I'm on a boat! I'm on a boat! Everybody look at me because I'm sailing on a boat!
Sorry, but the whole beginning prologue to Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, I had that song stuck in my head. Why? Because you're on a boat, of course! Don't worry, I'm not going completely mad, as I had this same thought when I played Resident Evil: Revelations. Something about spending a lot of time on a big ship makes my my mind wander a bit, I guess.
So anyway, I started this game. I went in knowing NOTHING about this particular game, and boy, was I surprised. Shocked? Taken back? I think all those words accurately describe my thoughts as I continued in to this game. Talk about a curve ball! But more on that later.
So when I was talking about playing this series with my podcasting co-hosts (Platform Junkies, for those curious), they were shocked and amazed that I stopped after Metal Gear Solid back in the day, and never played or had interest in this game. They wondered why, and after thinking about it, I realized that I was a few years late to the party when it came to getting the PS2, and shortly (and I mean, shortly) afterwards, I ended up going on my video game sabbatical and thus, never had the chance to play Metal Gear Solid 2.
More interestingly enough, they were dumbfounded that I couldn't even remember seeing or being interested in "the awesome" trailer that they showed at E3 to hype it up. Apparently I was either oblivious to really awesome video game trailers at the time, or I just didn't care, because I didn't have anything to play it on anyway. Either way, I don't recall ever seeing it or being wowed by it. So with that, of course, I had to locate it on the internet, which I did, and I will embed here for you all, just in case you didn't see it either. I can't be the only one, right?
Regardless, it's a cool trailer, and I could understand and appreciate why it sent fans of the series into a frenzy. It was dramatic, edgy, explosive, packed full of plot content and looked pretty awesome for being a PS2 game. Apparently, I missed the boat on this one.
So playing it tonight was an absolute treat, especially considering I have the HD version of the game, which only enhances how great the original game looked. Playing it from the start, I immediately liked it. previous games made me remember why I tend to hate stealth games, but for some reason, this game made me really excited to be stealthy. The ability to distract guards, hide from them in lockers, use environmental things to distract them, and even interact with them without being aggressive all made me smile. And then I discovered the first person point of view for shooting, and boy oh boy, did my mind get blown. Finally, this felt like a stealth game I could not only enjoy, but thoroughly enjoy thanks in part to not completely sucking.
Here I am, playing this game, amazed by the awesome new game play mechanics, and I realize I think I am starting to understand the basic concepts of the story line. I am loosely understanding the differences between Solid Snake and Liquid Snake, I realize who Big Boss is and I am remembering some of the reoccurring characters by name. Then the curve ball gets thrown my way, much the same way it was tossed at everyone back when it first came out.
You play as Raiden for most of the game? Say what? They introduced a new protagonist to the mix, after putting in so much work to make Solid Snake a household name? Crazy talk, I tell ya!
Well, it worked. Despite the initial shock, it made the story much more intriguing and lot less stale, keeping it from the border of being a wash-rinse-and-repeat type of plot. They didn't completely abandon the characters they worked hard to establish, they just introduced a new perspective and an interesting story arch, all within the realm they had already created. Kudos to the development team for taking that plunge into the cold water. That took some guts, my friends.
Could you imagine if Nintendo did that with Zelda or Samus? The internet might literally melt.
Oh crap ... I did it again.
Sorry folks, but this is a 12 year old game, and by now, I'm pretty sure I'm the only gamer on the planet to have not played this game. So sue me if you haven't played it yet and were still planning to.
Anyway, in closing, I really liked what I got from this game, and I could totally see myself going back and finishing this game in my own spare time. Of course I say that now, however. Let's see how the rest of the games go this week.
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Games played for project : 365