Metal Gear Solid Noob Diaries #11: Poisonous Frogs
Welcome to the Metal Gear Noob Diaries. This is the recounting of my experience through the MGS series from MGS2: Sons of Liberty all the way to MGSV: Ground Zeroes. I’ll be updating every so often with new thoughts on sections of the games and taking a look back at memorable and enjoyable moments. I’ve never played the series before, so for the fans out there it could be an amusing tale of one noob’s journey, while those as green as myself could well learn a little about the mad world of MGS. Enjoy!
Had some highs and some real lows today. The game is still incredibly fun and wonderfully engaging and playable - I don’t think I’ve actually praised the game enough in my previous entries but it really is a marvel of pacing and well balanced game design. So much better than MGS2 so far, and it’s not just because of the improved camera. The sense of stealth is much closer to reality; using the jungle to your advantage feels fantastic and it’s rare to be caught out without making a glaring mistake. Not having a radar consistently can throw up some slightly annoying moments where it seems impossible for a guard not to see you, but these are few and far between. Plus, more silenced weapons make everything wonderful.
So it was definitely fun on the whole, but there were a couple of moments where I felt as though my own personal progress with the series suddenly took a nose dive. I spoke in the last entry about how I’m getting better at surviving and generally just getting the whole gist if the game; well today I may have ruined that slightly. It began rather badly, actually, when I decided to tell Snake to munch on a frog that specifically had the word ‘poison’ in its name. I suppose I thought it was some sort of ruse - turns out it really wasn’t and Snake began to slowly die. I managed to save him, but I did feel more than a little stupid.
The next issue was even more criminal, considering my previous advances in the stealth department. One section of the game tasked me with infiltrating a research laboratory dressed as a scientist in an effort to find Sokolov. Only, I forgot that I was supposed to dress as a scientist. I broke into the place pretty effectively, but it proved pretty tricky not to be discovered. Rather than simply waltzing through the facility, I had to fight my way through. Which wasn’t actually all that hard (a topic I’ll get to in a minute), but it was annoying that I felt as though I’d played the game wrong. I suppose it’s good that you have the option to choose either stealth or go loud, but I did feel like I’d cheated.
Despite that slip-up, I did slightly make up for it a little earlier when I managed to crack one of the game’s logic puzzles without the aid of a walkthrough. Now, when I describe it, it’s not going to sound very puzzling, but I was pretty happy with myself for working it out - so no taking the piss. Faced with a locked and impassable door which is clearly the only way to progress, I had to work out how to gain access. I was tempted to look online, but after being told to check the codec more often (a.k.a. the radio) I gave it a whirl. Quite literally, Major Zero and Para-Medic’s advice was to dance in front of it, so they weren’t a lot of help. So I worked out all by myself that I had to knock on the door - it seems obvious, I know, but let me remind you that I was knocking on the door of an enemy base. It didn’t seem like the most logical thing to do. But of course, this is MGS, logic has a tendency to take a back seat.
Today’s playthrough ended with a boss fight against The Fear, another member of The Boss’ Team COBRA who’s more than a little creepy. Turns out he was pretty easy to kill, very easy in fact. Which is something I want to bring up for the game in general: so far I’ve found MGS3 to be very easy, especially as I’ve become more adept with the base mechanics. Much more simple than MGS2, in fact. The boss fight with The Pain, the infiltration I mentioned earlier and any instance in which I’m discovered and the guards radio in or help - they all prove to be a little too easy, to the slight detriment of the game. Admittedly, I’m probably only about half way through, but it was rare to catch a single easy moment in the second game. Hopefully things get a little more tricky from here onwards.