Gaming History 101

Know Your Roots

Stop What You’re Doing Right Now and Play Metal Gear Solid! (on Playstation because meh to the GameCube Remake)

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In honour of Metal Gear Solid season I wanted to kick off what I hope will be a new season of articles telling you by force to play certain games. Boy, do we have a good one to start with. Metal Gear Solid on the Playstation is most peoples first entry into the Metal Gear Solid series. However, if by some bizarre fluke this game has completely passed you by then here are some reasons why you need to drop what you are doing right now and go play this game. If you have already played the game then maybe this article will give you incentive to go revisit it again.

Before we begin this list may contain mild spoilers so if you haven’t already played the game and want to you may want to come back to this later. Also the opinions in this article do not represent the opinions of other writers for Gaming History 101.  With that out of the way, let’s get on with it!

Number One: The voice casting is awesome for a videogame

Yes, these days having a passable voice acting cast in a video game is pretty normal but back in the Playstation era we were mostly laughing at how god awful voice acting was in video games, were looking at you Resident Evil. Metal Gear Solid brought a very impressive cast of talent featuring David Hayter who pretty much solidified himself (pun intended) as Solid Snake in all future games in the series until the most recent one. Hell, when he was re cast with Keither Sutherland fans revolted that’s how iconic this dudes voice is. The game also features the talents of Jennifer Hale who would later voice other characters in the series, as well as voice Fem Shep in the the awesome Mass Effect series.

Number Two: The Soundtrack is so great

mgs_soundtrackMetal Gear Solid is one of the first soundtracks in a game where I thought “I really want this on CD,” it really has a bit of everything in the score from the opening menu score which feels reminiscent of one of my favourite mangas of all time Appleseed, to the emotional choir as you swim to your mission start. Then you have the calm but tense scores as you sneak around the environments, to tense and hectic chase music after you’re spotted by the enemy and the boss fights. This score has everything and really shines on the CD based Playstation system and has music that I still listen to this day.

Number Three: Your Footprints

Early on in the game you are walking through the snow and you leave some footprints, yes this sounds tame today guys but back then this blew your mind when you played the game. Not only that, there was the moment that made everyone shout “What the F#*@?” for the very first time in a game when an enemy soldier spots your footprints and proceeds to follow them and track you down. This was crazy cool back in the day and a stealth mechanic actually forgotten in most future stealth titles including later Metal Gear Solid games. You will never forget that soldier saying “who’s footprints are these?”

Number Four: Those Boss fights

Metal Gear Solid made boss fights amazing and memorable. Each boss encounter is something new and different with multiple ways to tackle it. Your jaw will literally drop when you discover you have to fight against a Tank, a Helicopter and at one point a gatling gun toting psychopath. Let’s also not forget about the most fourth wall breaking fight ever, with Psycho Mantis that literally requires you to think outside the game to solve the problems. Don’t panic though if you really suck you can just call up your old pal Roy Cambell and he’ll just flat out tell you how to take down the bugger.


Number Five: Those Emotional moments

Metal Gear Solid has some surprising heart to its story, something I very rarely saw in a video game at the time. The game really makes you care about the characters and at times even sympathise with some of the enemies while they try to shoot you in the face. It makes you care about war, what your fighting for and other weird that’s not really important. Aries dying ain’t got nothing on the emotional strings that will be pulled when you play Metal Gear Solid.

Number Six: So Many Easter Eggs

Metal Gear Solid is so full of hidden little references and moments its surprising the game didn’t just come packaged as a chocolate egg with the game disc inside. But since the game is on two discs I guess that would have cost too much. Anyway you can bug your codec contacts by not saving and literally have them deny the ability to save the game. There are references to Kojima’s previous work like Policenauts. Hell one of the female characters, Meryl, is literally from that game which is kind of a mind blow. You can also get totally creeped out when Phycho Mantis literally reads your memory card and tells you what other Konami games you have played.

Number Seven: It Got Gamers to Like Stealth Games

stealth_gamesUnless you were a PC gamer its unlikely you even played a stealth game until Metal Gear Solid kicked down your front door and shoved the genre down your face. Let’s be honest stealth games are not a ton of fun. You wait around forever for an opening, then step out to get caught anyway and have to reset the whole dam scenario again. Well Metal Gear Solid has all that but we didn’t care because it was Metal Gear Solid and you were playing as Solid Snake. Get caught who cares, punch people in the face, whip out your rifle, hide in a cardboard bow, accidentally go prone and get pissed off at the controls. Check, check and check. At the end of the day you still play this game and still hate all other stealth games because they are not Metal Gear Solid.

Number Eight: It Set The Bar For Future Game Design

Metal Gear was like a film in video games. Gone were the days of playing a game as some animal collecting notes, or rings and saving the world from some mad scientist crap. Metal Gear Solid was epic in scope had an over the top nineties style film plot and more importantly it was bloody, adult and damn right manly like some sexy Arnold Schwarzenegger film. This changed things for future games. Now every game designer would put too many damn cutscenes in their video game when all I want to do is play the game already. So yeah Metal Gear Solid was to blame I guess for all that. But that doesn’t matter because…Metal Gear.

Number Nine: Liquid Snake, That is All

Liquid Snake is the big bad guy in Metal Gear Solid and he literally solidifies how bad ass he is by spending the majority of the game in a cold Antarctic environment with his chest exposed (all Van Damme style). On top of that he is voiced by Cam Clarke who has a pretty great English accent, because as well all know British guys make the best bad guys. You also fight the guy topless on top of a Metal Gear towards the end of the game possibly the most testosterone injected boss fight ever. Finally, the guy literally doesn’t die, this guy survives everything, sort of.

Number Ten: Best Game Over Screen EVER!

There comes in every game where you just suck and die. In Metal Gear you will probably find that happens quite often. When you do die you are treated to possibly one of the most dramatic scenes in gaming where one of your buddies over the codec balls their eyes and screams at the fact you have failed. It’s kind of shocking but at the same time no other game makes death feel more painful than this emotionally.


Number Eleven: What? You’re Still Here!

Seriously go dig out your Sony Playstation, that old grey machine that’s in your loft (possibly your parents loft depending on your age). Get a dual shock controller (its worth it for those special healing moments) go buy this game again and sit your butt down and enjoy the show. This game will make you laugh, it will make you cry, it will make you want to work out with the amount of male abs you will see. It has it all. Metal Gear Solid is a must play that everyone should experience right now.

Written by jamalais

August 20, 2015 at 11:00 am

Posted in Blog

Tagged with , , ,

2 Responses

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  1. Dude, I wanna play MGS again so bad when I have the time

    Blake Bickerstaff

    August 20, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    • Me to, if your a portable gamer get that awesomeness into your Vita or PSP and enjoy.


      August 21, 2015 at 2:24 pm

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