Metal Gear Solid 4 First Impress…er, Digressions

It has a top-notch presentaiton and the audio and visuals are outstanding. I’m not too deep into the story, but I hear it gets convoluted really fast.

I’ve put about 45 minutes into this game.

I’ve pressed a controller button about ten times.

If this is the future of next generation gaming, count me out. I’m sure that this may change the deeper I get into the game, but for cryin’ out loud, let me play! I don’t know what the (seemingly) recent trend is to put 20-30 minute intros into a game before there is even any real gameplay, but it’s driving me nuts. Here are some recent games I’ve played: Okami, 20 minutes; about every Mario game since the Gamecube, 20 minutes, Eternal Sonata, 15 minutes; Final Fantasy Crisis Core, 10 minutes; and Metal Gear Solid 4, a whopping 40+ minutes.

Yes, some of the fluff can be skipped, but some of it cannot be. I guess that’s why I’m drawn to games such as Space Invaders Extreme and Galaga (a remake coming soon…another trendóbut one I like). Give me the pew pews.

In looking back on the games I’ve enjoyed the most in the last year, they have been those that are either short on story or they use the gaming experience to tell the story. Bioshock is an excellent example of a game that uses itself to advance the storyline and Half-Life 2 is another example (somewhat). Assassin’s Creed with it’s forced cutscenes is not.

There were a lot of moments in the opening scenes of Metal Gear Solid 4 that I could have played, but I guess it was not to be. Apparently, this is the style of play that gamers wantóat least in this instance for PS3 owners, who are coming close to pushing this title to over 1 million sold in the U.S.

Yes, the game is epic. I’ll give it that. The whole “press one button to play” mentality just reminds me of the people in the movie Wall-E. Of course, this trend might be going the other way if a game like Mega Man 9 (possible old-school difficult) proves to sell well.

Hopefully, we’ll have both. Some can pay $60+ for their glorified movie viewer, and some can pay $10+ for their buttonmashing pew pews.

In my hands

The Orange BoxYeah, I’m about a week behind here, but I know you’ll forgive me. I’ve read so many positive things about Portal (our man Nat here, Michael has a good Orange Box round-up here) that I’ll be starting with that game.

Impressions will follow after I get around to it. I have to consume tonight’s episodes of Prison Break and Heroes. And a little Halo 3 multiplayer, too. I’ll get to it eventually!

Update: I got side-tracked the night before by some Halo 3 multiplayer action, so I didn’t get a chance to through the Orange Box disc in until last night. I originally thought I’d jump right into Portal, but decided to give Half Life 2 a look first. I may lose some gamer cred admitting this, but I never experienced the original Half-Life. So I was pretty confused for the hour or so I played HL2. It’s off to Wikipedia I go for some answers!

After a bit of wandering around in HL2, I jumped right into Portal. Fun fun fun. It’s one of those “holy crap, I’ve been playing for two hours?” game. I can’t wait to get back to it.