Thursday, July 12, 2012

War. War Never Changes. MGS4 Does.

Back in ye olden days when Metal Gear Solid 4 was considered one of the only titles to own a PS3 for (which was faulty logic regardless) it wasn't as easy a title to recommend to anyone.  At least, that's what it seemed like, as everyone always had their own caveats for whether or not it was a good idea for a person to play the game, insisting that the content only catered to a specific group of people and it would universally be fairly awful to everyone else.  Glad to see that, like war, some things never change.  Regardless, as time went on and on, there were two things in the game that did make it a hard sell to certain individuals, provided they had not been party to playing it already by then.  Since everyone always seemed to have 'that friend' with a PS3, whom just let everyone play the games on it that apparently didn't exist since back in those days, the PS3 had -no- games, you see, which is of course utter truth and not rhetoric that eventually became something of a meme from being parroted off so many times.

Those two issues, of which I'm sure you know which ones I'm referring to, are soon to be a thing of the past as a budget version of Metal Gear Solid 4 is released to help celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Metal Gear Saga.  (I assume they're starting at the MSX Metal Gear games.)  "The Best" versions of games tend to be the equivalent of the "Greatest Hits" re-releases we have here in North America, of which I am sure you are familiar with, in concept alone at least.  I'm not going to bother finding out all the different terminologies or anything that are in the different regions or on different systems since we know the practice already:  re-release the game with a slightly less appealing box art (because it has to promote the fact that it sold fantastically) for a low price, generally $20-30 to encourage tail-end sales to bolster the to-dates.  I don't really think they herald changes to the game itself or anything like that normally, however, unless it's the type to pack in the DLC available for it or something.  But changing the game is exactly what Metal Gear Solid 4's "The Best" version is doing.

When the version hits stores, a new patch will be out roughly around the same time that updates all versions of Metal Gear Solid 4 to what's already on-disk for this one which includes the two biggies that have been strikes against MGS4 for quite a while.  The patch and new version adds Trophies to the game, which is something that everyone had rallied for as soon as Trophies became a thing and is few years late at this point.  As well as that, it adds something that is definitely a near necessity, and is pretty much one of the few valid complaints people have had about Metal Gear Solid 4.  You see, with each act of the game, there needed to be an install beforehand that would help keep the game from loading every other moment and the like.  These installs did take some time and more or less broke up the mood, even though they weren't completely detached from the game itself and were disguised rather well as the "Go ahead and take a break" signifiers, as was implied by Snake using said time to take a smoke break.  Oftentimes consisting of several cigs.  The issue many derived from it was that it was rather unnecessary when, in theory, those could all have been condensed into one install in some fashion, and that's entirely too difficult to argue against.

Luckily, that's no longer an issue, as a full install option will be available as the second bit improvement the patch/new version offers.  I'm pretty sure patches are not a region-restricted thing, so it's worth noting that even though this is generally just talking about Japan's version of the game, there's absolutely nothing saying we shouldn't expect it to hit our shores as well.  As such, I'm going on believing just that and already trying to think of just when I could reasonably think to play Metal Gear Solid 4 again to give a good run at some of the trophies on top of just...well, enjoying the game once more.  Since it's a fantastic game, and one that I don't believe I have popped in much after the acquisition of my TV with an HDMI port.  Yes, I started my PS3 playing with an SDTV and I still thought games managed to look absolutely brilliant on it.  One of the games I fully enjoyed in that method was MGS4 and if I played it fully on my HDTV after I got it, I entirely forget the experience, so when I do replay MGS4, it should be...quite the experience, for sure.

So it seems that the question still remains:  Why the long, long, long wait?  I doubt it'll be a question that's ever answered in any sort of formal manner, so I wouldn't waste too much time on speculation and looking a gift horse in the mouth.  However, there -is- all sorts of speculation that one -could- do, and if I were the type, I would suggest that maybe it had something to do with MGO.  It certainly seems a bit strange that a little over a month after MGO goes offline, this comes out, but it could just be a step taken to renew interest in people who might have only been playing the game for MGO anymore.  I simply think that there could have been an issue with game versions and connecting to the MGO servers, since they were not PSN servers and that that was pretty much something that could've caused a lot of headaches.  Of course, I don't quite remember if MGS4 had been patched since its release and whether or not it had could certainly blow all sorts of holes into that theory.  Regardless, it doesn't matter a whole lot, as we have a great game still, along with two big reasons as to why we should give it another go, veterans and otherwise alike.

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