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Codec Logs: The Latest Advances in Poly-thermal Technology

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.

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Codec Logs: I’m Pretty Sure the Surgeon General Wouldn’t Approve

Every now and then, we get a year where great games are bountiful and formative. 2011 was great. 2007 was better. 1998 was the best (I’m willing to hear an argument for 2007, but I’m not sure I’m ready to forgive Portal for the flood of puzzle-platformers that followed). 1998 gave us Resident Evil 2, Suikoden II, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Half-Life, Grim Fandango, Baldur’s Gate, Star Craft, Pokemon Red & Blue, Banjo Kazooie, Star Wars: Rogue Squadron, and, of course, Metal Gear Solid.

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Codec Logs: Entering the Cardboard Box

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.

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