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I just recently got myself a shiny new Playstation Vita. The machine is a real looker, and I find myself just holding it in my hands and gawking at the device. Sony really got the look of the thing down really well. However, no gaming machine can get away with looking pretty if there are no games to play, and the Vita is no exception; I spent the first two weeks of owning the device just looking at it because there were just no interesting retail games to pick up. I started out with Katamari, and while that was a nice distraction, it seriously did no favors to prove that the Vita was any sort of a capable gaming machine. But then I remembered that they had released the Metal Gear Solid HD collection on the device.

Now, I’m a huge Metal Gear Solid fan. I’ve played through the entirety of the Solid series many times, and find myself completely enamored by how good almost every aspect of the games are. So thinking that I could own Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3 to play in the palm of my hand made me very excited, and I picked the games up as soon as I could.

Like any self respecting gamer should, I started with the earlier game, Son’s of Liberty. I was in awe of how much fun I was having, even though I’ve beaten the game probably close to five times before. Maybe it was just the shock of playing this fantastic game on a portable device that had me so excited, but I played through the entire thing in about three nights.

Then it was time to move on to Snake Eater.

Before I start, a bit of back story. I was never a huge fan of Snake Eater. Yes, I did beat it back on my PS2, but I never really liked a lot of things about it. However, I was younger back then, a lot less wise than I am today, so I decided to go into the Vita version with completely blank expectations: I was going to give Snake Eater a completely new opinion.

As it turns out, younger me wasn’t as dumb as I had thought. 

The game, while a perfectly fine game in itself, is easily the worst of the Metal Gear Solid series, and I intend to, as fairly as I can, compare Snake Eater to Son’s of Liberty, Gun’s of the Patriots and the game that started it all, Metal Gear Solid.

Let’s start, shall we?

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This is hard for me. Very hard. Excruciatingly hard. To narrow my favorite games of ALL time into a list of five? Almost impossible. There are so many spectacular games that I play every year; to narrow them down to such a tiny number is almost as hard as throwing a soccer ball through a field-fence-goal-thing from 200 leagues away in the next state over the heads of 27 armed guards.

This is the start of a five part, hopefully weekly series of me trying to narrow down my top five games of all time. I will link the previous blog in each new post so those who missed it the first time can go back and look.

Here we go.

Number Five: Metal Gear Solid: Twin Snakes (Nintendo Gamecube)

Metal Gear Solid on the PSX

To start, I chose the GCN version because it is more than just a port of the original Metal Gear Solid on the PS1; it’s an entirely remade game. Better voice actors, better graphics, better gun handling (and this is a very important part). It was an all around better game. That’s not to say that I do not enjoy the original, but it’s mostly nostalgia.

The game. The story is what drew me in, in the first place. Without it, the game would feel like another ripped off spy story right out of James Bond, and would lose most of it’s appeal for almost everyone who plays it. People don’t come to Metal Gear Solid for incredible gameplay (though they get it), they come to Metal Gear Solid to be indulged into a intense and deep plot, that, even after the main story arch has ended, still leaves a little quack of questions unanswered.

Metal Gear Solid Remake on the Gamecube

Metal Gear Solid has about a 1:2 ratio; that is, 1 hour of cut-scenes for every two hours of game-play. It’s more like a movie that lets you decide what is going to happen. As the series progressed, the length of the cut-scenes gets deadly close to the length of the game-play, but fans don’t care; they enjoy the story just as much as the game-play.

And as for the game play, you aren’t going to get a game that actually let’s you play through it in it’s entirety killing minimal enemies. You’re given a dart sleeper gun, and if you so desire, you can sneak your way through the entire game and not kill a single soul (though most will find that killing a random enemy as he tries to pee is just too good to pass up). The game-play isn’t all that intuitive, but it’s presented in a brand new package; what other game has a “psychic” enemy read your saved games on your memory card and call them out to you as a trick? That genuinely freaked me out.

Kojima is a master of story telling through game-play, not only in cut-scenes. If he wrote a book, I’d be over 2000 pages and have 17 1/2 sequels, all of which would be a total blast to read. Metal Gear Solid DOES. NOT. GET. OLD. You find something new in every play-through, especially if you space the play-throughs by about half a year to a year. I’m sure, even after countless play-throughs and all these years I’m missing pieces of the major, grand scheme that Kojima had planned for us. I’m sure there are some buried too deep that no-one will ever find them; it’s just what Kojima wants.

The game has relatable and believable characters, has a grade “A” book/movie like story, spectacular game-play and above all, it’s just plain fun to beat over and over again, finding new ways to do things and new ways to kill old enemies.

It’s a classic.

That’s why it’s my number five favorite game of all time.

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