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If I were to pick a game which changed the way I play video games, Metal Gear Solid would be that game. Whenever me and my friends talk about what was the greatest video game ever, Metal Gear always gets mentioned and it absolutely deserves the recognition. I just want to point out that MGS on the Playstation is actually the 3rd in the series despite people referring to it as “Metal Gear Solid 1”. The first two were released on the original Nintendo (Metal Gear & Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake). My cousin Liam recommended this to me, he managed to get hold of the American version in 1998 as the European version was released the following year. I bought it, I played and I was fucking captivated by it.
The game is set in 2005; a legendary solider called Solid Snake has been assigned the task of infiltrating a nuclear weapons compound to stop a threat from the terrorist group, Foxhound, led by Liquid Snake. Snake must also rescue hostages, confront the terrorist and stop them from launching a nuclear warhead named “Metal Gear”.
Metal Gear made me truly feel as if I was a part of a film with its lengthy cut scenes and compelling storyline. You lose yourself in the moment! Before MGS, I was too used to playing simple games like Super Mario, Sonic and Crash Bandicoot so you can imagine how much of a 360 it was playing Metal Gear for the first time. The stealth aspect was awesome. Many games of today employ stealth tactics but none of them could pull it off the same way Metal Gear did. You had to hide under vans, hide in vents and even hide inside of a cardboard box! And if any of the guards found you, forget about it. You were toast! The game was so cleaver that if you were in the snow your footprints would be visible to the guards who would investigate who’s footprints they belonged to and if you stayed out in the cold for too long you would develop a cold which will cause you to sneeze at the most inappropriate times alerting the guards in the process. The amount of times my sneezing has landed me into bother is crazy!
The game was famous for breaking the forth wall and the one character most associated with that was Psycho Mantis. Psycho Mantis is a psychic expert who knows your every move, so in order to combat that, you had to place your controller into the 2nd player slot making it harder for Mantis to “read your mind”. At the time I thought that was an awesome thing to do. There was also this other thing he used to do where if you had any saved data from other Kanomi games on your memory card, he was able to read your card and make comments about it. I recall him reading my data for Pro Evolution Soccer and him making a comment about how I was “a talented soccer player”. It was unlike anything I had experienced before or since and that’s that I think Psycho Mantis is one of the greatest video game bosses ever. He also made a cameo appearance in MGS4, again attempting to “read your mind” but unable to do so due to the advances in technology. That was pretty funny! Other notable bosses were Sniper Wolf, a skilled sniper whose battles were some of the longest in the game. I remember you had to take these pills (can’t remember the name of the pills) to stop you from shaking so you were able to get clean shots. I thought that was a pretty cool and realistic method. Vulcan Raven was pretty bad ass with his huge gun, the Ninja was a pain in the arse and finally fighting Metal Gear itself had me on tenterhooks although I did think it was a little silly fighting this giant warhead!
So as you can imagine, playing Metal Gear all those years ago got me hooked. Not that long ago, I managed to buy a copy of MGS off e-bay for £8.00 ($12) and all those memories just came flooding back. I completed the game over the weekend whiles the first time I played it took me 8 months! Damn I sucked playing games back in ’99! Metal Gear Solid has been branded the greatest game of all time and the most important game of all time. It made the stealth genre popular. The Phantom Pain is out next year and I will be purchasing it. Other Metal Gear games have been released but none of them have equalled what MGS brought to the table, MG3 was pretty close I admit. MGS is the measuring stick of how all stealth games should be. Everything that has come after it lives in its shadow. I would love to see a stealth game top MGS in terms of awards and I hope The Phantom Pain is that game but I can’t see that happening for a long time. Metal Gear Solid is one of the greatest video games of all time. Simply put; a masterpiece!