Remembering Your Roots: Metal Gear Solid
Over the past few days, I have been on a fantastic voyage. It is actually the yearly expedition to gaming nirvana. On the first day of every year I begin my quest, pop in my favorite game of all time, and plop down on my most beloved recliner. When the familiar Playstation logo pops up, I can never do anything else but smile and imagine a return to years past. To watch the opening cinematic where Snake is launched out of the submarine and on his way to Shadow Moses Island brings back so many memories it’s hard not to reminisce.
And that is only the beginning, after I finish Metal Gear Solid, I immediately get started on the sequels. It typically takes me under a week to play through them, but this year I added a PS3 to my gaming arsenal. So I will finally get to play the entire story arc all the way through, so I am especially excited for my annual expedition to MGSland.
I think I enjoy this outing so much for lots of reasons, not only for the reason that Meryl Silverburgh is a smoking hot fox, but I think the main one is what MGS represents to me. MGS was the first game that I can remember, that I played RELIGIOUSLY. I still remember playing the demo that came from some kind of Pizza Hut promotion, I’m pretty sure MediEval and Gran Turismo 2 were also on the demo, but I kept playing the MGS demo. It consisted of 2 rooms, the subroom where Snake first shows up on Shadow Moses Island, and the helicopter pad. I also remember that in the demo the Nikita missle launcher was hidden in the truck near the helipad, I remember that because in the full version I jumped in the truck looking for the launcher to blow some shit up but my beloved SOCOM was there instead. The fact that I still remember so much from the game is a testament to how amazing this game truly is.
Other than the fact of me playing the game religiously, I think it is important to revisit the roots and see where it all started for me. Sure, I had played lots of Nintendo, super Nintendo, Genesis and other playstation games, but I had never really dove into them the way I did with MGS. With MGS I enjoyed the way you could play and there were multiple paths you could take, you could run in guns blazing and hope you shot your way out or you could choke the shit out of a patrolling guard. Not to mention the interrogation room where you decide the fate of Meryl. This game just left me in awe all the time, there are so many amazing sequences that I could argue myself into the insane asylum trying to name the top 10. It really changed the way I thought about games and made me take a much closer look at the caliber of games I decided to play. So I think that MGS really helped me become reinvented as a gamer and discover the real roots of my gaming passion.
I feel the biggest reason as to why this is the game that I consider my roots, is that I use it as my benchmark for what makes an excellent game. Sure, the graphics haven’t aged well but everything else has withstood the test of time. The other components are still among the best of the best of any game, in any genre of any time. Especially the characters that are within the story because anyone can connect with them and watch them grow throughout the incident at Shadow Moses Island. Due to how much we connected and cared about the characters during MGS is exactly why Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots was so emotional with an ending that brought tears to the eyes of even some of the most hardcore gamers I know.
With many great games coming out in the first few months, not to mention the rest of 2010 I challenge the readers of this site to replay their favorite game and remember why they adored it. Then play the games you want for 2010, and see if they can measure up to your gaming nirvana.