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Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes & "The Fighting Game Dilemma"

By now, many of us who frequent gaming news sites are aware of the wildly varied reviews of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes. According to MetaCritic, scores are as low as 50%, yet as high as 100%. Though 50% is as low as MC has recorded, I have observed scores as low as 1/5 (20%) from less-known [and perhaps less reputable] sources that *could* simply be looking for hits. In my opinion, the game does not deserve to be so lowly rated, simply because anything below a 50% should be reserved for glitchy, broken games. If reviews are any indication, Ground Zeroes is barely better than Sonic '06. Why so low? The general consensus appears to suggest Ground Zeroes is solid, gameplay-wise. It's a matter of length.

But...isn't length relative? It's all about how you approach it, which brings me to my point: The Fighting Game Dilemma. Let's be honest, if we were offered a timed demo for both Street Fighter IV and Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, we would complete both, easily. When playing fighting games, we tend to stick to our tried-and-true characters and often avoid using unfamiliar means. The various approaches of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes are analogous to a Ryu/Ken/Akuma player in Street Fighter IV using Vega. It takes a while to become accustomed to the unfamiliar. One argument is how Ground Zeroes takes place in Camp Omega for all missions. While this is true, unless the background is interactive, does it make any kind of difference for fighting games? No, it's purely an aesthetic touch. The training grid stage is no different from Guile's Airport which is no different from Seth's laboratory. The argument just doesn't hold in many cases. Games like Guilty Gear and Blazblue are excellent examples of The Fighting Game dilemma because these games require much more finesse and competence to master. You can, dare I say, speed run it, or you can take the time to absorb all the game has to offer and familiarize yourself with the mechanics thoroughly.

Then there exists the argument of game modes. This is difficult to dispute because Ground Zeroes only has one. For that, it cannot be compared to fighting games, BUT fighting games do sell for higher (sans good guy Aksys in some cases, i.e., Continuum Shift was $40). Supplemental game modes are often just multiplayer modes (unless you're Warhawk or Titanfall where that's all you are). Either way, those games will only last you as long as the servers are available really. Warhawk has local multiplayer, but eh...

Anyway, I digress. If Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes costs $30 and is, as others call it, a "glorified demo", should fighting games in general cost full retail? It seems like a bold conclusion to draw, but both are literally titles that require you, the gamer, to make the most of it and experiment. There's no right or wrong way to enjoy it, so long as you succeed, the game is short, and replay value depends largely on your ability to step outside of your comfort zone of reliable tactics. These games, though short, are largely exploratory.

For me, a big difference is Konami actually having the audacity to basically say, "we're selling you a demo". Makes you wonder how many people thought Blazblue: Continuum Shift and Street Fighter IV would be the only iterations of the game. At any rate, I guess I just wanted to put this into perspective. It isn't the first time consumers have been taken for a ride with popular franchises. Part of me says, "seriously, Konami?" Another part of me says, "well, at least the game isn't broken and it's an extremely promising look at the future of Metal Gear Solid". So to summarize, Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes takes a lot of flack--perhaps warranted, perhaps not--for length when it's truly a matter of making it work as a game that has no "right" way of playing. Your way of playing is literally a means to the end, but never *THE* means. In the same vein of thought, it doesn't exactly differ from how fighting games are; in fact they are quite analogous.

As a side bar for my thoughts, let me just say: for what it's worth, some of these fighting games appear to be taking greater advantage of gamers than Ground Zeroes. Street Fighter IV basically said, "You paid $60 for a broken game...let's throw in some characters, and tweak it and call it even. Oh wait, almost done, some more tweaks and characters. Hmmm, one more time." Not just here, but virtually every other fighter from Capcom. Heaven forbid we think they actually use the networks of these consoles to deliver patches. Blazblue sort of pulled this as well (though it was never full retail). Point is, there will only be one Ground Zeroes...I think.

Darkstares3434d ago

An argument can be made about a lot of genres in gaming, as well as development length and costs associated with each product. Slowly they are introducing different price models but console gamers are still under the mindset most games should be $60.

Konami has lowered the price from negative feedback before its release. I guess the motto is buy content based on what you value it at. I now have a hard time paying $60 for a single player game, meanwhile years ago that was a common practice. The explosion of multiplayer has added a ton of replay value and fighting games are now online. Then you have sports games that come out every year with short development cycles, should they be priced differently?

DarXyde3433d ago

Well, I wouldn't demand price changes, exactly. I'm just being introspective with regard to game values; not so much the fact that Ground Zeroes is overpriced, but the fact that it is cheaper than the standard game and acknowledges that it isn't worth as much as full retail because it lacks content. Would price changes be nice? Well, yes: I think developers can be a bit more honest about these things. I don't believe in yearly franchises being full price if it reuses many of the predecessor's assets. Blazblue: Continuum shift launched at $40, with the DLC being reasonably priced. Modern Warfare 2 was $70. Value is subjective, and I guess what I'm saying is a game like Ground Zeroes is exactly what you make of it like any other game with limited content (like most fighting games). I don't think it's fair for Ground Zeroes to be judged so harshly, especially when Kojima has not done anything to mislead gamers.

Except for Deja Vu and Jamais Vu exclusivity. And the Raiden surprise in Sons of Liberty 2. And....well, you get the idea.

Thanks for reading. :)

BillytheBarbarian3433d ago

The thing with fighting games is back in 1991-1994, Street fighter 2 and Mortal Kombat were translations from arcade boards to 16 bit machines and to get a home version that was comparable was mind blowing.

Now were seeing full collections of these games for downloads at reasonable prices. Street Fighter 4 comes along with a new graphics engine and tries to get people to pay $60 for basically Street fighter 2 with a new paint job. As you said, people generally are going to burn through it as Ken or Ryu and toss it on the shelf.

Fighting games should look at WWE 2k to make them more appealing for the long run. Create a fighter, story creater, user created file sharing, and tons of entertaining match modes. Something similar integrated into fighters could be exciting.

KonsoruMasuta3432d ago

You miss the point of fighting games. SF4 is far more than an updated version of SF2 and was well worth the price of admission.

The point of fighting games is the completion, mastering the mechanics and showing off your might. People were excited about arcade ports because they got to play those games at home with their friends.

I don't see how you can "burn through" a fighting game. They aren't made for completing their stories or arcade modes, they're made for competitive gamers who like facing other gamers online or locally. WWE games aren't even competitive and they don't even have the long lasting appeal of games like SF4. To this day, gamers are still playing SF4 and MK9 in tournaments, you can't say that about the WWE games.

BillytheBarbarian3432d ago

That's too much reliance on multiplayer to warrant a $60 price tag. Don't get me wrong, I do love SF4 but I can see why sales have dropped significantly since the 90s when one on one fighters were the rage. I still think a create a fighter, create a story, and create a move set could fuel the genre. Gamers love creating.

I used to create all my friends in hockey games and make my own teams too.


Unheard of: The Best PS1 Open World Games

Take a look at the many games that allowed free-roaming and exploring vast locations. Here are the best PS1 open-world games.

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Insomniac Warn Players Of Pre-Launch Spider-Man 2 Spoilers

Insomniac Games are forewarning players of potential spoilers before the launch of Marvel’s Spider-Man 2.

1Victor31m ago

Yes be careful of spoilers on all media and some posters here , go into blackout mode till you finish it

jznrpg3m ago(Edited 2m ago)

I don’t even like posting spoilers a year or 2 later but I make sure to mark it well when I do.

People who enjoy spoiling things for others are lame

Nyzaza0m ago

‼️ Peter Parker is anti-venom, final boss fight is against Harry. Harry dies. Game over ‼️


Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 Will Let Players Scale Swing Assist, Max Assist Was Standard in Past Games

Marvel's Spider-Man 2 will feature a "swing assist" slider, with the default setting at 10, which is the same as in previous Spidey games.

isarai1d 19h ago

😯 I hope this means I could turn all assists off and get something a bit more manual like the PS2 Spider-Man. I still miss the abiyto do full loops

KwietStorm_BLM1h ago

Definitely did not know this. Turning that off immediately. That extra freedom with the PS5 speed is gonna feel crazy.

mkis00753m ago

THIS is what I was hoping for.

JEECE45m ago

Hmm. It will be interesting to see how different it feels across the range. Love the customization, but I don't blame them for leaving it at the highest assist by default, because 60% of players would probably never be able to figure out how to turn it on/up if it was off/low by default.

TQQ45m ago

I am not sure exactly what this changes, but the thing that makes Sony's games so good is how good they are at predicting what you want to do and making the gameplay fluid and easy to play.

I think people who think they want this off will turn it back on real fast. But it'll be interesting to see what people think when they realize how much the AI was making the game "fun" to play.

JEECE18m ago(Edited 18m ago)

I agree. That's why I am glad they are leaving it on as a default, because if they didn't I'm sure the game would get slammed for the swinging being "off" compared to the prior games, even with the option to scale the swing assist level. After seeing games with fully customizable UI systems get slammed for having a cluttered UI (Horizon FW comes to mind, but there have been others), I'm convinced that most people would rather criticize a game based on its default settings rather than make a small amount of effort to tweak settings to suit their own tastes.