotional fight takes place is a huge field of white flowers blanketing the entire battle field. The Boss can sneak up on Snake quite easily, so the player must be alert and quick to take her down.

This particular event in the Metal Gear Solid lore is incredibly significant. In the ending cutscenes, Snake learns that The Boss was not a traitor, but rather played the role of one in order to diffuse conflict between America and the Soviet Union. It is at this moment where Snake becomes Big Boss and the events taking place in future installments of the series are set into motion. 

What are some of your favorite moments from Metal Gear Solid 3? Or from the rest of the series? Let me know in the comments!

Image sources: VGI, YouTube, Metal Gear Informer, Metal Gear Wikia [2], & YouTube

Cigar aficionado figures out what Big Boss smokes in MSG 3 Fri, 28 Aug 2015 09:28:05 -0400 Stan Rezaee

Big Boss is one of the most iconic video game characters for his role as both a hero and a sympathetic villain. Gamers will to finally experience his transformation into the iconic villain in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, set to be released soon.

Yet, the one thing many gamers have always wondered is what cigar does Big Boss smoke?

Many have asked this question on message boards but have received no clear answer. Most people have just listed common cigars followed by a discussion about what cigarette Solid Snake smokes.

Besides being a gamer, I’m also an avid cigar aficionado with a fully stocked humidor. I’ve had the opportunity to sample a verity of premium cigars, meet respected people in the cigar industry, and blog for a local cigar club.

Examining The Cigars

To answer this great cigar riddle, I visually examined the cigar Big Boss smokes in the beginning of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater then compared and cross-matched it with other cigars.

The one Big Boss is smoking had several key characteristics shared with real cigars. Most notable is that it has a pyramid figure (often mistaken for a torpedo figure) while being mild to full-bodied in strength (based on the texture). The brand, Habano (a reference to the Cuban state tobacco company Habanos S.A.), is obviously fictitious while the logo is based on H. Upmann and Montecristo.

Given the small details while comparing it to other Cuban cigars, it appears Big Boss is either smoking the Montecristo No. 2 or the H. Upmann No. 2. They both have a pyramid figure and identical ring gauge along with a visually similar cigar band.

The Historical Background

Yet when one adds the historical setting of the game, the evidence strongly indicates that the cigar was based on the H. Upmann No. 2.

It’s no accident that the cigar Big Boss is smoking is inspired by an H. Upmann as it was also the favorite cigar of President John F. Kennedy. A day before authorizing the trade embargo against Cuba, President Kennedy had Pierre Salinger, the White House press secretary, acquire 1,200 H. Upmann's.

Another historical event to note is the establishment of the Special Forces under President Kennedy. The foundation of the modern Special Forces was established by the Kennedy Administration to combat the rise of communist insurgencies in Asia and Latin America.

With the historical context along with his background in the Special Forces and being a protegé of The Boss, it could be speculated that Big Boss was given an H. Upmann No. 2 as a gift from President Kennedy.

All these conclusions are based on the details presented and critically analyzed using my knowledge of premium cigars. Other gamers who also have a rich knowledge of cigars are welcome to offer their own theory.

Five Memorable Metal Gear Solid Easter Eggs Tue, 25 Aug 2015 17:10:26 -0400 Jason Green

If you look past all the death, destruction, torture and looming threat of war, the MGS games are pretty quirky. Each Metal Gear Solid game is chock full of easter eggs that range from funny conversations to lewd behavior. Let's take a look at some memorable ones:

1. Snake's Dream 

In Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Snake gets the pulp beat out of him by the antagonist Colonel Volgin. Once he comes too, he wakes up in a jail cell with nothing but intense pain.

If a player saves the game right when Snake wakes up, turns the game off and on again, they'll be treated to a very unexpected mini game.

What's seemingly like a Devil May Cry hack n' slash game turns out to be Snake's usual dream. You play as an unnamed man with dual weapons fending off waves and waves of monsters. This is the most bloody and vicious part of the game and, technically, it never happened.

Is it a metaphor for Snakes mood? Is it some sort of supernatural occurrence? Or did Snake take one to many blows to the head? Either way, it's a nice diversion from the main story. 

2. Sexually Frustrated Guards 

 Being a guard must be tough. You spend hours and hours a day patrolling a perimeter, get paid in pennies and have the chance of getting killed. Aside from that, the one's who either long for a girlfriend or miss their wives at home are probably feeling blue.

Enter these women:

If Solid Snake is lucky enough, on the battlefield he'll find a lone Playboy Magazine. He can harness the powers of lust by placing a magazine on the ground and then wait for a lonely guard to pass by. If interested, the guard will forget what they're doing to sneak a peek. Snake takes advantage of this and can either sneak by them or take them out. 

If Snake feels so inclined he can sneak a peek too...

3. Ending The End Early 

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater had a colorful cast of bosses. There was The Pain, a man who had an affinity for shooting bees out of his mouth. The Fear, a man who could turn invisible and act like a spider. Most memorable of all, was The End. The End was a very old man with the eye sight of ten hawks. He was an expert sniper would could shoot lint from a fly.

The boss fight between him and Snake is a vast one that takes place in three different locations and The End could be in any one of them. Snake must plan ahead, tread lightly and make sure to either sneak up on the old man or pick him off from a far. 

That, or you could set your clock ahead in time.

If you set the PS2s internal clock ahead (or PS3 if you have the HD version of Snake Eater) a week or so The End will die of old age. Not to surprising, but it does take the thrill from the fight.

Even Snake agrees.

2. Psycho Mantis' Least Favorite PlayStation Controller 

When the PS3 first launched it was $600 dollars and rumble-less. For those who remember it launched with a controller titled the SIXAXIS. It looked exactly like the Dualshock controllers but was half the weight because it wasn't packaged with the ever-so-loved rumbling feature that they eventually brought back.

After Mantis shows and goes for the rumble, upon discovering there isn't any rumble he promptly blows up. Most likely, he was mirroring the PlayStation fan base toward the SIXAXIS. 

1. Psycho Mantis Also Reads Your Mind

It's a good guess that players of the series, and possibly some who aren't, know of this glorious easter egg. When players first encounter Psycho Mantis in the first Metal Gear Solid he is a bit of a show off and wants to prove to Snake that he actually has telekinetic abilities. 

First, Mantis makes the PlayStation controller vibrate. After that, he still wants to show off his ego and he "reads" Snakes mind. Now, what isn't necessarily said is that Mantis is actually reading the player's memory card and he'll point out how many times you've saved a game and if you've played another Konami game, such as Castlevania.

This short moment hasn't only been engrained in MGS lore, it's been engrained in video game history. It's such a fun moment it's a safe bet to assume Mantis is smiling under his mask.

All of the MGS games have a plethora of fun things to look for and read up on. From finding girly posters in a locker room to hearing other character's thoughts, there's a ton of extra content to go out of your way for. Here's hoping that MGS V: The Phantom Pain packs just as much when it releases on September 1st. 

5 games within games that we wish were games of their own Sat, 22 Aug 2015 07:23:55 -0400 shox_reboot


And that's a wrap folks! Are there any minigames that you'd love to see become something of it's own? Let me know in the comments!

Destiny: Sparrow Racing

Alright so I'm cheating a little here since this is more of a community-driven event than something that Bungie had officially implemented in the game. 


I mean really, who hasn't thought about Star Wars pod racing when riding these things? 


The foundation is all there. The sparrows have varying models, some with their own unique features. For example, the XV0 Timebreaker's able to perform quick, lateral movements along with the possibility of achieving greater than normal speeds at a risk of blowing up. 


Right now all we can do is zoom around a planet from a starting point to an end that we set for ourselves. If you haven't gotten a bunch of your mates together and done this yet, you're missing out on something that's a lot of fun in this game. Plus its a break from the constant grinding and shooting. 


I really do feel Bungie may have had ideas for implementing sparrow racing in one way or the other. Think about it - there is next to no point in giving attributes to the sparrows if not. Heck, Xur even carries items that you can buy to upgrade the speed on your sparrow! 


Out of everything on this list, this may be something that could come true in a very near future. 

Assassin's Creed IV: Naval Battles
Hands down one of the best parts, if not the best part, of Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag were the naval battles. 

Again, this is an area where there is a lot of depth you wouldn't expect from something that isn't what Assassin's Creed had ever been about. I mean really, ask anyone what a game from that franchise is about and they'll all answer: "killing people". 


The ships move like you'd imagine a ship would, and the amount of detail put into them is just beautiful. You could fit it with different types of weapons, take on legendary ships in massive battles, I could go on and on. 


This I feel, is a gem in hiding. We've never had a proper game that simulates naval battle this well before, and it took the developers of Assassin's Creed of all things to give us a taste of it. 


C'mon Ubisoft, you've got something great here. Just do a little bit of work on ironing out the weak areas (for example, it's a bit too easy) and we've got something amazing. 

Saints Row IV: 2D Side Scroller! 

This is yet another sequence, but a great one at that! 


After the protagonist of the game learns that his best friend may still be alive, you are thrown into a 2D side-scroller where you help your friend save his former lover by defeating hordes of enemies.


That is the most basic explanation to give for this, but there really is nothing else to it. It functions exactly like a 2D side scroller beat-em-up, so there should be no question whether it's fun or not! One of the best parts of this is that your character (the protagonist) carries all the little bits of customization you've done in the main game into the mini-game!


Please make this an arcade game! 

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake's Nightmare

This one may not be quite as well-known now, since the game in question was released so long ago. 


After a certain point in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Snake (presently Big Boss) gets captured by the enemy and subjected to a rather graphic torture sequence before being thrown into a holding cell. 


Players who chose that point to save the game and end their session for the day (or night) had a surprise waiting for them the next time they reloaded it. I remember my experience vividly. I actually got rather spooked by this (I was a kid back then). I booted up my save and suddenly, I'm not playing Metal Gear Solid anymore.


Instead I'm playing a hack n' slash flick where I was massacring a bunch of hideous-looking monsters using two swords. 


It was all dark and grimy, and pretty bloody as well. I could execute a few combos and an AOE spin. I was confined to the place I was in with a seemingly endless horde of enemies pouring in. Oh, and after a certain point I could enter a 'beserk mode'. 


I feel like this game showed Hideo Kojima had a certain flair about him for games of this genre. Who knows, perhaps this is where we saw the birth of the idea behind Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. 


I guess that makes this sequence of sorts an odd addition to this list. But hey, I won't complain at all if we get a hack 'n slash horror game from Kojima. 


You probably were expecting this to be on the list if you'd played Witcher 3: Wild Hunt by now. (If you haven't yet, what's wrong with you?)


Gwent is the the Witcher's own card game. Completely optional of course, but why anyone would avoid doing this fun little side activity to take a break from killing stuff is beyond me. Well...actually I'd understand, the main game's that good. 


I won't be going into too much detail about the rules, since it's got a surprising amount of depth for being a minigame. I'd even venture that this particular virtual card game is harder to pick up and play than Hearthstone


Don't let that turn you off, though. Get past learning the rules and play around with this game for a bit and you'll see just how fun it can be. It requires patience, a good amount of deck building and doing a bit of research into tactics as well but...which card game doesn't? 


I'm even on the verge of starting a second play through of Witcher 3 and devote it to making Geralt the Gwent master of the known kingdoms. (It's actually got it's own quest line and rewards for playing through it.) 


Here's hoping the folks at CD Projekt RED decide to bring Gwent into the spotlight sometime in the future. I can picture it now. Witcher 4: Grand Gwent Tournament. Pretty sure the developers will come up with a much better name, though. 


There's a joke along the lines of Inception on the title that I just don't want to mention. 


Yeah. That one. 


But anyways, from time to time we find games that are developed by people who love games so much that they put games within your game so you can game while you game. 


Devs probably don't think so much of them - they're just giving us a lot more stuff to do in-game and changing the pace up a little bit to keep us from getting bored slaying monsters or sneaking around a huge mountain base. 


But sometimes, I just wish I could have that game within the game (alright, this is the last time I use the line) as a game of its own! So, here is my list of minigames that had me wishing they were so much more. 


There will be some spoilers if you've never played any of these games before, since some activities tie into the story. have been warned!

5 Problems In Gaming That Have Been Around For A While Wed, 19 Aug 2015 06:41:10 -0400 Stan Rezaee

According to many old school gamers, we are living in a dark age of gaming thanks to all the filthy casual gamers and lazy developers. It’s no longer about making good games but to quickly release a new title then milk it dry before moving on to the next cash cow.

Most of us old school gamers need to realize that we are not living in a dark age because many of these problems in gaming have been around for a long time. From sleazy freemium games to constant re-releases, gamers have seen them back in the days when the N64 and PlayStation were king.

These are five common problems in gaming today that have been around for a long time.

5. Series Never Changes

Gamers hear this a lot about franchises like Call of Duty and Assassin's Creed, every game in series is the same with little changes. Despite a few tweaks, it’s going to be the same game with the same gameplay, same story, same events and same predictable plot twist that any gamer could see coming. By the fourth title, you know exactly which character is going to be killed-off and it's not even going to bother you. Call of Duty is the obvious target while Ubisoft has faced similar criticism, but at least they put more of an effort than Scott Cawthon and his Five Nights at Freddy's series.

It’s easy to say developers have become lazy or publishers have become greedy and are trying to milk a series, yet gamers forget that this has been going on for a long time. This has been going on with hit franchises since the 90’s, yet a lot of those games are now seen as classics.    

Today considered a classic, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and San Andreas were sometimes criticized for having the same gameplay as Grand Theft Auto III  with only minor changes. Even today, some gamers felt that Grand Theft Auto V was no different than its predecessors. Resident Evil 2 is often hailed as the best game in the series and one of the most iconic PlayStation games, but its gameplay was exactly like its predecessor. Also one should ask what is difference between Doom and Doom II in regards to their gameplay.

Developers are going to operate on a “don’t fix it if it isn’t broken” mentality when having to release a new title within two years after the release of the original. To make up for the lack of changes in the gameplay, they will be more focused on expanding the story and character development.

4. HD Remakes

The Next-Gen consoles is the next stage of the gaming industry and yet almost the majority of games being released are just HD remakes. Most of the hit titles released for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are just HD versions of games from the last console. Grand Theft Auto V, The Last Of Us, and the Halo series have all been re-released on the Next-Gen consoles while there is very little original titles that takes advantage of the new hardware.

Looking back, this is not a new phenomenon as past console featured a variety of updated versions of titles from the last console generation. Some of the early games for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 2 were just ports of successful PC titles like Far Cry and Unreal Tournament. Going even futher one could also recall some of the early games for the Nintendo 64 were ports of hit PC games. Titles like Doom 64, Duke Nukem 64, Asteroids, Command & Conquer were available alongside many original launch titles.

Gamers seem to forget that it takes time for developers to switch over to the hardware of the new console. Publishers also would like to see which console is going to be the dominant one so they know who their main audience is going to be. Hence, the early games of a new console are going to be ports from the previous console generation or the PC.

3. Freemium Games

Freemium has grown to become a cancer of the gaming world as developers make s*** games then try to milk stupid casual gamers just to advance to the next level. It's because of parasites like Angry Birds and Candy Crush Saga that is ruining the gaming industry as developers are trying to focus more on half-ass mobile games.  

However the concept of paying to play has been around for a very long time, only it was once known as the arcade. Gamers had to pay $.25 - $2 to play a game that would last depending on a person's own skill set (but it didn’t last that long). Sure the games in the arcade were a better quality compared to the freemium games today, but paying $1 to play Time Crisis 2 is still a rip-off.

When the consoles began to dominate the gaming market, arcades became obsolete and would soon fade away. In its absence, the freemium market emerged to take its place thanks to rise of smartphones. Now gamers could enjoy that arcade feeling once again only by paying to play very dumb games that offer no real satisfaction.

2. Too Many Re-Releases

Resident Evil 4 was the game that changed the concept of horror survival, yet Capcom has re-released it so many times that it has become annoying among gamers. This has grown to become an annoying trend among gamers who are craving something new and original. Yet when a publisher is constantly re-releasing the same game, it's obvious they have gone bankrupt regarding creativity.  

Yet gamers seem to forget that publishers are always re-releasing their games. Want proof, guess how many times the original Resident Evil was released for the PS1? Answer: three times! There was the original release, a Director's Cut and the Dual Shock Edition. Meanwhile the original Doom has been re-released on almost every handheld device ever since the release of the Gameboy Advance.  

Rockstar Games is also guilty of this as they have re-released Grand Theft Auto III, ViceCity and San Andreas on multiple systems. Originally released for the PS2 followed by a PC version while Xbox gamers had to wait a few extra years. All three would be later re-released for the PS3 and Xbox 360 as part of an anniversary edition followed by a mobile phone port. Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3 were re-released as Substance for the PS2 followed by an HD remastering for all major consoles and part of the Legacy collection for the PS3.

So why do publishers re-release their games? Part of it is they feel the new hardware could improve a classic title while also wanting to introduce their games to a new generation. Resident Evil 4 on a Next-Gen console means nothing to someone who played it for the PS2 or GameCube but Capcom is hoping that it will introduce the series to a new audience.

1. Online Trash Talk

Besides lag, the one thing we all hate about multiplayer games is the trash talk and the lack of sportsmanship within the community. Call of Duty fans have the unfortunate luck of being seen as the lowest common denominator of the multiplayer world. They are often labeled as being pre-teen brats who are constantly using homophobic and racist slurs while lacking any sense of sportsmanship. Sometimes an old school gamer wonders why can’t they be more like those who play Counter-Strike or ArmA, a gaming communities that has a good concept of sportsmanship while no tolerance for trash talk

However we all need to remember that at one point, we were all 13 while thinking it was cool to use homophobic and racist slurs. Back in the day it was no different, we were all calling each other “f****-noobs” followed by “suck my ****” during a game of Counter-Strike (or some other multiplayer game). Every single one of us has a story about seeing trash talk or doing the trash talk, so get-off your high horse.

The only reason Call of Duty gamers are slapped with this label is because of the games demographic while those of us who play Counter-Strike got old and matured. The minute a new popular shooter series comes along, it will be the older Call of Duty fans that will be bickering about the trash talk and immaturity of a gaming community.

Hence, branding a fan base as juvenile is almost the video game equivalent of bickering about how the next generation is stupid and will doom us all. 

Was there any gamer problems you agreed with ot felt were missed, share your thoughts in the comments.