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The METAL GEAR SOLID giveaway contest!

by nickmamatas

Here we are again, with another giveaway contest, and this one is for the highly anticipated Metal Gear Solid: Guns of the Patriots.

The rules are simple. Answer this question in a comment to this post: “What’s so great about the Metal Gear series anyway?” I’m not a gamer, so be persuasive. If you want to express your love of MGS in the form of a poem or a snarky one-liner instead of a brief essay, or in Japanese or Spanish or German or French or Greek or Chinese, you may do so! You can also express a negative view of MGS if you like, but then what would you do with the book if you won it, eh? EH?

On Friday at noon Pacific time I’ll choose the four lucky and skilled winners. I don’t choose randomly; you’ll have to actually amuse or interest me with your tiny essay! And yes, we will ship the prize book anywhere in the world, so don’t think you’ll be left out if you’re not in the US.

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8 Responses to “The METAL GEAR SOLID giveaway contest!”

  1. n33t says:

    The Metal Gear series showed that action games didn’t have to be all ultra-violence and dumb plotlines. While other publishers were interested in making a quick buck, the Metal Gear team was approaching the stereotypical action hero with a snarky (though not, by any means, hateful) sense of humour. The focus on stealth and, eventually, storyline, would set Metal Gear apart from its peers – rather than the plot existing merely to facilitate the slaughter of genericised enemies, the medium of the video game was exploited in new ways to drive the plot, and engage the player in something akin to a cinematic experience, provoking just as much as any art house flick and inarguably reaching an audience that such films didn’t usually reach.
    Each iteration of the series evolved and changed, and never settled or became complacent, meaning that even long term players would be challenged by new ideas, and continually placed outside their comfort zones.

  2. Benjamin Bauer says:

    The Metal Gear Solid series is quite possibly the most manly soap-opera ever conceived, but what’s so great about it? Is it that it’s a pop-culture fans wet dream, chock full of references to action films? Is it the absurd amounts of man-gasms that occur per game? The Illuminatus-styled conspiracies mixed in with cyberpunk stylings?

    If you answered all of the above, I wouldn’t say you’re wrong. But for my money, it’s the characters that drive the series. Whether it be the utterly unique boss-characters, the eccentric supporting cast or the Machiavellian villains, MGS always delivers.

    Take Revolver Ocelot. Clearly inspired by Lee Van Cleef (The Bad of “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”), he’s a gravelly-voiced gunslinger who’s such a crackshot he can bounce his bloody bullets! Via the magic of surgery he later becomes a megalomaniac with two personalities warring within his brain. Snazzy, I know.

    There’s Psycho Mantis. Who could ever forget their first time fighting the bondage-loving psychic? He not only hurls furniture at you, but causes your screen to black out! Then, in order to hit him, you’ve gotta plug your controller into a different port. Who the hell came up with this? (Oh Hideo, you cad!) Did I mention he’ll read the contents of your memory card and proceed to mock you?

    Then there’s Olga, the first and last woman I’ve ever seen in a Video Game that’s sported arm-pit hair. Gray Fox, the cyborg ninja with a torturous past. The End, a mysterious old man who’s supposedly lived 100+ years, whose only companion is a parrot and Vamp, a seemingly immortal warrior with a penchant for running around sans-top. The list goes on and on.

    And of course, there’s our hero, Snake. No-one plays world-weary like this fellow does. As a kid playing MGS 1, he pretty much taught me to always question major political powers lest I end up morose after doing the wrong thing. He’ll be first to tell you he’s nothing but a killer, just a weapon. A hero? Don’t ever tell him that unless you’re looking for a major lecture on patriotism and the inhumanity of war. But we love him for it.

    There you have it, why I think MGS is a fantastic series. The characters stick with you. Whereas other tales would simply be content to feature eccentrics for the sake of flair and shock, MGS actually backs them up with credible motivations and great personality. Few video-games can boast having characters I care so much for.

  3. Sean O'Hara says:

    Is there a reason why Amazon’s not carrying this book?

  4. nickmamatas says:

    Our distributor got confused because the release date had changed several times. It’ll be fixed by the time the book is due to be released.

  5. Adonisus says:

    To me personally, part of the series’ appeal has to do with plot. In my view, it is the closest thing in action gaming that is closest to a true techno-thriller. It is Tom Clancy writ large, taking modern military technology and stretching the possibilities to its absolute limit, while rarely going over the line into impossibility.

    There is also alot to be said about series creator Hideo Kojima’s style of storytelling and exposition. The MGS games are famous for their bending and out right innovation of standard video game control and design. In order to surpass certain goals, the game has required everything from beating an enemy non-lethally (forgoing firearms almost completely), to actually requiring the player to switch the controller’s input from a the first player port to the second player port in order to beat a mind-reading enemy. Kojima also has a habit of pranking the gamer with such things as simulating a system failure (with the screen seeming to show the A/V label ‘Video’ at the top left when in fact it says ‘Hideo’), to outright putting in segments from canceled projects into the game as ‘dream’ sequences. And of course, MGS 2: Sons of Liberty is infamous for going into Philip K. Dick levels of absurdity, where the very reality of the game world starts to decay.

    But most of all, gameplay wise it is one of the most tense and suspenseful experiences I’ve ever encountered. As the entire game relies on stealth, there is some real tension when an enemy soldier walks right by you, when you’re literally only inches away from his line of sight.

  6. Danny B. says:

    The Metal Gear series was so different I just had to find out more about it. I first came across this series when a cousin of mine bought Metal Gear Solid 4. We played that game until we reached as far as we could until I left to go back home.

    While we were playing it I noticed how different it was from other games I’ve played. They all told a story but not like this. They all have an environment for you to explore but not like this. The game was a cinematic adventure that did things better than most movies failed to do. The visuals, the plot, the characters, the music, the interaction with your surroundings, the acting, it all combines to create a spectacular package and one of the best sixty bucks ever to be spent (obviously that was the price of the game when it came out.)

    It’s all about balance: from dark, thought-provoking storytelling to the notion of an old soldier carrying a large cardboard box in his pouch.

    I don’t know how close the author Project Itoh stuck to the game in this book but what I do know for sure is that some of the score from the game will be playing in head while reading certain scenes in the book. I’m a soundtrack buff that way.

  7. Anson S says:

    Story has always been important in games. Metal Gear Solid was the first game story that ever really made me think. It required you to survey your surroundings, watch enemy movement, and plan your actions accordingly. It required you to use your brain in a way that games before it didn’t ask you to. It also taught you important lessons. MGS taught you the importance of patience. It taught you that calling for help (saving) was never a bad idea. Most importantly it taught you something you learned as a young child and forgot as you grew… that cardboard boxes are always great hiding places.

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