My fix

June 18, 2008 by Tim

I’ve done gone and got myself hooked on The Shield. I picked up the first two seasons because I’ve been hearing good things about the show for years. Ended up tearing through both seasons in a week. Then had to wait a whole weekend for the next three seasons to show up. That was torture. But they’re here now, so the shakes have stopped.

Possible Minor Spoilers Ahead (I’m not talking about anything past Act 1)
Anyway, I think I’ve just about played enough Metal Gear Solid 4 to say that I do in fact find it to be a very enjoyable game. The first few hours were just brutal. I don’t mind the long cut-scenes, in general, but early on in the game you’ve got like half-hour cutscenes, then five minutes of actual gameplay, then another looooong cut-scene. I’m all for story, but it takes forever to get to the good stuff. Once you’re there though, it’s pretty sweet.

I’m not a huge MGS guy, you may have guessed by the fact that I skipped MGS2 and 3. Still, it’s an enjoyable franchise, despite Kojima. I’m sure some people love the stuff, but there’s only so many times I can watch a character land or roll into some overly-exaggerated cat-like position, procede to stare at the ground for 15-20 seconds, and then slowly and dramatically look up to the camera. Or listen to Snake grunt. That man grunts so often in the place of formulating actual syllables, I could close my eyes and swear I was watching porn.

Other things strike me as odd as well, here and there. It didn’t make much sense to me when Meryl turns and lets me know that she and her teammates can “hear eachothers thoughts”, and then procedes to give them verbal and visual hand-signal orders. But whatever, the game has a ton of great stuff going for it.

The graphics are downright gorgeous. I have zero complaints in the visual pretty department.

Actually playing the game is fun, if a bit frustrating at times. It’s classic MGS4 “sneaking mission” type gameplay. I could do without the “I’m humping the ground”, ass-bobbing slow crawl animation, but otherwise it’s pretty fun trying to get through missions completely undetected.

At this point, there’s not much I can say about the game you don’t already know for yourselves. If you wanted MGS4, you already have it. If you didn’t, you don’t care what I say regardless. If for some strange reason you’re still on the fence… it’s a good game. But the story is so damned convoluted, people completely unfamiliar with MGS might not be able to figure out what the hell anyone is talking about. I can imagine some frat dude walking into a GameStop and picking this game up because of the great scores, thinking it’s a Halo or GTA, only to have his brain leak out his nose when he tries to comprehend what’s going on during the million hours of cutscenes.

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