Have you ever met someone who tells the same joke over and over? That's kind of like my personal relationship with Konami.
I stopped by the company's pre-E3 event here in San Francisco to see what it's been up to, and I was plenty surprised when I entered the showroom of new titles; all of them were small budget, yet big fun. But then the big screen at the front of the room began to play a reel of trailers, and I slowly began to remember why it has been years since I last pulled Konami's finger.
Transfarring: Making the real world less of a bother
I didn't spell that wrong — it really is "Transfarring." Metal Gear-creator Hideo Kojima explained the concept: Basically, Transfarring is a glorified file transfer system. Do you need to leave the house, however you’re in the middle of that boss fight in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater with the Russian that shoots bees out of his ass? Simply transfer your save data to your NGP and pick up where you left off. Tell real life "Kiss my ass! I’ve got a cavalcade of cut-scenes and nonsensical exposition that I just can’t miss!"
Thank God he used a visual aid. Chaos math, this stuff is.
NeverDead (AKA: AlwaysAlive, ForeverFunctioning, KeithRichards)
I’m usually not one to judge games until I play them, but this one made me think "Huh?" NeverDead focuses on Bryce, a demon hunter who has been "cursed" with immortality by…a demon. The first thought that entered my head was, "Why would a demon give his enemy eternal life?" That's like a baby seal giving a poacher a club.
Speaking of immortality, it's a key gameplay component. Your character actually can’t die. Sure, comedic moments await when you’re forced to retrieve lost limbs, but where will the challenge be? How do you create suspense when you know there are no real repercussions for careless actions? Guess we'll find out!
Stump or no, he's still a crack shot.
NeverDead could be good, certainly, but its first impression on me was peculiar. The overall concept for starters, but also little things, like when a female character screamed, "I hope you get cursed for all eternity!" To which Bryce gruffly replied, "Already been done, kid. Already done." Yeah….
Metal Gear Vapor: Bullet America Kill Testosterone Balls
So much to say about this franchise, yet so little web space: Metal Gear is an eclectic compilation of memorable cinematography and tepid storytelling. Don't get me wrong — I think it's a decent series. But I'm worried that this franchise is in danger of making like the Soviet Union and crumbling beneath its own stagnancy.
It has only been around for 24 years, yet it already includes more damn incarnations than the James Bond films it's somewhat inspired by. And here come a few more: a 3DS version of Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater, and Metal Gear Solid: The HD Collection (which includes Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Snake Eater, and Peace Walker) for Xbox 360 and PS3. My favorite quote from the 3DS game presentation: "We’re looking for a new kind of experience." Of course you are, boys.
Here you go, Jimmy. Another sweater from grandma. Merry Christmas.
Play it again, Snake
Like the popular “Aristocrats” joke, Konami delivers the same punch line with new dressing: High-definition remakes of its most popular franchises, and not just Metal Gear. Are you a Zone of the Enders fan aching for a new installment? Sorry, bud. But you can buy the old ones again in crisp HD! Silent Hill also gets a nice touch-up, just in case your old copies have withered away from all that time rot.
Really, most of these games aren't even a decade old, yet they're already getting a George Lucas-style remastering. I find it quite ironic how repetition is the hangnail on the thumb of gamers, yet so many will fork over the cash to play the same exact games they did the last generation.