Submitted by Fullish 2152d ago | article

Storytelling in MGS; Why Kojima Just Got Carried Away

Gamer Limit writes "The Metal Gear Solid series, an epic of almost perfect game design stretched over 4 absolutely fantastic games on 3 systems, is undoubtably (and rightly) one of the most heralded chronicles in gaming history.

From graphics to sound, tactics to weapons, characters to level design and pacing – it's unlikely that many other titles come close to demonstrating the power of the Playstation." (Metal Gear : Solid Snake, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons Of Liberty, Metal Gear Solid 2; Substance, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Metal Gear solid: the Essential Collection, PS2)

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StartWars  +   2152d ago
I suspect if there was some quality control at Konami the storyline would be cut down considerably.
Saaking  +   2152d ago
Quality Control? MGS is one of the finest series ever, and MGS4 is technically flawless. No bugs whatsoever. If anyone needs quality control it surely isn't Kojima. We don't understand the Zelda Timeline yet it's one of the greatest series around. Same thing with MGS.
#1.1 (Edited 2152d ago ) | Agree(9) | Disagree(7) | Report | Reply
Winter47th  +   2152d ago
He can get carried away all he wants, that's why I support him every chance I get, for the people complaining "tis like ah movee not veedyo game!1" got a lot of other sub par alternatives they can buy instead, no need to criticize a man that's spent 3 decades in the videogames business, if anybody knows what he's doing, it's Kojima. And he's doing it right.
#1.2 (Edited 2152d ago ) | Agree(11) | Disagree(4) | Report | Reply
deadreckoning666  +   2152d ago
He got extremely carried away with MGS4 IMO, it woulda been better if he cut it down a little. I found it funny that it still went on even after the credits lol. Technically the game was flawless, but I found myself skipping alotta cutscenes during Big Mama's introduction.
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jjohan35  +   2152d ago
MGS4 was what made the entire franchise epic. It told the story of an entire universe, not just one episode. It outshined MGS 1, 2, and 3 combined (no easy task). What I also like about Hideo's style is that he's willing to be at the bleeding edge of technology to create that fantastic universe. So many loose ends were tied together in MGS4. If the plot was any simpler, it would have been boring and predictable.
badz149  +   2152d ago
what quality control are you talking about? in term of quality, not even a handful of games come close to what he has done with MGS4! it's quality at its finest! I agree that the MGS universe is somewhat very complicated but who really does that for a video game?? that's why I respect him and love what he has done with MGS! MGS4 is still among the top picks for the best game this gen IMO!
gamejediben  +   2152d ago
This reminds me a lot of how J.R.R. Tolkein got tons of complaints about how his Lord of the Rings novels were too long and had "WAY TOO MUCH BACKSTORY!!!" LOL

People were like "We just wanted a sequel to the Hobbit and now you just royally screwed up your series with too much boring narrative" But as it would turn out, Lord of the Rings got made into the most successful film trilogy of all time and we are STILL waiting to see the Hobbit adapted into a film. And Tolkein is now considered the greatest literary mind of the 20th century with more prints of TLotR in circulation than any book ever made except the Bible.

My point: Geniuses think alike. Whiners need to STFU because in a few years you are going to eat your words... with interest.
meepmoopmeep  +   2152d ago
there's great medication for sufferer's of A.D.D

unless you're into Scientology
shadow2797  +   2152d ago
I wish more developers would get carried away. The story is part of the entertainment. Is it complicated? Yes, but it's completely unpredictable. And regardless of medium, you can't say that about many stories. I'd rather have a story I'm actually interested in instead of whatever the hell Gears of War was about.

The MGS games are some of the most memorable for me BECAUSE of the convoluted story. I can't even count the number of times my mind's been blown because of all the twists and turns.

Btw, it seems the author completely forgot about Ocelot's conversation with the President at the end of MGS1. Kojima didn't think he'd get a sequel? BS. Metal Gear. Metal Gear 2. By the time Kojima got to MGS1, he knew he could continue the series if he wished. I understand his point, but if you step back and look at it, the story makes sense. It's not like it's full of contradictions. It's just complicated. This entire article almost seems like it's been edited from being an article on George Lucas and Star Wars. "Storytelling in Star Wars. Why Lucas Got Carried Away".
Headshot81  +   2152d ago
I still dont think the story is "that" complicated
Sh!t, my roomate played through MGS4, and he understood what was going on and a little of the history from the story(he hasn't even played the past MG's!). The game achieved perfection. Kojima was able to give core information to the gamers who haven't touch a mgs game, yet he also added alot of details for the die hard fans to analyze. I still dont see how "cutscenes interupted the flow of the game", considering that they were amazing and always had me at the edge of my seat. You dont pick up a MG game thinking that it should have quick 10sec cut scenes, the franchise is known for its gameplay and its ability to tell a cinematic story. MGS4 is the final chapter for christ sakes! it needs to be as long as it has to to end the story right!
randomwiz  +   2152d ago
there's nothing wrong with the story.

If you play through the game for the first time without any interruptions every day, you want to watch the cutscenes.

If you want to replay, or play only a small portion of the game, the cutscenes are annoying.
Kornholic  +   2152d ago
MGS's are cultural shocks for dumb, fat americans because they're used to games and movies with simpler storylines: kill everyone that moves.

Halo 3...
cmrbe  +   2151d ago
There shouldn't be any QA
for genius like Kojima. We shouldn't limit them.
SinnedNogara  +   2151d ago
Well, a Democratic of Congo reference makes this a good article /sarcasm.

For some reason I understand the complexity of the story. It's why I never skip the cutscenes. It works for me. But I agree that some stuff seems un-needed (like the FoxDie mutation).
thedoctor  +   2152d ago
You have to consider this from the point of view that Hideo Kojima is considered a "god" by a fair amount of gamers. Since MGS's massive appeal in both gameplay and storytelling, you'd have to be a fool to want to mediate Kojima's writing.

However, by the fourth instalment, if it is still as "odd" as many people claim - I've only played the first two titles - then there definitely needs to be some quality control, if only for the fact that Konami could be losing sales.
Saaking  +   2152d ago
Kojima IS god :)
syvergy  +   2152d ago
I agree, I think Kojima was basically given a completely loose rope and as a result his later games weren't as tight, story wise.
jjohan35  +   2152d ago
Would you rather have a generic 3rd person shooter that ends in less than 8 hours? Give me a break. Hideo is pushing the limits of gaming, blurring the boundaries between a video game and a cinematic experience. He doesn't get enough credit.
GrahameG  +   2152d ago
It's different horses for different courses.

Kojima provides self referential, overly in depth games with dialogue that does nothing to further the main story arc. Much like many film directors do.

However it works, the MGS series has carved itself a niche in games that many others would kill to have.

Want subtlety and vagueness of story, go play ICO or Shadow of the Colossus. It's the variety of the gaming landscape that makes it so enjoyable. If everything followed the same template then creativity would be dead.

Remember when psycho mantis got you to put your pad on the floor for the first time? Was that really necessary to get the point across he was telekinetic? No it wasn't, but it f*cking rocked all the same.

"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep." - Scott Adams
JQ  +   2152d ago
theEnemy  +   2152d ago
cranium  +   2152d ago
Where have I seen that picture of Kojima before?

Ah yes: http://www.youtube.com/watc...

This guy's my hero.
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Shadow Man  +   2152d ago
I respect Mr. Kojima
I played MGS2 and MGS3. MGS3 the best game I have ever played.

I know MGSR won't be made by kojima, but I hope it turns out good as MGS2.
#7 (Edited 2152d ago ) | Agree(7) | Disagree(3) | Report | Reply
Unicron  +   2152d ago
Agreed sir.
Saaking  +   2152d ago
I don't have much hope for Rising but you never know. I'm am, however, looking forward to Peace Walker. That game will be epic! So are you going to get a slim ps3 shadow man?
#7.2 (Edited 2152d ago ) | Agree(3) | Disagree(2) | Report | Reply
PlayStation X  +   2152d ago
thought mgs2 was the worst of the series =/ still a quality game.
#7.3 (Edited 2152d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(3) | Report | Reply
Unicron  +   2152d ago
Peace Walker needs to show a few very specific things for me to really be happy about it. And they all involve with rift between Big Boss and you know who.
Shadow Man  +   2152d ago
Yes, hopefully in the near future.
N4G king  +   2152d ago
yes i agree mgs2 was the worst of the series

and yes this is coming from a BIG MGS fan
mxdan  +   2151d ago
Nah shadow, stick with the 360... It would be too weird knowing you own a ps3 :P. haha

But on topic, I can see where the author is coming from, but the MGS games do much more then tell a complicated story. They tell a simple story within, and they show emotion, and development. The characters react with the story perfectly as well...

It'd be a slap in the face to call the MGS series anything but the best when it comes to storytelling...
likedamaster  +   2151d ago
"I don't have much hope for Rising but you never know. I'm am, however, looking forward to Peace Walker."

Spoken like a true sony fanbaby.
Unicron  +   2152d ago
MGS is utterly convoluted and self indulgent. And yet, I love EVERY SINGLE MOMENT. Are the games perfect? Of course not. Are they amazing? Definitely, and my favorite series. I don't think I would allow any other series to get away with what MGS does.
TheXboxturd60TheTurd   2152d ago | Spam
Enigma_2099  +   2152d ago
You don't stifle creativity...
.. you let it thrive.
Rocket Sauce  +   2152d ago
Or you just steal from John Carpenter
Enigma_2099  +   2150d ago
Kojima STOLE the entire plot from Escape from New York?
Funny... I thought Snake Plisskin was just the inspiration for Solid Snake's appearance... I didn't know he plagarized the whole frickin' movie!!! [/sarcasm]
HDgamer  +   2152d ago
It's call creativity, if he didn't do this well this series would be generic like everything else. And I noticed some fanboy phantom disagrees.
chrisjc  +   2152d ago
Haha I love Kojima with all my heart. I hold him on the same pedestal as Quentin Taraninto in terms of visionaries.
jFND90  +   2152d ago
Completely disagree with the article. All the ridiculous set pieces Kojima puts in his games is what makes Metal Gear, Metal Gear. Without the crazy characters, convoluted dialogue and layered backstory it just wouldn't be MGS.
foxtheory  +   2152d ago
Kojima got carried away...
but it turned out pretty damn good. The entire MGS story is just so amazing, and in the end, everything comes together perfectly. No detail is left behind, despite the crazy complexity. That's why it's my favorite series, because the plot twists and complexity keep me captivated. And it's not only the story. All MGS games have pushed its console to the max graphically, and the gameplay is some of the best out there. Like I said, Kojima got carried away, but he knew what he was doing.
Redempteur  +   2152d ago
i agree completly
the scope of MGS is huge ..but after finishing the epilogue of MGS4 ... i had no further questions ....every damn character did what he could .. and in the end ...those seeking answers were rewarded ...

Some people are treating 4 like a simple movie when in order to master the game you have SO MUCH to do . I know that mgs 4 is not without flaws .. but kojima did great and didNOT go to far ... is a monkey drinking that much a problem ?I guess that a vampire walking on water ( vamp in mgs2 ) is normal then .. I guess psycho mantis in the MGS1 was just a normal character too ....
Drebin had a purpose in the story .. and the way to told the backstory of those i defeated was great , just right , not over the top .. I mean like sniper wolf in mgs 1 , it's not like they are bad people just because they were ennemies ...
mirroredderorrim  +   2152d ago
This is what got me started on the Kojima tip.

Related image(s)
Whitefox789  +   2152d ago
Shame it wasn't the MSX version the real definitive version of Metal Gear, heck in Metal Gear for the NES there's no Metal Gear you just blow up a giant super computer.....
Rhythmattic  +   2152d ago
Is that a young Robert Redford ?

Whitefox789  +   2151d ago
Idk what your talking about but that is definitely Kyle Reese from the Terminator

Related image(s)
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Rhythmattic  +   2150d ago
First thing I thought.


There a resemblance......

But you are absolutely right.. F - Me...

Its absolutely / definitely Kyle Reese from the Terminator

Beer is Good.
Kratos_1986  +   2152d ago
MGS2 was the worst in the series by worst not meaning bad but the others are better

MGS game with no kojima = FAIL that means raising in my book will fail thanks for M$ ruined the game
Whitefox789  +   2152d ago
You got to admit though
MGS 2 did revolutionized the series especially with FPV seeing water go up against the screen in the rain or if you shot the pepper shaker during the Tanker incident Snake actually reacts to the pepper spreading by sneezing. At that time I actually thought Snake was human not just a virtual entity.
SilverDragon1979  +   2152d ago
I love Kojima's style of story telling myself, though he can get a little carried away at times.
jessfams  +   2152d ago
I think the heavy amount of detail in MGS is one of the huge things that defines the series as a whole. The high level of care Kojima puts into the storyline is what makes MGS so unique from other games.
Dead_Cell  +   2152d ago
I see him as the Tarintino of gaming.
Enjoys his well told dialogue.
Ravage27  +   2152d ago
That what's make MGS4 unique
and that's exactly what i look for in a game
Redempteur  +   2152d ago
this part of the article is stupid
"I have a friend who has finished every single MGS title, including the addon editions, multiple times over and he still can’t explain the story to me."

Sorry guy BUT your friend is stupid . it's just an ample contradiction ..

He said himself that kojima is even tellling part of the story snake himself has experienced ( as in order to make things happenning in place for events to happen ..yet you have a friend stupid enough to be able ( achievement ) to NOT understand that ?

i call bullshit ... on this one

EDIT : and again
"Also, asking too many questions, especially unnecessary ones, or explaining entire world orders, makes you forget why you started playing in the first place"

BUt man i played this game for two reasons
- To have fun ( i did have it thanks to the fun boss battles and the amount of humor and eye candy there was in the game )
- To have the answers to the questions i had after finishing all the others Mgs games ..

And guess what ?i'm 99.9% fully satisfied ( the remaining 0.01% is for the lack of trophy support but that's another debate)
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Whitefox789  +   2152d ago
same here :D

Even I myself can explain the whole entire story of Metal Gear Solid, my friend didn't get it I explained it to him in about 15 mins and his mind was just instantly blown and he stated "Why haven't I heard of these games? They should get more attention." (Note: this was before MGS 4 came out and where only true gamers have heard of these games)
debuchan  +   2151d ago
Truth it's not his friend
It's Him that did not understand MGS
Whitefox789  +   2152d ago
Storytelling in MGS; Why Kojima Just Got Carried Away
"Why Kojima Just Got Carried Away"

hmm a question with no response from the person.....

Either way it was just a blog with a blow hearts opinion
LeTHaL-InJeKTiON  +   2152d ago
i'm seriously getting annoyed with all this MGS talk i'm a gigantic fan of MGS and when i read all these posts and topics on how people talk badly about MGS for first off IMHO any "real" MGS fan would tell you MGS4 was not needed at all. all the other games literally explain any answer you want all you had to do was think about it and revert right back to old games here i'll give you an example i already knew who was the leader of the patriots was because campbell said he has the same code name as null and null meaning nothing,void,empty it gave me a clue to think hey null means zero hence major zero second the controls thats what cracks me up he literally changed his perfect control scheme to please everyone for next gen and still people complained the old control and flawless it didn't feel like a chore using CQC and this new scheme doesn't ether but why change something that was perfect? because the fans wanted it which is why he released mgs4 he really didn't need to make it every question was answered in previous games and for those who say its a movie well you all and when i mean by you all i mean all the so called "fans" you wanted every question answered well he delivered he gave you all the answers you wanted but yet again people still complained so now i'm probably gonna get flamed and called a fanboy but meh who cares LMAO i just wanted to try and explain why mgs4 gets bashed on so much
Unicron  +   2152d ago
Periods, in this case, are your friend. And there are plenty of questions that MGS4 tied up -

The fate of Olga's child?
Who are the Patriots?
How did Liquid come to control Ocelot?
What is Snake's ultimate fate?

MGS3 gave some great backstory, but was by no means a tie up for the series.
LeTHaL-InJeKTiON  +   2152d ago
lol idc about periods because its pointless on a forum and the fate of sunny was that she's free now she basically destroyed the patriots she wrote the foxalive program who are the patriots the game tells you who they are sigint,para-medic,big-boss,zer o,eva,adamska aka ocelot and you got the question reversed how did ocelot control liquid well ocelot was the son of the sorrow and sorrow was a medium he has telepathic abilities and snakes fate well it doesn't say but he left it up to your imagination which i think he dies because he's got the foxdie virus and plus he's aging rapidly those two account for you getting dead rather quickly lmao
limulder  +   2152d ago
It's convoluted, but MGS succeeds in storytelling because...
I’d agree that the complex web of characters, double crosses, triple crosses, Cold war mythos can be a bit much.

But, maybe it’s just me, but I truly don’t care when I don’t grasp every single minutiae of Kojima’s tangled web: because what he does right, and what I come away from the game with is the characters.

I can hardly remember how Zero fit into the LaLeLuLeLo or whether or not Revolver Ocelot was on big boss’s side or not. What I do remember is a fragile, forgotten Snake trekking through the hollow, decrepit remains of Shadow Moses, a place that evokes the images of a young virile Snake we met 10 years ago. I remember how Meryl pointed at her former lover and with such stinging disdain in her voice, she says, “Stay out of my way, Old Snake.” Or how the once mighty Snake gazes at his withered, dying frame in the mirror.

MGS can be a convoluted mess. I would not disagree. But when it comes to what matters to me, few, if any games, have strove for and succeeded at portraying such mature emotions and complicated characters. It’s for that reason, that Kojima is the best storyteller in videogames today.
Ninjamonkey  +   2152d ago
Yes the story is a little over thought out but then thats part of what I love about the game.

Its not just a main story, you get all these little extra bits, which give you more info than you need yes, but if you can remember it all it gives you a greater understanding oof it all.

Plus why was that guy dissing the monkey??? Yes it was the oddest thing every but lets be honest it was pretty funny =P
clintagious650  +   2152d ago
Here ill keep it simple for everyone..
MGS4 is praised because it delivers in all areas which MOST GAMES this next gen lacks. The problem this gen with most games (not all) is because online gaming is growing on consoles, alot of developers are not putting enough effort to the single player expirience but or more focused on the online portion of the game. Good example are games like halo 3, gears of war 2, call of duty 4 etc etc. These games are great fun to enjoy online but the lack what games like MGS4, FF7, SOTC, Ico, Zelda Ocarina of Time, & many others I didnt mention had to offer. I just wished that more devs would put more effort into their games.

Kojima doesnt get enough credit for his work & I seriously am sad to see MGS4 only sell 5 million copies because I can honestly say this game brings more to the table then any game to come out this gen. I really thought this game would sell 10 million but hey I aint gonna complain, "Its Your Loss". 10 years from now this game will still be rembered as "One of The Greatest Games of All Time".
Batzi  +   2152d ago
Concerning the sales
Don't worry man, MGS4 will sell ALOT more now with the price cut, MGS4 is doing ALOT better than what Sons of Liberty did back then and guess what, MGS2 sold more than 7 million copies. You will, MGS4 will sell ALOT more trust me.
Batzi  +   2152d ago
All respects to Kojima
He is the man. Kojima is a genius and the game developer of the century. He is the first to win 2 consecutive life time achievement awards and he deserves them. Can't wait to get my hands on Peace Walker, RIsing and CastleVania: Lords of Shadows. Kojima FTW!
foxtheory  +   2151d ago
Amen to that!
He's pretty much like King Midas. Everything he touches turns to gold!
starvinbull  +   2152d ago
What the article fails to realise is that despite the story being made up in each episode it largely holds together however improbable it eventually becomes.

The author has provided a world that as much as you wish to digest there is more. As much as you want to experience of the game universe there is more. It feels as if every one of the Solid titles exist within a coherent tangible universe unlike many other franchises. Each title adds to the previous one's story and each title expands on the gameplay possibilities of the previous one.

Other titles that have given the player more story and more detail than they will every venture to discover or dare to remember are Shen Mue 1&2 and Final Fantasy 7.

Ask myamoto to explain the story threads and timelines from all the Mario games and you will not get a very convincing response. Yet not only did Kojima do this... voluntarilly he did so in digital format, for free, on every PS3. It's possible to examine and critique the plot and characters of every single MGS game from this database. Which other author (auter) would be willing to subject their work to such scrutiny? Sort of makes this article redundant in my opinion.
kaz-hirai  +   2151d ago
"Storytelling in MGS; Why Kojima Just Got Carried Away"

Because the PlayStation 3 offered kojima the resources to fully realize his dream ;-D!!!!!!!!!
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