Last Friday Metal Gear, a series to which I hold near and dear to my heart, celebrated it's 26th anniversary. While it isn't quite the milestone mark as it's 25th was, it's still another year. If you remember last year for the 25th anniversary of the Metal Gear series I tried to play all the Metal Gear Solid games back to back to back. If memory serves me right I got to about the middle of Metal Gear Solid 3 before I had to call it quits. That mistake won’t happen again this year because of a few reasons. One we at Barrel Roll News here have something much more special planned in the upcoming months(more on that later), I just don’t have the time to do it this year as Metal Gear’s anniversary falls on a Friday which I will be too preoccupied with work and other activities. This year I've opted to just briefly reminisce about the times I've had with the game.
The first time I played Metal Gear Solid must have been back in 2001 right around the time I got my PS2. When I put the game in I knew it was going to be something special. The moment I had to look on the back of the CD case for Meryl’s Codec Number was when I knew that something was special. Kojima's third wall breaking antics were pure gold back then. Even now people are still finding Easter Eggs in Metal Gear Solid 1. For example, if you play Metal Gear Solid 1 with Mono settings on and call Cambell the entire support team will mock you for not having a Stereo TV.
What really drew me into the whole Metal Gear universe was Kojima’s style of narrative. It’s all so seamless and natural but at the same time has that weird, this can’t happen in reality vibe. True that Metal Gear Solid 4 took one too many liberties (no pun intended for those who are familiar with the story) but it’s all justified because it really is the end of the Solid Snake and Patriot’s Saga.
If I had to pick one of the Metal Gear games to be my favorite though I would have to go with Metal Gear Solid 2. There’s a whole nother meta narrative going on with machines controlling the US economy. Arguably this is where Kojima went cuckoo. I loved it. I personally like reading about conspiracy theories and seeing what people think about those narratives so the ending scenes of MGS2 were right up my alley and of course Kojima brought his third wall breaking techniques to the table by telling the player to turn off console because he had been playing “too long”. Also MGS2 is the origins of the “I need scissors! 61!” meme. All in all just a real fun game and you know what it ages perfectly well even by today’s standards.
As far as underdog games of the series I would easily have to give it to the Metal Gear Acid games on the PSP. Though short lived, these two games redefined what it is to make a portable game for me. Upfront though I can’t give Kojima any credit for making these games but that’s okay because they’re perfectly fine by themselves. It’s unsure still whether or not these games are part of the main cannon of the series but like I said they’re perfectly competent by themselves. Albeit the Acid games had a stupidly high learning curve but once you understood the concept of turns and action points you were breezing through the game. It’s also worth noting that Acid 2’s art style was probably one of the coolest of all the series taking it away from a serious tone into the comical almost cartoon style. Little known fact as well, it is the only PSP game to include a 3D feature.
If you know me I could go on forever about Metal Gear and all its intricacies and details but I think that I might bore some of you to death. This series is about to come full circle with Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain as we finally get the end of the prequel sequels. My hope is that in The Phantom Pain we’ll get to actually turn into Big Boss and be the bad guy. Kojima, you and your team keep doing what you’re doing and never stop. Cheers!