Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Eric Vs. 365 - Day 353 - Metal Gear Solid 2

Metal Gear Solid 2 has aged like fine wine and only gotten better over time. I thought it was great back in 2001, but in 2020 I appreciate it even more. It plays great, it looks great (the HD edition on Xbox One), and though the story is a dumpster fire that ultimately ended up as a raging inferno of stupid in MGS 4 and 5, damn is it entertaining. Read more and watch MGS2 gameplay right here.

Metal Gear Solid 2 is a big reason why I ultimately ended up with a PS2. It was Fall 2001 and I was writing for a website called GamesFirst! while I was in college. I didn't have a PS2, but my roommate did and he didn't mind if I used it, so I ended up getting PS2 games to review (and buying a couple - Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 and Metal Gear Solid 2). When I decided I'd had enough of college, I had a stack of PS2 games with nothing to play them on, plus there was the prospect of getting more work reviewing other PS2 games, so I convinced my Mom to get me a PS2 for Christmas that year. It's the only game system I ever got that I didn't buy with my own money.

Good thing she did give me a PS2, because that led to more work with GamesFirst!, which led to a GMR magazine review and working for About(dot)com for 12 years. 

I gotta tell you, I was never one of those people that got mad that Raiden and the Big Shell was the majority chunk of the gameplay in MGS2. Other people got mad that you didn't play as Snake the whole time, but I didn't see the issue. The gameplay was identical between the two, so what difference did it make who you played as? 

I also really love the Big Shell as a setting. Each of the struts was unique, each with its own secrets and stuff to do. Each strut was like its own mini level that you could attack in a number of different ways. People complained that there wasn't enough variety, or the game wasn't "big" enough, but they weren't looking very hard. Metal Gear Solid 2 is one of those games where it's easy to make your own fun by just trying to accomplish something in a new way and, usually, no matter how far outside of the box you'd be thinking, it would work. MGS2 was brilliant. MGS2 still IS brilliant.

I want to also say that the HD Edition of MGS2 and 3 was controversial because dumb people complained that they weren't good enough. Those people were probably playing on PS3 and not Xbox 360. The Xbox 360 versions of the games had all of the special effects and details and stuff in place from the start, unlike the PS3 version that was missing stuff. Oops.