First Impressions: Metal Gear Solid 2 HD

So I’ve had the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection on rent from Gamefly for several months now & am just now getting around to playing Metal Gear Solid 2.  One of the reasons I was sitting on this game for so long was because my dad passed away two months ago from a long illness & quite frankly I was preferring to take comfort in playing games I’d finished before than playing something new.  Some people have comfort foods, I have comfort games.  But also I was holding off because I felt I needed to do research before I could properly play.

What kind of research could I possible need to do to feel ready to play a game?  Research on the previous installments in the Metal Gear series, of course.  I’ve never played any of the previous Metal Gear games before, but I know if the game’s reputation.  And given that some people who’ve been fans of the series since the beginning can still get confused by the… convoluted storyline, I figured I needed to see the previous games if I wanted to have a chance of understanding what’s going on.  Thanks to the wonders of Youtube I was able to watch playthroughs of Metal Gear, Metal Gear 2 & Metal Gear Solid.

So what are my impressions so far of the game?  Well, first of all I realize what people are talking about when they complain about the super-long cutscenes.  I think the first 15 minutes of the game is one long introductory cutscene.  But I don’t really have a problem with that.  Unlike some people, I don’t mind cutscenes, even long ones, if they’re interesting.  I know a lot of people don’t like having control taken away from them in a game.  But does it matter if it’s a cutscene you can’t control or one in real-time when I’m stuck hiding in a closet to watch it?  And to the game’s credit, the cutscenes are well done & don’t seem unnecessary (right now).  It’s kind of a nice touch that during most dialogue between Snake & Otacon are done in the mission briefing-style window.  The exchanges between the two are also amusing.

The graphics are nice & movement looks fluid, but I haven’t compared them to the original yet to see how the HD aspect stands up.  It’s taking me some time to get used to the top-down perspective.  It’s not that it doesn’t suit the game, because it does, but I just having playing a lot of games from that perspective.

The controls are taking me a bit to get used to, mainly because there’s not much in the way of tutorial.  I know some people don’t like them, but it’s useful for people who are new to the series.  There is a sort of tutorial in one of the option menus, but it just shows you what you can do it doesn’t tell you how to do them.  And they’re not even for the basic moves.  But I’m learning.  It’s nice that there a wide variety of things you can do that assist in sneaking around.

I’ve made it past the first boss fight, with Olga.  It was a good boss fight.  Not particularly difficult, but it had a good, specific strategy to win.  And I like boss fights like that.  Makes you think a bit if you haven’t playing before.

I’m looking forward to playing more.  I’m not sure how long it’ll take, but I expect I’ll probably get lost a bit since the game seems a bit open in letting you wander.

2-MGS2

– GamerDame

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