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So here's my thread for every LP that isn't my primary LP (currently Valkyria Chronicles 4, go ahead and check it out by clicking that link). Here, you can expect to see video LPs of various games. Anyway, I'll try to post videos for three games over the course of each week. So with that, my first vid will be Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem, Book 1. And in this part, Ogma and Caeda show off just how awesome they are while Cain and Abel also are total one-crit wonders.
The Best Has Yet To Come Metal Gear Solid 5 is one of the most polarizing games ever released, some loved the crap out of it, and some absolutely hated its guts. A different method of reviewing, I will talk about the game’s pros and cons separately in paragraphs. Because this game is a very mixed bag for me, don’t get me wrong, I like it. But it is flawed beyond forgiveness. I left a poll at the top for how you feel about it. And please share your opinion on the game in a post below, I’m very curious to know what you thought of it. I actually beat the game a mere two weeks after its release, but it took me a while to formulate my opinion because I felt dissatisfied with the experience. But now I’ll try my best to sound professional. Pros: Metal Gear Solid 5 is a graphical powerhouse, it’s nowhere near the caliber of The Witcher 3’s visuals in technical achievements, but it still very ambitious in technology and delivered for the most part. The animations and motion capture work is solid (No pun intended.) and contributes to making this game having one of the finest presentations I’ve seen in a Triple A game. The game is brimming with production values, especially in the facial animations, Kojima had a good reason for using Kiefer Sutherland instead of David Hayter, as Sutherland is an actor and can deliver facial capture better than David Hayter can. Despite the fact that Snake doesn’t talk much in this game, every line is delivered superbly, very well done job by the voice actors who feel more like actors thanks to the better facial capture they had. Kojima never fails to make people feel like the characters in his games feel alive, and never robotic. Metal Gear Solid 5’s gameplay is the best aspect of it, freedom and tactical espionage action to the extreme. Snake controls better than ever before, no longer do you have to stop in place to do a simple action, Snake is very agile and can switch from standing to crouch very easily, same with aiming, opening up the Idroid feels smooth and all of the menus are slick and polished, the minimalist symbols for context sensitive actions are well designed, too. Overall, the game runs smoothly on PC but I have some issues with the Keyboard and Mouse controls that I’ll address in cons. Level design has never felt better than ever before. Camp Omega from Ground Zeroes gave me some good expectations and I hardly feel disappointed. Every enemy base in Phantom Pain have billions of ways for you to infiltrate, there’s no shortage of shortcuts and hidden passages, interrogating the enemies can give you information that’ll let you find more useful recruits and loot, cardboard box posters, different camouflaged outfits, different support buddies. The replay value is immense, and the best part is that it can be full stealth or full combat. Players turned off by the previous Metal Gear games for requiring stealth shouldn’t feel afraid to try this game, as a fan who played almost all the games, I can easily recommend Phantom Pain as your starting point. The support buddies, there’s four of them, that’s four different ways to receive help in your missions, do you want to sniff out enemies, take D-Dog (My personal favorite) maybe you want to destroy all of your enemies, take D-Walker, maybe you wanna snipe them all, take Quiet. If you’re looking for a good mobile buddy that can help you travel through the rough terrain of Afghanistan and Africa, take D-Horse. The variety is crazy, and there are other methods of support in the game such as calling down choppers to aid you, mortar strikes, supply drops, I can go on and on, the support team is always there to make sure your Metal Gear experience is a smooth one without breaking the game. The customization in Phantom Pain is a very strong aspect of the game, there are loads of different ways to equip Snake, different guns, different prosthetic arms, different clothing. You can make all sorts of different builds to suit the mission you’re playing, and in most cases, sticking with the same build throughout will not help you beat the game, always make sure to bring your A game and never falter, that’s why you have different loadouts, for those different situations, Big Boss. Or not, you can play as characters other than big boss if you so desired, your best ranking soldiers can benefit you with offering different skills that suit the mission better at times, fear not, you don’t have to use them, but it can be smart to do so in certain situations. But now to the sins of the father, the sins that this game commits, and the reasons why I was woefully disappointed by it. Cons: I respect Kojima as a game designer and love his games to bits. But let’s get this out of the way first, Quiet, no matter how many narrative driven reasons for her to be naked, it doesn’t change the fact she is purely fan service. This isn’t a major flaw in the game but it has to be pointed out, Witcher 3 does this a lot better, the female characters are powerful independent women who to match the strength of Geralt, their lover. But they are not sexualized by default, there are specific points in the story after some time and character development where they all admittedly take their clothes off and have at it. But Quiet is like that by default, her breast physics are unusually bouncy and just.. ughh! I better stop before I offend someone, but you get the point, there are mature ways of treating female game characters, this isn’t one of them. The PC controls aren’t perfect, the menus feel like they were made for consoles while the gameplay feels fine. The gameplay controls aren’t perfect, either. Why do you have to hold a button to pick up an item while needing to press it once for other actions? You could’ve added other alternatives such as other buttons for pickups, it would’ve worked fine. The shooting is much better with the mouse, but the tradeoff is having fairly week menu controls. Metal Gear Solid 5 is an arcade game, and when I play a Hideo Kojima game, this isn’t what I want. The game progression and pacing is absolutely dreadful. It feels too much like a sandbox, 90% of the missions in the game are kill this guy, save this person or destroy these targets. Rinse and repeat like 40 times. The counter argument is that a lot of games can feel repetitive, but in a series like Metal Gear? One that’s renowned for its spectacular characterization and storytelling? That is unacceptable, a lot of games do a good job of hiding the repetition by giving flair to an event either by story, cutscenes or just a different type of objective every now and then. Witcher 3 does this spectacularly, but MGSV doesn’t. And when a player plays your game for 50 hours and feels like most of it has been the same tasks all over again, that’s never a good thing for you as a designer. The story is dreadfully missing, most of it is told via cassette tapes as opposed to cutscenes, but even then it feels nonexistent, Gameplay was put at the forefront of this game, but having a small amount of cutscenes in an MGS game makes it feel lifeless, both in plot and characterization. It takes many missions before the story progresses forward a decent amount. And then you get to a quick burst of missions at the end of chapter one, which make the plot feel like it has no flow, the story barely moves before but oh, crap! It’s going full speed ahead now! So why didn’t you do it earlier? MGSV’s lack of storytelling makes it a disappointment for anyone who devoted time and effort in the previous games, expected answers but didn’t get it. But the biggest sin of this game, is the fact that they rushed it, there was an entire chapter of the story that was removed, it doesn’t help that chapter 2 was repetitive, not as fun as the first one and lacked closure. After you witness the true ending, you get a semblance of answers, but not enough. The plot moved to a point where it was going to give you a climactic ending, but didn’t get there. I imagine Konami were the ones responsible for this, as they were for everything wrong that happened during the development of this game. And now comes the time for the final verdict of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. A verdict I wish I didn’t have to give it. Final Verdict: In truth, at the end of the day, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is the best and most disappointing game I’ve ever played. Its gameplay is phenomenal but has its own share of flaws, on top of the already disappointing main storyline. Hideo Kojima never fails to deliver a quality product that innovates and takes inspiration at the same time. He has done no other here, but the quality of Phantom Pain is marred by the glaring mistakes that were made in the middle of development, the clearly missing final chapter, the rushed story and overall pacing. I’ll admit, behind these flaws is one of the most solid (No pun intended) experiences I’ve ever had in a video game. That’s why Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain gets a solid 8 out of 10 Final Score: 8/10 SOLID! Updates On Upcoming Reviews: Back to the drought and patience for the exciting looking Fallout 4. Until then, I’ll look into another game to review for you guys. Perhaps Ori And The Blind Forest, perhaps Okami, I could write a short opinionated article on Super Mario Maker, too. But for now, I’d like you guys to game on and have fun, and I’m glad I got this out of my chest.