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MGS4 Storyline Is A Measuring Stick, Not A Detriment

As both my resume and my closest friends will tell you, I'm a writer first and a gamer second. Granted, I will always love the hobby in question and I consider my current position at PSX Extreme as a grand combination of two deep-set passions. Therefore, it should go without saying that I've watched the advancement of writing in the video game industry with attentive eyes and an encouraged heart.

Some of our loyal readers will remember an editorial I did last year, addressing the storyline of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. You will notice that I don't make any ill-founded (and ill-advised) comparisons to the finest pieces of literature ever written, or the best movie scripts in history. I'm no literary genius but I can easily recognize that video games aren't quite up to snuff in regards to top-notch writing talent. In no way will I place MGS4 in one hand and Thomas Mann's "The Magic Mountain" in the other and say to myself, "hmm, now let's examine the contrasts." But at the same time, it would be equally foolhardy to discount the strides we have taken in this industry, and even more so to place the Metal Gear Solid franchise in the cross-hairs when we call for the need of "better writing" in video games. While accepting the current limitations and looking forth to future advancements, one should use the best examples at the ready disposal in order to remain optimistic. Doing the opposite is...well, backwards.

As it has gained plenty of attention, you may notice this article, asking Konami and Kojima to provide gamers with less "long-winded" and "convoluted" storylines and, as far as I can interpret, simplify the intended plot (potentially for Metal Gear Solid: Rising). There are several problems with this, the biggest of which I have just alluded to; as MGS4 remains one of the best examples of relatively impressive writing, it shouldn't be used as a scapegoat to call for better formulated stories and keener character development. To those schooled in the art of writing, they will notice several glaring errors in the construction of the MGS4 script: the author really doesn't know when to end a scene (there's a distinct difference between drama and melodrama), and even more importantly, the reader - or in this case, the player - deserves more respect. The cardinal sin of fiction is to "tell" rather than "show," and there's a great deal too much "telling" going on in MGS4. In this way, it stumbles a bit and falls from the ranks of "professional" to "amateur with raw talent." That's how I see it.

But to call down the cut-scenes for taking too long and going after the complexity of the script isn't doing the game justice. I will freely admit that one needs to be a little too acquainted with the overall MGS storyline to understand every last facet of the plot in MGS4, but you really shouldn't hide behind a mostly transparent veil of, "I didn't get all of it so it's the author's fault." This rarely flies in book clubs. Again, I don't want to make the poor comparison mentioned earlier; I'm merely making a point. If you want to ask for better writing, talk about games that should've had good writing but failed in their attempt. There are plenty. But don't make it sound as if MGS4 is an example of what not to do in the realm of video game writing. That, my friends, is a mistake.

Related Game(s): Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

6/17/2009 Ben Dutka

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Comments (60 posts)

Deleted User []
Wednesday, June 17, 2009 @ 9:46:52 PM
Reply

I don't mind the cut scenes. I enjoyed them, they got me really into the game. But I hated them the second time around.

Last edited by n/a on 6/17/2009 9:47:01 PM

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djjake
Thursday, June 18, 2009 @ 6:20:28 AM

you know you can skip them?

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coldbore
Wednesday, June 17, 2009 @ 9:49:09 PM
Reply

lol I just started playing this game again, and now I'm sneaking around the house, it's kind of really sad actually, oh well I'm sure I'm not the only one that this has ended up happening to :P

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Fane1024
Thursday, June 18, 2009 @ 6:44:37 PM

I still see light bulbs as targets thanks to Splinter Cell.

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Jalex
Wednesday, June 17, 2009 @ 9:49:17 PM
Reply

I definitely agree (with most of this, anyhow).
I hear a lot of people complaining about the story in 'Guns of the Patriots', but these complaints rarely deviate from 'too much information', if I may simplify it so.
And in the world of video games, where most characters go undeveloped and certain plot points (even if minor in most cases) are left hanging by the end of it all, I would definitely take too much over too little.

And that's just speaking to the quantity. I think my comment has gone on too long already to address quality.

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tes37
Wednesday, June 17, 2009 @ 10:01:04 PM
Reply

They're probably saying this to prepare people for shorter game cutscenes so the xbox can handle it.

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Lord carlos
Wednesday, June 17, 2009 @ 10:26:32 PM
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Tolkien filled 'The lord of the rings' with what some people would call redundant information but thats what ya gotta do when your creating your own fantasy universe,same applies to what kojima has done with MGS.

When lucas made Star wars in '77 he didn't bother explaining every last little detail to the audience,he just told the story as if everyone already knew the world he created & it worked!

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CrazyIrishBoy
Thursday, June 18, 2009 @ 7:14:18 AM

So whats your point? Is it, even if you give details of the story and the world and even if you dont it can still be successful?

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Lord carlos
Thursday, June 18, 2009 @ 2:27:08 PM

My point is if your attempting to create your own mythology in a book then the more info the better it will be.too much exposition in a flim can kill it.
Video games seam to be on the middle ground where you can get away with either less or more info depending on the core user base.

Last edited by Lord carlos on 6/18/2009 2:31:08 PM

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bigrailer19
Wednesday, June 17, 2009 @ 11:22:20 PM
Reply

i honestly thought the story telling was good, and having just finished the first three MGS games in preparation for MGS4' release a year ago, it followed one of the best stories in video game history in my opinion, pretty well.

The cut scenes although a little long did not bother me at all, but it's not the story or telling of the story i hear complaints about. it's always the length of the cut-scenes, people refer to it as a movie over a video game...

I didnt even know this was a concern and frankly it shouldnt be. If we look at the big picture though i would definately say, that yes the video game industry is lacking when it comes to stories. but for the most part i am more intrigued by games like Uncharted, MGS, GOW, and even Prince of Persia than most movies. maybe because i get to play out the story rather than follow it but either way.


Last edited by bigrailer19 on 6/17/2009 11:25:24 PM

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jmo_INDY_Repub
Wednesday, June 17, 2009 @ 11:25:01 PM
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Metal Gear Solid 2:Sons of Liberty and MGS 3:Snake Eater remain my favorite MGS installments, ive beaten MGS 2 five times and i'm still not tired of it, it's propably my favorite game for any console ever, it's what made MGS what it is today, and the best storyline ive ever seen in a game and alot of movies, speaking of that, MGS movie anyone? but who would play Snake?P.S. my favorite moment in MGS 2, either the NYC moment or the moment when he's giving the speech through the giant screens to the soldiers.

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b3mike
Wednesday, June 17, 2009 @ 11:27:26 PM
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That writer comes off as a tool, I stopped reading after this:

"But I'm deeply concerned by Kojima Productions' focus on the beauty of the Metal Gear series instead of the content of the games. For years now, the franchise's individual titles have been preachy and long-winded."

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Highlander
Wednesday, June 17, 2009 @ 11:45:06 PM

I won't say that Don Reisinger is a tool, but he is a biased blogger and not a journalist. His writing often leaves me with the thought that he's paid by Microsoft. His dislike of Sony and Playstation is frequently obvious, even when he pretends it's not there.

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oldmike
Thursday, June 18, 2009 @ 12:38:13 AM

MS is known for paying blogers they did it in the HD disk war
also MGS4 was the best games last year hands down

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jmo_INDY_Repub
Wednesday, June 17, 2009 @ 11:43:01 PM
Reply

if anyone gets the chance, listen to the MGS 2 theme song on mp3raid.com its amazing. Best theme song ever.

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karneli lll
Thursday, June 18, 2009 @ 5:50:01 AM

Better than snake eater?

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Highlander
Wednesday, June 17, 2009 @ 11:49:52 PM
Reply

The linked article is sadly a reflection of what a lot of so-called hard core gamers think. They don't want story, they don't want character development or a game that immerses you into the story. They want the instant gratification of a quick kill, or kills. Action, and lots of it, and damn the character development and story. Just give me a sandbox open world and a mini-gun with unlimited ammo!

It's the exact opposite of where I think games need to go. Games should be telling stories and creating memorable characters that we can empathize with. Novels create worlds and characters that can move us to tears. Movies create worlds and characters that can move us to tears. Even TV can create worlds and characters that move us to tears. So, why not games?

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Fane1024
Thursday, June 18, 2009 @ 6:48:30 PM

Agreed.

BTW TV produces MUCH better drama than movies do nowadays (if you ignore the MTV-style garbage). Today's movies SUCK.

Last edited by Fane1024 on 6/18/2009 6:49:07 PM

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jmo_INDY_Repub
Thursday, June 18, 2009 @ 12:02:44 AM
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propably because gamers try and get away from those mediums by adding mindless violence and action, which im a fan of, but once in a while i want a good story to go with that action and i think MGS does that very well. I think people just want a break from boring, clichè, and repetitive stories for a more emersive, intense, and personal involvement in their entertainment choice. Different strokes you know? Depends on personal choice.

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Scarecrow
Thursday, June 18, 2009 @ 12:21:07 AM
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Dumb gamers = the majority of gamers



^That's the sad truth.

The more educated, open-minded, and understanding of any one subject you are, the more you'll get/take away from games with deep stories.


Final Fantasy XII is another great example of a game with a deep and dynamic storyline which was mature and down to the point most of the time.

And what did you get? Gamers whining 'bout how they wanted kissing in the game and how they didn't understand it.

Final Fantasy X-2 is another one. Because if it's a female-based storyline with deep plots and exploration in it, it's too much for them.

-----------------------------------------------

By the way Ben, I disagree with you. I know you love books and all, but I find the overall(visual) + storytelling of games more ENGAGING than any book will ever be.

While games let me see, hear, and explore the storyline at hand. Books put me to sleep while I try to visualize what the heck the author's talking 'bout.

-------------------------

Also, this is what you get when 360 fans get a MGS, a lot of teenagers whining 'bout the wrong thing.

Funny

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oldmike
Thursday, June 18, 2009 @ 12:50:18 AM

FF X-2 is not disliked for the lady leads
its the pop star story and the dress up combat
FF XII is dry at best the fact it went so slow
that in the end i FORCED my self to play it

NOW i love games with a good story
sadly they need more of them

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Scarecrow
Thursday, June 18, 2009 @ 1:03:59 AM

Wrong on both counts,

First of all, it's not a pop star story. It on two occassions presents you with two events in which Yuna sings. It became her escape/calling of sorts.

But in no way did the story revolve around that.

This alone proves my point. Gamers are too superficial. They just look at what's at the surface and aren't capable most of the time to fully understand what they're playing(when playing story driven games).

---

On FFXII. Dry how? I could say the same thing 'bout Kingdom Hearts. I didn't find its story engaging, but I'd be utterly out of line if I said that it was dry, it had a good storyline and interesting plots/subplots.

Furthermore I advise you to read up FFXII's and FFX-2's reviews on the following websites:

psxextreme.com
IGN.com
GameInformer.com

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LimitedVertigo
Thursday, June 18, 2009 @ 1:30:43 AM

The game play in FF12 was fun as hell. The hunts alone gave me more playtime than most games out there. I get really pissed off when people go nuts over GodofWar with it's 8hrs of game play but bitch about a couple dry spots in a FF game. Sorry you didn't like 10hrs out of a 100hr game.

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oldmike
Thursday, June 18, 2009 @ 1:35:21 AM

i played them my self i think that i mite have
liked X-2 more if the combat system was better

dry mite not be the best word for it
i just did not get into the story of FF XII

but then some of my fave games are also realy low scoreing .//hacks anyone


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Mr Bitey
Thursday, June 18, 2009 @ 8:59:34 AM

I loved FF XII, but I have to admit it was one of the weaker FFs story wise. The battle system, characters, license board, and large open world were all done perfectly. The story was pretty good, but it didn't feel as epic, or as important as the previous FF entries.

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SarahPalinMILF
Thursday, June 18, 2009 @ 12:22:41 AM
Reply

What if they made a video game of Shawshank Redemption?...

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556pineapple
Thursday, June 18, 2009 @ 1:25:25 AM

One mission is painstakingly carve a chess piece out of soapstone. Another is write a convincing letter to the government about why you need a better library....

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bearbobby
Thursday, June 18, 2009 @ 4:16:06 PM

Press X to avoid The Sisters and retain health, press O to submit to their advances and gain XP. :)

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Scarecrow
Thursday, June 18, 2009 @ 12:23:44 AM
Reply

By the way, this is also why jrpgs are dieing.

Man when it all becomes 'bout money and "omg we gotta target the games for these groups(the West)"

^That's when devs start to limit themselves

Seems like limitations was never the goal in past generations

It was first 'bout pushing games to their limits.

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oldmike
Thursday, June 18, 2009 @ 12:53:42 AM

i hate how most JRPGs had such week storys this gen
and yet games with week storys are given good scores

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Scarecrow
Thursday, June 18, 2009 @ 1:05:12 AM

Like?

I truly don't remember "weak" jrpgs getting good scores this gen.

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LimitedVertigo
Thursday, June 18, 2009 @ 1:28:46 AM

Ya, jrpgs are getting destroyed in ratings this generation.

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NonProphet
Thursday, June 18, 2009 @ 12:26:53 AM
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I got so bored by the cut-scenes I ended up skipping through most of them. If I wanted to watch a movie...

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LimitedVertigo
Thursday, June 18, 2009 @ 7:11:15 PM

You do realize the storyline adds to the gameplay? Gives you something to fight for, gives you purpose instead of simply mashing a few buttons together in a certain sequence. I feel bad for gamers like you. It's not like you went into the experience expecting a button smasher.

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556pineapple
Thursday, June 18, 2009 @ 1:18:26 AM
Reply

not only did I not mind the "long-winded" and "convoluted" storylines of the MGS series, I actually really enjoyed them. Sure the dialog wasn't fantastic and it got to be very confusing at times, but I like watching stuff in the middle of games. Gives me a break from playing so I'm not overly tired and making mistakes. The writing in MGS4 remains the best of any video game I've ever seen, and Kojima seems to be making it better and better. Hopefully the rest of the industry will follow suit.

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LimitedVertigo
Thursday, June 18, 2009 @ 1:27:25 AM
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Meh, MGS is known for having long cut scenes. People go into the experience knowing this ahead of time. I do however believe there have been plenty of other games with great storylines that didn't need the excessive use of cut scenes used in MGS. The cut scenes are simply a part of MGS, anyone that complains about them should check out the hundreds of other games that come out each year without them.

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The CEO
Thursday, June 18, 2009 @ 3:42:21 AM
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I have never understood why people call the MGS stories convoluted. I understood every part of every installment. Maybe its because Kojima was ahead of the curve so to speak. Look at MGS 1 and all its mentions of nanotechnology. At the time it was made most people did not know what it was. But google it now and you will see its real technology that can even do things like in MGS 1 where dude had the trigered heart attack. I think a lot of the technological references threw people off. When in fact it appears Kojima must have had a crystal ball. I also think MGS 4 tied up every loose end of the previous games perfectly.

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reryan
Thursday, June 18, 2009 @ 5:02:49 AM
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I agree with Ben that in terms of pure writing, games have nothing on the great novelists. I was recently reading a Newsweek article that discussed the controversy surrounding "6 days in Fallujah" and the author of the article wrote that "Mostly, videogames are associated with mindless entertainment or gratuitous violence or both. For... skeptics, the idea that animated shooters can communicate the heroism and sacrifice of Fallujah is deeply misguided."

Now, I don't think that many games that I play are either mindless or gratuitous, but I can accept this statement as a symptom of an older generation that doesn't understand games in general. I do agree with the sentiments later in the article, which suggest that character development is a weak spot in video game writing.

I think that the reason we gamers connect so well with games like MGS, Zelda and Final Fantasy is that games are superb storytellers; we are immersed in a virtual world and the storyline of a game closely affects our interaction. But good storytelling isn't necessarily good writing, and in terms of character development it is difficult for me to think of a truly dynamic character in a game I have played (dynamic meaning that the character begins a certain way and develops through the actions of the story, vs a static character that doesn't develop). Link from Legend of Zelda is one of my most favorite characters ever, but he is the opposite of a dynamic character.
Anyways, I think writing in games is definitely on the right track, as Ben suggested in his article. I think we'll start to see more skilled writing in games as they gain legitimacy as an art form.

Link to the Newsweek article:
http://www.newsweek.com/id/200861

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Turbey
Thursday, June 18, 2009 @ 5:49:00 AM
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If this guy gonna complain about Metal Gear Solid`s history of long cutscenes and the extremely good script then he really REALLY shouldn`t be playing games like Metal Gear Solid.

People have a choice, if you don`t like games with long and entertaining cutscenes, then don`t buy them.

I for one LOVE the story and cutscenes in MGS( MGS 1 , 2, 3 and 4). Have absolutley nothing against it, MGS wouldn`t be MGS if it didn`t have those cutscenes.

Now that MG:Rising is also coming to the Xbox360, xbox fans start complaining about it. And this really makes me angry. This is the reason MGS franchise should stay exclusive to the PS3.

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 6/18/2009 10:25:21 AM

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karneli lll
Thursday, June 18, 2009 @ 6:07:56 AM
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What did you expect to happen when mgs went multi platform? Most xbox exclusives (and multiplatform titles) are only flashy and have stories that would've killed in the 70's. Try telling those people that the mgs writing is top notch.

A kid will always choose a coloring book over a well written piece of literature.



Last edited by karneli lll on 6/18/2009 6:08:18 AM

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TEG3SH
Thursday, June 18, 2009 @ 6:18:16 AM
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sorry too much to read. anyways
glory glory man-untd ;)

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Lotusflow3r
Thursday, June 18, 2009 @ 7:05:33 AM
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yeah, whilst the story is flawed, how it's told, is not.

It aint Kojimas fault if shallow people want everything spelt out for them!

All stories are better when they require a lot of thought and analysis. Take David Lynch for example, does one dare to criticise him for his story writing just because they may or may not understand it? Or for video games, Silent Hill 2? The greatest story EVER put to video game, will people complain just because the story is not spelled out to the player and asks for interpretation and deeper analysis?

I say to those that complain of a story for these reasons, go back to a COD :)

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Willcome2Urf
Thursday, June 18, 2009 @ 8:06:35 AM
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I think we are going to see a lot more story driven games like "Heavy Rain", designed for casual gamers who want an "entertainment experience", without any complicated combat dynamics or leveling systems. Interactive movies.

Also, I loved the drake's fortune story telling/writing.

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mexgeo86
Thursday, June 18, 2009 @ 8:51:44 AM
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That article on CNET was just bad and biased. Funny how most people commenting wanted to tear him a new one :-P

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Jawknee
Thursday, June 18, 2009 @ 9:52:08 AM
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ill admit i was completely lost after playing MGS4. but its only cause i hadnt played MGS1 or 2 in years and had never played MGS3. I bought that MGS Essentials Box Set and replayed all the previous installments then went back and played MGS4 again and it made perfect sense. Either the critical author hasnt played the previous games or he just doesnt know good story telling. i think Kojima i a great writer and the main reason im more excited for Peace Walker then Rising is because he will be, once again, writing it. People who think MGS needs better writing should stop complaining and go play another game with no story like Gears.

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Turbey
Thursday, June 18, 2009 @ 10:11:09 AM

Arent`t Kojima writing Rising?

I really must admit I was a bit disapointed when Kojima announced MGS:Peace Walker for the PSP. I have nothing against PSP, have just resently bought one, but having the "real" sequel to MGS on the PSP is a bit disapointing for me. Not saying I won`t buy it, problably a day 1 buy for me:P

It would be awesome to see MGS:Peace Walker on the PS3!

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Jawknee
Thursday, June 18, 2009 @ 10:32:13 AM

No hes not writing Rising. Hes only sitting in as producer and letting an all new team do the rest. I too wish Peace Walker was for the PS3, but at least Kojima will being doing most of the work like he did on MGS4 and hes also having the team who worked on MGS4 do Peace Walker. So Peace Walker is going to be the real MGS5 while Rising is going to be a spin-off. I think he decided to use the PSP cause he wanted Snake to stay with Sony. Had he made this for PS3 Konami would most likley presure him to make Peace Walker multiplatfor too. He always said he thinks Snake and the true MGS is best suited for the Sony platforms. It doesnt surprise me that the Xbox is getting another Raiden game. lol MGS2 was ported to the original Xbox and now they are getting a Raiden Spin-off. its ok, Xbox kids can have that Femboy Raiden. Im sure Rising will be a good game, i just wish it wasnt Raiden. i havent liked Raiden since MGS2. my concerns about Rising stem more from the fact Kojima wont be writing or directing it and that it centers around Raiden then they are about it going to 360 too.

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Turbey
Thursday, June 18, 2009 @ 11:17:34 AM

Yeah! I knew that the team behind MGS4 will be making MGS:PW, and I`m glad:) The game looks extremely well considering it`s for the PSP.

And yeah, I agree that Konami would problably pressure him to realese MGS:PW multiplat if it came out on current next gen consoles. But we would never know, if it`s know thing i know about Konami it`s that they really care about their fans. Their nothing like SE or Bethesda.

Rising probably gonna be awesome. I`m actually looking forward to it...
Not to mention how xbox fans will selebrate that Rising is a litte "better" like having 5 more pixels than the PS3 version. Not to mention the sales....oh god!

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mastiffchild
Thursday, June 18, 2009 @ 10:06:20 AM
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People miss the point entirely with MGS and Koj, umo. This, "Oh, but it's not proper writing" is just as much BS as people saying that they don't want story/cutscenes giving the gameplay a decent field of reference, even relevance-I'm sure I prefer to have a clue as to why all the shooty,shooty goes on, maybe I'm just odd!

Point is this: what works well for novels, films or even TV serials doesn't work for games and while I agree that Koj and his dialogue can get a bit ripe he's still far closer to uncovering the perect method of aiding interaction between the real and game universe. The plain fact that people care so much about a gruff monosyllabic grunt like Snake is testament to this.

The Cnet article is crap, simple as that. Whether people enjoy the cutscenes is a matter of taste but the games wouldn't have the emotional impact if you skip them, would they?

To criticise Koj, when the gameplay is also unique and multi faceted(not to mention how well he innovates with content, controllers and interaction)as well as the surprise in MGS4 being about the best veiled and revealed in gaming ever is harsh beyond belief.

As for melodrama Vs drama or not knowing where to stop-I don't think even they're the problem. Kojima's one of the few who really looks for ways for games to do disposition in ways other than those we find in other medias-and especially at different levels. What he does would pall in an actual movie I'm sure-or a novel-but in a game where he ties together 20 years of story it's highly impressive.

He's no Dostoyevsky, I know, but he shouldn't be and when, in years to come, people talk of the fathers of narrative within gaming(after the form has really grown into art)the way he's opening up both methods of doing this AND lines of debate around the subject people will realise just what Kojima has tried, and largely succeeded in doing. A form as young as ours is still finding it's feet in many artistic respects and Koj, at least, manages to rise above the banal while trying to do more than his peers.

He should be lauded even more than he is now, imo. The games are amazing, interesting and, above all, totally playable and the story makes this even better, imo.

Last edited by mastiffchild on 6/18/2009 10:10:39 AM

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Scarecrow
Thursday, June 18, 2009 @ 7:02:54 PM

^Such a great post!

Well said in every way.
If I could give you 10 thumbs up, I would.

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phudge_supreemz
Thursday, June 18, 2009 @ 1:17:42 PM
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MGS4 did lose me a bit with the story line. I went to wikipedia to catch up with all the plot details from the previous metal gear games i've never played in order to understand a little bit more about 4. I'm about 4 hours into the game now and stuff makes a bit more sense now.

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Seraphim
Thursday, June 18, 2009 @ 1:23:16 PM
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The critisism against Kojimas writing is more or less absurd. It's one of the few game-series that actually 'has' a storyline worthy of notice.

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Jawknee
Thursday, June 18, 2009 @ 2:06:46 PM
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What the CNET author doesnt seem to understand is this not a game for new comers to the MGS franchise. It was a game for the long time fans that wrapped up Solid Snakes story nicely.

Last edited by Jawknee on 6/18/2009 2:06:55 PM

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jmo_INDY_Repub
Thursday, June 18, 2009 @ 2:29:31 PM
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im not a huge book fan, but if Kojima wrote a series of books, i would read them. People who didn't understand the story during games, could read the books and get caught up and realize that the story is actually quite excellent and an overall great piece of literature and artwork. i've played all the Halo games, terrible story. So for Xbox fans to say that MGS has no storyline, they need to shut their mouths and get ready for a kick in the ass because the PSP is going to do it with...Peace Walker.

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ZubraZap
Thursday, June 18, 2009 @ 3:02:27 PM
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All I know is I want what Kojima is smoking. Thats a compliment in my world.

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jmo_INDY_Repub
Thursday, June 18, 2009 @ 3:24:40 PM
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i agree

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Kangasfwa
Thursday, June 18, 2009 @ 10:10:50 PM
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Samuel Clemens:
"A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read."

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BikerSaint
Thursday, June 18, 2009 @ 10:20:18 PM
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Slightly off target, but still MGS related.....

There'a very interestingg view of a female gamer's 1st run-through in all of the MGS series, and a pretty good read.....

How the Metal Gear Solid series changed my life
http://www.destructoid.com/how-the-metal-gear-solid-series-changed-my-life-132684.phtml

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el_rika
Friday, June 19, 2009 @ 10:51:49 AM
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Good read Ben, previous articles included, though (among others) i do not agree with this specific comment in the article:

"To those schooled in the art of writing, they will notice several glaring errors in the construction of the MGS4 script: the author really doesn't know when to end a scene (there's a distinct difference between drama and melodrama), and even more importantly, the reader - or in this case, the player - deserves more respect. The cardinal sin of fiction is to "tell" rather than "show," and there's a great deal too much "telling" going on in MGS4. In this way, it stumbles a bit and falls from the ranks of "professional" to "amateur with raw talent." That's how I see it"

It is neither an error, nor an "amateur" way of handling the specific scene. It is text book film & animation school 'melodramatic structuration' which apart from many japanese animation and live action movies, is used by some famous american movies as well, like The Matrix series, V for Vendetta or Lord of the Rings, not to mention every play ever written. It is meant to be intriquing by it's very nature, but at the same time overwhelming and confusing. Inherently, the effect greately varies from person to person but in my opinion it is ultimatelly more rewarding than simply cutting down the script and consequently altering the auteur's vision just for lenght reasons, especially when lenght is not an issue. Consider it an out of the box Director's Cut version, which it's exactly what it is.
I must confess that i felt many, many scenes in Lord of the Rings(s) to be overlong, but then again the unrelenting vision of the auteur is exactly why some will love a certain piece.
It is ultimatelly all about choice, but there's certainly nothing amateur about it.

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SubjectiveTruth
Saturday, June 20, 2009 @ 6:49:28 PM
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Atleast they added a pause button this time, I thought that was awesome.

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