Hola, fellow enthusiasts! In honor of Throwback Thursday I’m going to take you back to one of my all-time favorite games, Metal Gear Solid. Yessss the first one on the PlayStation console. Our lovable creator Hideo Kojima couldn’t have known how far this series would go, but today we focus on the memory of it coming to PlayStation and making you drop that cash. Personally, this game means a lot to me, being one of my first games for the console when I was 11 years old, no I was not supposed to have it but thanks to my awesome mom, who was extra confident in my comprehension skills between game and reality, I got it (to the dismay of that K-Mart employee…). Being all stealthy like a ninja definitely has its appeal, but as you continue to play you realize that this game has a HUGE story line and a ton of surprises.
Metal Gear was originally created on a PC device only made in japan called the MSX2+ but was released in our country on the Nintendo Entertainment System. After the huge following and consumer satisfaction after Metal Gear 2:Solid Snake, they moved the game to a system that boasted 3D graphics, the Sony PlayStation, and those graphics hit us all like bricks. Can you remember? I have a copy of it and I still enjoy my pixels in HD every now and then. Here we are, 14 years later, its still one of my favorite games of all time. The story to Metal Gear Solid involved our hero, code-named Solid Snake, trying to prevent the creation and launch of a new type of nuclear weapon, code-named Metal Gear REX. A genetically enhanced special forces team, code-named FOXHOUND, took over the island REX was being manufactured on, code-named Shadow Moses, from the military, taking Snake out of retirement to come to the rescue. Had enough of the code-names? Well, one of the major features of the game is how authentic it really feels. What other tactical espionage agent can you name besides 007? Make that your next drinking game! Long story short, and I do mean long, Snake fights through each of the members of this special forces team single-handed and then has to take on REX as well. There are plenty of helpful characters, funny inside jokes, and adult situations along the way.
The game is set in 2005, before we all thought up the Y2K virus, but were still thinking of all the futuristic crap we would come up with…but not flying cars…damnit. Anyway, the game is set in the then future but t was actually released in 1998. As such, our graphics at the time were pristine but there were still other games that had put a lot more time into where they placed and molded their pixels. However, knowing how long it take to create a Metal Gear game now, they were probably putting all of their energy into Metal Gear Solid 2 for the Sony PlayStation 2. Competing with games like Resident Evil with its detailed zombies, and Grand Theft Auto with its realistic cars, definitely made multiple men dressed exactly the same, in your average military environment pretty plain. Good thing the story made up for it.
The game focuses mainly on stealth and special weapons to get you through. Snake also has some hand-to-hand techniques known as CQC (Close Quarters Combat) to get him out of a situation quickly, so he can run back into stealth mode. Theres a very particular sound that plays when he is spotted and a large exclamation mark that has become a staple of the games audio along with the sound your radio (or Codec) makes when someone is trying to reach Snake. Yes, i do have it on my phone…don’t judge me. The music is very fast paced but clearly done by a very skilled orchestra. You move around in relative silence throughout the game unless you are spotted, and then something like racing music comes on and you know you its time for fight-or-flight until the music stops and you know its okay to move around again. You get a short burst of strong tone if you die as well. The music that plays when you reach each boss is different and catered specifically to that fight. Bigger enemies get more bass and and drum where small fast enemies get flutes and strings. The soundtrack to Metal Gear Solid games have been known to mix in electronic elements as well, making it very unique to the ears.
Metal Gear Solid for the Sony PlayStaion probably created my gaming lifestyle and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Once you play this game, and beat it, there’s no going back from that kind of satisfaction. The story line currently is so mixed and crazy but totally plausible. The game play is NEVER easy, always a challenge. The music is always new yet fitting for every time period, character, and enemy. The graphics were sub-par definitely, but back then games really were starting to be looked at for their story lines and ability to stop kids from going to the movies. Metal Gear Solid was definitely one of those games.