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zippdementia I'm best known for my extensive work in the fields of this and that. I tend to be better at that, though I have more fun with this.

I'm an odd jobber with an even personality who isn't afraid to roll with the punches but prefers to dodge them when able.

Title: My god it's a sin
Posted: June 09, 2011 (12:09 PM)
I'm playing Metal Gear Solid 4 for the second time and actually enjoying it. A lot.

The change of heart is due to many reasons. One, I'm playing it for the first time on an HDTV which makes a huge difference in terms of immersion (which is one reason I didn't mention graphics in my original review). It also helps the gameplay, because it's damn near impossible, on an SDTV, to tell what's going on with all the tiny symbols and little HUDS that pop up all over the place.

Another thing that affected this was the fact that I just got done playing, in a row, every Metal Gear game (excluding the handhelds). I went from Metal Gear on the MSX straight through to 4, with the order kind've mixed around a bit. By the time I've gotten to 4, I'm ready for something a little different than the usual sneaking stuff. And MGS4 does give that.

I know that this is a complete turn around from my original review, but then you have to take into account how this game was presented at the time. It was the culmination of a series that was based on sneaking and stealth... plus it had been a fair number of years since the last game had come out. There was a lot of anticipation on the part of long time fans for a return to the old style of MGS.

Another thing that's helping a lot is that I'm skipping most of the Codec conversations, or at least tapping through them rather than listening to them. It's incredible how fast my enjoyment of the game drops when I start listening to those conversations. I can't even pinpoint why, except that they break up the action and tension of the game for no good reason.

One thing that hasn't changed is my absolute dislike of the fart humour that is liberally sprinkled throughout the piece, not to mention some of the more ridiculous "plot twists." Loooong cut scenes where no one does anything also still make me want to play something else (Drebin's scenes are the best example of this).

Anyway, I'll have to get further. It's been so long since I last played that I don't even remember what happens in the later chapters. I've also yet to fight the first boss, Laughing Octopus, and I seem to remember being disappointed by that fight. While I doubt that I'll have a major turn around and call this my favorite game of all time, I am pleased that I'm enjoying it and want to take the time to explore it's little gameplay intricacies.
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overdriveUser: overdrive
Title: Re: My god it's a sin
Posted: June 09, 2011 (12:12 PM)
It took me like a year (or two?) after buying my 360 to also get an HD TV. Yeah. It's a HUGE difference.

It was really, really nice to not have to stand up constantly so I could read stuff on the screen while playing games with text-heavy menus like Dragon Age Origins and the like. Hell, I was playing Infinite Undiscovery at the time and I needed to lean forward and squint just to see how much health I had. That is not good.
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SamildanachEmrysUser: SamildanachEmrys
Title: Re: My god it's a sin
Posted: June 09, 2011 (12:54 PM)
Don't get too exciting about rediscovering the later parts. After the first third or so of the game, the degree of player involvement plunges rapidly. That's my overriding memory of the experience.
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zippdementiaUser: zippdementia
Title: Re: My god it's a sin
Posted: June 09, 2011 (02:33 PM)
Yeah, I've yet to replay Dead Space on the new TV (unless I already did and it was underwhelming) but I recall when I played that game on my SD, I missed every single log entry because they were UNREADABLE.

I half expected Otacon to say something, back in the day, about my SDTV over Codec. I remember Campbell and Mei Ling making fun of my mono-TV back in the days of MGS1.
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WilltheGreatUser: WilltheGreat
Title: Re: My god it's a sin
Posted: June 09, 2011 (03:29 PM)
It also helps the gameplay, because it's damn near impossible, on an SDTV, to tell what's going on with all the tiny symbols and little HUDS that pop up all over the place.

See, this is the thing that has me put off about current-gen consoles. If you don't have an HDTV you can't clearly see what's going on.

I'm all for extra functionality for those who are willing/able to get one of those beauties, but for the rest of us it's a slap in the face. Buy a $400 gaming system, an $80 game, and discover that, surprise, your TV doesn't have the necessary resolution to enable you to play the game properly.
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SamildanachEmrysUser: SamildanachEmrys
Title: Re: My god it's a sin
Posted: June 09, 2011 (05:13 PM)
See, this is the thing that has me put off about current-gen consoles. If you don't have an HDTV you can't clearly see what's going on.

Agreed. I played through Alpha Protocol recently and almost gave myself eye strain trying to read all the dossiers. The text was small and fuzzy and white on a pale background.

Mind you, I probably have it worse than most in that respect. I stubbornly continue to use a 14" portable tv because it and it's predecessors have served me just fine for games for the last eighteen years.
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MastersUser: Masters
Title: Re: My god it's a sin
Posted: June 09, 2011 (05:25 PM)
Wait--MGS4 can be played?? Who knew?
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honestgamerUser: honestgamer
Title: Re: My god it's a sin
Posted: June 09, 2011 (05:42 PM)
Games are designed to take advantage of current hardware. For $400, you can nowadays often find a TV ranging from a 32" LCD (with 720P) to a 50" plasma (with 720P). If you spend a bit more, $600 or $700 will often get you a 40" set with 1080P. As the console cycle started, those sets were expensive. Something has happened over recent years, though; prices have come down!

My 28" standard television cost me around $250. It weighs around 80 pounds. $400 for a 32" LCD set that looks gorgeous and weighs around 25 pounds is a steal. Try to go into a store nowadays--any time in the last 5 or 6 years, even--and buy a "normal" television. They're not being sold at any store I've seen! So is it really a surprise that games are being built around what's currently available in stores?

For most households that would consider a TV, $400 for a 32" is a fair price. One reason Wii is less intriguing than it once was is that most people now have HD sets. Even houses with middle to low income do. Games designed for standard-definition sets no longer have much appeal. I was with the rest of you, complaining about text on my old TV when I played Dead Rising and such. Back then, it really was too early for games to be designed that way. We were right to complain. Back then, TVs that now cost $400 were selling for $2000. It's funny what a difference a few years makes.

Yes, I realize that even $400 is still a lot when you're strapped for cash and can't really consider luxury items. It's a lot for me too, but it's still a reasonable purchase to make if you can somehow swing it. Movies and games alike are at least twice as enjoyable for me now that I have a decent TV. You're not getting half of what you should out of PS3 and Xbox 360 games if you're not playing them in high definition. You're just not.
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SamildanachEmrysUser: SamildanachEmrys
Title: Re: My god it's a sin
Posted: June 09, 2011 (08:07 PM)
Hmm. You make a fair point about the relative price, but I'm not convinced that I'm not getting as much as I should from my games. I've played games in SD on my tv and the games in HD on a friend's tv, and aside from text clarity (which is much improved) I can't tell the difference. I'm not being stubborn or curmudgeonly this time. Whether with games, TV or Blu-Ray I honestly can't see a difference in general picture quality, which is why I've never splashed out on the upgrade to HD.

I'm not saying it's not there, I just can't tell, even when I'm looking for it. Unless I have to read.

In any case, I concede the point about the affordability of the technology. Question though: I really don't have space for a larger TV, so is it even worth upgrading to LCD if it'll be a 20"?
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honestgamerUser: honestgamer
Title: Re: My god it's a sin
Posted: June 09, 2011 (08:52 PM)
I have a hard time imagining not seeing a difference between a standard TV and a high-definition one. To me, the difference is substantial and I don't even have particularly great eyesight. I guess we're all different, but our differences limit in this case limit the value of any answer I might give your question about the value of upgrading to a 20" flatscreen. You'd probably be getting a 19" screen, since that's the more common size. Text would definitely be easier to read, but you wouldn't see as substantial a difference in quality aside from that. I play console games--whenever possible--on a 42" set. The set gives things a proper sense of scale that a smaller set doesn't provide, plus the detail is incredible. It sucks that you don't have more room, but at least it sounds like you're happy in spite of that!
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goatx3User: goatx3
Title: Re: My god it's a sin
Posted: June 10, 2011 (12:33 AM)
there are people out there who play videogames on SD sets? wha...?
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SamildanachEmrysUser: SamildanachEmrys
Title: Re: My god it's a sin
Posted: June 10, 2011 (06:37 AM)
Thanks for the thoughts. That's pretty much what I expected. Still, it might be worth me taking the plunge just so I can finally read the messages on the Battlefield 1943 loading screens.

Funny thing (to me) about 40"+ TVs, HD or otherwise: I hate playing on them. They're too big. I've been playing on 12"-16" portable TVs for the entirety of my gaming life (now somewhere in the region 25 years), and large TVs mess with my skills. I can't judge jumps, and I sure as hell can't aim in an FPS. Everything handles differently; I'm too accustomed to how things move on a tiny screen. It's ridiculous really.
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goatx3User: goatx3
Title: Re: My god it's a sin
Posted: June 10, 2011 (10:57 AM)
things actually move the same on all different sizes of television. the size is the only thing changing.
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zippdementiaUser: zippdementia
Title: Re: My god it's a sin
Posted: June 10, 2011 (11:06 AM)
The size is NOT the only thing changing. The colour template was also a hugely significant change. And things do move differently; they move more smoothly because the TV outputs at more frames-per-second than does an SDTV. It makes a huge difference, and this is coming from someone who played his PS3 for two years on an SD before switching to HD. The difference is huge. Some games that I dislike before (like MGS4 and Far Cry 2... which I'm actually still a little meh about...) I kind've get now.

Graphics can't change the story told or the style of gameplay. They can change how expressively the story is told, however, and they can make gameplay much easier to use, especially in any game involving shooting.
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SamildanachEmrysUser: SamildanachEmrys
Title: Re: My god it's a sin
Posted: June 11, 2011 (07:59 AM)
things actually move the same on all different sizes of television. the size is the only thing changing.

In theory I agree with you, but the fact is I play worse on big TVs. For instance, I nudge the stick and go 'woah, that was a huge movement! I'd better compensate!' then I'm not sure if I really needed to compensate, so I correct back. I know very well that everything handles the same, but the change in scale messes with my perception of what's going on. I'm a much better shot on a 14" than on a 40" - repeatedly demonstrated fact.
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honestgamerUser: honestgamer
Title: Re: My god it's a sin
Posted: June 11, 2011 (11:24 AM)
You're right about that, yes. Bigger screens mean more space to look over, as well. When I play an FPS, for example, I have to keep track of more screen real estate to be sure that I'm scanning properly for potential threats. It's easier to dominate on a 24-or-32-inch screen than a 40 inch one (not that I ever dominate in an FPS). However, it's a tradeoff. The sense of scale and eventually immersion that comes from a 40-inch-screen (especially after you adapt to playing on that size) is unrivaled. Even when I played Final Fantasy: Crystal Chroncicles - The Crystal Bearers on Wii, I was astounded by how expansive the environments seemed on a big screen, how the locations came to life. On a small screen, I was yawning my way through them. I totally get where your comments come from, though.
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SamildanachEmrysUser: SamildanachEmrys
Title: Re: My god it's a sin
Posted: June 11, 2011 (03:42 PM)
Thanks. In any case, given the space and financial freedom, I would buy a huge TV and just make sure I played a lot in order to adjust. :p
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zippdementiaUser: zippdementia
Title: Re: My god it's a sin
Posted: June 11, 2011 (05:37 PM)
I know what you mean about the extra space to keep track of, but I also found it was much easier to have pinpoint accuracy on the big screen and sniping became soo much more feasible.
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zippdementiaUser: zippdementia
Title: Re: My god it's a sin
Posted: July 13, 2011 (10:28 PM)
Sorry to bring up old topics, but it felt neccessary to drop my conclusion that Metal Gear Solid 4 still sucks. That first chapter is really excellent, though. Excellent enough to trick me into thinking I would be enjoying myself for the rest of the game. I didn't. Except maybe the final boss fight of the game, which is very cool.

Also, Meryl's wedding = worst wedding ever. Held on a goddamn piece of tarmac. Attended by seven people and one monkey. One of those people is a child whose never been outside before, most of the other guests probably weren't invited, and Otacon spends the entire wedding talking politics with Drebin and crying.

Epic fail.
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