Friday, August 31, 2012

Metal Gear All The Way Down

So, there was a lot of news that pretty much dropped at the same time that involved all things Metal Gear.  Except REVENGEANCE.  All that got, pretty much, was a handful of screens, maybe a new trailer, but I doubt it.  Which, I say I doubt it because I'm not going to look for it because I am pretty tired at the moment and, thus, lazy.  Regardless, even if there was another trailer, it can't really compete with the other news which is funny because the lid has been slammed on shut to one of the bits of news specifically so it wouldn't out-shadow Rising.  But that's neither here nor there and since I am still excited about REVENGEANCE, I decided to throw up one of the new screens in honor of it instead of throwing down the picture for one of the things announced.  I'm silly like that, I suppose, but also I don't particularly care about the other bits of news right at the moment since they're basically just announcements and only that.  No real meat to sink into or anything of the sort.

The first bit of news up is the announcement of Metal Gear Solid: Social Ops, which rounds out the recent social game explosion quite nicely.  I'm not sure if there's anything at this point that separates Social games from Cell Phone games, or if it's just supposed to be a better term to take away from the Cell Phone aspect or what, but there's been a Persona 4 one, a No More Heroes one and certainly a couple more announced lately, and it is a -thing-.  Not a positive thing, nor a negative thing I suppose, depending on your taste with mobile games, but I do find it a little funny that they keep getting made.  If only because it shows a very obvious disparity in how the developers listen to 'fans' and how 'fans' go about deciding things, righting things with their wallets.

Whenever one of these social games get announced, nobody really seems for them, yet they sell, apparently, and thus more get made.  But with the amount of near-universal backlash these things seem to get when they're brought up, it doesn't quite seem like a 'vocal minority' situation here really.  I'm not particularly sure who is buying these, but it's equally hilarious when you have people arguing that handheld consoles (3DS and Vita currently) don't do well or shouldn't be regarded, because they 'only get watered-down console offerings' yet...well, I could move my hands at the images of these social games over and over in a manner to specifically call them out, but you couldn't see that.  Rest assured, I am doing it.  Not...currently, because I'm typing, but, you know what I mean.  Because if I am doing that to these screenshots, it is pretty obvious where I am going with this.

I'm not sure if the intention was thus, but what is pictured is very obviously something that looks an awful lot like an awful-looking Peace Walker.  I can hear you now:  "It actually doesn't look all that bad!", but, well, that's the thing about smaller images, they hide jaggies and blurries and such that you can see if you open the big picture and zoom it.  Depending on how big of a phone you're walkin' around with, well, it could be very noticeable, and that's just in stills, since we know things can go amazingly wonderful or completely pear-shaped in motion, depending on the factors involved.  Regardless, there's not a whole lot of information beyond what's in those two screenshots.  With the AP and such, one might wonder if maybe it takes on a more turn-based thing to reduce strain, or if that's just a thing and it's all wacky, but seeing as I'm not sure if these social games that have been announced stand a chance of coming out this way, I don't really care to expand too much without details.

I made reference to the joke already with this.  Now we don't have to make it.  Okay?

The next bit is probably just as divisive as the Social Game, but at least this is something that we'll definitely be able to get, or at least that's the -plan- of it.  That much is definite because apparently Columbia Pictures is making a Metal Gear Solid movie, like for realsies.  Avi Arad, CEO of Marvel Studios, was on-hand for the announcement, because he's apparently going to be at the helm of it, rather than just attached to it like the tenuous Uncharted, inFamous and such movies that may or may not see the light of day.  I mean, as far as I know, he hasn't officially been attached to any of those properties in theoretical film version, so I'm just saying his filmography might be a little misleading, if you look him up.  Still, it's hard saying that just because this whole thing is a bit more official than other video game to movie adaptations are in conception, that it'll be a real thing that happens, but I'd put money on the side of more possible than not.

Reactions, as I've said, have been divisive though more on the side that we've more or less been trained to err on with past adaptations, which means there's not a whole lot of good faith out there.  For one, it seems like it's just impossible, these days, to put out a video game movie, based on the last one being...what, actually?  One of the Resident Evil movies, apparently, and before that, Prince of Persia:  Sands of Time.  With Tekken, Street Fighter and Max Payne going before those.  Needless to say, it has not been a smooth road, nor even a good one, for Video Game movies, and nobody is really expecting anything to buck that trend anytime soon.  However, and this is where the only real hope comes in, some people think that if anything can do it, Metal Gear Solid can.  And you know what?  I am solidly in this camp, and it's for a few very simple, very obvious reasons.

Obviously, I am a big fan of the Metal Gear series; I've made no attempts to hide it nor should I because it is a fantastic series.  The main complaints levied at it lie pretty much on the story, which makes it seem like doing a movie which is basically a story with pictures and movement and acting and such is kind of a bad idea.  But here is also something that has been made abundantly clear with the past trends in popular movies:  Nobody cares about story.  You can tap-dance around it all you want and try and move goal-posts or call me ignorant, blah, blah, blah, but things that have been popular lately, things like Twilight (which admittedly seems to be waning a bit), are conceptually awful and play out worse than the roots themselves are.  Nobody cares so long as the acting is good, the actors themselves have at least one big name amongst them, and the movie itself looks good.  If you're Transformers, you can drop the first bit and very few people will care regardless, it seems.

While I'm by no means trying to put Metal Gear Solid's story anywhere near the caste of these 'blockbusters', I'm simply saying that things like Plot Holes, retcons and the other things that people lob at Metal Gear Solid's over-arching story like so many bricks at so many windows, none of them will really matter whatsoever when it comes to a movie.  Give people action, give people good acting, and the spy-drama roots of the story itself will carry it well enough that they won't care if something absurd comes out towards the end as the traditional twist.  In fact, that could possibly even add excitement to it for the inevitable sequel (that, let's face it, we know everybody hopes their movie will be that successful to warrant one) for the most part.  So long as there's nothing super glaringly wrong, I'm sure we folks, familiar with the series as we are, will be fine with it as well.  Provided it is a thing that actually happens.  Which, it has a good chance of that, I'd say.

The last bit and arguably the one to say anything about is Metal Gear Solid:  Ground Zeroes, which is apparently going to be an open-world Metal Gear Solid title running on the FOX Engine.  Just go ahead and re-read that, let it sink in a bit while also remembering that the above picture might just be an image from the game.  It is more likely that it is from the game with some touch-ups, but then again this is the FOX Engine which, as we know, does not fuck around with the graphics from what we've been shown.  Still, we haven't seen it in motion on one of our consoles, so I can't blame anybody who might be a little wary of thinking it came from the game, but let's just run with it.  Because it's nice to dream that the above is possible on the systems that we have now.  (Since, as far as I remember, FOX Engine is supposed to be something to bridge not only PS3/Vita/whatever else development, as it's a multi-platform engine, but it's also likely going to bridge this gen and next, but started on this one.)

What we have here is something that is pretty much as obvious as can be:  another Big Boss game.  Unless there's some sort of MGS2-style twist with after-reveal stuff, Big Boss is taking another outing in the video game scene (note the Militaires Sans Frontiers emblem and the eyepatch strings under the goggles) and pretty much everybody is super excited for it.  I'm....optimistic.  My situation is a bit weird on the games, I admit, since my first one was Metal Gear Solid 2.  After which I played the first which was a wholly different game more or less, and then 3 and 4 when they came out, not to mention pretty much all the other iterations.  Except Twin Snakes.  As such, I've never really had -that- experience with Solid Snake himself (MGS4 was Old Snake, I kind of consider them different because I am a pedant), the one that clicks and feels perfect (I basically ruined MGS1 for myself by playing 2 first), and I've really been hoping that I could get that with a new game that comes out.  I can keep waiting, certainly with another Big Boss game to distract me in the meanwhile.

I've mused in the past that I have honestly no idea where another Big Boss game could really fit unless they just did a straight re-creation of Metal Gear 1, but the title "Ground Zeroes" does....bring something to mind.  Without spoiling the ending for Metal Gear Solid 4 since, after the trophy patch, I'd suggest it is a game that has re-upped its "Do not openly spoil" status, lest you look like a gigantic dick, I think there is something in MGS4's ending that is key here.  Something of a catalyst between two of the characters (Big Boss obviously being one) that could create a very obvious, very Major antagonist for the man, as well as giving the game the backdrop for another Peace Walker-esque Base build-up.  Just what that base will be, I have no idea, as I'm a little fuzzy on the timeline myself, and I could be completely wrong as I am often.  But that's what the sub-title brought to mind, so we'll just have to see when the game actually comes out.  I'd say it is probably the only other scenario that really has not been covered in a game yet for Big Boss.

Metal Gear Solid is kind of one of those things that I doubt anyone -really- can get enough of, despite the whinging of "Oh boy, another one?" that you'll get here and there.  Each game really has its own charm about it, and there's not been a one that could honestly be called 'bad', though I'm sure anyone could disagree with me on that for any reason.  Still, for each game that everyone dislikes, I'm sure that they have at least one iteration of the series that they do really enjoy and sometimes that's all you need.  Just that one, perfect, unspoiled game that does what you wanted it to do in a series that might not have done otherwise.  With any luck, Ground Zeroes won't be the last real game that we see come from it all anytime soon since, hey, we're looking at a new gen in a year or so, I'm sure.  It's definitely a series we want to see make the transition, and it just remains to be seen how it'll look after-the-fact.

Update!:  There is a sub-titled trailer now.  Everything is amazing.


Dig it.

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