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"Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots"


Even though the last chapter of the "Metal Gear" franchise is way too long on movies--by the end of your first run through this game, you'll have watched more in-game movies than actually playing--this is what next-generation gaming is all about: well-written plots, incredible gameplay that lets you do essentially anything that a character should be able to do, Blu-ray graphics, a soundtrack done by a Hollywood musician, and a variety of ways to get through the game.

"Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots" is the best game of the series, outlasting the previous effort, "Snake Eater", by including shades of everything that made the other games great, even the previous games' music accessible by iPod within the game.  And, giving us our hero, Solid Snake, as a dying soldier who only has a few more months to live, I love some of the limitations that the game puts on you as an old guy who has barely weathered the storm.  The game is for adults, the controls are still the best in the business, the voice acting is superb...I could gush on and on about this all day, but here's the interesting thing:

I am sure that 75% of the gaming world will never play this game.  Why?  Because it's only available on PlayStation 3, and most folks don't want to drop $400 or $500 for a system just because it has a Blu-ray disc player built in.  Even for me, I only bought a PS3 because I got a deal on the system plus "MGS4", and now that I have a hi-def TV, I wanted a Blu-ray DVD player to go with it.  But, most people don't just throw money in the air (kronur!!!), so the sad thing, unlike the 100 million people who bought PS2s back in the day, is that this masterpiece is one that might never be played by the masses, unlike the recent "Grand Theft Auto" games or "Call of Duty", which were both released on multiple platforms.

Great stuff.  There's an online component to "Metal Gear Solid 4" as well, but I still haven't gotten around to seeing it yet.  The single-player game is enough for me!

Rating:  Opening Weekend


Feedback?  Comments?  Salma Hayek's digits?


Bellview Rating System:

"Opening Weekend":  Buy this game right away, and don't ask me any questions as to why that's a good move.  A game experience that will almost guarantee repeated controller abuse, lots of ManScreaming and high resale value, you will assuredly play this bad boy for months on end. 

"$40":  Usually after games have been out for a while, they drop in price slightly, or can be bought for slightly cheaper in combination with other new games.  Usually, that's about $40.  You'll feel good getting the game for this price, since it isn't quite run-out-and-get-it-right-now good, but it has enough game in the box for a few weeks' worth of enjoyment.

"eBay":  This game is not too bad, but you'd be better off buying it used from either or eBay.  You also might let a friend buy this game, let s/he beat it, and then try to buy it from them to make them feel better.  Yes, this does tend to feel like "Sloppy Seconds."

"Rental":  Like my cousin Ron, you should always rent games that you aren't sure about first, to make sure that your $50 is going towards something worthwhile.  For games in this category, this is the maximum amount of money ($5) and/or time (3-5 days) you'll need to either gain satisfaction from the game, or beat the game in its entirety.  Rental-rated games are also sometimes perfect for a weekend when you are going to be at home on your ass, with some time to kill.

"Dogshit":  Games like this should have never been released.  If you play this game for any reason, you will regret every second of the experience.  Further, if you can get this game for free, don't do it, because even for FREE, it will still be a negative experience for you!

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The "fine print":
All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/ except where noted
1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09