ReTardis for Who
Triangle, Square, Circle, X

Oh yes, there will be blood spoilers.

Game: Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (Subsistence version)
Console: PlayStation 2
Year released: 2004
Developer: KCEJ/Kojima Productions/Armature
Publisher: Konami

So, first things first, I thought of a new name for this Backlog series of blogs: Triangle, Square, Circle, X instead of just generic Playstation Backlog. I browsed around the net a bit, didn’t see anyone using that specific title, though if anyone is and wants me to stop, let me know. Second, I’m posting this review only a couple days after I posted the Backlog review of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, but about a week after I beat that game. I played through the majority of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater in only two days, the game absolutely captivated me and right up front, I can say this is not only my favorite Metal Gear game, but this is up there with Shadow of the Colossus, Snatcher, Bioshock, The Last of Us and Bioshock Infinite as my favorite games of all time. I need to let the game marinate a little bit more before I decide how high on the list the game is, but it’s definitely among those games. As I said in my Sons of Liberty review, stop reading if you have any interest in this game and go play it.

I spent the majority of my Sons of Liberty review talking about the plot and only gave a brief nod to the game play, mainly because while I enjoyed the game play, it wasn’t my favorite thing about the game. That’s true here too, but Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes aside, Snake Eater is the best playing of the Metal Gear games. There’s a mix of the old school game play of 1 and Sons of Liberty here, but also a little bit of a sneak peak as to how the open sandbox game play the series would eventually make its way towards. There are several sections of the game that have completely optional buildings, that give the player multiple options to tackle. You want to sneak and use CQC (Close-Quarters Combat)? You’re covered. Want to gun your way through the levels, using the variety of weaponry available to you? You’re covered. Or you can do a mix of either, using your tranquilizer gun on the enemies, which is primarily how I played the game.

It was so much fun to scout through the levels, figuring out what would be the best tactic to play through the level. That openness just added another dimension to the Metal Gear Solid series that was very much needed. While I love the first two games, you have to play the games in their way to be successful. Those games manipulate the player, while in Snake Eater, you can manipulate the game systems to work in your favor. There are some amazing videos on YouTube of people doing exactly that http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Le23bsVURds this guy in particular is great at manipulating the game systems and his videos are hilarious to watch. That’s the thing though, the depth of the game play allows for people like that to play through the game and test the systems in different ways and that’s really cool to see. Of course there’s also ways not to play the game http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NSH39aiTx2A.

One of the best things about the game is how many of the best moments tie directly into the game play. For instance, one of the best fights in the game is against one of the “Cobra” named The End. All of the Cobra unit have unique names: The Boss, The Sorrow, The End, The Pain and The Fury. The End’s “special” power is that he’s an excellent, amazing sniper. The level in particular I’m talking about has you in a sniper rifle battle with The End, over several, HUGE, open levels. You have to track The End, find him and kill him. The game gives you a variety of ways to do this though, including a special way that I won’t mention here, but just shows you how inventive Kojima is.

     

The story is where Snake Eater shines for me though. Story in gaming is something that is constantly improving, but for me, I think Snake Eater might be the best story in games. It certainly is the best cast in gaming, The Last of Us being the only other contender I can think of, but there’s a couple of minor characters in The Last of Us that don’t hold up as well as the main ones for me. Everyone in Snake Eater is a great character, from the Cobra unit, to Major Tom (yes, that’s a reference to the Bowie song), Para-medic (her love of B-movies is so endearing), Volgin. The main characters are definitely the standout though, Naked Snake, Ocelot, Eva and The Boss are all at their best they’ve been in the series character wise in Snake Eater. And each character gets their moment to shine and every character works to varying degrees and the acting I think is the best in the series from all involved and this game alone, if David Hayter is not involved in the rest of the series, makes me a fan for life. The setting is so appealing to me too, not many games set in the political intrigue era of the Cold War and Snake Eater just nails that atmosphere so well.

So many great moments in the game: the HALO jump, the fight on the bridge and finding out The Boss defected, the nuke, Eva’s introduction, the battles with The Pain and The End being the standout to me out of the Cobra unit battles (and climbing the ladder and the song Snake Eater playing while climbing, amazing), climbing the mountain to meet Eva might be one of my favorite moments in gaming ever, just the feel of climbing that mountain, the atmosphere just hooked me so much, it was an incredible moment. Snake getting captured and tortured, almost getting his eye cut out by his mentor (DAT moment where she’s bringing the knife towards his face and he’s trembling all over in fear, oh man, I had chills like crazy) and then escaping from the base and the scene with The Sorrow was incredible. Again, nailing the atmosphere (and I was so proud of myself that there wasn’t many soldiers in the creek =) and then the chase on the motorcycle and sniping the bomb on the bridge. Incredible! The actual fights with Volgin didn’t do much for me, my only real letdown of the game, but luckily the game made up for it with the battle in the field of flowers with The Boss, such an emotional moment and the ending of the game, I was really close to tearing up and very few games have got that reaction from me.

Overall, such an amazing game. Outside of Peace Walker and Revengeance, I’ve played through all of the post Solid Metal Gear games now and again, this is my favorite series in gaming, but Snake Eater stands all on its own as a masterpiece in gaming. Just earlier I was on a twitch stream (UKnighted) watching them play through the game and out of all the MGS games, it’s the one I’ll return to the most. I’m playing MGS4 now and while I’m enjoying it (I won’t be covering it for this backlog series, because as I’ve said, I’ve beat the game before) I kind of wish I was playing Snake Eater. So glad I’ve done this backlog now, it’s made me play these games that I’ve known quite a bit about, but never experienced myself and now that I have, I’ve enjoyed them so much and hey, got to play one of, if not my favorite game of all time, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater!

5/5

solidkenny87:

Canon is the one subject that MG fans are the most anal about. And with Kojima’s recent answers about MPO on twitch, it’s become even more confusing.

So, what I propose, is that the fan-base (and hopefully, Kojima Productions) adopt a Canon Hierarchy system, similar to the one Lucasfilm used…

Backlog Playstation

Oh yes, there will be blood spoilers.

Game: Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
Console: PlayStation 2
Year released: 2001
Developer: KCEJ
Publisher: Konami

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Kept you waiting, huh? Man. Wow. So I beat MGS 2 the other day, continuing on this path of playing through and beating the Metal Gear games. So to accurately get across how I feel about this game, I need to get through a couple of things first. If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend that you watch Super Bunnyhop’s Critical Close-Up of this game . Not only was that one of the things that made me want to start playing a bunch of PlayStation games, but was definitely what started me down this Metal Gear path. Two, if you’re interested in playing these games, in the words of Reggie from Nintendo, “Play the game!” first, rather than watching and reading any analysis of this game, because the surprises, the twists and turns will hit you that much harder. In fact, I know I gave a spoiler warning up top, but if you have any interest in these games, stop reading this now. Play the first Metal Gear Solid and then play this one.

I, unfortunately, did not have that experience. Through listening to podcasts throughout the years and reading about and watching games, I learned more about this game then I wanted to. And I’ve also played through Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (which, I have no idea how I understood anything in that game) which is a direct sequel and reaction to everything that happened in this game. Here’s the thing, I’m increasingly getting tired of game enthusiast critics (and I can think of a few who I won’t name) writing off the Metal Gear games as “garbage”. We all want games to evolve and mature, but yet it seems like we only allow that maturation process to happen through indie games. I’ll admit, AAA games as a whole tend to be shallow experiences and the equivalent of a Summer Blockbuster Movie!!! They usually have no desire to expand the medium of video games. But when it happens, I think, even in situations where the designer swung for the fences and missed a couple of times, we should applaud a developer taking chances in the AAA space. There’s no developer I can think of who is trying to do that more than Hideo Kojima.

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My feelings about Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, are as complex as the game itself. Because the reaction I had to the game is exactly the reaction Kojima was looking for. Having recently played through Metal Gear Solid, I wanted a sequel to that game. A sequel, like any modern day sequel for most mediums, takes what was established in the first game/movie/book and increases or expands upon the ideas and themes set up in the original. In Hollywood, usually if it was an action movie, the action is increased two-fold for better or for worse. And that’s exactly what Kojima gives us for about the first hour (or two, if you’re slow like me) of MGS2. There’s the slow build up through the credits, a mysterious figure is walking through the rain on the George Washington bridge in New York City, he then begins to run and then backflips off (!!) of the bridge, bungee jumping on to a passing tanker below. The figure sheds his cloak, revealing our hero from MGS, Solid Snake. Cue title card. Amazing opening to the game.

For the first hour (or two) you play as Solid Snake, trying to figure out what is going on, on this tanker. Well, it turns out that Revolver Ocelot, one of the villain’s in the first MGS, is having his arm possessed by Liquid Snake, Solid’s twin clone brother and they’re working for the former President of the United States, who turns out to be a third clone of Big Boss, Solidus Snake and they’re on the tanker to steal another Metal Gear. Wacky enough for you? That’s not even the start of the craziness of this game. So Ocelot blows up the tanker and according to news reports, Solid Snake is framed for stealing the Metal Gear, but perished during the sinking of the tanker.

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The game then effectively hits the reset button and you now play as “Snake”, only he sounds nothing like David Hayter and the Colonel from the first game, who has been noticeably absent up to this point is basically repeating everything from the opening of the first game, how Snake is on a sneaking mission and the whole feel of this part is exactly like the opening of the first game. Only, you find out you’re not playing as Solid Snake, you’re playing as a new character for the series, Raiden. Raiden is a soldier who has done Virtual Reality simulations of Solid Snake’s various missions and this is his first actual mission out in the field.

Only, through the players eyes, this is all wrong. You don’t want to not be playing as Solid Snake in a Metal Gear Solid game and you certainly don’t want this bright blue and orange color palate of the Plant section of this game, which completely gets rid of the dark and dank feel of Shadow Moses or even the Tanker chapter of this game. But that’s exactly the point. Raiden, is effectively the player. Raiden wants to have a mission equal to Solid Snake, to be a legendary soldier of his own, just as the player wants to play a legendary mission of Solid Snake. So Raiden’s legendary mission is going to be to rescue the President of the United States, who is being held hostage on this Plant.

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So you find out there is this wacky group of bosses, just as in the first game and most parallel how you beat the bosses in the first game. Raiden eventually finds a man on the Plant, who calls himself David Plisken, who looks an awful lot like the supposed dead Solid Snake. Okay, for those not in the know, two things. One, in the first MGS, Solid Snake says that his real name is David. David Hayter, is the voice actor for Solid Snake. Two, Solid Snake, is HEAVILY influenced by Snake Plisken, the main character from the film Escape from New York, a John Carpenter movie starring Kurt Russell as Snake Plisken. Starting to see the connections? This game takes place essentially near New York, starring a main character who has to break in to his “city” and save the President, which is basically the plot of Escape from New York.

So through the plot of the game, you find out that the Plant is actually a gigantic Metal Gear and it’s on its way to attack New York and this is all spearheaded by Solidus Snake, who is Solid Snake’s and Liquid Snake’s twin clone brother. Solidus, actually ends up having the rather noble goal of freeing America from its oppressive Government the Patriots (basically the Illuminati or the conspiracy theory Freemason’s), who are using tools such as the internet to manipulate the population and Solidus wants to get back to the simpler form of Government that George Washington desired. Or something. Solidus of course is the one to reveal that David Plisken is actually Solid Snake (SHOCKING) and crashes the Plant, called Arsenal Gear, near Federal Hall, which is where George Washington was inaugurated as President of the United States. Sometime during this, Solidus also reveals he was Raiden’s godfather and helped raise him into a child soldier, but that the Patriots got to Raiden at some point and have been manipulating him for quite some time. Raiden beats Solidus and Snake is going to go fight some more Metal Gear’s, but preaches about how people shouldn’t focus on words so much as find the meaning of words and look into stuff through the meaning. Raiden is reunited with his girlfriend Rose, (Raiden’s real name by the way is Jack, Jack and Rose, ala Titanic) who up until recently may or may not have been an A.I. being controlled by the Patriots, just like the Colonel.

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So let me back up here a moment, because about 3/4ths of the way in to this game, things get really weird. And not weird like the plot I’ve been describing. Weirder. Lines of code begin to show up, digital floor panels light up as Raiden walks (think the side walk in Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean video) for no reason at all and oh yeah, as you enter the last few levels, you can look up and there is nothing there where there should at least be a wall, or sky, or something. The Colonel and Rose, who have been talking to Raiden via codec (think a radio that only you could hear) begin to flip out and speak nonsense that has NOTHING to do with what is going on in the game, like:
“Raiden, turn the game console off right now.”
“You’ll ruin your eyes playing so close to the TV.”
“Raiden, something weird happened to me last Thursday when I was driving home. I had a couple of miles to go – I looked up and saw a glowing orange object in the sky, to the east! It was moving very irregularly. Suddenly, there was intense light all around me – and when I came to, I was home. What do you think happened to me…?”
“An Anemone or Clematis plant’s juice can cause a rash. When pruning them it’s a good idea to wear gloves.”
“Actually I’m in really bad shape financially. I pay money to my ex-wife as part of our divorce settlement, among other bills. I just had no choice but to make you pay for lunch the other day, I’m really sorry.”
and everyone’s favorite:
“I hear it’s amazing when the famous purple stuffed worm in flap-jaw space with the tuning fork – does a raw blink on Hara-kiri Rock. I need scissors! 61!”
and referencing past Metal Gear games, even showing the very first Metal Gear game at one point. The game completely flips out, showing you fake game over scenes. From Raiden’s point of view, the game is heavily hinting that this whole thing has been another simulation and this is not his first mission. Not only that, but the game hints that when you played as Solid Snake in the tanker mission, you were only playing Raiden PLAYING as Solid Snake. It even kind of goes a little further, hinting that in the first Metal Gear Solid, might have just been Raiden’s simulation of Solid Snake’s mission, not actually Solid Snake’s mission. This rabbit hole is bigger and deeper than this though, the game essentially references the player at the end of the game as Raiden takes off his dog tags, YOUR name and birthdate is on them. The game knows that it is just a game.

So, man, while writing through this and thinking about what this all means, I’m coming to love this game even more. When I sat down to write this review, I was thinking, “Okay, this is a good 4/5.” But man, I think it’s higher than that. Because Kojima is so effective at manipulating the player, even tells you what he’s doing and how information and even your emotions can be manipulated, that this game is awesome. I haven’t even mentioned the game play, which is a lot better, more things to do than the first game and the A.I. is so much smarter, the Tanker mission is especially fun to play and it does ramp up in terms of a sequel, instead of one Metal Gear you fight at least six of them. I don’t know how much else I have to say about this game, I’ve kind of surprised myself at how much of an impact this game had one me though. When I played through it, I didn’t think it hit me this hard, but it clearly did. It’s clear that Kojima wanted Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty to be the final Metal Gear game and while I feel for him, I’m glad it was not. I’m two games in to this and both games are among some of my favorite games of all time and having played through (and loving) two of the games after this and getting to what almost unanimously is the best game of the series (Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater) I could not be more stoked and excited about Metal Gear.

5/5

The End of an Era?

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The modern day Los Angeles Lakers team seemingly has no plan. Or rather, fans have been fed a series of “plans” with the notion that if we hang on just a bit longer, we’ll have a team back on the court, ready to contend for another title. First plan, was getting Dwight Howard, a plan I wasn’t a fan of to begin with, aside from shipping off Andrew Bynum. I never believed that Dwight Howard was a player to build your team around and I think the evidence supports that. So first we had the 2012 plan, get Dwight Howard and team him with Chris Paul. So the Lakers actually pulled the trigger on this one, sending Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom out and getting Chris Paul back and were clearly going to flip Bynum for Howard and we’d have the makings of a new Laker dynasty, only to have this denied by the league, with various claims of this move being unfair to the rest of the league.

So, plan A squashed, they moved on to plan B, which was going ahead and pulling the trigger on Dwight Howard and getting a replacement Chris Paul in the form of Steve Nash and from here, this is where the lack of planning showed up. There was no commitment to Dwight Howard, aside from trying to appease him by feeding him the ball. Every basketball analyst in the world was screaming that Howard and Kobe Bryant’s personalities were going to clash and lo and behold, they did. They signed went through two coaches during this period, neither of which ran systems that fit the players on the team (more on this later). So, we get to a modified version of plan B, which is, try to appease Dwight Howard by telling him if he just holds on, in two years the Lakers will be his team, we’ll recruit another superstar in the summer of 2014 and bam, makings of another Laker dynasty at hand.

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Only Dwight Howard saw the writing on the wall, that this Lakers team is headed nowhere fast. He made attempts to show he was interested, asking the Lakers to trade Kobe and get Phil Jackson. Kobe, gotta love him, told him that he would teach Dwight Howard how to be a champion. Again, I was never a huge fan of Howard and I thought Houston was going to be the best basketball fit for him, so I was not surprised at all when he chose them over the Lakers. But that’s a sign of things to come. Superstars are not going to stay and wait out the prime of their careers when a franchise has no real clear direction. So, we reach plan C, which is throw a bunch of players together for a year, try to develop some young talent and when we get to the summer of 2014, we’ll sign LeBron James and/or Carmelo Anthony and bam, the start of another Laker dynasty in the making.

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Which is where we veer off course again, because in a baffling move, the Lakers in November of 2013, before he had played a game of basketball in seven months at that time period, in his eighteenth year as a basketball player and clearly on the downside of his career, give Kobe a two year contract extension, hamstringing their ability to be flexible during the summer of 2014 with several top free agents available. The Lakers and Kobe defended this move, saying it was made to reward Kobe for everything he had done for the franchise, trying to play for the hearts of Laker fans everywhere, when clearly, ticket sales were down and the Lakers were on their way to their worst season as a basketball team, they were trying to excite the fan base and raise ticket sales again.

So, here we are, after the worst season in Laker history, let’s talk about the coaches. Wait, the Lakers don’t currently have a coach? You mean, they went and pitched to free agents, with no clear structure in place? No foundation as to how a player might actually fit on a team? Since Phil Jackson left the Lakers in 2011, the Lakers are now in search of their third coach. In the interim, they hired Mike Brown, a defensive based coach and gave him Kobe Bryant, Derek Fisher, Ron A-Metta World Peace, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum, wait, that looks like a team built for the triangle, right? Mike Brown doesn’t run an offense based on the triangle, he runs an isolation based offense, so wouldn’t we have better guards? And more defense? Since you know, your coach is a defensive minded coach? So the Lakers trade Derek Fisher (who should have retired then and there, love Fish, but he was done two seasons before this one) for Ramon Sessions and okay, you can kind of see a plan. He’s no Chris Paul, but Sessions was a decent guard and well, that just didn’t really pan out all that well, Sessions seemed terrified of the Los Angeles spotlight and promptly left that summer.

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So the Lakers reload, we get Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash on the downside of the careers and Nash was never a defensive guru to begin with (though he tried hard) as his guards, Metta World Peace, Pau Gasol and trade Andrew Bynum for Dwight Howard. Okay! So we’re going to be running a pick and roll based offense, right? We got probably the best pick and roll point guard ever in Steve Nash and a Pau Gasol (who even though looked like he never wanted to be there, halfheartedly playing basketball, after the Lakers traded him for Chris Paul) one of the best passing forwards ever so yeah, going to be some great pick and roll basketball and Mike Brown announces the Lakers are going to be running the Princeton offense, which he has never run before. *record scratch* What?

Surprise! That’s a failure and Mike Brown is promptly fired and okay, let’s run back to Phil Jackson, he can clean this mess up, team is still somewhat made for him, aside from Steve Nash and the Lakers hire another Mike, Mike D’Antoni. Ok! Perfect, Steve Nash and him ran an amazing seven-seconds-or-less offense together in Phoenix, this is great, we’re going to be a run and gun, up and down the court- wait, four of our five starters are over 30? Probably not going to be able to run up and down very successfully, so ok, we’ll put in some, offense, I don’t know? Pau Gasol’s whining again that he’s not getting enough touches because of Dwight Howard, who’s mad that the offense isn’t based around his limited offensive skills and man, combined with devastating injuries that season, just turned into a big mess.

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So Dwight Howard leaves for Houston, Lakers put their young talent plan into action, kind of go out to get some Mike D’Antoni based, 3 point shooter players and then proceed to cut most of them early in the season and Pau Gasol is whining again because ________ (“You all traded me two seasons ago” is really why he was whining) and another season of devastating injuries and Mike D’Antoni wants the Lakers to commit to him, because he endured a season of Staples Center chanting “WE WANT PHIL!”, the Lakers don’t commit and D’Antoni rightly walks away from this mess of a team. So the Lakers, post Phil Jackson, who they do a tremendous job acquiring players that fit his system, the Triangle Offense, for, had two coaches that they did not provide players that fit into their systems and surprise, neither coach was successful, despite I think both of them being pretty good coaches. Not Phil Jackson, but aside from Popovich, who is?

So we go in to this summer, no coach and pitch that Carmelo Anthony can come hang out with his buddy Kobe for a year until we can get another superstar, wasting another year of a players’ prime and shock of all shocks, Carmelo Anthony doesn’t want to do that. LeBron was always a pipe dream, I know he wants to be a billionaire, but he can do that anywhere, as he’s about to prove in Cleveland. So, those two aside, there were some decent free agents: Lance Stephenson, Kyle Lowry, Trevor Ariza, some players you could see being key pieces in a playoff team down the road and the Lakers use that vaunted cap space to resign Nick “Swaggy P” Young (who I really like as a bench player) and Jordan Hill (who I really like as a bench player) and trade for Jeremy Lin. Oh wait! Jeremy Lin, Lin-sanity? Awesome! The Lakers have the coach (Mike D’Antoni) where Lin played his best basketball right!?!! Oh wait, he just walked away from the team after they failed to commit to him, which seems like, considering you keep getting players that fit his style of coaching, maybe would not have been such a bad idea, at least for a couple of summers? So that vaunted cap space was used to resign two players from the worst Laker team in history and a PG who’s best coach just left the team? What a stellar plan, that 2014 Free Agent Summer plan!

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So where are we now and what do we do? I know I’m being real negative, but it’s because I love the Lakers, I watched so many bad basketball games with them last year, with Pau Gasol clearly not caring, Mike D’Antoni incredulous. Look, I get it, wah wah wah, Lakers fan is complaining that his team is no good, having those sixteen championships must be real hard on you. No, I get it. I don’t mind rebuilding. I’d actually kind of like to see what a rebuilding Lakers team is like. And I mean, real rebuilding, build through the draft, acquire young talent like Jeremy Lin (who is the most talented PG the Lakers have had since Nick Van Exel, Nash doesn’t count because his Laker career he hasn’t even been a shell of his former self, same with Gary Payton when he was here).

But seriously, what’s the plan here? Because there is another up and coming team in Los Angeles, who are working on getting rid of the owner that has held them back, so the appeal of coming Los Angeles, well, there’s more than one player in town now. Most likely we end up with Byron Scott as coach, who I’m good with, his stints in New Orleans and New Jersey proved the guy could coach and he’s at his best with a good ball dominant PG like Jeremy Lin. But we’re once again being sold on the future, when it’s clear that the talent level isn’t there now. Baring a miracle trade (which could happen) this upcoming season seems to be set up remarkably similar to house last year was. Knock on wood, everyone’s healthy and the team has some fun talent, but not talent to win basketball games in the ultra-competitive Western Conference, which had a team win almost fifty games and miss the playoffs this past season (Phoenix Suns).

The Lakers are in this half-step period right now. One step, holding on to the recent past (Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol is SHOCKINGLY gone /sarcasm) and one step looking towards the future (Jeremy Lin/Julius Randle). I don’t think free agents are just not interested in playing for the Lakers, I think Dwight Howard and Carmelo Anthony considered it, but at the end of the day there is just no foundation of this current Lakers team. I’m of the mindset that the Lakers should not waste Kobe Bryant’s career, which they’ve done since 2012 at the very least. They need to do the unthinkable and trade him to a contender. Get some young talent and draft picks back. Give him a chance to chase that sixth ring. Or not, but then make some trades, get some players that would fit for a Byron Scott coached Laker team. But commit. Put a plan into action. Otherwise, when the summer of 2016 hits and Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook and the like are targets for free agency and they don’t come to the Lakers again, because there is no foundation for winning aside from ancient history at that point, that could be a tipping point for some really dark times for this franchise and as someone who bleeds purple and gold, I’d hate to see that happen.

Here’s some Swaggy P being Swaggy P, just cause. 

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PlayStation Backlog

Oh yes, there will be blood spoilers.

Game: Metal Gear Solid
Console: PlayStation
Year released: 1998
Developer: KCEJ
Publisher: Konami

This game (and this series in general) is one of the primary reasons why I’m doing this entire Backlog series. I know a ton about Metal Gear, I’d go so far as to call myself a fan of the series. It’s a series of games that almost seems like it was made for me. I enjoy the game play, the stories the series decides to tell and I love a lot of the acting, even when it reaches hammy levels. Every time a new trailer comes out for a new game in the series, I rewatch and rewatch the trailers over and over. I’m the kind of person, that Kojima decided to troll when it came to Metal Gear Solid 2 and I love it.

That said, I have a really embarrassing confession to make. I’ve only ever beaten two Metal Gear games. I’ve beat Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots and I’ve beaten the newest addition to the series, Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes and in terms of the latter, that’s not exactly an accomplishment, the main campaign lasts, at best, a whole whopping two hours (I’ll defend the game to my grave though, the amount of extra content in the game makes the game worth the price of admission). So, that’s my embarrassing admission and I’m sure a lot of other hard core gamers, clicked off of this blog right then and there. So, I’ve seen the original Metal Gear Solid game been beaten, I was there watching the game be beaten by my friend James (he, being much better at games than I am) shortly after it came out back in 1998, but I myself have never beat the game.

Gladly, I can say that this is no longer the case. Before this play though, the furthest I had been was the tank Vulcan Raven boss battle, which for those that have not beat the game, is at best an hour and a half, two hours in to the game. I’ve done it though and couldn’t be prouder of myself, because as I said, this game and series in general is one of the primary reasons I even wanted to do this Backlog. I got the for a lack of a better word, “bad” ending. Meryl died, because I gave in to Ocelot’s torture. I went and watched the Meryl lives ending on YouTube and I have to say, I like the Otacon ending better. Meryl’s voice actress is one of the few that I did not enjoy, for this game in particular, I thought Otacon’s voice actor did a better job and Meryl dying tied into the themes of the game better, for me.

A lot of games leave me with the feeling that I’ve played too much of it. The Batman Arkham series is a good example, after I beat the game for the first back log, I’m struggling to get in to the portable sequel. Metal Gear had the opposite effect on me, beating Metal Gear Solid got me pumped to play more Metal Gear. I definitely feel for Hideo Kojima (the creator of the series), the ending of this game makes you feel like he said everything he had to say in this game and Konami seemingly will not let him make another game (and with the types of games he likes to make, him going to start his own studio separate from Konami does not seem economically viable) and Metal Gear Solid 2, seems as if it is a direct reaction to this, but on the other hand, I kind of love it. This game easily vaulted to one of my favorite games ever made and I expect much of the same from the rest of the Kojima Metal Gear games.

And the game held up surprisingly well. I mean yeah, you can tell the game came from another era, but the game is sixteen years old, so it’s hard to hold any old school gaming mechanics against it, because that’s exactly what they are. In terms of voice acting, the game is still pretty top notch. Knowing enough about the series, I think this game is easily David Hayter’s best performance of the series. Everyone else shines for the most part too and man, so many memorable moments, the first time the title screen shows I get chills every time. The Sniper Wolf battles are still great (as is the wolf cave and what you have to do to pass it), the Psycho Mantis fight is still effective, though probably not quite as effective as playing the game on an original PlayStation and the ending, fighting against Metal Gear Rex and then Liquid Snake on top of Rex is amazing stuff (and makes me appreciate the ending of MGS4 even more!).

The game cinematically just holds up extremely well and while I know that is one of the big criticisms of Kojima, that he should just go make a movie, well I would hate that. Because I would be deprived of some of my favorite games, because the stealth game play just clicks with me extremely well. I have a ton of fun playing these games and honestly, the likelihood of the next game I review on this backlog being Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, is pretty high. I wish I knew less about that game, but I’m excited, knowing what I know about it and am still hopeful that Kojima has some surprises in store for me, because he certainly did with the first game, no joke, I had several jaw drops and man, I just love this series.

5/5

cleanlined:

All of these Metal Gear comic covers, due to recent requests, can officially be purchased as posters!  So if you’re interested, the information on how to go about purchasing one can be found right at the bottom of this post.  More comic covers are on the way, however I’m gonna be without internet until July 8th so yeah…. it’ll be a little while.  In the mean time I’ve set some sketches and stuff to upload during my absence (I’m down, but not out!)  Also, wanted to say thank you!  Just reached 200 followers today!  I’m really happy you all seem to be enjoying the work as much as I enjoy making it.

Now, about those posters.  If you are interested in purchasing one, or any, just go ahead and message me on my tumblr to let me know, and then you can go ahead and send the money to my PayPal (the email is cleanlined@hotmail.com).  The price of one full size poster is $30, and will be approximately 18”x24” in size, there may be white borders due to this, if you should have any special sizes in mind you can just let me know and I’d be happy to look into it.  However, like I said earlier in this post, I’ll have to wait until July 8th to officially process any requests.  I’m sorry for the delay there.

Anyhow, thank you again!

park-paradise:

Vintage Walt Disney World - Tower of Terror Construction

Check out these new vintage construction photos of the Tower of Terror back in May 1994. 

While four Disney Parks (Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney California Adventure park, Walt Disney Studios Park, and Tokyo DisneySea) have their own versions of The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, the attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is the original. This striking landmark at Walt Disney World Resort was constructed with 1,500 tons of steel, 145,800 cubic feet of concrete, and 27,000 roof tiles, and it stands 199 feet tall.

doctorwho:

bbcamerica:

New season of Doctor Who premiering Saturday, August 23rd at 8/7c with feature-length episode ‘Deep Breath.’ 

Watch the teaser here

For those outside of the US, the teaser can be seen here

brianmichaelbendis:

Phoenix by Arthur Adams

brianmichaelbendis:

Phoenix by Arthur Adams