If you're one of the only gamers left on Earth who hasn't played a Metal Gear Solid title, someone has undoubtedly advised you to skip MGS2. The game's mostly incoherent storyline and rambling dialog left many players confused enough to write the title off altogether. However, in the belligerent fashion that has become standard practice for the gaming community, a large sect of players tout this convoluted mishmash of philosophical themes as the most brilliant Metal Gear title to date.
Truthfully, the journalistic community might be largely to blame for level of over-hype that MGS2 has received. When we get confused, we tend to pile on the recommendations to hide our own stupidity, which is probably why Metal Gear Solid 2 has won almost twenty awards.
I think we can probably all agree that Duke Nukem: Forever has seen enough abuse from the journalistic community. However, there's no denying that this long-awaited Duke sequel became the one of the biggest disappointments in video game history.
The problem is that, even though DNF was lambasted by critics and became a laughing stock among gamers, the title eventually proved profitable for publisher 2K Games. Seriously? How bad does a game have to be before you people stop spending your money on it?
Some consider the original BioShock title to be a piece of Randian fiction far more brilliant than anything Ayn Rand could have actually written, but this is an argument for condescending college freshmen, not for smart people. However, BioShock 2 is roughly ten hours long, and for over nine of those hours, we essentially relive all of the plot points, enemies and scenery that we had already become familiar with in the pervious title.
Don't get me wrong; BioShock 2 is well worth the wait for the last 45 minutes. I only wish that it had been preceded with something a bit meatier.
Remember how impressed we were when Guitar Hero hit the scene in 2005? Those little plastic guitars made even the most talentless among us feel like we could easily fill in for the Motörhead guitarist, if only we could get past "Ace of Spades" on Medium. But, just like Furbies and music by Ke$ha, we all eventually got our senses back and put those little guitars in the closet.
However, the good folks over at Harmonix have refused to let us forget that the Guitar Hero franchise exists. They just keep churning out title after title and we keep pulling those controllers from the garage sale pile.
If you're a self-proclaimed Super Mario Bros historian, you're probably quick to point out that Super Mario Bros. 2 was originally a Japanese title called "Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic." When Nintendo released their original SMB sequel in Japan, fans were frustrated with its extreme difficulty and similarities to the original. So, the developer quickly decided to re-skin Doki Doki Panic, a game that had been on the market for some time, in order to produce a sequel quickly.
Now, I'm not saying that Super Mario Bros. didn't deserve a sequel; it did. And SMB2 is probably one of the better platformers ever produced, but this tent-pole style of development was an absurdly careless way to handle a flagship franchise so early in its lifespan.
Date: April 24, 2012
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central.*