Gripes about the MGS series

I love Metal Gear Solid. It’s a fun series that still manages some serious moments, while delivering very tense stealth gameplay. That said, I haven’t found a game that I’ve completely enjoyed. I’m gonna cover some of (in my opinion, of course) the missteps made over the series. I’m sure The Phantom Pain will solve some of these issues, but likely not all.

1- Outdated controls (Peace Walker)

Crouch-walking is one of my favorite things to come out of MGS4. It’s an ideal blend of the stealthiness of crawling, and the improved mobility of walking. So why take that away for Peace Walker? Is it just too powerful? I wish I knew the logic behind it. I’m not gonna call the pressure sensitive buttons outdated, just unusual, because no one else seems to employ them.

2- Giving us a Metal Gear of our own… and no real use for it (Peace Walker)

Someone on the MGS staff likes giving us things we can’t use. All the unsilenced and lethal weapons generally fall into this, but this particular slight was worse. You had your own metal gear this game, right after MGS4’s memorable Rex VS Ray fight, and? All you can do is send it on missions, or fight it yourself. Woo-hoo.

3- Making us recollect most of our gear every run (Snake Eater)

I know, I know. Speaking badly of Snake Eater is sacrilege. And it runs counter to the whole “find your own equipment” system. But why do I have to do this after the first run? If you’re playing new game plus, you’re not looking for a challenge (unless you choose a higher difficulty), you’re looking to mess around. Like I did with Spirit Camo, invisibility, and an unlimited supply of TNT.

4- No “Quit to Menu” option (Everything before 4)

Imagine this: You’re going for the perfect run. No kills, no alerts, flawless play. Then you screw up. It’s okay. MGS is a tough series. We’ve all been there. So you sigh, press start, go through the menu… why can’t I reload my last save? Why can’t I even quit to the title screen? This is just an oversight, but it’s so painful for the player that I need to include it. I tried to redo my no kills run on the HD edition of MGS3, and this is why I gave up. Because every mistake meant sitting around taking bullets until I died, quitting out, and returning to the title screen. It’s a good 3 minute process just so I can take another shot.

5- Painfully long and boring boss fights (Peace Walker)

Oddly enough, I liked Peace Walker, but the game had some serious rough edges, one being the boss fights. Against vehicles, you at least had the option of tranquilizing all the accompanying soldiers (as much of an endurance run that was). Against the AI weapons, you’re stuck lobbing the heaviest missiles you’ve researched, hoping it goes down before you run out of resupply beacons. The ultimate form of the final boss is especially bad about this, taking the efforts of an entire team of 4 players with top-tier launchers to take down in a reasonable amount of time.

Even with all these complaints, I enjoy the series, and am somewhat looking forward to MGSV. I just hope the series continues to improve in the process of moving forward. That’s all for now.

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