Review: Saga #4

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For those not completely swept away by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staple’s Saga, the premise is this: 2 Lovers (Alana and Marko) from a planet and a moon fall in love during a war between their two species and have a child together. They become fugitives from the law and must avoid the law at all costs to keep their child safe. Along the way they have picked up ghost/babysitter Izabel, who has been guiding them to the rocketship Forrest. This chapter is the best of all 4, while it doesn’t move the story forward much until the last page, we learn more about Marko’s past and get to see the exploits of The Will. Yes, thats The Will with a capital T. The Will was originally assigned to find and kill Marko and Alana but decided that it was not worth his time. However, when he was first hired he was given a card with infinite amounts of money on it, which he intends to use on the planet sextillion. You can tell from the name what type of place this is. What he does on this planet cements him as the most badass character in the comic and has made him my favorite character. What makes this comic stand out is Vuaghn’s writing, which shines in every page. He makes the characters feel real, with history and thought governing everything that they say. This is magnified by the brilliant artwork of Fiona Staples. She gives the characters personality and compliments the script perfectly. The end of this issue suggests that with the next issue we will begin to see some true action. 

I give this issue 9.8 out of 10

The comic is 9.5, with .3 added for the awesome letters column. 

Review: Metal Gear Solid

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Metal Gear Solid is considered one of the most iconic series ever made. I would venture to say that it revolutionized the stealth game genre. So with a friends copy in hand I decided to try this game out for myself. What I found was a game that was a game that met my expectations, surpassed them, and at times made me very, very angry. The one constant with the game was that it captivated me from start to finish.

Metal Gear Solid is technically a sequel to Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2, which were on the NES. Playing those games isn’t required to understand the story as any references to the other games are quickly explained. The game is a stealth game that is largely cinematic, and when I say cinematic, I mean CINEMATIC.

The Metal Gear series has been widely known for it’s long and stylized cut scenes. It is true that very often these cut scenes are long but if you are willing to sit down and take in the story you find that the characters and the plot in this game work so well that even the longest and most wordy cut scenes don’t feel too boring. While playing the game I kept thinking about Heavy Rain. In Heavy Rain the developers strived to create a real interactive experience that focused on story, eschewing game play almost completely. One of the most common complaints about the game is that it doesn’t feel like a game at all.  Quantic Dream, (Heavy Rain’s developer) this is how you do it! Konami made a game that had fantastic gameplay while also having a large focus on story.

This brings me to the next part of my review: The Gameplay. In MGS, you play mainly from a top down perspective, looking down at Snake. This style works for the game as it lets you see other soldiers patrolling or searching for you and it gives you ample time to hide. The perspective loses some of it’s charm when you are in a firefight and cannot even see the enemy in front of you. I would have liked to have a first person perspective with the gun (a feature implemented in the sequel) The game encourages you to find creative ways to get from one room to another as the game could be played in many different ways, For instance: One player could play through the whole game sneaking around without killing a single enemy, while another could sneak up on them from behind and snap their neck. Both achieve the same goal in keeping you undetected. If you do get detected, the game punishes you, as bullet fire can make mince meat out of you. The game has plenty of interesting ideas, such as locking you in a room quickly filling up with toxic gas and no way out. It is up to you to be creative in saving your own skin.

That said, this can be a very difficult game. Be prepared to die. A lot. Many of these deaths come from being careless and forgetting that this is a stealth game and not a shooter. In my experience though, most of the deaths come from the bosses. The bosses in this game are indescribably original and they put any other game’s bosses to shame. They are incredibly creative and require active thinking from the part of the player. These bosses can take a while, but when you finally find out the enemy’s weak point, they’re toast, which is incredibly rewarding.

Fortunately you are not alone in this fight. You have a support team that you can reach at any time via your codec. The codec is very useful as you can contact someone to save the game or contact someone who will give you a hint on what to do next or remind you of your objective. These characters all have full personalities and are a joy to talk to. Their conversations with Snake feel real. Which leads me to one of the crowning achievements: Solid Snake. In my opinion Snake is one of the best written characters in video games. His development through the game is stunning and he truly kept me invested in the game. I wanted to keep Snake alive, pure and simple.

Overall. This is a classic game. The blend of gameplay and story is near flawless, the characters are fully formed and relatable, the game is exciting and tense and delivers an experience unlike one I have ever had before, If the game was a bit less punishing, it could be perfect.

9/10

Choose Your Character! a.e. Introductions

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Hi All!

My name is Ben and I would be lying if i told you that this was my first blog. If you just click on my name you’ll see what happened the last time i tried. I intend for this blog to be different though. This blog will more be a general life thing. I think that it will have many reviews of all the stuff that i read and watch and listen to, but there may even be a story in there too, if only i can think of a story worth telling. Fair warning, I’ll probably review things that seem a bit old and dated as I’m only 17 and have a lot to play and watch and read.

This should be fun, the second it stops being fun is the second i delete the blog.

Here’s to fun.

Ben

This blog

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This blog is a bit of an experiment. I know that while writing this absolutely no one will be reading it for some time, but i still feel like writing it. This blog is an experiment to see if i can capture parts of my life and share them online. That means that there will probably be boring stuff. If you don’t like hearing about comics, video games, movies, and music them you should probably get out. Also I may even share some stories from my and my friend’s experiences. Fair warning, i may abandon this within a matter of days and forget about it, so this better be fun. Thats something the I very much want to inject this blog with, fun. If you aren’t having fun reading or writing something than why even do it? In any event I should proably introduce myself. Look for it right above.

Ben