Hey all. Sorry for the lack of updates, it's been more than a month since I made my last blog post. I've just been really busy with work and script editting (not getting paid for the latter, it's more of a hobby kinda thing...) and trying to find time to game. With that being said, I have been spending most, if not all, of my spare time recently playing MGS4. I also have the privilege of playing it with a DualShock 3, which really makes the experience that much better. I know your blogs have probably been filled with MGS4 impressions blog, but bear with me for one more.
- The production values are amazing. I have yet to see any game look this good so far. Say what you will about GTA4, its graphics were indeed amazing, taking into account how much the game had to render at once in such a large open world. But in terms of details and nuances, MGS4 blows it out of the water. This is probably the closest that any CG character has come to looking like a real person.
- Having only played the original PSone MGS before this one, I think the controls work really well. Sometimes it is a little awkward to have to hold a bunch of different buttons to do certain things, but it's not the first game that has required gamers to do that.
- Despite being the next in a long line of stealth espionage games, this title feels a little less like previous MGS games. It's a lot easier to run-and-game and be successful than previous iterations, and there seems to be a much smaller emphasis on sneaking around and staying out of sight than before. That and after you got spotted, it almost doesn't even feel like MGS. It's much harder to try and run, get out of sight and hide until the alert passes, rather than just shooting everyone who comes your way before ducking into a nearby cave or something and wait for the soldiers to return to their regular duties.
- The story is EPIC. Again, having not really played and finished the other Metal Gear games, there are certain details that probably go unnoticed. Most of my knowledge of previous games comes from the series of Metal Gear retrospective videos on GameTrailers. If you need a refresher and don't want to play through all the games again, or haven't played a single MGS game before this, go ahead and hop on over and take a look at the vids. They're extremely well done, though MGS4 was done in such a way that even newcomers will get the basic gist of what happened in previous games just by playing it.
- There's a slight install when you first pop the game in, that takes about 8 mins. After that, there are extra installs that happen before the start of each new act. These tend to be a lot shorter, ranging from about 5 to 2 mins, so they're not that bothersome, to me at least. There are also some pretty lengthy cutscenes, and sometimes you'll have a bunch of cutscenes back-to-back (ie - after boss cutscene, new act install, mission briefing cutscene), but the cutscenes are genuinely interesting and it's definitely recommended that you watch them.
So yeah... if you can't tell already, I am really enjoying my time with the game. If you have a PS3, you owe it to yourself to play this game, even if you didn't like the previous installments. If you didn't, probably try renting it first before actually buying it, but I still think you should give it a try. I'm in the last act at the moment, so I will probably try to have a review up by the end of the week (I've yet to try MGO though).
Also, in the news, it looks like other Tecmo employees have followed Itagaki's example and are now suing Tecmo for royalties that they are owed. This may very well be the end of the Team Ninja we all know (and for some love), so it's pretty much safe to say that any further installments of the Dead or Alive and Ninja Gaiden series will be quite different from their current and past incarnations.
And finally, exciting news for PS3 owners! In an official PlayStation blog by Eric Lempel, the director in charge of PlayStation Network Operations, he has announced that firmware 2.36 will be released soon which should improvePSN stability when playing certain games. This is good news for me, as I am a little tired of seeing the error message telling me I've just been signed out of PSN while playing GTA4 or MGS4. But the best part is that he has officially confirmed that firmware 2.40 will, as previously speculated, include in-game XMB and trophies. This is very exciting. Unfortunately,. no news on when we should expect this, but I hope that it will be released within the next couple of months or so. The official post is right here.
Thanks for reading through this long thing! Till next time!
Edit: Oh, I forgot. I've finally hit level 24, "I Feel Asleep!!". Huzzah! What a perfect time to hit this level, right when Metal Gear frenzy is at its highest! Oh joyest of joyable joys! :D