Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots Articles RSS Feed | Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Where Haven't We Gone? - Defining Genres in Gaming Tue, 04 Oct 2016 06:00:02 -0400 Jeremy "Digit" Brown

Think of all the colors you can possibly think of, from the pigments that make skin tones, to the entirety of the light spectrum that makes beautiful rainbows.

Can you think of another? A completely new color that looks nothing like the one's you've seen before. One not made from combining or blending ones of our predetermined, premade palette, but one that's completely new in every way.

I can't. But I'd like to think there's more out there.

In the information age we have now, media is saturated. We see movies that are sequels upon sequels to the point that Marvel has "phases" of dishing out superhero movies. There are hundreds of websites all dedicated to the same things, (celebrity news, user-made videos, social media sites) but we all find the ones that we're content with eventually. Even match-3 "puzzle" games are made for every IP that children are into.

I find that gaming was once perhaps the most innovative form of entertainment. Genres were hard to define for a long time -- but as we've evolved as a culture, there's now dust that has settled from our explosive possibilities.

I recently played through Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots for the first time in a long time, and I was amazed at the level of creativity. The OctoCamo suit allows for incredible stealth moments, and the scripted sequences blew me away. It felt so alive, inspired, fresh, even though it's almost a decade old. But when going further back in the game series, it's not totally innovative  -- instead, it's part of a stellar series making massive improvements.

Then I thought -- out of everything I've played, the genres are all covered. Puzzles, MMOs, first/third-person shooters, roleplaying games, adventure games, platformers, bullet hells, action games with all sorts of weapons, stealth games... what hasn't been done? Is there any genre I can think of that hasn't already existed as a game before?

I can't. But I'd like to think there's more out there.

I think as a community we've become pampered with the industry standards that hurt innovation. Everything we play is autosaved, hosts of content are what we base how much worth a game has, and control schemes have blended to all seem the same. Some of these improvements make sense -- they get rid of things gamers always complained about. With autosaving, you never feel like you lose progress unnecessarily (mostly), for instance. 

One game that never ceases to amaze me is Resident Evil 4. It scares me, it's filled with deep upgrading of a large weaponry, it has a (now) wonderfully campy story surrounding its pulse-pounding action. Even though it ushered in such an important era for the third-person shooter, this game would never be made today.

The controls don't let you strafe, there's no aiming and moving at the same time, and the ludicrous level designs would make people think it's hilariously silly. These are all immediate no-no's in today's market. The game remains one of the most satisfying games in my memory, and my feelings don't change even when my friends wonder why I'm freaking out so much around Regenerators. Resident Evil 4 ensured it kept the strengths of the GameCube, it didn't try to overcome the limitations. This forced design choices within the game to become something more creative than it had to be.

Can this happen again with the way we have our consoles and computers? Consoles are becoming increasingly easy to code for, the controllers more organic, the graphic potential endless, and the amount of us willing to play even $60 games with microtransactions. Is there anything I could do to change the state of game?

I can't. But I'd like to think there's more out there.

Remember the DualShock 4's touchpad? It feels like it's become a big "Select" button rather than an actually new idea. The closest I saw to any game using it for a useful concept was Killzone: Shadow Fall, which used the touchpad to change the programming of your drone companion, the Owl. The rest and best of the games out on PS4 don't bother to try anything unique with the controller. 

This is why I hope to see some wild innovation from Nintendo's next console -- still simply called the NX. If the rumors are true, then this hardware can transform from a handheld device to a powerful living room console at a moment's notice. The possibilities of a device like this could be bigger than anything else before it... ever.

Think about it. Even with Pokémon Go's popularity in augmented reality gaming, Nintendo could push it to an entire other level. While the larger focus of games could be the living room, the games can have alternate additional content that encourages you to go out and interact with the world -- and then interacts with the game in different and unique ways.

I know that Niantic made Pokémon Go, but Nintendo has clearly seen its popularity -- there's already a Mario game on mobile being released now. Perhaps they can bring a new level of immersion to gaming -- one where you can be a part of your games anytime, anywhere.

I'll be the first to admit; I'm not a genius game designer, unlike any of the talented men and women that work in this industry who bring us new and creatively unique games every year. I truly don't know how hard it would be to design, visualize, present, and especially code that next step into a gaming world beyond my own preconceptions. In this journalist's glasses-draped eyes, can I simply ask for a complete new genre, and possibly even a era of gaming?

Miles "Tails" Prower - Trusty Sidekick or Eager Sibling? Sat, 20 Aug 2016 09:09:19 -0400 Jeremy "Digit" Brown

When I was a young boy, the first video game I ever played was Sonic the Hedgehog for the Sega Genesis. I wasn't very good - for the longest time I couldn't get past the second level, Marble Zone. But like many younger siblings (as I was the youngest) I did what I could to succeed. I asked my older brother - who had beaten the whole game, whoa! - to help me beat the hard part, a.k.a. do it for me. 

For the record, I think it's a maturity thing for any kid who did this. If I wasn't winning, I wasn't having fun. I didn't even have to play the game, I just wanted to be the winner. No wonder I hated Demon's Souls when it came out. Hint: I was still pretty young then, too.

I mean, look at Tails up there. In special stages, he'll never be in front.

But when my family got a PC that the kids could use, the kids of the house quickly played a massive amount of Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Knuckles. Once again, a young Jeremy Brown was going to play a lot of the first zone, then get crushed by the unforgiving second one -- this time it was Hydrocity Zone. Luckily, there was another way to play. My brother would be Sonic, "the blue blur," but I'd get to be the sidekick, Miles "Tails" Prower. He wasn't as fast --though I would never admit that to myself -- but he could fly, and even better was the fact that he couldn't actually die.

These moments in my life were the first time I had not only played a cooperative game, but also the first time I felt I was succeeding in a game. It wasn't true, though.

Alright, almost anyone whose ever played Sonic the Hedgehog 3 with 2 players knows that the Tails player gets the short end of the stick. He's not as fast, and because there's only one screen, the camera stays on Sonic. Meaning, if you have perfect team coordination, like the nanomachines in MGS 4: Guns of the Patriots, your duo will remain intact. If you're a human being, though, Tails gets stuck way off-screen to the left and you have to wait for "Player One" to stop for a moment to catch his breath before you can even get back to the gameplay.

This is taken one nano-second before Tails is left in the dust.

In many ways, he's the epitome of the younger gamer sibling. Eager to help the greater good, eager to please the more successful figure, and hungering for validation -- I feel for the guy. I understand his plight, because I connected with his gameplay in such a way that made me feel embodied by him.

It was one of my favorite co-op game memories, until I played as him recently, and I realized something. From a game standpoint, Knack's co-op felt flawless when compared with Sonic the Hedgehog 3's. It's really bad, but it was just what I needed. It let me have fun with my brother and sister, when they played as Sonic and I as Tails.

He's the little brother of gaming, always ready to keep coming back, no matter how far behind he gets. In that last respect, I still connect with him... I have a lot of games to finish.

Let me know your thoughts or any other characters you've connected with over the years in the comments section below. Thanks for reading!

Top 5 Games With Epic Endings Tue, 12 Apr 2016 04:17:56 -0400 Justin McGovney

Doesn't it feel like games are becoming more and more "open-ended" nowadays? Everything must be a set-up for a sequel or a franchise. Nothing really has an ending least from what I have seen.

When you have a game that has an epic ending, it's one that leaves you satisfied, if a little sad. Once it's all over, it is one of the best feelings of accomplishment that you will probably ever have. You saw the story all the way through to the end and completed a journey. You feel like a hardened trooper who trudged through hellfire and brimstone and now, you actually reach the light at the end of the tunnel. It's an amazing feeling.

So, before I get into this list of games that managed to do this (for me at least and hopefully for the rest of you), I will say that when I mean "ending", I mean the entire final build-up to the closing scenes, not just the final cutscenes themselves. So, without further ado, here are my top 5 games with epic endings.

1. BioShock Infinite

So I'll go ahead and get this one out of the way, since you have already seen the image at the top. I absolutely love BioShock Infinite. It is true that it has few connections to the first two games, thus not making it feel like a real "BioShock" game. What I really love the most about it is that it's a self-contained game: having its own, unique story and world that don't rely on the franchise to explain its lore. This can backfire though. If you stray too far from the source, a game can feel too alien to fans of the franchise. Very few games can pull this off. So that's why BioShock Infinite is refreshing and enjoyable to me. 

Its ending moments were executed with a level of skill that I have seen in only a few other games. The fight on Comstock's Zeppelin combined with the huge revelations of who Booker DeWitt actually is, and his connections to Father Comstock did not feel like a bait-and-switch or a deception to players of the game. Everything felt like it was in place and made sense, albeit rather insane sense. The action-oriented final fight coalesced perfectly with the slower final cutscenes of the narrative. It just works. BioShock Infinite is the perfect mix of action and storytelling. 

2. Shadow of the Colossus

You might notice that most of the games on this list have "reveal endings." What I mean by that is games which have a big reveal or plot twist at the end that totally changes everything. It is a big gamble but if it pays off, then it can propel the ending of a game into the stratosphere. Shadow of the Colossus definitely does this.

The great thing about this game is that it's a story that is not told through extensive dialogue. This, too, can be a double-edged sword. Without dialogue, it becomes harder to tell a story. At that point, it would have to be done visually. Shadow of the Colossus, to me, is how video games can truly be seen as art.

It is revealed slowly but surely, but after that final epic fight with the sixteenth Colossus, the final cutscenes and the reveal of what's really going on and what Wander's place is in all of it makes the ending to this game satisfying. To those who played the game, I bring you a gift of nostalgia:

3. Metal Gear Solid IV: Guns of the Patriots

This is my favorite game of all time for various reasons, but one of them is just how this game ended. I knew it was going to be epic. I could feel it as I was completing the final stages of Guns of the Patriots. It was just perfect. Everything from the previous games built up to the final moments of Kojima's masterpiece. It all fell into place in the gigantic and beautiful puzzle that is the Metal Gear Solid franchise. Sure, a lot of people who played the game like to complain about the length of the cutscenes. But I mean, c'mon, this is Hideo Kojima we are talking about here! What did you expect from the god of game-writing?

The return to Shadow Moses was not only an amazing moment for us Metal Gear nerds to geek out on, but also it was an allegory for how everything must end where it all began. Also, the epic fight between Snake and Ocelot brought everything full circle as well. I really can't do this game justice in a couple of paragraphs -- but fans of Metal Gear, you know what I'm talking about. To everyone else who hasn't played, you SHOULD. And you will see why I have put the MGSIV: Guns of the Patriots on this list.

4. The Walking Dead Season One

My God. What an ending this game had. Well, at least my version did. Telltale has given us games that allow us to make our own choices and decide the progression of the story/what happens to certain characters. I love these kinds of games. I don't mind games without a ton of action as long as I can influence the story or interact with it in some way. Telltale is the master of this craft.

The end to the first season of The Walking Dead Telltale games was more than just a tearjerker to say the least. It left with you with a sense of dread: What will happen to Clementine? Where will the story go next? The end leaves you certainly wanting more, but as the first game in the series, it doesn't do too much to set-up for the sequels, which is something I really enjoy.

I really want to put all the main Telltale games in this entry, but I feel that the first Walking Dead game followed the Telltale formula the best. I kind of wished that they had some of the characters from the games appear in the show because they were done so well. Very few games have had an impact on me like The Walking Dead. But with how it told its story and how it finished it, I will never ever forget the experience it gave me.

5. The Shining Force

Surprise! Most of you reading this might not even of heard of this game. But this was the game that really got me invested into the stories of video games, rather than just hitting the A and B buttons over and over again. To those who don't know The Shining Force, it is a tactical turn-based RPG similar in style to Final Fantasy Tactics. However, the thing I remember most from this game is the long and incredible adventure you embark upon. You meet countless characters and have them join you, each with their own unique personalities. There are side-plots and side-quests galore.

And most of all, the ending to the game is fantastic. You fight against The Dark Dragon, and entity that is literally trying to consume the universe. I don't want to spoil it all for you, but a big sacrifice has to be made. It was a really sad moment, because I became really invested in the other characters and my relationships to them. And, of course, I'm a sucker for altruism in my stories.

If you haven't played a single game in this series, I highly recommend it. Each entry is unique and has a beautiful story to tell, each with its own epic endings. I promise you won't regret playing them. Starting from the first game, The Shining Force series only continued to go up and up. Please, check out this game series if you are any sort of RPG enthusiast.

Do you agree with this list? Let me know in the comments! Also, check out my other article on this subject: Top 5 Good Games With The Worst Endings!

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.

PAX 2015: Top 10 cosplays Sat, 19 Sep 2015 09:22:49 -0400 shox_reboot


Well, that's all for my picks. Did I miss any that stood out to you? If I did, don't hesitate to share! 

Lara Croft (Tomb Raider) 

And lastly, Lara Croft.


She may look a bit battered right now, but you're probably going to find a bullet lodged in your head if you make the wrong move.

Tracer, Widowmaker and Reaper (Overwatch)

Overwatch looks great, doesn't it? Hurry up Blizzard, you've already got some gorgeous cosplays!



Rengar (League of Legends)

Rengar has spotted Teemo. 



Diana (League of Legends)

Lunar Goddess Diana. How does she get her hair like that...?


This is going to bother me for a while.



 Raiden (Metal Gear Rising)

You have to appreciate the amount of detail put into Raiden here. The visor in particular is close to perfect. 


Yeah...I know it's Raiden's old model (as seen in Metal Gear Solid 4) instead of the new one. But the classics are always the best. 



Gordon (Half Life 2) 

There should be no explanation as to why this is one of the best cosplays out there. 


The resemblance is uncanny. Gordon? Is that you?! 



 Lord Shaxx/Vex Hobgoblin (Destiny) 

They're a long way away from the Tower and the Vault of Glass. But hey, at least they dropped by! 






Nothing says Deadpool more than wearing the skin of a Pikachu he'd just killed. 


"It doesn't?"
"What?! Of course it does you $%@$"
"Deadpool, go away."




Credit: MrRepzion







Nightmare (Soul Caliber)

Next up we have Nightmare from the Soul Caliber series. 


The amount of detail put into the Soul Edge (Nightmare's signature sword) alone does this character justice.



Ciri and Yennefer (Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt)

Starting off our list are two ladies from what is probably the best RPG of 2015.


The costumes are perfect, and they nail the characters right down to a T. Only thing missing in this picture is Geralt himself. We'd like to see the whole cast! 




Credit: Eve Beaureguard as Yennefer. Unfortunately, I do not know who did Ciri, so leave a shout out below if you do!


Cosplays are fun. 


People put in a whole lot of work to portray their favorite characters, and it's only fair we take a few seconds to admire them. So I thought I'd share some of the ones that stood out to me from PAX! 


If I don't mention cosplay credit, it's because I do not know who these people are and was unable to figure it out with the magic of reverse image searching. If you do who these wonderful cosplayers are, please let us know their names! 

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!"

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. 

The Metal Gear Solid Timeline Thu, 20 Aug 2015 04:52:38 -0400 Jason Green

Hideo Kojima is an ambitious man. He created Metal Gear Solid, a game series that pioneered the blend between movies and video games. With canon that spans 50 years, and has so many intertwining stories and characters, Kojima's saga remains one of the most expansive in history.

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater - 1964

The third game in the series decided to jump back in time to the beginning of it all. We find a lone warrior, codenamed Naked Snake who embarks on a mission to bring peace during the Cold War. Under the orders of his commanding officer, Zero, Snake infiltrates an area of Russia to find and disarm a nuclear bomb that could decide the fate of the war.

Everything goes smoothly until he's betrayed by a former teammate and left for dead. From that moment on, Snake is molded into the hero the world knows as Big Boss. He takes down a power-hungry commander and the first prototype of Metal Gear. 

Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops - 1970

A few years after the events of Metal Gear Solid 3, Portable Ops finds Naked Snake recruiting a team of soldiers to combat the rogue entity FOX, Snake's former employers. FOX has a new leader named Gene who captures and tortures Snake, and once he escapes he forms a team from disbanded FOX members.

Portable Ops is the series' first handheld game. Debuting on PSP, the structure of the game was a lot different from the games that were on the PlayStation systems. It dealt more with recruitment, stats, and harvesting than a focused and linear story. Portable Ops is a somewhat forgotten MGS game. It wasn't extremely well received and the newer gameplay mechanics turned some people away.

Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker - 1974

Now 10 years after Naked Snakes first adventure, he's become a battered and beaten solider, but a solider with a mission. The events of the previous ten years have shaped his life and he's taken the words of his former mentor to heart. Now that he has a private army at his disposal, he moves along in making them their own entity known as the Militaires Sans Frontieres, or Soliders Without Borders. 

Snake, who's donned the title Big Boss, builds a base for his soldiers called Mother Base. The plan is to be a group of soldiers who have no allegiance to any country. After recruiting some new faces and discovering a new type of Metal Gear is at bay, Snake's first round with Cipher, the organization set out to stop him, begins.

Peace Walker was also a portable game and was very similar in gameplay to Portable Ops. But, what made Peace Walker standout was the vast amount of content and it is written and directed by Kojima himself.

Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes - 1975

A year after discovering Cipher is hell-bent on ending Big Boss and his team, he travels to this prison camp named Camp Omega located in Cuba. Boss seeks out his companion Chico, who is being held hostage with another companion named Paz. 

Boss infiltrates the camp and just after he rescue his teammates, he discovers a devious plot handled by Cipher. The Mother Base is destroyed and Big Boss his heavily injured, placing him in a coma for nine years.

Ground Zeroes is actually the prologue to the upcoming game, the Phantom Pain. It was released a year and a half early. 

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain - 1984

Waking up in the year 1984, Big Boss  finds himself in a hospital missing an arm. Confused and distraught, the hospital is attacked and Boss escapes. After taking some time to catch up on all he's missed in the nine years he was in a coma, he discovers Cipher destroyed Mother Base killing dozens of his allies.

Boss sets out on a one way course for revenge on Cipher and the restructuring of his team. 

Essentially, Phantom Pain is Peace Walking 2.0 The team building, recruitment and customization is all there but tenfold since it's on consoles and not handheld systems. Phantom Pain has the widest variety of any Metal Gear game. 

Metal Gear -  1995

This point in the history marks the début of Solid Snake, Naked Snake's cloned offspring. During the nine years Naked Snake was out cold he was cloned as a kind of insurance so his legacy can live on.

Solid Snake is sent into Outer Heaven, a facility that houses a Metal Gear. Big Boss aka Naked Snake is Solid Snakes commanding officer and sends him on this mission to destroy the Metal Gear. However, Big Boss has a change of heart and pits Solid Snake into a series of traps. 

Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake - 1999

An oil crisis falls on the world and a Dr. Kio Marv as a solution in synthetic oil. Dr. Marv gets captured by a military force and Roy Campbell, head of FOXHOUND, sends Solid Snake to Zanzibar to rescue him. 

Snake uncovers a heck of a lot more than he bargained for: a new Metal Gear and Big Boss. He is unable to rescue Dr. Marv and has a battle with Big Boss, leaving him for dead. After the mission is complete Snake goes into retirement and bunkers up in Alaska. 

Metal Gear Solid - 2005

Solid Snake is forced out of retirement when a facility off the cost of Alaska is taken hostage by a team of highly trained killers who are lead by a mysterious man with blonde hair. 

Under the orders of Roy Campbell, Snake infiltrates the Shadow Moses facility to rescue the DARPA chief. As things progress, he discovers that this place houses the Metal Gear REX and the mysterious man is actually Liquid Snake, a clone of Big Boss and Solid Snakes brother, making him a clone as well. Even with these earth shattering revelations revealed to him, Solid Snake still must take down this new Metal Gear before it unleashes havoc to the world.

Metal Gear Solid was the first 3D Metal Gear game. It was released for PlayStation 1 to high praise for its expertly crafted storytelling and tight controls. 

Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty - 2007/2009

This is the first game in the series that had a time jump. It begins with Solid Snake doing what he does best, sneaking into a heavily guarded area. This time it's a tanker sailing off the coast of New York City. Snake discovers yet again a new Metal Gear, codenamed RAY. Before he's able to leak photos of this to the world, the tanker is sabotaged by Ocelot, an enemy of Solid Snake. The tanker sinks and Snake is presumed dead.

Jump to 2009 and an off shore oil rig called the Big Shell is taken hostage by a group called Dead Cell. FOXHOUND sends their newest agent, Raiden to take down the group. Raiden suddenly realizes he's in over his head when he meets up with Solid Snake and discovers the Big Shell is a front of a whole arsenal of Metal Gears.

MGS 2 ended up being the most polarizing of all the games. Up until the release, players expected Solid Snake to be the main star but soon discovered Raiden took his spot light. Even though MGS 2 holds up with its tight gameplay, the story is off the rails.

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots - 2014

Fifty years later it all ends. In 2014 the world is ruled by a strict economy where private military companies go to war simply for profit. Leading the largest one is Liquid Ocelot, the fusion of Liquid Snake's consciousness in Ocelot's body. 

Solid Snake, now much older due to the degrading of his cloned body, is pulled out of retirement yet again by Roy Campbell to assassinate Ocelot. Things don't go so smoothly when Snake discovers Ocelot controls an AI program that pretty much controls everything else. To top it all off, Snake is dying quickly do to his aging body. It's all hands on deck in the final chapter of the Metal Gear Solid Saga. 


When Kojima made the first Metal Gear game in 1987, it's doubtful he planned on it becoming the sprawling series it is today. MGS V: The Phantom Pain is the last released entry and it closes the gap on the lore. Kojima had a falling out with developing partner Konami so it seems MGS V is the last game under his wing. His legacy, however, remains as big as the MGS timeline. 

Unmet expectations: games that failed to live up to the hype Tue, 18 Aug 2015 04:51:59 -0400 katlaborde

Every year, there are games we get so excited for we end up putting them on an impossibly high pedestal. Whether it's because the earlier titles in the franchise were stellar or the developers behind them could seemingly do no wrong, we are sometimes let down by ridiculous hype. These titles are not necessarily bad games, but due to overwhelming hype from the eager public, these games were put through the wringer and tarnished in the process. 

Final Fantasy XIII 

Before the release of Final Fantasy XIII, every addition to the franchise was always hyped to be the next big JRPG. However, with the let downs that came with the thirteenth entry, people's excitement for new Final Fantasy games have become more reserved.  The previous installment, Final Fantasy XII, was well-received with a sprawling world, making the linearity of Final Fantasy XIII disappointing in comparison .

From it's either bland or beyond irritating characters, I'm looking at you Vanille and Hope, and utterly confusing plot, people were lost in a spiral of nonsensical exposition. Not all was lost though. The game was beautiful and boasted a fast paced, in-depth battle system that could be exhilarating when you were taking down a boss. The thirteenth addition to the long-lived franchise may go down as one of the more forgotten iterations, failing to live up to more popular entries such as Final Fantasy VII or Final Fantasy X.

Assassin's Creed III

Sure, looking back now, the original Assassin's Creed was pretty lacking, but it's sequel, Assassin's Creed II was one of the best games from that year. With the follow ups Brotherhood and Revelations completing Ezio's story, the next numbered entry was finally revealed in Assassin's Creed III. With fans craving a shift from Ezio, the game showed a lot of promise and garnered lots of attention. Its setting during the American Revolution to its Native American protagonist, Connor, this title looked as if it was going to take everything the franchise had done so far and expand upon it.

Now, Assassin's Creed III is by no means a bad game, but what the public got was a brooding and uninteresting character with Connor that could hardly carry its ultimately uninteresting story. Although fans were sick of Ezio, Connor lacked any form of personality. Luckily though, all was fixed with the great follow-up, Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag.  


Admittedly, I didn't play Destiny beyond its demo, but that's all I needed to see to turn me away from the ultimately underwhelming addition to Bungie's previously grand resume'. I wasn't too surprised when the scores hit the big game sites, scores like 6.5s and 7s, definitely not the amazing reviews everyone would have expected a few years before.

Destiny ultimately proved to be a hodgepodge of other games thrown into something that resembled a MMO. From Peter Dinklage's bland voice work to the "been there done that" gameplay, there really wasn't a reason to explore the post apocalyptic world, no matter how gorgeous it looked. The game felt way too limited and nowhere near as grand as it wanted you to believe. 

Watch Dogs

When Ubisoft showed off Watch Dogs at E3 2012, gamers were excited to explore the tech heavy sandbox of Chicago. The trailers showed off a free roaming, open world environment similar to Grand Theft Auto, but with a heavy emphasis on hacking the world around youAfter a six month delay, Watch Dogs was met with mediocore reception when finally released.

Gamers were expecting a unique gameplay experience, but were met with an unsatisfying Grand Theft Auto clone instead. Although the game had a variety of missions, the game's story and main character were underwhelming. The release of Grand Theft Auto V a few months earlier might have been why games were ultimately unimpressed with Watch Dogs. However, the franchise does have the potential to become a formidable opponent in the open world sandbox genre.

With more hyped games like Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain and Final Fantasy XV arriving later this year and next, let's hope that these titles can live up to the hefty expectations we've put on their shoulders and not crumble under the weight like some others.

Did I miss any overhyped games that you think should have been included on the list? If so, let your voice be heard in the comments below! 

Top 5 Awesome Old Guys Fri, 10 Jul 2015 19:57:51 -0400 Matt Amenda


1. Victor Sullivan

Uncharted Series

Victor Goddamn Sullivan. Good Ol' Sully. This man is a wonder of the world.


He's a treasure hunter, pilot, con-artist, thief, womanizer, expert marksman, and world-class adventurer. He's robbed graves and cheated death across the globe. He's survived this long by outsmarting his enemies when he can and punching them in the face when he can't. He's a silver fox with a heart of gold and lungs of charcoal. He is...the most interesting man in the world.


I had made a list of most awesome guys, period, he'd still be number one. He is the most lovable, fascinating, kickass characters in any game, of any age. He is the daring deed and swashbuckling adventure, personified. I LOVE this guy.


2. Orca

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

You can slay monsters the size of mountains. You can conquer impossible dungeons. You can find the most legendary weapons in the world. You can even defeat the King of Evil himself.


But as powerful as you may become, you will never beat Orca.


This shirtless, barefoot old fisherman is one of the last sword masters on the Great Sea, and any duel with him is absolutely epic. It's like the fight between Yoda and Count Dooku times five. If you can survive for five minutes in the ring with this man, nothing else will be a problem for you.


That, and he's super nice and wise and stuff. Great guy all around. Just ignore those dead white eyes of his.


3. Big Boss

Metal Gear Series

Yes. Yes he is.


The sad part is I can't fully explain how awesome he is without spoiling the entire series. For those of you who haven't enjoyed the Metal Gear series, here's an idea: this was a guy who, throughout the entire saga, from Metal Gear Solid 1 in 1998 to Metal Gear Solid 4 in 2008, was always mentioned with a measure of fear and respect from everyone who knew him, but was never actually seen. But then, at the very end of 4, after a whole ten years, he finally shows up in person. It's only for about 20 minutes, and in those 20 minutes he makes one hell of an impression.


Without spoilers though, he's the original Legendary Soldier, and he makes Solid Snake look very foolish very quickly. And the eye patch gives him some points too.


4. Captain Blue

Viewtiful Joe series

Contrary to what he appears, this man is neither senile nor a joke character. He's basically what would happen if Zordon decided to get out of his tube, squeeze into Blue Ranger's suit, and take off in the Megazord to fight evil for a while. Then he decides to teach the first kid he meets to put on tights and fight evil too.


What makes him so hilarious and so awesome is that he is completely dead serious about the whole thing: he carries himself like this great superhero while dressed like Commissioner Ultraman up there. There is no trace of hamminess in him, he straight-up teaches you how to do kung fu in slow motion and stuff. It's righteous.


Also he has one of my favorite farewell catchphrases: "May hero-ness be with you".


5. Gouken

Street Fighter Series

This is what Master Roshi would look like if somebody stole his shades and swimsuit magazines.


Look at how ripped that guy is. I mean, nobody has realistic proportions in the Street Fighter series, but among a roster of stacked guys with freakishly large hands and feet this guy is a bearded brick shithouse.


I love how the guy just floats whenever he does stuff. All his animations in Street Fighter IV are so graceful and floaty all the time even when he's smacking dudes across the screen. He'll finish doing some impossible tornado kick straight up into the air, then float down really softly like some giant septuagenarian Peter Pan. Love it.


You ever see those shirts that say "Old Guys Rule" on them? They're absolutely right. Old guys most definitely rule. I've got a soft spot for men who, instead of growing frail and feeble, just keep getting more experienced, more dangerous, and more awesome as time marches on. Men like that are God's tools for smiting the whippersnappers. And I love them.


In real life they're pretty rare and don't last long, but luckily we've got video games to fall back on. Here's the Top 5 list of stout fellows who laugh in the face of old age and keep on kicking ass well past when nature thought they should. Because like fine bourbon, video game characters only improve with age.

How Metal Gear Solid 4 Influenced the Sci-Fi Military Genre Tue, 09 Jun 2015 12:19:19 -0400 Stan Rezaee

June 12 will mark the seven-year anniversary of when Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots brought closure to the story of Solid Snake and his war against Liquid Snake. Hideo Kojima made a bold decision to rewrite the setup of the stealth action genre while taking players to a distant future that mirrors our destiny.

Looking back now, one has to appreciate the game for not only raising the bar for the genre but for also creating the template used by other science fiction themed stealth and military game that has followed. Games like Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Advanced Warfare, Crysis 2, and Deus Ex: Human Revolution owe their existence to the foundation set by Guns of the Patriots.

Military science fiction is not a new concept to gaming as many titles have borrowed influences from classic works by having players fight in an intergalactic conflict in the distant future. Kojima however took players to a futuristic conflict that is closer to our current era with a moral perspective that was born in the aftermath of the Iraq War.

Looking back seven years later, this is how Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots established the template for todays military and espionage science fiction games.

The Changing Battlefield

In the distant future; the face of war has changed for the worse with the advancement in technology, a volatile geopolitical climate and the need for control. These were among the themes that Kojima explored in Guns of the Patriots. It's granted that the works of James Cameron and Sir Ridley Scott had a major influence, but it was enough for Kojima to create his own story.

Players are taken to a battlefield in the not-too-distant future were the face of war has changed into a mundane routine. Everything has become digital in this new battlefield as soldiers now rely on computer and drones to fight their wars. The introduction of mechs into the battlefield has made the weapons of the future become more automated.  

Players are introduced to an out of control Military-Industrial Complex that could easily be described as Dwight D. Eisenhower's worst nightmare.

Guns of the Patriots takes gamers to a world in which warfare has become dominated by mechs and computers while the actions of the soldier are being controlled.To make matters worse is players are introduced to an out of control Military-Industrial Complex that could easily be described as Dwight D. Eisenhower's worst nightmare.

Such a concept was once again explored in Deus Ex: Human Revolution followed by Call of Duty: Black Ops II and again in Black Ops III Advanced Warfare. Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Warfare also took players to such a battlefield while Homefront: The Revolution will focus on a conflict between a highly technological advanced North Korea against the American resistance.

While the weapons and gear may be the work of science fiction, most of it's based on technology that is being developed. Tom Clancy has always done his research about the changing military landscape while Treyarch seeked the advise of Oliver North when developing Black Ops II.

Man vs Machine

Expanding more on the theme of controlling the battlefield, the player is presented with the moral quandary over the need for a soldiers freewill in warfare.

Technology has allowed for greater control and optimization on the battlefield while trying to make the concept of the hero obsolete. During the course of the journey, players are taught that heroes will never become obsolete regardless of how the world changes.

During the course of the journey, players are taught that heroes will never become obsolete regardless of how the world changes.

That may have been one of the major themes in Guns of the Patriots but it was also the subject of Frank Woods monologue in the premier trailer of Call of Duty: Black Ops II. Both of these traditional warriors express their belief that even in a changing world, technology will never replace the duty of the traditional soldier.

Other titles have taken a different approach into questioning if the technology makes the solider or is it their experience. Snake has always questioned the use of technology in replacing skills that are developed in combat. Players also examine such a philosophical challenges with Adam Jensen in Deus Ex: Human Revolution in a thought provoking journey that pays homage to RoboCop.

The Morality of War and Technology

New technology also brings with it a series of new moral dilemma's that we as humans must always confront. Those moral challenges are made even more difficult when the technology is being used in a military conflict as it opens up a new series of ethical dilemmas one must consider.

Kojima takes gamers to a conflict were everything is under control thanks to nano-machines in the soldiers and ID tags on weapons. Hence the theme of taking away the free will of the soldier and depriving them of the human elements. Is this morally acceptable or a necessary evil to preserve the battlefield? On the more extreme spectrum is Raiden along with the Beauty and the Beast Unit, whose humanity has been stripped away only to be transformed into machine or an emotionless killer.

As storytelling in gaming became stronger, many developers went back to further explore such philosophical challenges. The morality of war and technology was also explored in the Crysis series as humanity tries to replicate Ceph technology. Such a moral dilemma is also explored in Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and the trailer for Call of Duty: Black Ops III also gives hints to such a theme. 

These games paled to how Wolfenstien: The New Order explored the concept by giving such technological power to the Nazi's. At the same time the game explored the atrocities that has made the Third Reich synonymous with evil, as the technology is being used as a tool for the Final Solution.

The Growing Threat Of PMC's

While mercenaries have been around for as long as their has been armed conflict between states, the concept of the Private Military Company (PMC) was created by Sir. David Stirling (founder of the SAS) when he established Watchguard International as a means to provide military training to African and Middle Eastern nations. The need for security during the Iraq War saw PMC's grow to become a major industry and a topic of moral concern.

While games like Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction have glorified PMC's, Kojima has taken a moral objection to the industry by depicting them as the primary adversary in Guns of the Patriots. The battlefield of the future requires a professional army that is free of ideology or nationalism while the primary objective is to win just to earn their pay.

The battlefield of the future requires a professional army that is free of ideology or nationalism while the primary objective is to win just to earn their pay. 

Mercenaries have always been seen as soldiers who lack honor, hence many games have followed Kojima's example by portraying PMC's as a morally bankrupt army. Other examples to look at would be Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, and Crysis 2 which feature PMC's as an antagonist force. 

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare was the most notable example all thanks to Kevin Spacey monologue on the fallacy of Democracy. The main story focuses on a PMC that has grown to become a military superpower that now aims for global dominance by launching an attack against the United States.

A different example to look at would be Deus Ex: Human Revolution which features a PMC having taken over police duties for several major cities. However who could forget about the mayhem created by CELL in Crysis 2 and 3.

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots was a thought provoking masterpiece that was ahead of its time. Looking back now, one has to appreciate how Hideo Kojima set the foundation for todays military and espionage science fiction games.

Metal Gear Solid 4 To Be Released on PSN Sun, 07 Dec 2014 16:48:52 -0500 Kathryn Baker

Six years ago, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots was released on PlayStation 3. On December 16th, Konami will release a digital copy to PSN.

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots is a stealth action-adventure game. Gamers play as an older Solid Snake, the lead character from previous Metal Gear Solid games. They have to sneak, fight, and outmaneuver their enemies. In this version of the game, Snake has to assassinate his old enemy Liquid, who is the leader of a large private military company that threatens the stability of the world.

Metacritic gave the game an aggregated 94 out of 100, with an average fan score of 8.7. Gamers loved the storyline, but were not too fond of the long cut-scenes. Many criticized the change in stealth mode, one of the major selling points of the previous games in the series. In MGS4, Snake wears OctoCamo, a muscle suit that blends in with his surroundings, and Solid Eye, a set of binoculars.  Additionally, there's a Psyche Gauge that accesses Snake's mental state; combat scenarios make him fight harder but shocking announcements decrease his accuracy and movement speed. Due to the Psyche Gauge and OctoCamo, Snake is frequently slow-moving, which gamers did not like. Many were frustrated with the new aspect of the controls, but overall seemed fond of the game.

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots will be available online for $20. It will take about 30 GB of space, which is a pretty massive download. The sequel, Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, will be released on Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, and PC in 2015.

Top 10 Shopkeepers in Games Sat, 18 Oct 2014 11:18:52 -0400 Jay Prodigious


So did my list sell you on my thought process? Or did you have a favorite hole-in-the-wall shop that your favorite shopkeeper resides over?


Let me know how you liked the list and let me hear some of your own. I always like to test the waters at new shops, no matter how virtual they may be. 


Image Source: Insidegamer


1. Gadgetron Corporation (Ratchet and Clank series)


This one is at the top of my list for many reasons. First of all, they invented a system where you can simply buy weapons from a PDA and receive them in an instant. No worrying about hassles at customs with their heavy duty weapons.


The company enters my top-tier shopkeepers simply because of their humor about what they sell. They are off-the-wall when it comes to talking about their products, as well as the types of weapons they have created. From Decoy Glove and Morph-o-Ray (which morphs enemies into chickens) to the much-sought-after RYNO series of firearms, this company has it all. An example of this humor:


"Gadgetron has vendors conveniently located on all inhabited worlds, and also in the entirely unhabited bogs of Trachea Five. We don't really know how that one got there. Engineering blames marketing, marketing blames legal, and legal has been at a "conference" on the tropical planet of Bahamia for the last six months and they do not return our calls."


Destruction and humor, all rolled into a nice, clean package. It's been my favorite supply shop in any game series, and has made its way through all the games installments, even if just by mention alone.


2. Marcus (Borderlands series)


This one is a tough sumbitch. He values his the products he sells. In fact, he is more sure of his weapons than the survival of his customers. 


He is sadistic, shooting unruly customers who claim they have defective products is just another business transaction for him. He tests new weapons on unsuspecting victims just to get a good reading, as well as to prove to other (luckier) customers that his merchandise works effectively.


Primarily he sells to Vault Hunters, and he is rarely afraid of anything (besides losing money of course). He is someone to be respected as well as feared. (And how could you not when one of his biggest catchphrases is: "If you shop somewhere else, I'll have you killed".)


I believe Marcus could have his own back story as part of a game, the rise of a weapons merchant. It would be one hell of a story to tell. 


Image Source: Borderlands Wikia


3. Moneybags (Spyro)


This one came to mind as soon as I read the word shopkeeper. Moneybags did not own a shop, he didn't sell too many goods or services but he held one trait that every shopkeeper should have: A love of money!


Moneybags followed Spyro the Dragon around like a hawk, finding inaccessible areas. After he learned to unlock them, he waited to charge our hero for access. His fees became more and more outrageous as the levels progressed.


Even with his world being on the verge of destruction, he still found a way to sate his love of money. He even sported a monocle and fancy suit, most likely obtained through his extensive extortion racket. 


Moneybags served not only as a means to get rid of cold hard gems, but also became a character with a semi-fleshed-out profile. He wasn't a fighter, but he was against the bad guys. In a way, he served as a proving ground for the hero. He was essentially the force pushing Spyro to explore and collect more, expanding the limits of our scaly hero. 


Psychoanalysis aside, the bear loved money. He was greedy and only thought of himself. But he did make me go back and collect every gem in the individual levels, which made me want to 100% them. He was a proving ground to me, as I wanted to have the cash to pay him the instant he asked. It was like pushing him aside and saying "Let me through!" in a big booming voice. So satisfying. 


Image Source: Spyro Forums


4. The Happy Mask Salesman (Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time/Majora's Mask)


Let me preface this by saying this dude is one creepy SOB. I have spent many playthroughs trying to avoid seeing his face. Sure, he is calm and helpful on the surface, but once you piss him off, he is a very dark man.


Starting off innocently enough as a simple mask salesman, he serves as Link's way to access certain areas to progress in the game. He's nice and cheers Link on as you sell the masks for him, but if you return to shop without his money, he becomes livid and kicks you out. After the town is destroyed when Link is an adult, you no longer see him.


That is until Majora's Mask, where he is no longer just the simple salesman but rather a key point in the game. 


Said to be a traveler between dimensions, he has a knack for creeping most people out. Besides his love for masks, most of his background is rather shaded. The masks he sells are ones he's collected while travelling between dimensions. He does help Link gain some extra rupees as well as some nightmares.


I can only say I didn't rate him any higher because he didn't become much of a salesman after the few missions he gives to Link. He was limited to selling masks, and didn't offer any rare reward items beside the Mask of Truth in Ocarina. I placed him on the list in general because I find him an interesting shopkeeper. (And I'd rather not hear him say "You have met with a terrible fate" in my sleep for not placing him.)


Image Source: ZeldaWiki


5. Xur Agent of the Nine (Destiny)


I'm sure this one will gain some scrutiny from people saying I'm slipping him in because of the popularity of Destiny. That isn't the case with Xur; while playing I found him fascinating as a merchant in general. (If I wanted to appease Destiny fans, I would have used Master Rahool instead and then capitalized on his new easter egg in the former Loot cave.)


With that out of the way, Xur is a complicated person to track down. He vanishes each week and appears in a new spot on the weekends. He offers up new rare items in exchange for Strange Coins, which are reasonably hard to collect, thus making the goods worthwhile. 


Having existed in a system outside of explored Space, Xur is part of a race, speculated as the Jovian, ruled by higher beings known as "The Nine". While the Nine are an quite easily described as transcendant beings that have to do with The Traveler and The Darkness, Xur is merely an agent of the Nine.


He speaks openly that he doesn't understand who the Nine are and even mentions his body is dying soon. He's an enigma that intrigues me and also he sells some pretty awesome items. 


Besides, he's like RE4's Merchant in design, and that is enough to warrant investigation. Hopefully soon Bungie will give us some more insight as to what he is rather than just some humble black market dealer. 


Thanks to DBMgamer0722 on YouTube for more information on Xur and the Nine! 


Image Source:


6. The Pokemon Mart Staff (Pokemon Series)


These nameless, almost forgotten members of the Pokemon world, the Pokemart staff are a key piece of your journey to be the very best.


Selling items like Pokeballs, Potions, and Repels in bulk has served as their main staple. As the games added more features, items like color stationary, special items for your Pokemon to hold, and accessories for beauty contests have been added to their inventory.


Most say the standard greetings and words of encouragement, making them a type of support system for the trainers coming through. They also don't judge when you ask for 99 pokeballs and 99 super potions. They will never say you should lay off the harsh training, nor claim you are taking on enemies too powerful for you. They just smile, take your hard-earned cash, and tell you to have a nice day.


7. The Merchant (Resident Evil 4)


Just by looking at him, you can hear the lines in your head. "What are ya buyin'?" This enigmatic salesman helps you out in your high-priority rescue mission selling you a variety of weapons. Exchanging these guns for the currency of the locals, Pesetas, he keeps Leon constantly supplied with new items. He even has his own side quest, which rewards you with a custom handgun named the Punisher.


While basically an arms dealer, The Merchant can also be considered a character in this world. While he has no official background and was last seen before the final fight of RE4, it's safe to assume he is still out there asking the deep questions like "What are ya sellin'?".


He's iconic for his catchphrases and odd shop locations. A cave, of all places, has to be the worst for flow of customers. I can only imagine what Resident Evil 4 would have been like without him. 


Image Source: Resident Evil 4 Wiki


8. Drebin 893 (Metal Gear Solid 4)


I almost forgot about Drebin. Almost. One of the more personable characters in the game to talk to Snake, he offers himself up as a gun launderer by removing the ID chips from weapons, which allows anyone (mostly Snake) to use them. Drebin is one for showmanship, who has a knack for magic tricks and a very sly demeanor.


He supplied Snake with the weapons he needed and rescued his new client from certain danger on more than one occasion. Plus the dude has a pet monkey that smokes and drinks soda. How much cooler could he possibly be?


 Image Source: Metal Gear Wikia


9. The Hungry Luma (Super Mario Galaxy)


I get it, you're already asking yourself: "How on earth is this a shopkeep?"


First off, we're not on Earth anymore, so that statement is kind of null and void. Also, you would be wrong if you didn't consider these hungry star-people to be merchants in at least one aspect.


You trade Starbits for additional levels.


You sell a valued item to receive a product or service, and this is exactly what we get when we interact with the Hungry Luma. Mario trades in all these Starbits, which act as a form of currency, by feeding the Luma till he's near exploding. Once he is full, he creates a new level or area, which acts as the service. 


See my point? Sure, I don't rate him very high because he is a one-trick pony and the variety of services are next to nil, but I still count him (and anyone like him) in the category. 


Image source: Funny Pictures


10. Greyor (League of Legends)


This spectral being is an interesting one. He fought in a battle in the Howling Abyss and was bound there to warn people of coming attacks. He even tells players "Avarosa herself killed me, it was a great honor. She bound my spirit here, so I could sound the horn when the Watchers returned." 


So not only was he involved with the battle as well as respected his opponents, he wants to aid other fighters by selling items. While he limits the ability for players to buy once they leave the area, Greyor provides the service which can help players push forward in their future battles. 


It's good to know that even in death, a salesman can still flourish and people will still buy without getting freaked out. Or calling Ghostbusters. 


Image source: League of Legends wikia


You see this screen quite often right?


Tons of loot gathered from your journey across those often-trudged battlegrounds and wastelands. Sometimes we take for granted the space we have, not appreciating it until it is too late. 


So what do you do with all the extra gear and random items?


Sell it for some extra cash or trade it in for a new weapon of course. What better way to do so than with those handy-dandy shopkeepers. Not many of them solely reside in shops, but the job is still the same all around.


Today I'll take a look at the Top 10 Shopkeepers in Games and see if we can't shed some light on these otherwise overlooked figures.

Gaming's Five Trippiest Dream Sequences Fri, 21 Jun 2013 12:56:40 -0400 Alan Bradley

Some of gaming's most memorable moments happen when developers are given the opportunity to go a little mad. When you take designers' imaginations off the leash, the result is often a fever dream highlight reel of the bizarre, and shows off what's possible in a medium where absolutely everything is virtual and there are none of those annoying constraints of the physical world. In a way, video games are like dreams, dreams that exist in the collective consciousness, and so it's not surprising that the dreams inside video games are often so completely batty. We've plucked out the best of the best, graded on originality, cleverness, and sheer surreality.

5. Metal Gear Solid 4

One of the coolest moments of the last numbered Metal Gear Solid happens when a weathered, ancient Snake starts to drift off on a transport chopper. Players are transported back to Shadow Moses, site of the original MGS, and play through a sequence in the style of the original game, complete with original PlayStation-era graphics.

The sequence ends with Snake snapping awake, his face transforming from low res-polygons to modern textures, young Snake aging before our eyes. Not only is the sequence a great nostalgia piece and top-shelf fan service, it's also a welcome reminder of how far the series has come in terms of advanced graphics and logical controls.

4. Catherine

Catherine is novel in that all its gameplay takes place inside of protagonist Vincent's slumbering subconscious, and it is a bizarre and terrifying place. To start, in the nightmare landscape of his guilt-adled mind Vincent is perpetually in his underwear and sporting a pair of ram's horns, a marker of his infidelity. The other young men he encounters all appear as sheep, often with random articles of human clothing, and to escape Vincent has to scale massive towers of blocks. But that's only the tip of the surreal iceberg that is Catherine's dream world.

The true genius/madness of these twisted dreamscapes are the bosses, who reflect some of the real world crises Vincent is grappling with. There's the giant, warped flesh monster The Immoral Beast, signifying Vincent's lack of control over his own libido; the Doom Bride, a psychotic version of Vincent's girlfriend Katherine in a tattered wedding dress and wielding a giant, blood stained knife; and, of course, the giant zombie baby, a hellish representation of Vincent's fear of fatherhood that looks like it would prefer chewing human flesh to the pacifier currently planted in its distended mouth.

3. Penumbra: Black Plague

It's no surprise that the creators of Amnesia: the Dark Descent can sculpt out a killer dream sequence, and the one in Penumbra: Black Plague is a banger. Though the entire Penumbra series is like a bad trip in some ways, this dream sequence, with its human arm lanterns, river of blood, and black void replete with rusty chains manages to stand out from the general atmosphere of darkness and insanity. Of course, after all the horrors our "hero" Philip has been exposed to, it's a wonder he ever sleeps at all.

2. Max Payne

The infamous dream sequences from the original Max Payne alternate from whacky, fourth-wall breaking humor to dark reminders of the violent death of Max's family at the hands of hopped-up junkies. Max's guilt and pathos are amped up by way of an overturned crib defaced with blood, and the voice of Max's wife calling out to him, alternately accusing him or pleading for help.

Interlaced through these dark moments are breaks where Max realizes he's the star of a graphic novel (the game's cutscenes are comic book pages) or a character in a video game, haunted by speech "hanging in the air like balloons" or the sensation of someone controlling his every move. The narrative style and thick atmosphere of the Max Payne franchise makes it ripe for this sort of trippy treatment, and Remedy has proven that they're expert at toying with and subverting their own fiction.

1. Killer 7

Killer 7 really ups the ante to earn the top slot on our list: the entire game is a protracted dream sequence, a blood-drenched, psychadelic ode to broken psyches. Gore raining from the heavens, day-glo color cycling "people" who disintegrate into clouds of particolored globules, luchador assassins: Killer 7 is like a smorgasborg of uniquely Japanese madness.

Even the mechanics reflect the surreal, hyperviolent texture of the world of Killer 7; the female assassin, for instance, can slash her wrists and spray arterial blood everywhere to reveal secret doors and hidden passages. Killer 7 is the king of video games as hallucinogenic experiences, and the entire game has a crazed, dream like quality that makes it wholly unique and totally insane.

David Hayter May be Out as Big Boss, But I'll Bet He's Still Solid Snake [UPDATE] Mon, 03 Jun 2013 11:06:38 -0400 Max Jay

For those of you who may not know: I regard the Metal Gear series as the greatest achievement in video game history. Between the looping story, the phenomenal production values and the tremendous voice acting, Metal Gear became the first series of games to ever make me fall in love.

To this day each entry gives me the same pre-teen jitters that I’ve gotten since I was 12. Enter Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain; the trailer at GDC blew my mind and sold me on the game as only legendary designer Hideo Kojima could. But there was one caveat: Where is Snake’s voice? Not coming out of David Hayter’s mouth, I can tell you that.

David Hayter has been doing the voice for Snake since the first Metal Gear Solid game on the PSone in 1999.

Since then his raspy voice has floated into the minds and hearts of fans everywhere, solidifying him as one of the most recognizable characters in all of gaming. In the years following Hayter also lent the identical voice to Big Boss, Snake’s genetic father in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops and Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. But for Metal Gear Solid V Kojima has revealed that David Hayter will not be doing the raspy voice of Big Boss.

As you can imagine, fans revolted in the same way members of the NRA would if someone decided to pry their guns away from them. I myself felt a sorrow so profound words cannot even begin express it. Hayter himself even released a statement essentially saying he had a great run, and loved the character. It seemed like the Snake we knew was gone forever… Or is he (queue surprise music)?!

**I'm excited too David! Also let's be best friends!**

Hayter recently tweeted about being excited for E3 coming up in a couple of weeks. Why would he be so excited? He rarely does other high profile game voices, and if he does they’re not nearly the same caliber of Snake’s. My theory: He’s not doing Big Boss the main character in MGSV … He is however still doing Snake. Hold your gasps, I’ll explain.

**See? Super different. Big Boss' coat is WAY cooler.**

They’re Different People

Snake is technically a clone of Big Boss. In Metal Gear Solid V it has been confirmed that Big Boss goes into a coma, during which (in the MGS lore) his genes are cloned to create three “children” that are mothered by EVA. The project is called Les Enfants Terribles, which is French for the terrible children. The project eventually yields Solid Snake, Liquid Snake and Solidus Snake: the “children” of Big Boss.

Snake and Big Boss are different people. They are technically genetically very similar (not identical as Snake is only comprised of Big Boss’ dominant genes), but different nonetheless. My prediction for this game is that we’ll finally see Big Boss become the big bad we see him as in Metal Gear for the NES (1987). Since playing as Big Boss in MGS3 and Peace Walker we have only seen the motivations that drive Big Boss to become a villain. We’ve seen him get pushed closer steadily to the line, but never really cross it. I believe that Kojima, in his infinite wisdom, may want to separate that characters of Snake and Big Boss thematically in this installment, and one easily identifiable way to do this is to change his voice.

Even in MGS4 Big Boss had a different voice than Snake. Being that Big Boss is starting to get on in years at the point of MGSV Kojima is probably looking to make the differences between the characters a little more noticeable than an eye patch. While we’ve seen Big Boss make decisions that may be different than the ones Snake would make in similar situations, the characters demeanor and physical appearance remain hyper-similar.

 **He'll look EXACTLY like this!**

I’ll Bet we See Snake in MGSV

This is a wild theory, I know, so bear with me here. Kojima has said that after Ground Zeroes, what I assume will be a prologue (likely downloadable) to MGSV, Big Boss is left in a coma for a number of years, likely due to the events that obliterate Mother Base from Peace Walker. As I mentioned this is when the Les Enfants Terribles project takes place, and the sons of Big Boss are engineered.

When he comes out of his coma, it is safe to assume that Snake and his brothers could be anywhere between newborns and nine-years-old; for argument’s sake, lets say 5-years-old. Slap on a few more years of Big Boss building strength up again after being atrophied in a coma for nearly a decade; 9-years-old. Then insert the amount of time the actual game takes place over in addition to the creation of FOXHOUND, Big Boss’ Special Forces Unit from Metal Gear. That could be a full 18 to 20 years elapsing in the game. More than enough time for a rookie Snake to show up on Big Boss’ door ready to take up the proverbial mantle and officially set up the original Metal Gear.

Just imagine having a playable scenario at the end of the game where you’re put in the sneaky shoes of young Solid Snake being mentored by Big Boss! It would be like finally driving without a parent the day you get your license. Beyond that it would bring the story full circle and attach direct, meaningful connections to the two ends of the Metal Gear spectrum.

**Da Vinci was a visionary.**

I’m not comfortable enough to bet money on this or anything, but I do know that Kojima listens to his fans, and loves drawing crazy links to his previous games. Nothing is ever out of the realm of possibility with this man; just look at the Shadow Moses chapter in MGS4… It was unbelievable in the best way.

I know this is pretty hair-brained, but I’m just putting myself in Kojima’s shoes. Hopefully we can find out some new information on this during Konami’s pre-E3 event on Thursday, June 6th, and you can bet on me waking up early to bring the news to you, good friends.

Most importantly, what do you think? Does my theory hold water or am I spilling it all over my white pants in a public venue. Sound off in the comments down below and maybe I’ll let you have access to my awesome DVD collection!

[UPDATE] While digitally sauntering around the expansive inter-webs I came across something very interesting regarding my David Hayter theory. 

Hayter's IMDb page has him credited as playing a character named "David" in MGSV. One may assume this is a placeholder name for a cameo he's doing; but more learned Metal Gear fans know that Snake's real name is David. Coincidence? I think not.

It seems that my tin-foil-hat-level theory may be panning out exactly as I had predicted. Perhaps we'll see Hayter reprise his roll after all - and maybe if were lucky we'll be able to sneak into the novice boots of a young Snake.