Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops

Developer: Konami/Kojima Productions
Publisher: Konami
Release Date: Dec. 5, 2006
System: PSP
ESRB Rating: M
Official Web site

In a nutshell: Miniature Gear Solid.

0:01 Every MGS game should start with that little 12-note intro from the original PlayStation game. Alas this one does not.
0:02 "Input your name. You may not use lowercase letters." What a silly requirement.
0:04 I forgot how nice hand drawn art can look on the PSP screen. So bright and hi-res. Gotta love that MGS voice acting, too. The flying comic book panel styling was a good way to go.
0:06 Still blathering on about the Philosopher's Legacy. CIA took half in Snake Easter. I'd probably understand this better if I actually bothered to finish Metal Gear Solid 3.
0:07 OMG, finally some gameplay. So I'm walking around a smallish cell for about 30 seconds. Then ... another cut scene. Great. This one doesn't even have voice acting. Boo.
0:09 I escape the cell and find a new sneaking suit. Oh joy, more cut scenes! That was nearly a whole minute without them. At least there's voice acting this time.
0:11 I find out I'm on the "Peninsula of the dead" in South America. It doesn't show up on maps, because it's cool like that. This dialogue sounds like a history textbook. The Russians built ICBMs here, or tried to, but then abandoned it, or something. This is apparently one year after the SALT treaty. So... not present day then.
0:12 The other prisoner I've been talking to is Roy Campbell. Anyone who's played a Metal Gear Solid game will find that terribly cool. Anyone else will be like "huh?"
0:13 I hate it when in-game character say stuff like "press the L button to ready the weapon." How the hell do they know what an L button is? I know I should suspend my disbelief, but that stuff just takes me right out of the moment.
0:14 I shoot Roy Campbell in the face with a tranquilizer dart as soon as I get control back. He just yells at me. Lame.
0:17 Despite the analog control, I can't seem to sneak up on a guard. Luckily he crumples with a few well-placed punches.
0:18 I'm an idiot. Holding down triangle makes you sneak. Please disregard the idiotic reviewer who wrote that comment a minute ago.
0:19 The way to get by the imposing-looking electronic gate? Sneak under it. I am not impressed with the security on this compound.
0:23 This is playing more like an action game than a stealth game. Maybe that's just because I suck at not getting spotted.
0:25 Man, that was a little more than ten minutes without a cut scene. What's going on?
0:27 A brief sample of the game's "simple" controls. Hold triangle and right to sidle along a wall. Without letting go, hold L to jump out. Then, still without letting go of anything, hit square to fire. Four fingers, four buttons for what should be a simple move. Argh!
0:29 A codec communication scene with Para-medic from MGS3. "It's good to hear your voice again." Funny, I don't hear any voices. Snake is a fugitive from the Pentagon, they think he's leading the rebels or something. I'm sure MGS-philes are just eating this up. I'm just bored.
0:31 More codec calls. Some people are using state secrets as leverage to try to create and independent military nation. Now it's getting interesting. I have to capture the ringleader. I have to gather allies. The green berets are here too. Whoo!
0:34 OH GOD YET ANOTHER CUT SCENE! Campbell has a broken leg and a fever. Boo hoo. I can use codec frequency 140.85 to talk with him. Another cute nod to MGS-heads.
0:36 Roy's gonna drive me to various locations to perform discrete missions. It's weird to have an MGS game broken into stages, but I guess that's to be expected on a portable system.
0:37 Eight minutes after I first lost control, I get to play again. NO WAIT! Another codec call.
0:38 There we go, more actual gameplay. I have to sneak up and listen to people. So much for the action game.
0:39 GRAH! I'm walking around for LITERALLY ten second when another cut scene pops up. Guards are gossiping about what weapon they're protecting. THE GAME'S FREAKIN' CALLED METAL GEAR SOLID!
0:41 Sneak sneak sneak. Oops! Almost spotted. Dive behind a box! When you do get to play, it can be fun. Damn, someone sees my foot and I'm dead before I can get up. Freakin' awkward controls!
0:42 I have to watch these cut scenes again? I just watched them two minutes ago. At least I can skip through with the X button, but still, very annoying.
0:45 Spotted again, killed again, not looking forward to skipping the cut scenes again.
0:48 Another pet peeve... Snake can't seem to climb a six foot box. You're a super-solider! Just reach your hands up and climb!
0:50 I'm in the middle of a firefight, but I pick up some documents, and then apparently I can spare some time to talk to Campbell on the codec. Hail of bullets? What hail of bullets? Then he tells me to "hoof it back to the truck" and like magic I'm done with the stage. Lame.
0:52 Now Campbell is telling me to "sow dischord among the enemy." This provides some interesting possibilities. Too bad it took nearly an hour to get to them. The rebel commander is named Gene. Like genetics. Like the core scientific concept of the series. Oh Kojima. You ham.
0:57 OK, my task is to knock a guy out and drag him back to the truck. The "knock a guy out" part takes approximately 10 seconds. Now I have to drag him back, but he won't come down the conveniently placed crate staircase. Isn't there a handicapped-accessible ramp or something?
0:58. I figure out that if I position the solider perfectly I can drop him down the stairs.ANOTHER cut scene. This is getting ridiculous.
1:01 The cut scene is still going. Some random guard spouts a bunch of political backstory. "We were abandoned by our own country." TOO MUCH EXPOSITION. Real people do not talk like this. It's like dueling philosophy professors. More MGS3 reminiscence, I think. I turn off the game before the cut scene can finish.

Would I play this game for more than an hour: Probably not.
Why? It's OK when you actually get to play, but the story is the usual slow, overwrought mess that characterizes every MGS game since the first.

This review based ona retail copy rented from GameFly.


jvm said...

Please set your RSS feed settings so I get full posts. It's frustrating to have to click through to read the whole post.

henry said...

that's so funny )

x0x0kissesx0x0 said...

haha nice

Kyle said...

Weird, I just ordered a PSP along with Metal Gear Acid 1 and 2, Lumines II, and this game. Talk about coincidence.

FUNNYMAN said...

I am a big time Metal Gear Solid fan. I can't wait for MGS 4

France said...

I played allready MGS for PSP and I did not like it at all...

Tommy said...

whatever dude, never judge the book by it's cover... never judge a game by it's beginning... (and cmon, it had almost no annoing hours of story... the first and second game were like 5 movies in time if you take all the cutscenes in one piece... thisone had like half an hour of cutscenes)