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Are Ground Zeroes Review Scores Doomed Due To Length?

It has been a hot topic of debate for weeks now: The surprisingly short length of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes.

Granted, it's an introduction, a prelude of sorts to the main course, The Phantom Pain. However, the latter may not be out until later next year, and the pricing for Ground Zeroes (despite a $10 price drop for the physical PS4 and Xbox One versions) still isn't agreeable to most gamers. That's because of the reported length: Some are saying the game can be completed in less than an hour now. That's not good news.

Personally, I've always felt that critics put an inordinate amount of emphasis on a game's length. I understand the concept, of course; you want as much bang for your buck as possible. Not every game can be Journey, but I think that's an example of how length is essentially irrelevant when determining the overall quality of an artistic product. Even so, a lot of people are upset about the length and price of Ground Zeroes, and that could be reflected in the review scores we see this week.

The million-dollar question is, of course: Is that fair?

Related Game(s): Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes

Tags: mgsv ground zeroes, metal gear solid v, ground zeroes reviews

3/17/2014 10:20:08 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (76 posts)

pavlovic
Monday, March 17, 2014 @ 10:43:06 PM
Reply

Ground Zeroes is just a maeketing strategy. Is like saying "don't foget Snake and his new game due in 2015".

Maybe Konami needed money to fund Phantom Pain, and pushed Kojima to release an "introduction" to the main game.

I really want to read the reviews before paying for the game, I'm not concerned for the play time, I am for everything else.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, March 17, 2014 @ 11:17:20 PM

I seriously doubt we will see Phantom Pain until 2016 at the earliest. Koji is a perfectionist and his comments make it seem like the game is so big it'll never be done.

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Kiryu
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 8:48:51 AM

pavlovic, i dont know what that means but watch this video for Info on why Ground Zeroes is released to the world
youtube . com / watch?v=yEFGCmGO7mU

and watch this video on how Phantom Pain will be
twitch . tv / konami / b / 510717661

Last edited by Kiryu on 3/18/2014 8:51:02 AM

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Pyramid
Monday, March 17, 2014 @ 10:55:39 PM
Reply

Remember almost every Metal Gear game has a prologue and Ground Zero was too big to be included in Phantom Pain. So dont rate it yet. Think as only one game in 2 disc.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, March 17, 2014 @ 11:17:48 PM

For $90

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Oxvial
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 12:05:51 AM

But game can be completed in less than an hour I'm sure it would fit :P

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Jalex
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 4:24:13 AM

@Oxvial:

But if 'The Phantom Pain' is already huge in comparison, and completing 'Ground Zeroes' in an hour is only 1/10 of the whole experience, then it could easily be quite massive together.
Besides, I believe releasing 'Ground Zeroes' now is more of a time issue than a space issue. 'The Phantom Pain' will likely take some time to release, so Kojima is trying to whet the appetite of the fans while we wait. My understanding of the situation, anyway.

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Kiryu
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 8:05:52 AM

World you cant spare 90$ for two games that will basically be Epic games which will be released in a span of 12 months?

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Underdog15
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 8:18:41 AM

I believe World is doing some post-secondary now. I've been working 5+ years and could afford it, but it's still too much for me to want to pay. And if I was still a student? Yeah, forget about it altogether.

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Kiryu
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 8:25:23 AM

Wasn't talking to you underdog

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Underdog15
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 8:54:41 AM

Well then... far be it from me to assume you'd be interested in a reasonable explanation.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 8:59:58 AM

Thankfully I made some good money that I stashed in the stock market before getting back to finishing my degree. Can't do manual labor any more though (back ruined), which used to bring in cash.

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tes37
Monday, March 17, 2014 @ 11:16:17 PM
Reply

I thought the original price was kind of high because it's only a tiny portion of the finished game, but that's a different issue. The game should be judged on quality and not quantity. If you say the game is awesome but short, that's fair enough. Allowing the length of gameplay to affect the review score is not fair, in my opinion.

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LimitedVertigo
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 12:00:27 AM

I think it's a balance of the two. What's the point of quality if it's so brief it doesn't truly allow for a full enjoyment of the product?

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tes37
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 12:18:10 AM

If there were any type of deception going on, I could understand people being upset. However, we've been informed upfront that it's a prologue. I don't see any good reason for someone to buy a game and speed through it as fast as they possibly can. It's almost akin to eating like a pig and complaining that you couldn't taste the food.

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Gabriel013
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 3:11:37 AM

I would disagree as I feel the length of the gameplay should be a factor when rating the game and the cost should play into that as well.

Gameplay for 1 hour in a $10 title is far more accepting than 1 hour in a $20-$30 game.

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tes37
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 4:29:16 AM


Even though I disagree with allowing the length to be a factor in a review score, I'd accept it before using game cost as part of the critique.

The person that stated the game was one hour said it was 9% complete when they made it to the end. So they skipped 90% of the gameplay. If they beat the game and reach 100% completion in one hour, then they might have something to say that's worth listening to.

Konami game testers went from start to finish in five minutes, but what's the point in buying any game and doing that.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, March 17, 2014 @ 11:23:05 PM
Reply

Here's the thing, if the gamer plays most of what is available in it and at the end goes "That's it?" then you've got yourself a problem. You can't hide behind the artistic stuff at that point, it means you've failed the audience.

Not saying that will definitely happen here, but it could. And that would hurt some scores. It's a calculated risk to do this, since it could damage the brand before Phantom Pain comes out. But hell, it's MGS so people will buy it and love it no matter what.

Be sad if this becomes yet another series to become lame when it goes multiplat.

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Big_Boss90
Monday, March 17, 2014 @ 11:36:01 PM
Reply

If you are gonna rate this game, rate it on its good and its bad NOT its length, buts seeing how review are done here, the scores might be doomed. Either way i will love this game!!

Last edited by Big_Boss90 on 3/17/2014 11:41:15 PM

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Gabriel013
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 3:15:47 AM

I'm really not sure how you can say you'll LOVE it without playing it but each to his own. I can see how you might claim you'll enjoy it regardless if the IP is something you have a fondness for.

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Big_Boss90
Monday, March 17, 2014 @ 11:40:48 PM
Reply

Beating this game only gets you at 9%, so if your only going to do story then you are not really getting the full experience..

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Oxvial
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 12:01:01 AM

big issue Metal Gear games was always about the single player campaign, I didn't enjoy what he did with Peace Walker, that was like Monster Hunter.

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Kiryu
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 8:08:03 AM

If you didn't like Peace Walker y don't you go play mediocore splinter cell instead buddy :)

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Oxvial
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 12:32:28 PM

because I don't like Splinter Cell.

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Wrote
Monday, March 17, 2014 @ 11:48:48 PM
Reply

All I'm gonna say on this one is that price should should only lower a games over all score by 1/10 max. I'm sure I'll enjoy MGS V: GZ for what it is.

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LimitedVertigo
Monday, March 17, 2014 @ 11:59:06 PM
Reply

It's perfectly fair to use a game's length as part of the overall score. I'm not saying it should be a huge factor but it has to count for something.

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Underdog15
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 8:23:20 AM

No one wants to pay $13 to go see a movie with insanely awesome drama, dialogue, and special effects, not to mention grade A acting, only to have it end within 20-30 minutes.

No one wants to pay large amounts of money for something that can't even be called feature length...

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Kiryu
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 8:26:09 AM

Games are not like Movies where every time you watch it the same thing happens for 20 mins u idiot.

Last edited by Kiryu on 3/18/2014 8:27:04 AM

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matt99
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 8:50:30 AM

Kiryu, you calling underdog an idiot is pretty ironic considering you totally missed the point of what he's saying. Also you can disagree with someone without being a dick.

Last edited by matt99 on 3/18/2014 8:52:44 AM

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Underdog15
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 8:56:16 AM

Hmmm... was your father abusive? Or maybe your mother was emotionally unavailable... maybe both?

In either case, I'm glad I can serve as an outlet for your pent up frustration.

At any rate, I wasn't talking to you, Kiryu. ;)

Last edited by Underdog15 on 3/18/2014 8:56:52 AM

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Kiryu
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 9:03:30 AM

Games are not like Movies Mr.UnderDog so please don't try to compare the two .

Thanking You
Yours Respectfully
Kiryu

:)

Last edited by Kiryu on 3/18/2014 9:03:45 AM

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Underdog15
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 9:05:35 AM

Yeah, it doesn't look like it'll click, Matt.

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telly
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 3:20:18 PM

I don't think length is ALWAYS a problem or benefit -- plenty of games seem to drag on to me. Journey would have been unbearable if it lasted 50 hours. I think it's perfectly to say, in this context, at this price point, GZ's length is problematic. As a big fan, I just love the sound of this so much and am thankful to have a chance to play a sliver of the new MGS a year or two before the full game. But I totally get why others aren't ok with this.

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Underdog15
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 7:11:31 PM

Yeah I agree, Telly. Journey wasn't a problem for me because the price point matched the length and quality.

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Oxvial
Monday, March 17, 2014 @ 11:59:15 PM
Reply

One hour? oh boy! Kojima maybe it's following the Peace Walker format which was my least favorite Metal Gear Game :(

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kraygen
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 12:17:20 AM
Reply

I think it is fair to judge it partially on length. We're paying for gameplay, art style, or whatever we deem worth paying for. Time is part of it, a game lasting 15 minutes could have amazing quality, but no one is going to pay $60 for it. You have to balance everything being provided with the price of admission.

Some people are willing to pay more, but it seems clear that not everyone is willing to pay what they are asking for this preview.

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Jalex
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 1:14:43 AM
Reply

It depends on a lot more than just how long a speedrun can be done. I've completed 'Guns of the Patriots' on The Boss Extreme in 4 hours and change. But my longest playthru of the game lasted over 40 hours (including cutscenes and Codec conversations). So as long as there's lots to do overall, I can't imagine complaining about the length.

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Kiryu
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 8:12:16 AM

Jalex finish MGSV :Ground Zeroes and it takes long time to complete the whole game a 100%.
and don't forget the Ending of Ground Zeroes is a shocking turn of events. Kojima is a genius

Last edited by Kiryu on 3/18/2014 8:13:05 AM

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Oxvial
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 1:18:53 AM
Reply

Just checked there are already reviews some even rate it with a 4... I'm kinda happy because I don't want other company's selling us demos.

Btw other stuff not length related I catch after reading some of the reviews, looks like Sutherland kinda failed at replacing Hayter, the main game it's just one mission that can be done in less than 30 min. after that you can do the side missions also the plot it's confusing but maybe it was intentional but that makes it a very awkward way to introduce players to Phantom Pain.

Last edited by Oxvial on 3/18/2014 1:27:30 AM

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Knightzane
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 1:43:56 AM
Reply

Lets get one thing straight:

If you play a stealth game like a first person shooter, you're going to finish it quickly. If you try not to be seen, it will be longer.

MGS is a stealth game so play it as that and explore each area and not rush to the main objective. People need to stop panicking over something so trivial.

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Godslim
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 6:04:57 AM

actually it both stealth and action, the choice has always been yours, but lets not try to justify its length by saying you should complete it through stealth to make it that much longer.

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Advent Child
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 2:08:21 AM
Reply

So I'm basically looking at this as I'm paying $30 for a nice demo. I would have to be crazy to pay $30 for a demo.

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PlatformGamerNZ
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 3:37:36 AM
Reply

idk but i won't be getting it i got too much on my plate this year and atm for sure. a little PC gaming is all i can squeeze in atm

happy gaming =)

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trumpetmon65
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 3:58:00 AM
Reply

I smirked at the title of this article. I'm sorry...

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Underdog15
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 8:24:30 AM

why?

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trumpetmon65
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 10:04:59 AM

Sorry, to be more specific, it was the article description that states that length is a serious issue. I saw a dick joke in other words. I'm not proud of it.

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Underdog15
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 7:12:41 PM

ah I see now. mwahaha excellent.

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___________
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 4:04:36 AM
Reply

of course its not fair, a game should not be so heavily marked down just because its short!
another example of whats wrong with journalists these days, reviewing games for what they THINK it SHOULD be, rather than what the game actually IS!
ok it needs to be longer, you can totally understand that.
journey a perfect example, that was like jumping in a spa, turning the bubbles on, going ooooooooh this is so relaxing, than someone yanks you out.
you just start to enjoy it and they take it away from you, so yea it should be longer, but that does not mean it deserves to be marked so harshly.

this kinda does highlight the flaw in the pricing system though, its really not fair to pay 80 bucks for a 1 hour demo, but then pay 80 bucks for a 100+ hour game like watch dogs!
we really do need a pricing committee who sits down and plays the entire game and decides how much its worth based on how long it is, and also its quality.
no more paying 80 bucks for 1 hour good, no more paying 80 bucks for 1 hour crap, and no more paying 80 bucks for 100 hours good either.
afterall put it this way, is TLoU really worth the same launch price as something like ACM?
no, dident think so, so why is it priced like it?

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tes37
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 4:54:49 AM

Australia really does get treated unfairly and should be the only country that's given a case by case evaluation when it comes to game prices. I can't believe they expect y'all to pay full price for MGS5:GZ. You should only have to pay half the price like everyone else.

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trumpetmon65
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 4:07:25 AM
Reply

On a less juvenile note on my part, I saw that ign gave the game an 8. So there's that.

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Beamboom
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 4:52:27 AM
Reply

A prelude released more than a year - maybe even longer - before the main game? What's the point? Does that even count as a "prelude"?
What a weird thing to call it.


Last edited by Beamboom on 3/18/2014 4:53:28 AM

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Underdog15
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 8:25:38 AM

Remember Grand Turismo 5? That prologue came even further before.... :'(

But yeah... not something you'd like to see a trend in.

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matt99
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 8:58:34 AM

Its more accurate title is "exploiting the anticipation and excitement of loyal fans buy charging for a glorified demo"

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Troy Powers
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 5:29:32 AM
Reply

The length of a game directly correlates to the amount of enjoyment you'll get out of it. The amount of enjoyment you will get out of something determines how much money you're willing to spend on it. In the end, a review is designed to help the consumer decide whether they should spend their hard-earned money on a product. The fact is, length of a game is one of the few (if not only) traits that is objective and quantifiable. So, yes, a games length should have an effect on its review score, the same way a game's replay value does here. In the end, they both measure the same metric: how long you will be able to enjoy this game.

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DIsmael85
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 7:14:08 AM
Reply

So the reviews are piling in and I'm seeing a bunch of high 8's. Looks like length isn't hurting this one bit. :)

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Kiryu
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 7:54:31 AM
Reply

The Death of Metal Gear according to US Media.

Remember Famitsu Review 10/9/9/10 - This is a very good review

I bloody hate these US Media sites which doomed Japanese games since 2009.

Remember as Kojima said this game is a "Prologue" so it is already implied that it is a brief version of a MGS Game.

These US MEDIA SITES ARE GOING TO GIVE THE PHANTOM PAIN and FINAL FANTASY XV mediacore scores you i promise you so i don't count their reviews for Japanese games anymore.

and dont forget THE LAST GUARDIAN.
American media Sucks honestly

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8? review score for a Metal Gear Solid game is honestly insane.

Last edited by Kiryu on 3/18/2014 8:00:54 AM

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Underdog15
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 8:27:27 AM

Japanese reviewers have gone crazy, though. They gave Lightning Returns incredibly high scores. The English world gave it a 68 average.

Not surprisingly, in all areas including Japan, it's selling like a 68 would sell. There's far more evidence pointing to an inability to use Japan sources as reliable.

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Kiryu
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 8:30:26 AM

FF XIII game was so bad so Japanese games in general crap.That's You're logic right underdog?

Metal Gear Solid different than Final Fantasy games.

Last edited by Kiryu on 3/18/2014 8:31:42 AM

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Underdog15
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 8:58:55 AM

No it was used as an example to support a point. I don't typically create long lists of information with time extensive research on most of my internet posts.

My hope is that people can take an internet comment for what it is, just an internet comment, and roll with it.

I'm not sure how I managed to offend you so badly today. You must be a huge die-hard MGS fan. It's not like I'm saying the game is bad. I'm just questioning the value based on length vs. cost. A fair argument, imo.

And yeah, I have often been disappointed by the large number of games Famitsu and other Japanese publishers give 9's and 10's to.

Last edited by Underdog15 on 3/18/2014 9:00:22 AM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 9:03:18 AM

I understood you Underdog, and it was a good point about why Japanese reviews aren't to be trusted (at least not Famitsu). I think there's a communication barrier surrounding Kiryu, it's hard to get through it.

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xenris
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 11:37:52 AM

Kiryu are you japanese..half japanese or just an otaku?

Can you honestly not see what underdog was saying in his reply to your post?

He was saying japanese and american gamers are not buying lightning returns because to be frank its garbage. Yet japanese reviewers gave it high scores.

Thus he is saying that it seems less valuable to trust japanese reviewers than american ones because it is selling quite poorly in both countries.

You have a lot of hostility, think before you speak, or have a stroke/aneurism.

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LimitedVertigo
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 12:15:22 PM

I don't care what nationality/race Kiryu is. He's just plain stupid and incredibly ignorant with a majority of his comments. His personal attacks on Underdog are only entertaining because it allows Underdog to counter him and each time he does it's hilarious how easily Underdog is able to show Kiryu to be a fool.

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ProfPlayStation
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 8:09:45 AM
Reply

The entire controversy surrounding this game is a great example of one of the things wrong with this industry: Know-it-all commentators dictating to developers.

I haven't played the game, you haven't played the game, and we don't know how good or bad--or how long--it is. Holding a developer to some stupid checklist of *required* elements is exactly how we ended up with the inundation of crappy CoD clones, junk online multiplayer modes, watered down levels to pad game length, and all manner of other terrible things.

"Game X has Y. Your game should have Y, too!"
"A game can't succeed without including Y!"
"Anything less than Z-hours of playtime is unacceptable!"

When Uncharted released, people bitched and moaned about how it was 10 hours or less, but every minute of that game was worthwhile! Now, it's a classic.

Kojima has said again and again that Ground Zeroes is a complete and standalone experience, and I trust him. He's come through again and again with one fantastic experience after another, and I don't see any reason to expect that he has suddenly abandoned all his principles and hung us out to dry. I trust him a hell of a lot more than some snarky IGN hack who never made a game in his life.

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matt99
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 9:01:04 AM

He also said it wasn't his idea to create a prologue and he was actually against it.

Last edited by matt99 on 3/18/2014 9:01:59 AM

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Underdog15
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 9:07:52 AM

That true Matt? That's really unfortunate.

You would think a prologue would at least precede the feature within a 6 month window. In the gaming world, that much time is enough to lose momentum if you aren't a die-hard fan.

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matt99
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 12:11:54 PM

I'm pretty sure I read an interview where he said that, though I may be mistaken. But yeah I agree, the biggest reason I won't be getting GZ anytime soon is not because I think it will be bad- I think it's going to be great- but because I don't want to just start getting into the game and then have to wait a year to continue the story. If I do pick it up it'll be a couple weeks before Phantom Pain releases.

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Kiryu
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 9:07:01 AM
Reply

The Death of Metal Gear according to US Media.

Remember Famitsu Review 10/9/9/10 - This is a very good review

I bloody hate these US Media sites which doomed Japanese games since 2009.

Remember as Kojima said this game is a "Prologue" so it is already implied that it is a brief version of a MGS Game.

These US MEDIA SITES ARE GOING TO GIVE THE PHANTOM PAIN and FINAL FANTASY XV mediacore scores you i promise you so i don't count their reviews for Japanese games anymore.

and dont forget THE LAST GUARDIAN.
American media Sucks honestly

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8? review score for a Metal Gear Solid game is honestly insane.

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Underdog15
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 9:38:10 AM

Glitch?

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LimitedVertigo
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 12:16:01 PM

Can we all banish this turd to N4G yet?

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Underdog15
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 7:15:08 PM

I wondered if it was a glitch because it's an exact copy of an earlier post... maybe he didn't like the replies under his last one.

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JackC8
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 11:36:18 AM
Reply

I've spent about 645 hours with Skyrim. It's my game of the generation, I love it, and it's very artistic. So I guess Bethesda would be justified in asking $30/hour or $19,350 for that game. Right?

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KingRD7
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 12:11:16 PM
Reply

Honestly for a game like this, I'm sure Kojima knows what he is doing. Even though the game may supposedly be "short", does not mean it will be unfulfilling. For example, Journey, a game that received skepticism for its short length. People were complaining the price was too expensive for a 2 hour game. A game, that after it was released, was widely known as one of the best games of the year. So wats the big deal for paying double that price for something that is in fact NOT a 2 hour game, but a game that has over 10 hrs of content. I think most ppl need to stop being so skeptical and give the game a chance. Kojima always makes masterpieces and just bcuz this one will be a bit smaller, does not make it any less amazing. Don't let the length of a games justify its' quality. Let the quality justify the game.

Last edited by KingRD7 on 3/18/2014 12:12:43 PM

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slugga_status
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 2:06:03 PM
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To be honest, I'm very disappointed. Game looks amazing...but one main mission and side missions...in the same area?! Wasn't worth my money. I just can't justify this being a separate game than phantom pain. The game itself is great..but...smdh..

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telly
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 3:13:26 PM
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It sounds like some critics had a genuine -- and in my opinion, very fair -- problem with the length/depth of the game, but quite a few others rated it quite well. For my part, as an MGS fan, I can't WAIT to head over to the local gamestop shortly to pick up the physical copy that supposedly has some sweet reversible artwork.

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shadowpal2
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 3:40:37 PM
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Didn't play the game...but from the whole walkthrough I've seen...I gotta say it looks unbelievably mainstream and generic.

I don't feel "Metal Gear" in it...here's hoping that most of it is stored in the Phantom Pain.

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ZubraZap
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 @ 4:59:44 AM
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I have no problem with the length or price of this game. It just gives me more time to finish Stick of Truth and ATTEMPT to beat Dark Souls 2. I find it tasteful for Kojima just to give us a "taste" during this feast of great titles coming out.

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