I just posted some songs on myspace that my band and I have been working on. It has nothing to do with videogames but I'm trying to spread the love you know? The songs are pretty rough, but I hope you enjoy them.
I wanted to post them here because I love Dtoid, you guys rock.
I just beat the game yesterday and I was very disappointed by the lack of actual gameplay. It took me 17 hours to beat it and in a fit of hyperbole, suggested to my friends that there was less than 5 hours of gameplay. It was probably more like 6-7.
I love the metal gear series, I've been playing since nintendo. I expected this game to be story heavy, and I expected it to have more story than gameplay, but I wanted more gameplay than I got. Couldn't they have just extended the time I got to spend in the areas a little longer?
It's strange to me that they spent so much time developing the gameplay mechanincs (shooting is totally different and you have more sneaking stuff to do) and yet never really let the player use those mechanics.
It's also strange that the game got such high marks. The lack of adequate gameplay alone docks it huge marks in my book. What's there is amazing. Why wasn't I allowed to play it?
The high scores it's getting bring up another problem I have discovered. This is not a new idea. After playing through this long conclusion to the series, one thing hit me about videogames: while it is a platform conducive to complex stories and characters, the writing for videogames just sucks. Nothing in this game made me think. "wow that was well written," like reading a good book or watching a good movie. What I got was "war has changed, war has changed, proxy proxy proxy proxy, war has changed, war has changed." The "war has changed" theme, started at the beginning, was a great idea and I was thinking "hmm this might end up being well written." But then they repeated it forever and ruined any subtlety they had going. Also, what was with saying proxy so much? There are other words for that you know.
The writing isn't absolute trash though, it's functional and adequate. But functional and adequate are not nearly good enough. I keep hearing stories about people tearing up about the ending. I never got teary-eyed. Maybe they are more attached to the other games than I am? No I just bought a PS3 only for MGS4 on Friday. In fact the MG series has been driving my console buying habits for the last 10 or more years.
I don't know why they cried, but it definitely wasn't the writing. Even I felt some sadness because of the concept of what was happening, but the writing, the dialogue etc. made me angry and a lot of the time brought me out of the experience.
My point is that this game would have gotten high marks in my book if it was so well written that I didn't care that I didn't really get a gaming experience out of it. But that is not the case. Don't get me wrong, I liked the game (except for the short gameplay), and I liked the way the story ended. I just wish I didn't have to sit through a lot of that bad writing to get to the end.
Two years ago I was diagnosed with depression, which I know is a common disorder that many people face. I started taking medication for it right away and I could tell that the pills were helping. Then everything went to hell: I broke up with my long time girlfriend (probably because I was depressed), I lost some good friends and the friends I had left weren't there for me when I needed them the most. Needless to say this hit me harder than it would have were I not depressed.
I started failing classes and playing WoW (so you know how that goes). Luckily I didn't get really addicted to it and quit after about two weeks straight of playing and not going to class/work.
Then as things were steadily going downhill, I discovered a new gaming blog called Destructoid. I read it along with all of the other gaming blogs out there. I eventually made it my primary site, as the blogs were always interesting/hilarious.
I suspected that when the summer came that year, I'd get better. I didn't. Then September rolled around and school began anew. After the summer I was left with even fewer friends and feeling more out of place wherever I went. I remember always having the feeling that I was delving deeper and deeper into a cave. Pretty emo of me.
At that point I joined the forums. I'd never joined any other forums except to get some information quickly and then leave. I don't remember what made me join the forums on Destructoid. It probably had something to do with realizing that there was a community behind this great blog. I got somewhat involved in the forums, posting multiple times a day and checking whenever I could. The more I stayed there the more I felt like I had a place to fit in. Whenever I logged on I felt like I was at home, which is more than I can say for anything in "real life."
Because I found that there were people out there who were the same as I was (at least as far as my love for gaming goes) I began to feel better about life. I started to keep myself busy with school and initiated some new friendships. After that I started recovering. I was posting less in the forums because I was keeping myself busy, but I never left.
A cool ending to this story would be to say that "Destructoid saved my life" but I don't think I can. I never thought about suicide or anything. Although, looking back, I can't really believe that I didn't. So maybe it did save me. I don't know.
What I can say is that Destructoid and it's community, even though nobody knew what I was going through, were the net that kept me from falling to that point. There were other factors too of course, but words can't express the appreciation I have for this community.
So I figured what better time to bring this up than on Niero and Destructoid's birthday. Thanks to Niero for making such a great place and also thanks to those who have been here from the beginning: you didn't know it but you helped me beyond measure.
Thanks for reading my overlong sob story if you did.
Here's to Niero, Destructoid and two more years and beyond of great community.