Philosophy 101

gaming, playstation, auto comments edit

A few quick random thoughts before I go off on my general rant:

  • I got my car back on Friday (thank goodness). The stupid key scratches are totally gone, and it looks like brand new. The people at the shop even stayed late to make sure I got it back and didn’t have to drive The Babemobile all weekend. If you ever require auto body services in the Portland, Oregon area, I highly recommend Chris and John’s Auto Body. These guys rock.
  • If you happen to be upgrading servers with the latest patches and drivers, make sure you have the latest version of the ROM BIOS installed. I did a few upgrades last thing on Friday night (just before leaving to get my car) and I found out that, due to the lack of a current BIOS install, the machines wouldn’t reboot properly. I fixed that first thing today and all is well. Lesson learned.
  • Windows Update is the bomb.
  • Fred Meyers has a load of great Playstation 2 games for $20. I picked up Extreme G3 Racing this weekend for $20. That’s quite a bargain, considering it’s still going for $50 at other stores.

Okay, now for the larger issue at hand.

I finished playing Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty this weekend. This has been an ongoing struggle for me. I started it last weekend, thinking it was going to be a reasonably short game (having heard that from other folks). I even put it on the “Very Easy” level because, frankly, I’m not the most coordinated video game player (though I can definitely hold my own at SSX: Tricky). I just wanted to see the story and how it all played out.

What a mistake.

The story to this thing is the most convoluted, contrived piece of crap I could possibly have imagined. I’m not sure what pissed me off the most. Maybe it was the fact that the whole time you play for, like, five minutes and then see half an hour of cut scenes… or maybe it was that you don’t actually play as Solid Snake for the majority of the game… it could be that the character you do play as has this whiny bitch girlfriend who keeps asking if you “remember what tomorrow is”… it also might be the fact that you got to hear the life story of every stupid peripheral character in the whole game, regardless of how insignificant…

No, I think the thing that pissed me off the most was the simple reality that the game, after all was said and done, was as trite and stupid as a philosophy 101 class.

Yeah, that’s right. It’s just a big exercise in philosophy.

Basically, it ends up where you’re never quite sure if the “adventure” you just went on was real or not. Then they start asking you “what is real?” and “what makes something real?” The last 45 minutes, no exaggeration, is a big long movie that basically throws out that “real is what your brain tells you is real” and people need to discover who they are by interacting with others, blah, blah, blah.

Oh, and your whiny bitch girlfriend turns out to be a spy sent to report on your every move, but somewhere between finding out she’s a spy and the end of the game, your character just forgets the whole spy thing and you actually propose marriage. What the hell…?!

If you like soap operas, you’ll love MGS2. If you like melodrama, you’ll love MGS2. I think Jenn said it best - “I’ve never seen a video game with so much video.” I have to agree. I love a game with a good story, but if I have to watch 15 minutes of video for every five minutes I get to play, there’s something drastically wrong there. It’s not so much a game as it is an interactive movie.

Anyway, that really chapped my hide. I spent like 10 hours this weekend trying to finish that thing and then got slapped in the face by a beginner’s philosophy lesson.

That said, I think the game has a much higher value when you replay it. Because then you can skip all the story crap and focus on the game. I think if you do that, you’ll have a better time with it. I don’t have the patience to test that, though.

To that end, I started playing Grand Theft Auto 3, which is more my speed. You can just randomly beat the crap out of anyone on the street with a baseball bat if you want. There’s a meager story to it, where you do missions and stuff, but you don’t sit and wallow in the “inner beauty” of it all. You go out, you kick ass. If your mission is to shoot some guy who’s selling drugs to some other guy’s prostitutes, you drive up, shoot the guy, and go collect your money. Bam. No philosophy there except maybe figuring out which end of the baseball bat is real (and let me tell you, the business end of that thing is definitely real). That game frickin’ rocks.

Minor side note: To all those idiots who decided it was a good idea to burn down their houses because Beavis and Butthead did it, don’t buy this game. It’s not for people who can’t figure out what the phrase “it’s just a game” means. Save the world, and yourself, a lot of heartache and go buy a Nintendo GameCube and some Pokemon games.