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For those just joining us, this is Part 3 of a series about the history of Metal Gear Solid, from the MSX to the PS4. If you haven't listened to Part 2, we recommend you do that now. This episode still works as a standalone, but we do call back to earlier points in the series. Continue at your own peril. With that out of the way...
We wrap up the main four Metal Gear games with exasperation and cautious anticipation for whatever Kojima throws our way.
Metal Gear Solid as a series has not ended. It continues to creep along with sequels, prequels, midquels, and spin-offs into realms unknown. But back in 2008 we thought it might have come to a distinct conclusion.
Metal Gear Solid 3, easily the high watermark of the series, had come out and stunned everyone by how comprehensible the plot was, and how deep the mechanics were. We returned to Big Boss who had to fight his mother figure and mentor, scarring him for life. After this installment Big Boss became the game the unofficial anti-hero of the series. Every future title would not be about the bland clone, Solid Snake. It was about the goofy Cold War hero, John Something.
Metal Gear Solid 4 continued this focus on fixing things in the past, as the game revisits every plot point in the prior three and amends it. It's Kojima reaching back into the odd machine he built to tweak some of the early parts, and replace the ideas that no longer amuse him, or mess with characters who didn't fit his vision. Sometimes it's to tear out the wiring behind the frankly embarrassing Metal Gear Solid 2. The game spends most of its time with exposition making sure you remember that this is all about something that happened in the 70s. The last five games, starting with the original Metal Gear, are just by-products of that tragic battle.
For a moment in 2008 you could imagine that there was some kind of plan to this madness and that with its final cutscene, lasting an hour and a half, Big Boss had nothing left to explain and Snake had nothing left to endure. Both would be discarded, a vision fulfulled.
But of course, that's not what happened. No matter how many twists or last second fake-outs, there always seemed to be one more, which might be why Metal Gear Solid is as fascinating as it is. As you can tell in the following episode:
- The History of Metal Gear Solid 3 (00:00 - 16:40)
- The History of Metal Gear Solid 4 (16:40 - 39:00)
- Post-Mortem on Games to Come (39:00 - 53:25)
THANKS TO THE FREE MUSIC ARCHIVE FOR "SCHOOL BOY" BY PIETNASTKA.
FROM OCREMIX, OUR OPENING THEME IS "LIQUID METAL" BY VIG AND OUR ENDING THEME IS "Legend of Snake 2: Snake Versus Dragon" BY Reuben Kee.
WE ALSO USED CLIPS FROM METAL GEAR SOLID 3 and 4. THE FEATURE IMAGE IS BY Akiraman on Flickr.
BUILT TO PLAY IS A PRODUCT OF THE SCOPE AT RYERSON RADIO STATION IN THE HEART OF DOWNTOWN TORONTO. IT WAS PRODUCED AND EDITED BY ARMAN AGHBALI AND WRITTEN BY DANIEL ROSEN.
IF YOU LIKE THE SHOW PLEASE SUBSCRIBE AND RATE US ONLINE. IT HELPS MORE PEOPLE FIND THE SHOW AND GIVES US AN IDEA HOW WE'RE DOING. FEEL FREE TO COMMENT DOWN BELOW.
We laugh at the most problematic game in the Metal Gear Solid franchise, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty.
No matter which way you cut it, Metal Gear Solid 2 is the weird one. If Metal Gear Solid is military fiction built on camp but with delusions of grandeur, its sequel is military fiction subsumed by that delusion. The game remains fun, at times, but it has the poorest gameplay, worst level design and easily the most outlandish plot of the series. It's also closest series director Hideo Kojima has come to producing a video game art project.
Metal Gear Solid 2 pretends to be a post-modern masterpiece. The game mocks the player, and goes out of its way to obfuscate its story. It tries to be about the need to break away from well-worn paths, by making you run well worn paths until you can see the ridges in the game's repetitive level design. The fact that it shifts lead characters from Solid Snake to Raiden is almost besides the point when the game introduces the poorly-motivated Patriots, an artificial intelligence bent on creating Big Boss' perfect future because of reasons.
THE BUILT TO CREW EXPLORE THE WORLD OF METAL GEAR SOLID, TRACING THE SERIES FROM ITS MSX ORIGINS TO ITS INCREASINGLY NONSENSICAL CONCLUSION.
Metal Gear Solid, first released in 1998, is one of the biggest game franchises out of Japan. Its combination of stealth gameplay, cinematic presentation, and charismatic voice acting has lent this series a charm it would have had otherwise. As for all of its moments of brilliance, Metal Gear Solid often feels like a game about the American military made by a film director for a Japanese audience. Which is exactly what it is, in all of its glory.Metal Gear Solid so frequently crosses the line between camp, military fetishisation, and half-hearted attempts at meaning that its hard to make heads or tails of any one part of it.
Yet, it's impossible to deny that it's entertaining. Metal Gear Solid is the kind of game that drives up to your house around 3 a.m. and screams, "Get inside!" without telling where it's going or why. You get in anyway, not because you trust the driver, but because your life was so boring up until this lunatic stopped by.