11 – METAL GEAR SOLID (1998) – KONAMI
There was a time when games could get by with relatively simple stories. Kill the aliens descending from the top of the screen, save the princess, get to the shiny teleporter at the end of the level; all of these were relatively standard fare before 1998. Then, a man by the name of Hideo Kojima gave the world Metal Gear Solid, and showed the world that games could deliver a narrative that rivalled anything coming out of Hollywood.
Featuring numerous detailed FMV’s that advanced the story, along with hours of CODEC conversations that revealed more about the world and the facility that Snake was infiltrating made Metal Gear Solid feel like so much more than just another game. It was more like an interactive movie, one that you could affect with some quite big consequences depending on how you reacted to certain elements of the story. The added effect of having more video footage also meant that bosses could become more fleshed out characters, leading to some pretty memorable sequences with Psycho Mantis taking the top plaudits.
And alongside this cinematic development of events, there was a totally new way to play the game. Running in with guns blazing was a sure fire way to end up dead – instead, Snake had to be as stealthy as possible, using the environment to his advantage to avoid the constantly patrolling guards. Metal Gear Solid was the first game to perfect stealth, which has become a staple feature in pretty much every action adventure game since.
The adventures of Solid Snake proved to be only a starting point for the evolution of outstanding narratives in video games. Alongside the Metal Gear Solid sequels, the likes of Grand Theft Auto, Bioshock, Mass Effect and Uncharted have all been shining examples of giving the player an engrossing story to play through whilst not sacrificing anything on the gameplay or graphical front.
12 – THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: OCARINA OF TIME (1998) – NINTENDO EAD
People will never seemingly shut up about Ocarina Of Time, which indicates that it must have done something to change the playing field. The first Legend Of Zelda game to feature the adventures of Link in three dimensions didn’t just change the much lauded series for the better, but also implemented some features that most modern games would even think twice about including.
Probably the most significant change was the introduction of the Z-targeting mechanic. The ability to lock on to a target and then move around freely whilst always keeping him in your sights allowed for a tactical element to be added to boss fights, and also allowed ranged attacks to be reliably successful. Ocarina Of Time is also credited with popularising the use of context sensitive actions where one button could be used for several different actions depending on the situation, e.g. pushing a box, opening a door, picking up bombs etc.
It wasn’t just the new mechanics that impressed though; it’s the small things that make Ocarina such a delight to play. The limitation of the use of certain items by young and adult Link means that you would have to travel forwards and backwards through time on a regular basis to solve the trickiest puzzles the game had to offer. The use of the Ocarina itself to solve puzzles was a genius idea, seamlessly integrating music into the game. The detail of the world of Hyrule, whilst looking average at best nowadays, was also well ahead of most other games released at the time.
No video game has really managed to match the legacy left behind by Ocarina Of Time. It received perfect reviews across the board upon its release, and has been voted as the greatest game of all time by no less than 13 official publications – nevermind receiving the same accolade from thousands of normal punters. It continues to be a defining, maybe the defining, moment in video game history 14 years since it first burst onto the scene.
Every now and again, when a game is being developed those involved in the process like to have a bit of fun, and add items and references that one may not necessarily encounter in a standard playthrough. These hidden things have come to be known as Easter Eggs in games, and often times our pervading memories of a game are the strange things that you can encounter that the developers subtly added to the mix – whether they be humorous, informative or a dig at other developers, its always a rewarding process to find such things. There have been a multitude of Easter Eggs popping up in games over the years, and what better time to celebrate the best of them than Easter – the festival of eating chocolate eggs. Below is my personal top ten favourite Easter Eggs that I have encountered in a game. Continue reading Top Ten…Easter Eggs In Gaming
Some quite interesting nuggets of news have been flying across the interweb in the last few days, with a lot of it focusing on the games you will most probably be playing this coming Winter. Where to start….
- Maybe predictably, we kick off with the battle of the heavyweights – Battlefield 3 vs. Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, first of all looking at COD. This week marked the Call Of Duty XP event, basically a huge convention dedicated to Activision’s upcoming title. Along with official reveals of multiplayer information like re-designed kill streaks focusing on team play, they also revealed how much the ‘Call Of Duty Elite’ service will cost – £34.99 for a years subscription. This will grant access to the 20 pieces of planned DLC (which will be coming out monthly now instead of in quarterly map packs), and random community videos. The free tier service will offer stat tracking and community features, a bit like Halo Waypoint on the Xbox 360. Now excuse my pessimism, but unless the DLC is hilariously overpriced (which would make getting it in a bundle cheaper), £35 is a bit of a kick in the balls for anyone who was planning on getting it. I mean, consider if you want to get the service for the Xbox 360; that’s £40 for the game, £35 for Elite, and a further £35 for an Xbox Live Gold subscription – £110 overall. Quite simply, that is asking too much of the average consumer.
- And on EA’s side of the war, we have confirmation that Battlefield 3 will be shipping on two discs for the Xbox 360. They haven’t confirmed whether it will be a split affair with one disc for multiplayer and one for single player. While disc swapping isn’t a problem, along with the news that Rage will require 22GB of HDD space to install, one wonders whether Microsoft will be able to stretch out their standard 7GB disc for much longer before they need to consider new options…maybe on a new console. One also wonders how much data the Frostbite engine takes up on a disc.
- Hideo Kojima confirmed on Twitter recently that Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker will have four player co-op running at 60fps in the MGS HD Collection due this Winter. All the more reason to get what I think will be the surprise hit (in terms of sales at least) of the Christmas period.
- It hasn’t been the smoothest of launches for Dead Island. It was released with quite a lot of glitches and people buying the game off of Steam got a build of the game meant for development purposes. The known glitches have been quickly patched by developers Techland, but it hasn’t helped its arrival amongst the media. The game has had mixed reviews amongst the press, basically surmising that Left 4 Dead is a better game overall. A bit of a shame really, considering the potential of that epic trailer that got everyone excited.
- Square Enix have finally announced Dragon Quest X – and the headline news here is that is will be an online RPG available exclusively on both the Wii and the Wii U. Compatible with all the standard Wii controllers, it has also been implied that there will be (and I quote from the official mumbo jumbo) a ‘usage fee’. Square Enix have already set out plans for a public beta. No Dragon Quest on a Sony console? Believe me the backlash in Japan will be pretty severe at that.
That’s all from me right now, feel free to read around my blog and any comments on improvements are welcome.
It’s typical. I decide to delay the news for one day, and then EA amongst others drop multiple bombs at the GamesCom conference in Germany. Oh well, means I’ve got more to write about – and believe me, this stuff is sehr gut (very good, as the Germans would say). Let’s crack on:
- The most pertinent thing to discuss is Battlefield 3, and how it has played a massive trump card today. After announcing the addition of co-op gameplay (which seem to be missions separate from the main storyline retaining all the features of normal gameplay) and demonstrating a mission live to the GamesCom audience, they showed off some frankly unbelievable multiplayer footage: the amount of stuff going on in the video is crazy, featuring your standard gun and run action, but with plenty of tanks and other vehicles to keep you occupied.
After a long summer lull where Zumba Fitness has enjoyed a jaw-dropping eight weeks at the top of the game charts, the games industry explodes this fall in what must be said is the most promising, and certainly one of the most competitive, winter seasons for gaming in many years. There are some absolutely top quality titles coming out, and quite simply in this article I am counting down my Top 20 most eagerly anticipated games for the next few months.
20 – Need For Speed: The Run – 15th November
Once upon a time, Need For Speed was the undisputed king of the Christmas sales list; the two Underground games and the fantastic Most Wanted dominated their respective years, but then the series took a turn for the worse with Carbon, before ProStreet (which I had completely forgotten existed) and Underground performed poorly. Criterion’s reboot last year, Hot Pursuit, was a welcome return to form, and now we have The Run, the first game in the series to include on foot segments. Hopefully it will continue Criterion’s good work. Continue reading Dazcooke’s Top 20 Most Anticipated Games For Winter 2011
There’s still two days or so until E3 kicks off with Microsoft’s press conference, but it seems that game developers across the globe have got impatient waiting, and the result is that over the last two days we have had a flood of news about new games. In this article I will try to cover as much of the headline news as possible. Continue reading E3 2011: Konami Presentation Roundup And Early News
METAL GEAR SOLID (1998) – KONAMI
It’s not often that a game can come along and invent an entire genre by itself. And yet when Metal Gear Solid was released in 1998 that is exactly what it did. By making the player use stealth and not just charge in all guns blazing, and by making a game that had cinematics and presentation almost on par with that which was coming out of Hollywood, Hideo Kojima created a legendary game. The effect of Metal Gear Solid is still felt today; it remains one of the highest rated games of all time on Metacritic and every game since that has featured some element of stealth has to dock its cap to Kojima.
And yet for 12 years after its release, I never played a minute of this game. I had the Playstation all set for it, and yet never managed to get a copy. Imagine my delight therefore when I found a near mint copy in a local retro store for £8 last year. Several playthroughs later, and I now find myself in a position where I can explain what Metal Gear Solid does so well. Continue reading Tactical Espionage Action For All – Metal Gear Solid Review