Continuing with my commitment to revisit the Metal Gear Solid franchise alongside the HD re-release, I’ve finally written a fairly lavish tribute to what I consider to be overall the finest entry: MGS3, with particular attention to the fight against The End. That’s just one of the elements I think make the game such a standout; I re-finished the game at the weekend for the first time in a few years, and I still got all teary at the end.
There’s so much more I could say about it, too. The Boss as one of gaming’s best female characters ever-ever, the strange palate cleanser of that “ladder scene”, the impeccable use of Cold War anxiety elements, blah blah blah. Suffice to say I actually think MGS3 is a perfect video game, and I don’t say “perfect” often if ever.
If you missed any bit of my past month’s self-indulgent MGSism, here’s a blog post on MGS1, and a Kotaku feature about the authorial intent of MGS4. I’m never satisfied that I’ve said exactly what I want to say about these games, but once in a while, I should probably try writing about other things, eh?
Oh, I have done, a bit. I caught up with 5th Cell to see what it’s been like launching their first new IP since Scribblenauts (on iOS, no less!) — and moving into self publishing. They’re also working on an uncharacteristic 3D shooter for XBLA, and Jeremiah Slaczka tells me why it’s so important for the studio to continually try new things.
I also talked to Sulake, which makes Habbo, about this intriguing strategy the company is attempting to increase user retention by adding iPhone apps that integrate achievements with what players do in the main game world. What’s interesting is they aren’t Habbo apps; they’re stand-alone games that allow players to showcase their achievements and stuff in the Habbo world. Just about everyone is going multiple platforms in order to compete and engage users in the tricky online space, and it has interesting implications for the rest of gaming, I think.
GDC will be here before we know it, and with it, the most wonderful time of the year: The Independent Games Festival! I’ve got a bunch of interviews in the works with the finalists of the IGF that you’ll be seeing in the coming weeks. If you’ve got a newsstand near you, check out the December/January issue of NYLON Guys for an in-depth interview with Phil Fish about Fez, and in February/March, I feature Alexander “Demruth” Bruce about Antichamber.
In other news, Indie Game: The Movie showed at Sundance, and I hear via the Twitter that HBO is considering doing some kind of series about the experience of indie game designers based on it. I’m excited that the wider world is starting to understand that these people are some of the modern age’s most important artists.
I’ve been super busy; then again, aren’t I always? For some reason lately a high volume of you have sent me articles, blog posts, etc. asking for editing, advice, feedback, thoughts and whatnot, and I just haven’t been able to get to any of it. I’m really really sorry! I’ll get back to you if I can, but please don’t be too mad at me if I just don’t have the bandwidth right now.
It continues raining/snowing here in New York. Via thisismyjam.com, here is Broken Water’s Kamilche House, a good song for days indoors.