Metal Gear Retrospective Day 2

In preparation for the release of the latest Metal Gear game, Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, the Padinga staff share their favorite memories and moments of the Metal Gear series. Check back daily as we work our way through this classic series and towards the release of its newest entry.

Retrospective: METAL GEAR SOLID 2:Sons of Liberty
Platform: Sony Playstation 2 and Microsoft Xbox (Substance re-release)

Metal Gear Solid 2 is one of the most divisive titles in the series, though the game was a critical and commercial success (the 3rd highest rated game on the PS2, selling over 7 million copies). Gamers will always be slightly distrustful of Kojima after he pulled off the greatest surprise in recent gaming history: the player controlled a character other than Solid Snake for the majority of the game. The popular view of Raiden was to view him as weak, effeminate, and perhaps even a bit obnoxious, casting him in a pale light next to the extremely masculine Solid Snake. This switch, while so well executed and amazingly hidden from public until the game’s release, will forever overshadow everything MGS2: Sons of Liberty does well.

Eric Robbins writes:
“Gift of the silver tongue. They say it’s the mark of a good officer… and of a liar!” 

MGS 2 continues my long standing tradition of Hideo Kojima and Solid Snake convincing me to spend lots of money. I had managed to resist the lure of a Playstation 2 for over a year, and thought I would be fine. Believe me, I was content with my Dreamcast (!) and more than willing to hold out for Microsoft’s rumored console or the next thing from Nintendo (that was the last time I ever doubted Sony, by the way). Then Metal Gear Solid 2 hit. At first it was the reviews. Oh, the reviews! Game Informer’s 10 / 10, Gamespot’s claim that it was a “must play game”, and GamePro’s very persuasive review all tugged at my fond memories of the first game, as well as my wallet. I avoided game stores for at least two months, I kid you not. All was well….then I saw the game in the window of a Sam Goody in a mall. I walked in, bought the game, console, and memory card (which was almost the deal breaker, cruely enough), then went home and beat half the game.

My favorite moment of MGS 2 would have to be when Revolver Ocelot (quickly becoming Liquid Ocelot) steals Metal Gear Ray. The music, the animation, everything in that scene is so thrilling, and you’re NOT EVEN PLAYING THE GAME. It was at that moment that I knew MGS 2 was something special, and its cinematic narrative was going to be unlike anything we’d seen on the Playstation 2.

I also like skateboarding around the Big Shell. So sue me.

Tim Veilleux writes:
I still remember the day Zone of the Enders came out. Me and my brother rushed out to the rental store to get it. Not to play zone of the enders, oh no. We got it to play the packed in Metal Gear Solid 2 demo, and oh how glorious it was. We sat and witnessed one of the greatest character entrances in video game history. Everything about this game felt right. The music, the gameplay; MGS2 was a masterpiece.

It also featured one of the most controversial twists: the change of the playable main character. For those who stayed away from any spoilers, the switch from snake to raiden was a shock. Kojima hid it so well in his trailers, even replacing scenes of raiden with snake to fool viewers. Many gamers hated the new character, but to me, it made snake even more badass and desirable to play as.

Seeing Stillman’s helpless body floating in the water still brings chills and a sense of sadness over me. I don’t think I’ve ever been this attached to any fictional set of characters before in my life. Oh, and Zone of the Enders was a great game.