History of Metal Gear

So, Metal Gear Solid 4 is coming out on June 12th, exclusively for the PlayStation 3, a system I probably won’t own for a long time. Oops! Konami has said this will be the last Metal Gear game. And then they said, “No, it’s just the last game staring Solid Snake.” Well, whatever! Here’s a look at the history of this high-quality series.

METAL GEAR
year: 1987
system: MSX2
other releases: PlayStation 2 (as part of Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence)
It’s surprising how many of the classic Metal Gear elements are already in place in this game: radio conversations, constantly sneaking, aquiring weapons and equipment on site, etc. It’s really a very good game but we didn’t get it in the US, as it was released for the MSX2, a Microsoft home computer that did not hit shelves in this country. Instead, we got . . .

METAL GEAR
year: 1987
system: Nintendo Entertainment System
This is not a port of the MSX2 game. Rather, it’s an adaptation with many liberties taken. There are many differences in graphics, areas, story, etc. The eponymous Metal Gear robot is not even in the game. I have yet to play this one.

METAL GEAR 2: SOLID SNAKE
year: 1990
system: MSX2
other releases: PlayStation 2 (as part of Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence)
The NES version of Metal Gear was a surprise hit so the team that made it was given the task of making an NES sequel. When the creator of the MSX2 original found out he became a bit jealous and decided to make his own sequel. I have yet to play but it is reputedly quite good.

SNAKE’S REVENGE
year: 1990
system: Nintendo Entertainment System
The aforementioned NES sequel. It’s not especially popular with the fans as it introduced side scrolling action stages and a dumbed down stealth element.

METAL GEAR SOLID
year: 1998
system: PlayStation
other releases: GameCube (as Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes)
After a long layoff, the series returned with its most popular installment. This is one of the games that really defined the PlayStation and brought the series into 3D VERY successfully. It has all sorts of creative tricks and gimmicks, like reading your memory card during a “mind reading” scene and a truly torturous torture-survival scenario. It was re-released and highly altered for the GameCube a few years later.

METAL GEAR SOLID
year: 2000
system: Game Boy Color
The first game in the series to be strictly mission-based rather than free-roaming. The critics loved it at the time but I think it’s easily the weakest game I’ve played in the series. There’s too much randomness and “Are you fucking kidding me?” moments. Still, a decent game over all.

METAL GEAR SOLID 2: SONS OF LIBERTY
year: 2001
system: PlayStation 2
other releases: Xbox
A very worthy sequel taking place in a huge facility in the middle of the sea. Lots of sneaking, lots of action, too much talky-talky. This one stars a really femmy guy.

METAL GEAR SOLID 3: SNAKE EATER
year: 2004
system: PlayStation 2
Perhaps the best game in the series so far in spite of some really drawn-out sections. There are many outdoor areas and camouflage-management is a must (you have many to choose from). When you’re injured you must treat your wounds. All of your food is procured on-site so huntng is a requirement. All while you attempt to stop a bunch of terrorists from starting a nuclear war.

METAL GEAR SOLID PORTABLE OPS
year: 2006
system: PSP
A surprisingly strong release that makes sense on a portable. Many original concepts are introduced like managing your own army, recruiting new soldiers, and entering various areas from a central command base. It’s mission-based and the whole thing works very well.

METAL GEAR SOLID MOBILE
year: 2008
system: mobile phones
My phone can barely play Pac-Man let alone this game so I have no first hand experience. According to reviews, it’s a short-ish but high quality 3D game that lives up to and feels just like the rest of the series.

METAL GEAR SOLID 4: GUNS OF THE PATRIOTS
year: 2008
system: PlayStation 3
The new one, duh!

kicknz

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