I’m going to agree with you that 1998 was one of the greatest year for game release, though in hindsight it’s not a as huge of a surprise, nor was it that 2007 proved to be a huge leap. The fact of the matter is that while games are just as valid a medium for ideas and feelings and whatever the hell else we want to include in them as well as sheer unadulterated play, one thing that separates them from other forms is how big a role technology plays in their creation.
One thing about games I’ve long had a particularly difficult time articulating is what makes them fun. I don’t mean this in the larger sense, which is actually an easier question to answer since Skinnerian mechanics, the feeling of mastering a skill, the enjoyment of surprise, etc. are pretty well obvious. At least, they seem […]
To: Blake Foley From: Sean Gandert Subject: RE: The Phantom Sequel Theoretically, I would always have games make an attempt at telling their stories through gameplay—after all, that’s why we’re here, right? Playing through a story is different from reading through it or watching it, and we want games to reflect this fact. I sit […]
To: Blake Foley From: Sean Gandert Subject: RE: The Phantom Sequel Dear Blake, So if Metal Gear 2 isn’t just more of the same, then the question I have to ask is, “What is it?” Obviously there’s not just one answer to this question, but I think the bigger aspects of what changed during just […]
Codec Logs is a retrospective Metal Gear letter series by Blake Foley and Sean Gandert. An index of the letters can be found here. From: Sean Gandert To: Blake Foley Subject: Stop the Operation. Switch off Your MSX at Once. Let’s start with the big twist: does Big Boss’s turn at the end of the […]
This is going to put me in a tiny minority of players, but before we began this project Metal Gear was the most recent entry of the series that I’d played. After I graduated from college in 2008, I moved into the attic of my friends’ house in Stamford, Connecticut while I was commuting to New York for work as a journalist. The job market was terrible, and freelancing wasn’t enough to pay for both rent and food, so I found myself restocking shelves at a Blockbuster within walking distance of where I lived. It paid minimum wage, but there were a couple of perks for working there. One was free movie rentals, another was swiping candy and popcorn whenever the assistant managers were in charge rather than the store manager (who ironically spent most of his free time telling me about how many Wii games he’d pirated). However, even though the store rented video games, those rentals weren’t free to employees.
There was one exception, but it was unintentional. The store’s copy of Metal Gear Solid 3 was the Subsistence version, which had an extra disc containing for the first time ever in America the original MSX2 versions of Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2. Blockbuster didn’t rent that disc out, and seemingly didn’t know what to do with it, so the copy remained in its box up until I decided to, uhh, liberate it and take it home with me. The next year, when I was back in Albuquerque, I decided to give it a try and see how it played.
For Exposition Break’s inaugural series of features, we’ll be taking apart the entire Metal Gear series. Join us as we talk about everything from its gameplay to its sexism, from graphics to story to politics.