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April Fools! photo
You Goat Served
I have to go to the zoo for the rest of the week because my step-sister is getting married (that's not a stupid joke, that's actually where the wedding's being held) so here's some funky-fresh two-day old news for you regarding April Fool's Day 2014, and the amount of harm it caused our collective psyche.

Harness your imagination
What would you do if you knew you could not fail? Dream as if you'll live forever, live as if you'll die today. That's what the focus of this week's Dumb Idiot Ideas is the power of the cloud, and how it will change all of us as people.

Dtoid News Update! photo
Fulgore Warning: Fulgore
Today, I can finally talk about my impressions of Batman: Arkham Knight, which I saw back and GDC. There’s some new stuff about Watchdogs that’s actually gotten my attention, Sonic has Zelda-themed DLC, Fulgore...


Podtoid 285: Child-Child

Balls to the wall
Mar 26
// Max Scoville
This week on Podtoid, we talked extensively about video games, as well as Cheech & Chong, Tim Schafer, and Macauley Caulkin. But we also suffered some major technical difficulties, so we lost about an hour of the conversa...
Alt.Ctrl.GDC photo
These make the Wii balance board look downright boring. Er, more boring.
There was a wonderful spread of strange and interesting indie games at GDC, including a special exhibit called Alt.Ctrl, focusing on projects that made use of unusual controllers. Bill Zoeker screwed around with these for a ...

Devolver Digital photo
Devolvin' and Debauchin'
You guys might've seen the charming, casual, laid-back interview I did with Devolver Digital's Nigel Lowry. Here's the interview I did with Devolver's co-founder Mike Wilson, which took place several shots of tequila later and got slightly weirder. We discuss the company's roots, it's future plans, and where they intend to go beyond game publishing and movie producing. Porn? Sure, why not.

Farts 'N' Crafts photo
Honk if you hate geese
Here's this week's Farts 'N' Crafts! I'm a little burnt-out following GDC, so today's topic involves children attacking a goose with a broom. If you'd like to hang this on your wall, you can buy a print here. If you'd like to make your own picture of kids fighting a geese, go right ahead and drop it in the comments here, or shoot me an email.

Devolver chat photo
Original Hotline Miami coming to the PlayStation 4
At GDC this week, I sat down with Devolver Digital's Nigel Lowrie, and we discussed what they're up to in 2014, between Hotline Miami, Luftrausers, and Bro Force, they're keeping busy. We also got the world exclusive that the original Hotline Miami is coming to the PlayStation 4 with cross-buy support. 

Podtoid 284 photo
Here we are again, my darlings. This week, Max Scoville, Jonathan Holmes, and Conrad Zimmerman discuss getting old, The Offspring, the collapse of society in the coming decades, and the fact that Spider-Man was touched as a child by a man named Skip. No, for real. Also, video games are mentioned briefly. Here's your direct download link, and here's the ol' iTunes link.

DTOID News photo
Also, an explosion
GDC has come to a close, and it's certainly been a busy week for news. Sony announced Project Morpheus, their entry into the virtual reality race, as well as some crazy eye-tracking tech. The second Oculus Rift development ki...

Super Time Force photo
"Dolphin Lundgren." SOLD.
Literally the first thing I did at GDC this year was sit down with Capy Games president Nathan Vella and talk about their upcoming games Super Time Force and Below, as well as his hosting duties at this year's IGF awards. Also, a woman in the background knocked over a lamp and broke it, which I thought was pretty funny.

Farts 'N' Crafts photo
GDC cocktail napkin edition
Hey gang! Here's a hot and messy GDC edition of Farts 'N' Crafts, brought to you by liquor and cocktail napkins, and also cocktails, made with liquor. Sonic The Hedgehog is covered in bandages and scarves in Sonic Boom, so I drew him barfing up SpaghettiOs. Because cocktails.


Dumb Idiot Ideas: Max & Ben's virtual Oculus Rift game jam!

Anything is possible!
Mar 15
// Max Scoville
The future is here, right now! At least, it will be, once we get the Oculus Rift for realsies, but what kind of games do we want? Ben and I make use of our old virtual reality devices: our imaginations! Also, electrical tape.
DTOID News salutes ursine iconoclasm
Everyone’s off playing Titan Souls or Darkfall or whathaveyou, so news this week is a lot of non-news. The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt has been delayed, which sucks, but apparently won’t derail Cyberpunk 2077. Sony ...


Podtoid 283: Maxine Legroom & 'A.F.' Massages

Plus, actual video game talk
Mar 11
// Max Scoville
After a longer-than-normal hiatus, the gang is back together this week to discuss Max's trip to Japan, Jonathan's old dirty magazines, Caitlin's casting choices for The Last of Us movie, and Conrad's beard compatibility. Get your direct download here, and as always, you can find us on iTunes.
Fatrs 'N' Crafts photo
Today on Fart's 'N' Crafts, I'm drawing Godzilla and Big Boss fighting! Or hanging out. Or something. This suggestion comes by way of Nicholas Layne on YouTube, thanks Nick!  If you'd like to buy a print of this drawing, you can pick one up right here!

Dumb Idiot Ideas photo
I feel it in my fingers...
Man, you guys hear about Shaq-Fu: A Legend Reborn? That's a pretty great idea, but here are some even better ones, like a game where James Van Der Beek's head is a Hydro Thunder boat, or where the cast of Love Actually beats each other to death.

Infiltrating Outer Heaven: A tour of the Kojima Productions studio

Mar 07 // Max Scoville
Now, by no means am I complaining about getting to go on studio tours, but as someone who grew up watching behind-the-scenes features about movie special effects, there's a certain disappointment to know that videogames are created by a lot of hard-working people sitting at desks, doing stuff on computers, and not a bunch of crazy guys kit-bashing Halloween masks and blowing up model kits in a parking lot. Now, Kojima Productions is definitely an office. There are desks and conference rooms and water coolers, but some special effects work takes place there, too. Videogame magic, if you will. If you've been following coverage of Metal Gear Solid V, you're probably aware of the fact that in order to make it, Kiefer Sutherland had to have some balls on his face. You know, those little tiny balls they use for performance capture. Dozens of infrared cameras track the motion of each little ball from every angle, then a computer somehow turns that into a badass videogame character beating people up. Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain rely heavily on performance capture and motion capture, using it for the vast majority of characters. However, there's one rather fascinating exception: Code Talker. If you caught The Phantom Pain trailer (if you haven't, there are reasons why you might want to avoid it) you might recall getting a glimpse of the elderly Native American fellow named Code Talker. While there was undoubtedly no shortage of performers available for the more normal (and I use that word very lightly) looking characters, I can't imagine there are a whole lot of centenarian actors of indigenous descent working in Hollywood these days. So, Kojima and co. did the next best thing: they called up Digital Domain, the guys who helped turn Brad Pitt into Benjamin Button, and asked them to sculpt an old man's head from scratch. If you're unfamiliar, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was a 2008 David Fincher film in which Brad Pitt's titular character ages backwards. The film won Academy Awards for both makeup and special effects, so it's understandable why Kojima would hire Digital Domain. The studio created an upsettingly realistic latex bust of Code Talker, which I got to see up close during my tour. The picture above doesn't do it justice, it's disturbing in person. If you're amazed that Hideo Kojima let me photograph him with his creepy rubber head, don't be. No recording of any kind was allowed during my tour, so everything you see here has been found online. The creepy rubber head was a good start, but it was up to Kojima Productions to turn it into a living, breathing videogame character made out of polygons and textures and math problems. To do this, they scanned the creepy rubber head, using the same performance capture technology they used for Kiefer Sutherland's performance as Snake. This is done in a completely white room, so there's as little lighting interference as possible, and the performer is filmed from every angle. The whole setup looks like the worst nightmare of someone who's afraid of having their picture taken at the DMV. After that, Jay Tavare (who you might remember for his role as Vega in the live-action Street Fighter movie) will have lots of little balls put on his face, and will play the part of Code Talker. Tavare speaks the Navajo Diné language, which, considering Code Talker's name, will probably be a big part of his performance. Tavare's facial movements will then be transferred onto the digital scan of the creepy rubber head. From there, animators will go through the character's movements and make necessary adjustments by hand. As Hollywood tries to fill live-action movies with as much computer-generated imagery as possible, developers like Hideo Kojima and David Cage are striving to put live actors into videogames. Go figure. In addition to the facial mo-cap studio, I also got to visit the full-body performance capture playroom that Kojima Productions has been using. Aside from the thousands and thousands of dollars of cameras and computer equipment, it reminded me a little bit of elementary school gym class. Blue mats on the floor, large foam pads for gymnastic tumbling. Normally, highly trained mo-cap actors don the silly-looking ping pong ball costume and do cool tactical karate movies and stuff, but during our tour, they just had one of the guys from the animation team come out and tiptoe around. On a nearby monitor, an uncolored but very detailed render of Snake mirrored his movements. It was one those very basic tech demonstrations we've all seen a million times in developer diaries, but seeing it happening in real life was still pretty impressive. Next, we were led into what seemed like an ordinary conference room, but which felt oddly familiar. Then I remembered why. Pictures of this very conference room had been released alongside screenshots of a photo-realistic rendering of it. These screens were primarily intended a demonstration of the Fox Engine's graphical capabilities, but also to show how funny it would be if a horse got into the conference room, as well as what it would look like if they spruced up the place with some tasteful hovering orbs and cylinders. On a more practical level, the reason Kojima Productions went to the trouble of rendering an entire conference room is as a means of calibrating the lighting within the Fox Engine. It makes a lot of sense, really. It's a bit like using a sheet of office paper to calibrate the white balance on a camera, assuming you went through the trouble of cutting down a tree and milling the office paper yourself. What's that Carl Sagan quote? "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, first you must invent the universe." If you wish to render a realistic horse, first you must render the conference room down the hall. It's not quite as thrilling as everything else I saw, but my inner ten-year-old basically exploded when I saw the wealth of reference materials Kojima Productions had amassed. An entire hallway was lined with shelves containing every type of media you could possibly need to look at while making a Metal Gear Solid game. Videogames, movies, comics, manga, art books, and encyclopedias of everything from tanks to motorcycles to horses. Around the corner from that was a corner devoted entirely to replica firearms. It looked like the bunker in Terminator 2 where Arnold finds the mini-gun. Possibly the most fun part of the tour was a visit to Kojima Productions' in-house recording studio and a demonstration of how the game's sound effects are made by their foley artist. Inside the booth, there's an array of microphones, and a pile of ordinary household items with a few pieces of army surplus gear scattered about. In the center of the floor was an odd little raised platform, divided into sections holding different materials. One with a slate flagstone on it, another a piece of plywood, and a third had gravel spread across the bottom. Next to all this was a pile of worn out shoes, like you'd find by a family's front door. Then, we were asked "who can tell which of these are Old Snake's shoes?" Someone suggested military-looking boots. The foley guy slipped his stocking feet into the boots and stepped onto the flagstone platform. He walked in place, and through the monitors, we heard what was definitely not Old Snake's footsteps. The cool cowboy boots with the straps turned out to be Liquid Ocelot's. The big frumpy grandpa sneakers were Raiden's. Appropriately enough, Old Snake's footwear of choice is a pair of worn-out Hush Puppies. What better footwear for stealth? Plus, this is Old Snake we're talking about, so clearly he's more concerned with comfort than fashion. Each character's walk sounded entirely different, partially because of the variation in footwear, but also because the foley artist would adjust his weight by holding onto a chin-up bar, with heavy footsteps with his full weight for big manly PMCs, and the softest pitter-patter for Sunny. Using footsteps to create the sound of footsteps is pretty obvious, but we got to see and hear some more creative means of creative sound effects. On the screen in the studio, one of the cutscenes from Metal Gear Solid 4 was playing, from the beginning of the mission in South America. In the scene, Old Snake is lying on the jungle floor, and we see an actual snake slither from under a bush and attack a guinea pig. Then, a centipede crawls across Old Snake's arm. We watched all of this without any sound. Then, we watched the clip again, accompanied by the sound of a wet rag being loosely rubbed on the flagstone panel, inches from a microphone. Done in synch with the footage, it made an incredibly believable slithering sound. The clip was rewound again, and we learned that the sound of a centipede can be made by running a crappy flip-phone up and down the bristles of a push broom. To think, I've been paying perfectly good money for gross centipede-noise ringtones when I could've been making them at home! In all seriousness, I've been a fan of Metal Gear Solid for over half my lifetime, which is a rather staggering realization. With that much anticipation and excitement built up, I could've very easily come away from this tour completely crestfallen, saying "eh, it's just a regular office" and sounding like a totally jaded douchebag. Thankfully, I got to see a creepy rubber head, learn how to make centipede noises with a broom, and stand in a conference room that looked just like CGI.
Kojima Productions tour photo
Also: Street Fighter's Vega is in The Phantom Pain. Sort of.
While in Japan to preview Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, I was taken on a tour of the Kojima Productions offices. In theory, there's a certain magic to getting to go behind the scenes of where videogames get made. In...

MGS V video from Max photo
Watch Snake shoot down his own chopper!
I'm sure by now you fine folks have seen the stuff I posted about Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, but I'm not done quite yet. Here's a quick rundown of what I thought about the game, as well as some responses to concerns you guys had.

DTOID News photo
Sweet Christmas do we have some great news about video games today! Let’s see… My previews for Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes went up, a new Batman game was announced by Rocksteady, Batman: Arkham Knight...


PSA: If you're looking forward to Ground Zeroes, don't watch The Phantom Pain's trailer

Tactical Public Service Announcement Action
Mar 05
// Max Scoville
No new Metal Gear Solid V spoilers or details here, I promise. Earlier today, I put up my preview for Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, and in it, I wrote a lot about the game. I was careful to steer clear of any s...

War Has Changed: What's NOT in MGS V: Ground Zeroes

Mar 05 // Max Scoville
Stopping Everything To Answer Your Codec: As much as I loved chatting with Master Miller about Alaskan field mice, discussing monster movies with Para-Medic, and hearing Colonel Campbell's funky beat poetry about scissors, there have definitely been moments when Codec calls have interrupted the flow of fast-paced Tactical Espionage Action™. However, I was pleased to discover that in Ground Zeroes, Snake has no qualms about putting Miller on speakerphone while he goes about his missions. This latest installment is fairly light on story, but if it truly is a demonstration of The Phantom Pain's mechanics, we're going to see a lot more integration between gameplay and story. And God willing, we won't have to watch any PowerPoint presentations from Otacon. Somersaults: Or "tactical dives," or whatever else you want to call them. That move where Snake does a little roll, which can be used to knock down enemies, or to look hilariously clumsy on stairs. This has been replaced by a much more serpentine maneuver, which is Snake's ability to dive into a crawl. It's a lot more fun in action than it sounds, I promise. Though I'll definitely miss rolling into guards like the fat kid from Hook. Rations: Look, it's 2014. It's time we accepted that it's just not realistic for video games to depict a man recovering from life-threatening injuries by eating several packages of freeze-dried food. It's much more realistic if the man's wounds go away on their own after he hides behind some cover for a brief period of time. The addition of modern regenerative health will undoubtedly ruffle some feathers, but if it's any consolation, Snake does have some kind of emergency health-spray for near-death moments, and based on his agonizing reaction when he applies it, it's a lot less enjoyable than a hot meal. Knocking: "What was that noise?" Well, it was probably the sound of the outrage of thousands of fans at the fact that banging on walls is no longer available as a diversionary tactic. You can still throw used ammo magazines, though, so distracting guards shouldn't be too much of a problem (knock wood). Tobacco Products: As functional in-game items, anyway. During my time with the game I encountered no interactive tobacco products. Then again, I also encountered no practical in-game use for such items, like laser tripwires or shaky hands during a tense boss battle with a sniper. If you want to make Big Boss look cool, you'll have to settle for reckless driving and blowing stuff up. Or, you can just stare at the menu screen, where he's puffing away at his cigar. The Cardboard Box: Yeah, I know. I wish I could say there's some innovative next-gen alternative to the Metal Gear franchise's trademark technique of hiding inside a cardboard box, like... I dunno, a Ghillie suit or maybe one of those giant paper bags people use for yard waste. But I guess for Ground Zeroes, Kojima wanted to think outside the bo-- I'm sorry, I can't even make bad puns right now. I loved that box. That box was like a container to me. Anyway, that's just some of the stuff that is NOT In Ground Zeroes. Bear in mind, there's plenty of familiar stuff that IS still there, and plenty more new stuff that's been added. Like JEEPS! Go read my full preview for the lowdown.
What's new in MGS V photo
Thinking outside "the box"
Dying to hear all the dirt but don't want to take the time to read my full preview of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes? Well, if you're not a fan of verbose explanations, I can't imagine you're much of a Metal Gear Solid fan. In any case, here's a quick rundown of some classic Metal Gear elements that you won't be finding in the latest release.

Breaking New Ground: Metal Gear Solid V's Tactical approach to Open World

Mar 05 // Max Scoville
Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes (Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4 [Previewed])Developer: Kojima ProductionsPublisher: KonamiRelease: March 18, 2014Price: $29.99 (Xbox 360, Xbox One,  PS3, PS4) $19.99 (Xbox 360 & PS3 digital versions) The main mission of Ground Zeroes takes place a matter of months after Peace Walker, and twenty years before the original Metal Gear. Returning characters Paz (whose allegiances are unknown) and Chico have been captured by XOF, a newly introduced organization whose motives are unclear, aside from being bad guys. It’s up to Snake to sneak quietly into Camp Omega, where Paz and Chico are being held, locate them, and carry them a safe distance from the base for extraction. So, basically, if you’re fuzzy about the plot, or are a newcomer to the series looking for a good point of entry, you’ll probably need to do some homework to make sense of the story beyond “a gruff man with an eye-patch must rescue teenagers from the clutches of a shadowy paramilitary organization.” In terms of gameplay however, Ground Zeroes is easily the biggest overhaul to Tactical Espionage Action since the jump between Metal Gear Solid 1 and 2, and for this overhaul, it seems to have taken some cues from other game franchises. For starters, first-person view is gone. [Correction: first-person aiming is still there.] Snake primarily does his shooting in third-person, with the left trigger letting him aim more closely, in a fashion that should be familiar to us at this point. To switch into first-person, it's a matter of tapping the R1 button while aiming. The weapon selection and item management has been relegated to the D-pad. The health gauge is gone, and Snake will recover automatically as long as he stays out of harm’s way for a moment. Basically, the same regenerative health system you’ll find in most modern action games. If he’s in really rough shape, an on-screen cue will appear to apply some form of health-spray, which will make him grimace in agony. Seriously, Snake? It’s probably just Bactine, calm down. Call me old fashioned, but I miss the silliness of hiding in a ventilation shaft and binge-eating rations to recover from half a dozen gunshot wounds. Along with the health gauge and dual scrolling inventory slots, another thing absent from the HUD is anything resembling soliton radar or active sonar. Tracking guards now depends on tagging them, either by spying on them through binoculars, or by hovering the reticle on them long enough while in range. After doing this, a flag will appear above their heads. It’s very similar to the system in Assassin’s Creed or Far Cry 3. Once tagged, the exact position of enemies can be seen on the map, accessible from Snake’s iDroid device. The iDroid is a portable device that’s also used to access intel and call in your chopper, and is the most anachronistic addition to Metal Gear Solid since Cold War-era giant robots. What’s interesting is that bringing up the iDroid doesn’t pause the game, which can lead to some fairly tense moments. I’d compare it to the on-the-fly crafting system in The Last Of Us; checking the map and calling a chopper are crucial parts of gameplay, so why should the entire game stop down and wait for you? In addition to checking your iDroid, all radio conversations take place in-game. Kaz Miller will periodically chime in with tidbits of intel about your surroundings as you are playing. If you’d like more details about something you encounter (an APC, a guard tower, a security camera, etc) you can point your reticle at it and give Miller a call with a tap of the R1 button, and he’ll briefly give you intel. I really hope this is indication that The Phantom Pain’s story will be more smoothly integrated into the gameplay itself, instead of through exposition-laden codec conversations or long-winded PowerPoint presentations between missions. Snake himself has a number of new abilities. One of the more controversial abilities is "Reflex Mode," which is a brief moment of slow-motion bullet-time that's triggered upon Snake's discovery. The concern is that this will make the game too easy, but I don't think it's the case. In fact, points are actually docked for each use of the ability. In any case, on the "Hard" difficulty setting, neither the enemy-tagging nor reflex mode features are available.Sprinting is another of Snake's new abilities. It’s possibly the least stealthy addition to the series since the shotgun, but if you know what you’re doing, it’s a damn good way to get around. Snake's somersault has been replaced with a new ability to dive into a crawl too. The X button still makes Snake change his stance from standing to crouching to crawling, but now he can dive straight from sprinting to crawling with a tap of Square. It’s one of those mechanics that just feels right, and makes gameplay noticeably more enjoyable. It’s probably my favorite basic in-game action since the ability to karate-kick through car windows in Saints Row: The Third, though it’s considerably less ridiculous-looking. The big, huge, obvious change Ground Zeroes makes to the Metal Gear Solid formula is its transition into open-world. The series has always granted players a fair amount of freedom in how to approach situations, but Ground Zeroes is almost completely wide open. In addition to that, there’s the added element of verticality, and Snake can make his way up on certain rooftops fairly easily. Don't expect him to be parkour-ing up the sides of buildings, but it's a welcome addition. Oh, Snake can also pick locks, but it's really just a matter of holding down the action button by a door and waiting for him to do his thing. Unfortunately, it seems as though some sacrifices have been made for the sake of the game’s scale. For instance, there’s nothing resembling a boss fight in Ground Zeroes, which will undoubtedly be a letdown for some fans given Hideo Kojima’s amazing track record for cool boss fights. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Ground Zeroes also feels lacking in quirky details, and the odd touches that have always made Metal Gear Solid games so unique. There are no lockers to hide in, or to use for storing unconscious guards. There are no cigarettes or cigars or girly magazines, at least not that I came across. Worst of all, there’s no cardboard box. I have confirmation on that, there's no box. Ground Zeroes also adds vehicles into the mix. As far as controls go, they’re a simplified version of the driving in any modern sandbox game. Don’t expect to be getting any insane stunt bonuses, but it’s enough to get around. There’s obvious stupid fun to be had, like stealing jeeps and using them to run over guards, or knocking several guards unconscious, loading them into a Jeep, and driving it off a cliff, but vehicles can also be key when quickly completing missions. Driving might be faster than crawling, but it’s also a lot louder and even if you’re going the speed limit, riding around in a large diesel truck will attract the attention of guards. But that’s if you’re behind the wheel. Another option is to hop in the back when no one’s looking, gathering recon of the base while the truck goes about its routine. In addition to Jeeps and trucks, there’s also an APC with a fully functional cannon on it, if you feel like throwing stealth to the wind and blowing stuff up instead. The helicopter plays a major role, thought it’s less of a vehicle and more of a replacement for the Fulton Recovery System from Peace Walker. While it’s slightly less absurd than tying weather balloons to unconscious guards and sending them airborne, there’s still something rather silly about concluding your top-secret covert mission by calling in a noisy helicopter that’s blaring the Peace Walker theme or Ride Of The Valkyries out of its PA system. Yep, that’s right. You can set a custom ringtone for your helicopter. Shortly after you select a landing zone on your map, a chopper will arrive at that point, and any prisoners you’ve brought to that spot can be loaded onboard. In the main mission, rescuing additional prisoners aside from Chico and Paz only adds to your score/ranking at the end of the mission, though considering the presence of a second-screen app devoted to running Motherbase, it’s possible that retrieving prisoners in The Phantom Pain could play a role similar to the recruiting of NPCs to the MSF in Peace Walker. After all, Snake is “Big Boss.” Managerial skills are part of his job title. If you’ve been following coverage of Ground Zeroes, you might’ve heard about the presence of “side-missions” amidst the main campaign. I sort of assumed that these would be secondary objectives that could be completed during the course of the main mission. In reality, they’re more like VR Missions; completely separate challenges that make use of the same map, but with different objectives and placement of enemies. While The Phantom Pain promises a real-time day-night cycle, the time of day and weather conditions in Ground Zeroes depend strictly on which mission you’re playing. The main “Ground Zeroes” mission is set on a dark and stormy night, affording Snake plenty of hiding spots. One side-mission, in which Snake has to assassinate a pair of targets, is set in broad daylight, giving the guards much better visibility and eliminating the option of keeping Snake in the shadows. I’ll probably be booed offstage for saying it, but … the difference is like night and day.   I know one the biggest concerns people have about Ground Zeroes is its length. After Game Informer announced that they’d beaten the main mission in under two hours, the internet had a hissy fit. During my time with the game, I completed the core "Ground Zeroes" mission twice, as well as playing the other missions (with varying degrees of success) and it’s clear that this is a game meant to played repeatedly. If you're the type of player who likes to screw around and explore, and really mess with enemy AI, you'll most likely have a blast. If you're the type of player who's hell-bent on achieving "Big Boss" rank on extreme difficulty, this is probably also up your alley. If you're the type of player who falls somewhere in the middle, it's a tougher call to make.  Ground Zeroes has been framed as an introduction to the new mechanics of The Phantom Pain, and a prologue to its story. I’ve often said, mostly kidding, that my favorite game in the series is the Metal Gear Solid 2 demo disc that came packed in with Zone Of The Enders. Others have expressed similar sentiment towards the demo for the first Metal Gear Solid. I would say Ground Zeroes is very much comparable to those. The layout of Camp Omega feels reminiscent of the first few areas of MGS1, and the new mechanics like driving and climbing are as novel as arranging the bodies of unconscious guards in lewd positions, or hiding in lockers in MGS2. While I feel like I’ve experienced a lot of what the game has to offer, that doesn’t stop me from wanting to play more of it, and if the goal here was to whet my appetite for The Phantom Pain, I’d say mission accomplished. Still, it really sucks about that cardboard box.
Hands-on with MGS V photo
Snake is driving Jeep! How can this be?!
Considering that the series just celebrated its 25th anniversary, it might seem a little odd that Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes is only the fifth game in the series. However, if you’re counting Peace Walker, it...

Hey everybody! Here's the second episode of Farts 'N' Crafts, the show where I draw pictures of stuff related to what's going on in gaming. Today, there's a lot of buzz about a new Batman game from Rocksteady, and Titanfall ...

Do you think fashion can bloom on the battlefield?
Hey, did you see those Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes track jackets and sneakers that Puma's making? They're pretty cool, but a franchise with such awesome character and mechanical designs really deserves more creative merchandising. Here are a few ideas.

DTOID News for February 27th, 1999, apparently
Good evening, teens! Here’s today’s DTOID News update, which I’m turning into a weekly show so we can make more interesting things happen. Do you have Playstation Plus? Because depending on where you live, y...

Farts 'N' Crafts photo
My mom's gonna hang this on the fridge.
Following up Friday's debut of "Dumb Idiot Ideas," here's the first episode of another weekly series: "Farts 'N' Crafts." On this show, I draw horrible pictures of things vaguely related to what's going on in the world of vid...

Hack The Gibson!
About this time last year, Watchdogs was looking like a major contender for my 2013 GOTY. However, here we are almost a quarter of the way through 2014, and I still haven't gotten my hands on the game, so I've been forced to...

DTOID News is wearing a dumb scarf
Hey everybody, I’m back from Japan! And here’s your quasi-timely news update for the first two thirds of this week. Irrational Games closed, pre-ordering Wolfenstein: The New Order gets you a beta for the new and...

Max and Hamza tackle the serious issues
A couple of weeks ago, Hamza and I got a chance to screw around in Turtle Rock and 2K's Evolve. Hamza wrote up his thoughts on the game right here, and I got to interview one of the developers about the game. But how did Hamza and I really feel? Well, watch the dang video.

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