gamesVSlife: Metal Gear Solid: The tale of Giant Wimpy Elephant
posted on 07.17.12 at 08:20 PM EDT by (@admeady)
ELEPHANT? ELEPHANT? ELEPHAAAAAAAAAANT!

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater is my virtual Everest – a tree-topped, rat-infested mountain home to armed guards, portable nukes and slightly awkward camera controls. And so far, it’s proved itself to be an insurmountable pain in the grass.

So, in my incompetent hands, Solid Snake isn’t Solid, nor Snake – he’s a giant, wimpy elephant with a bandana and a deep voice.

My inventory of shortcomings makes failure look like a resounding success. With Metal Gear Solid, Sons of Liberty and Guns of the Partiots under my belt, Snake Eater should be a cake walk – not a wobbly trek over a dodgy bridge.

As somebody who’s spent considerable amount of time pushing buttons on controllers, it shouldn’t be this difficult. Spectacularly, I’ve managed to overlook guards stood right in front of me, get tripped up by some of the larger of the local nasties, and actually fall off that rickety old bridge. That’s right – I’m the world’s first sneaker to be ‘outsnook’ by the very people I’m meant to be sneaking past.

Snake Eater consistently leaves me with a feeling of unease. It’s my Dark Souls of the sneak-past-em-up. Like its environment, Solid’s third iteration is a far more organic beast, seemingly riddled with unpredictability and uncertainty.

And it all seems to be down to the lack of a Soliton Radar.

It’s only when I revisited Sons of Liberty that I realized how secondary its visuals are. Indeed, they’re wasted on me – a radar addicted, technologically dependant elephant, both giant and wimpy. Metal Gear Solid and its sequel, then, are black-boxed, blue-coned iterations of Pac-man, with fancy, three-dimensional backgrounds.

It’s difficult not to see a frightening reflection in Kojima’s jungle outing. That seperation from the convenience of modern technology, a return to those core intincts and the most basic of skills. My inability to guide Snake through a polygonal jungle assisted by a plethora of tutorials and tips is bizarrely worrying.

But perhaps my own experiences with Snake Eater are a reflection of my own addiction to technology. Beyond my own technological bubble and the mundane realm of the everyday, I simply wouldn’t know how to live in the real world. The simple act of removing a virtual tool from a virtual world alone renders me almost entirely inept.

It’s with this in mind that I endeavour to leave the confines of the web and smell the giant mechanized nuclear-capable war machines once in a while. I just need to make sure there’s not a giant, wimpy elephant hidden amongst them.

Or worse, Solid Snake.

  • rockman29

    Haha, wimpy elephant, that’s good :)

    Try using the Subsistence camera, and just be patient. You’ll get through.

    1. Use prone, use grass
    2. Change your camouflage if it goes below 70%
    3. Shoot everyone in the head with the Mk.22 Tranquilizer
    4. Run batshit crazy and get all the items

    Are you watching some of the cutscenes? I tend to watch a bit of them til I get bored on replays. It’ll help you get into the frame of mind maybe.

    Also, the Motion Detector is the equivalent of Mei Ling’s Soliton Radar System. It just doesn’t update as well as Soliton and only shows a radial portion of the field at a time. And no view cones.

    Great game though, don’t miss it. The pinnacle of MGS stealth gameplay is in MGS3, no doubt about that.

    /Platinum’d MGS3, twice, oh yeah…

    • KingKelloggTheWaffleHaggler

      Wanna platinum it for me XD

  • KingKelloggTheWaffleHaggler

    I’m not sure what to say to this XD

    • Adam Meadows

      Thought somebody might say this. This was a little random. Just messing around with a style I suppose. See it how turns out!

      • Malcolm Reynolds

        I found it an enjoyable read that was both funny and relatable.
        1 thumb up and two toes.

        • KingKelloggTheWaffleHaggler

          I raise your one thumb and two toes with two thumbs and two toes!

      • KingKelloggTheWaffleHaggler

        It was hilarious and I enjoyed it

  • Kobracon

    HAH This was an entertaining read XD I had a similar experience with MGS3. So used to the radar was I that the mere thought of not having it worried me before I started playing.

    Its amazing what one can get used to though, before I knew it I was proning all the time and looking around every crawls.

  • KingOptimusOrigins111

    Wimpy Elephant lol!

  • http://www.di.fm Spicy Chicken

    Nice read, wasn’t sure where the hell you were going at first but you rounded it out well, good job. ;) (and besides, unpredictable articles are always fun!)

    Speaking of over-dependance on tech, this is my main reason for not owning a mobile phone. Yup, I’m the only person I know (and probably the only person on Gematsu) not to own one, and I’ve been told every possible reason as to why it’s insane not to, but still I remain (thankfully) stubborn in my wish not to own one.

    Truth be told, I never liked the idea of being always ‘connected’, I had a feeling it would end up being that way with mobiles and, sure enough, that’s where we’re at now. I see it all the time, people not talking to each other because they’re all lost in their own little world every day on the train, people unable to plan ahead normally or refusing to stick to plans when they do make them because, hey, I can just change my mind and PHONE everyone, wherever they are! Who needs plans!??! People COMPLETELY lost without their phone, apparently it’s a life threatening affliction… L_L
    People seemingly in pieces because their precious mobile/PDA etc. is out of charge, and well… THEY CAN’T RING ANYONE!!!! OR MAYBE SOMEONE’S TRYING TO CALL THEM! EGADS!!!!! O_O

    Really, it’s THE most prevalent over-reliance on technology there is, and I refuse to become a part of it. I’m too reliant on technology as is, pretty much a wimpy elephant myself without my computer, whether it’s at home or at work. The last thing I need is to be even more reliant on technology during the in between.

    So yeah, I completely get where you’re coming from and I have to say, it’s nice to ‘unplug’ for a short while every day. ^_^

  • whiteferrero

    I’m not sure if this style is called a satire or whutnot, but it’s smartly written with a direct allusion to over reliance on technology, both in games, and the real world.
    I like it.

  • EspadaKiller

    Haha what a random article, but nice read!

  • Adam Meadows

    I’ve tried to go for something a bit personal or ‘bloggish’. I often play games and have thoughts about them – but they don’t always have an angle or ‘point’ from an editorial point of view.

    Does that sound like a good idea? Or a terrible one?

    I’ll attempt something similar again in the near future. As always, I need your feedback on this sort of stuff to tweak and refine it!

    • KingKelloggTheWaffleHaggler

      More things like this,its always fun and nice for conversations

    • KingKelloggTheWaffleHaggler

      More things like this,its always fun and nice for conversations

    • http://www.di.fm Spicy Chicken

      I’m with King Kellog, Haggler of Waffles on this one!

      Ahem. (sorry Kellog). >_<

      But yeah, I think articles like this are always good as they show an alternative view of stuff related to videogames and relationships to other things outside of that context.

      Also, the length is really important. I thought the length of this was great, as I was able to quickly read through it before leaving for work this morning. Some of the articles on, say, insertcredit are WAY too long and if I ever do read that site these days it's having made time to do so. They're mostly good to read but MAN do they take a while to get there, each one is kind of a mini essay. (and I say this as someone who feels his own comments are always a bit too long).

      Anyway, long story short, I liked it and look forward to more. ;)

  • xMCXx

    Yeah, Snake Eater is pretty difficult. Not gonna lie.

  • http://gematsu.com/ Zero

    This was fun to read. I think everyone agrees, we would like to see more of this, Adam.

    As for Snake Eater. It’s my favorite Metal Gear game. (Yes, even more so than MGS 4.)

    “But perhaps my own experiences with Snake Eater are a reflection for my own addiction to technology. Beyond my own technological bubble and the mundane realm of the everyday, I simply wouldn’t know how to live in the real world.”

    This is something I experienced first hand a year or so ago. We had a crazy ice storm and all the power was out locally for a week. On top of that, cell phones were not working. It felt like I went back to a different era or something.

    No internet, couldn’t charge mobile devices. I felt like I was instantly unplugged from the world… something like that. It made me realize how dependent I was on technology. It was kinda a shocking wake up call.

    Anyways, not sure what my point really is here in this comment. I don’t think everything has to have a point though. =P

    • rockman29

      MGS3 is hands down the best MGS game, no doubt about that.