Since the blog cut of the rest of it, here's part two of my Metal Gear post:
Metal Gear Ac!d & Metal Gear Ac!d 2 (PSP)
From oddity we go to actually freakiní great oddity. The two Metal Gear Ac!d games are turn-based collectible card games. Yup, you read that right. Snake has a deck of basic cards. Each card has a certain action or usable object applied to it. You can decide to either use it, or to discard a card in exchange for movement. New cards are gained by beating levels and/or spending collected points for booster packs. ALL THAT WITHOUT MICROTRANSACTIONS!!!!!11eleven
The scarcity of ressources, the surprise and gamble on what cards you might draw to replace the used ones in combination with MGSís trademark stealth-mechanics make each level a nerve-twisting experience. And it will take you some time, because the games are hard. The game wonít wait for you if you didnít get anything so you better bring your A game all the time. Also the soundtrack was really cool and sounded at times really ďGreggson-WilliamsĒ-esque without him working on the Ac!d games.
Whatís there to criticise? Well, the Ac!d games are definitely meant for a portable. What I mean by that is, that the quality of the single levels is high, but what connects them is more in the background. The stories are nothing special, especially in context of the MGS universe and though they are non-canon I would have wished for something more.
Should you play it? Yup. If you still have your PSP go out now and buy it. They are great games and should keep you entertained for some time. Also play them if youíve been looking for a turn-based card game with deck-building where you see your actions immediately. There are few games that can make your palms sweatier than a round of MGA, where you only have two movement cards and a flashbang with 20 spaces to go and 5 enemies between you and freedom.
Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops Plus (PSP, PS Vita)
The PSP got its fair share of Metal Gear games and most of them were awesome. This one, not so much. Or let me add to that: outside of Japan not so much. In Japan, the PSP thrived and since Monster Hunter had become a big hit, playing with friends on random strangers on the commuter train became very popular. With no real version of the PSN in place yet, Sony released Portable Ops + as a StandAlone expansion of Portable Ops. The mechanics of Portable Ops were great for Multiplayer-Action, however, the storymode from the original Portable Ops was not implemented, leaving Single-Player focussed people (like me), or people outside of Japan who basically never ran into someone who happened to have a PSP with Portable Ops + in it somewhat out in the rain. It was more Portable Ops, but without its story, it somewhat lost its appeal rather quick.
Should you play it? If you have three friends with a PSP and PO+ (or a Vita and the game from PSN), sometimes, otherwise, steer clear. There are better ways to scratch that particular Metal Gear itch, even on the go.
Metal Gear Solid Touch (iOS)
Itís a rail-shooter, based on MGS4 stages were you tap on the screen to shoot stuff, canít move freely (letís not even speak of...hm...sneaking?) and get the story of MGS4 presented in short text windows and with way more holes in it than even my recollection of it.
Should you play it? Should you eat a nice Tablespoon of Hydrochloric Acid? That some people do it, doesnít mean you should.
Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes (Gamecube)
While not technically ďnon-canonĒ, this game changed up the original Metal Gear Solid in some ways. For one, the gameplay was adapted to the one of MGS2, meaning you could for example aim from the first person perspective. In addition, the graphics were completely re-worked using MGS2ís engine. Also, legendary japanese director Ryuhei Kitamura (of Godzilla Final Wars and Versus fame (seriously, if you havenít seen Versus stop everything youíre doing and go watch this movie) took it up to himself to rewrite and rework the cutscenes of the game morphing them into an absolutely over-the-top action flick. Some of the voice-acting also got a rework and watching over the development of this was a Tag-Team of Hideo Kojima and Shigeru Miyamoto. Developed was this by Silicon Knights, back when they were actually a decent developer, having released Eternal Darkness on the Gamecube.
Should you play it? I think yes, however, the new style in the cutscenes is something that doesnít sit well with everyone. If youíve played the original MGS and want to play it again, give it a shot. If you havenít, check one of the cutscenes on youtube to decide for yourself.
This is especially important since Twin Snakes is one of the rarer GC games and can get rather pricey.
Metal Gear Online (PS3)
It was a multiplayer component of MGS4. The graphics were okay, the progression system actually encouraged you to take up ďsomeone your own sizeĒ and not picking on low-level players, yet the reception was mixed as the gameplay itself doesnít translate well to the Multiplayer dimension.
Should you play it? Doesnít matter. The servers got shut down recently.
Metal Gear Arcade (Arcade)
This is basically a reworked version of MGO, fit for an Arcade-machine. Itís a Lightgun-Shooter that features free movement and 4 Player CoOp against CPU opponents. Added bonus: stereoscopic 3D.
Should you play it? I seriously donít know. The game never made its way to the west since Arcades are basically dead here and I havenít been fortunate enough to have visited Nippon myself. Looks kinds fun, but nothing special. Maybe for a round or two.
Metal Gear Solid: Social Ops (Android, iOS)
*Sigh* it had to come that far, didnít it? Let me make it short, but very, very painful: MGS: SO is a free-to-play, mobile-only collectible card game.
Should you play it? Again: no idea. This game is currently Japan-only and being out there for nearly two years now (launched in December 2012), I donít see it making the transition. It doesnít look to exciting though and seems to have some artificial difficulty spikes (read: pay-walls).
So, now I think Iíve given yíall a rather good overview over what is probably my favorite gaming franchise. I started playing it, when I was 8 and Iím still in love.
This is kind of why Iím a bit anxious of The Phantom Pain. Not because I fear, that itís gonna be a bad game. If Ground Zeroes and the gameplay video are any indication, thatís not gonna happen.
No, Iím anxious, because itís a very big story arc happening here. ďVenom awakensĒ. We will witness Big Bossí fall from grace to the person who was a funding member of the Patriots. A hero who never wanted to be one. And there are not many more stories to tell for Big Boss or Solid Snake. Weíve seen a lot and while MGR continues on the lore of the games (and in an awesome way btw.) the stories of those two grizzled veterans, relics even in their own times, will always be in my mind and heart. It made me sit down for four days to write this blog. Even without videos, without pictures and without formatting, it's 28 A4 pages of text.
To sum up my feelings:
LOOK WHO CAME: