Back in the day, I had a Commodore 64 and a ton of games. We had our own version of Pirate Bay back then called your social circle, and you didn’t need a bittorrent client to get games, you needed a dual tape deck. Don’t ask me how that stuff worked, but it did. Anyway, the games had – by today’s exacting standards – terrible graphics and sound, and they took a loooong time to load. I could go on about gameplay being better and so on, but I suspect many of these would seem pretty dull today. (Head on over to www.c64.com and download some titles to prove this point)
But still; I just bought Metal Gear Solid 4 for the PS3; I gather the previous entries in the were da shit and da bomb and da etcetera, so I had pretty high hopes here.
From what I gathered playing today, MGS4 is an action movie with this weird interactive DVD menu that pops up every now and then to tell you what’s up and where you should move your icon to watch the rest of the flick. Seriously; the thing has a ten-minute credit sequence; after that, every now and then, you’re allowed to move the character a few feet at which point the screen fades to black and another movie sequence starts, unless you get killed by an AT-AT in the meantime. (Rest assured, though: You’re allowed to save your game once the actual game starts after about 30 minutes of fucking around what appears to be Baghdad or downtown Oakland after a Raiders win.)
I mean, come on. Here you have amazing graphics and sound, you have these involved controls (too fancy for me, I might add – I need a full day to get used to the controls. I must stress that I have no gamer cred) that let you do anything except indoor plumbing and roasting turkey (maybe the add-ons?), and it takes you half a fucking hour to even see any sort of gameplay? Did I mention the 20 or so channels of faux TV shows that start the whole thing off?
The simple and lamentable fact is that I don’t really have the patience to get involved in these things anymore; I’d rather watch a movie or read a book. And the thing is that back in the 8-bit days, even if the game seemed to take forever to load, you shot the shit out of anything that moved and had fun. It was simple, yeah, but I had some great times with those rough pixels. With MSG4, it took me a good 45 minutes to kill someone, and that seems wrong.
And you kids get the hell of my damn lawn.