Wednesday, October 28, 2015


I'm coming off my Metal Gear high, for one of the last times, probably. MGSV has been an incredible time. Every time I fly into or out of a mission area, I can't help but think about how much I love the game. I've done damn near everything there is to do in the game now, at least once, anyway. There are still a lot of Side Ops undone and even about 5 of the optionally difficult Main Ops, though, so there is still a lot of meat on the bone if I ever want to come back to it later on. The main thing I want to do before putting it aside is to build a nuclear weapon. I just need to wait on materials to be processed at my FOB and be transferred over to Mother Base to give the order. It also takes 30 hours real time for the development of the bomb, so I have a few more days' checking in and running of FOB missions to carry out.

The FOB invasions are the toughest part of the game, I think. You have no buddy to spot enemies on these missions, and you are in areas that are much more confined and difficult to sneak through as compared to the rest of the game, with nowhere to run when the shit hits the fan, and it will, thanks to the presence of security cameras, laser grids, drones, and the large numbers guards patrolling many rival FOBs. This is hardcore mode for MGSV. It wouldn't be so bad if you didn't lose your complete deployment cost and suffer a huge hit to your ranking every time you fail an invasion, but thems the breaks. I think I'm something like 7/16 as far as successes and attempts, as of now.

As I wind down The Phantom Pain, I find myself wanting to go back to Ground Zeroes to see how Camp Omega feels now that I am so much more familiar with the game. There's actually a lot more left to do in that game than I ever got around to, as well.

I began Telltale's Game of Thrones series kind of on a whim, kind of because it will slot in nicely before Fallout 4's release, and partly to talk about on the Game Bytes podcast. I'm toward the beginning of the second episode, and kind of lukewarm on it. Story wise, it's fine. I just really dislike the interactive bits of these games. QTEs and perfunctory pointing and clicking are the bottom of the barrel when it comes to game mechanics, and if it weren't for the licenses and stories of Telltale's games, I don't think I would ever touch them. I really liked The Walking Dead season one, but never because of how great it felt to play. It never did. Nevertheless, here I am.

Something made me go back to revisit, however briefly, Shin Megami Tensei IV recently. I may actually play it even more, since I have a peculiar turn-based JRPG combat itch, which I guess stems from the Dragon Ball Z Dokkan Battle mobile game I've (still) been playing.

Also on the DBZ front, I let curiosity get the better of me and bought Dragon Ball Z Extreme Butoden for the 3DS. It's a 2D fighter by Arc System Works with a lot of Dragon Ball characters in various canonical and non-canonical situations and battles. It's crap in terms of the connective tissue of the package (no production values, terse hackneyed storytelling), but the core fighting and animation is kind of neat and cool looking, I suppose. Mia seems to think it's OK, at least.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Becoming Legend

I've reached the end of the story content in The Phantom Pain, and now I know what it means to "Become Legend," perhaps not in the way Bungie's Destiny marketing suggests, but still. There is a final plot twist in TPP that is a dramatic re-framing of everything that has gone before since Venom Snake's awakening in the Cyprus hospital. It didn't sit right with me immediately, but after ruminating on it some, I think it's alright. Kojima was basically able to have his cake and eat it too in that he was able to show what Big Boss was up to and what was going through his head in the decade leading up to the first Outer Heaven uprising, and not do so at the same time. He was able to write himself out of a corner (when and how does Big Boss become the bad guy) by adding another dimension to the story. 'When you view it from this angle, there is no corner!'

If there's never another MGS game, I guess that will be fine by me. It's been an amazing series. TPP is a hell of a game. On its own merits it is one of the best games of the year, and an excellent send off for Kojima Productions and Metal Gear. Konami may produce more Metal Gear games, but I wouldn't count on them being as special as the Kojima-directed ones to date. There's substantial doubt that Konami will be producing much of anything beyond small-scale mobile type stuff from here on out, though.

I continue to play TPP. There are still a number of things I want to do in the single player portion of the game, then there is the pseudo-multiplayer FOB invasion stuff, and at some point Metal Gear Online will be released, as well. I'd like to 100% the game, but that may require S-ranks on all missions, and I'm not sure I'm down for that. I wonder if there are plans to support the game with DLC. I would certainly like to chase down one or two loose ends left dangling after the plot wrap-up.

I'm also still playing Destiny. Lately I've been mainly jumping in and playing a few matches of crucible. The Iron Banner is going on now, and I'm trying to get to the point where I can get a shader or emblem or something from that, in addition to random gear drops. It's something to do.