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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Top 10 Most Shocking Games in a Series - #2: Metal Gear Ac!d

The Metal Gear series is currently one of the most well known game series out there, and it was a game that on its own shocked the world! In 1987 Hideo Kojima created and directed a game that was unlike any other, it was a game that was focused on avoiding combat. During this point of time most video games were action based, and when people played them, that is what they expected. Gamers would go to video game arcades, they'd turn on a game, shoot the heck out of things for awhile, and then they would go home; having a game where you avoided combat was completely unheard of, and most people figured that a game like that would fail. Well, guess what? It didn't.

When Metal Gear came out gamers were shocked! The game was about a man code named Solid Snake as he sneaks into a massive fortress called "Outer Heaven" to locate a missing member of his team. Although the game was based around sneaking around and exploring the base, it also had a major focus on story telling, and was one of the first video games to have a truly deep and engaging story. Because of this, the Metal Gear series soon went on to see quite a few sequels (although only one of them is considered canon), and over time it actually evolved into something new.

When the Sony PlayStation came out, Hideo Kojima decided to revive the Metal Gear series, but under a new name. The new game was called "Metal Gear Solid," and it was the first Metal Gear game to really take its gameplay to a whole new level. The game was in 3D (with a fixed camera angle), there was a wide verity of stealth actions to preform (such as pressing up against a wall and making sounds to get enemies to notice you), more weapons were added into the game which allowed you to pull off stealth kills and defend yourself, and the story was greatly enhanced as well. Metal Gear Solid featured many cutscenes, full voice acting, codec (a radio like device) conversations with the members of your team, and it tied everything together almost like a movie. The game soon became known for its outstanding story, and it soon spawned its own series of sequels. Before long the Metal Gear Solid series became one of the biggest game series out there, and it has gained a large fan base of its own.

In 2004 (2005 for the west) Hideo Kojima decided to expand the Metal Gear series in yet another new way; however he did so in a way that broke just about all of the series' standards. Kojima wanted to make a new game for Sony's new PlayStation Portable handheld, and instead of continuing the Metal Gear Solid storyline, he decided to do something completely different. The game Kojima released was a (now lesser known) game called "Metal Gear Ac!d."

Metal Gear Ac!d is a Metal Gear game that takes place in a timeline of its own. It features a completely original "Solid Snake" as the main character, the game's story uses still images with anime styled art, and its tone is completely different from the rest of the Metal Gear series. While other games normally focus on Snake (or other characters) sneaking around a base while at war, MGA opens up with two psycho living dolls kidnapping everyone on a plane! The story alone of this game is completely unlike anything you would see in other Metal Gear games, but what is even more shocking is the fact that you learn at the beginning of the game who Snake REALLY is (let's just say, the events of the game are basically his fault). Still the strangeness of the game's story doesn't even come close to comparing with the game's actual gameplay!

MGA isn't a stealth action game like past Metal Gear games, but instead it is a Turn Based Strategy, Card, Stealth game. Yep you heard me right. The game is a turn based game that takes place on a grid, and each "player" (in this case you and the enemy units) takes their turn moving their characters around the map. At the start of each turn you have a verity of different cards to use, and each of these cards have different uses as well. After building your "deck" and jumping into battle, you must use your cards to move Snake (and later another character) a set number of spaces around the map, and then you can use them to engage an enemy. Each card is based on different weapons or characters from past Metal Gear games, and each one of them basically does what you would expect it to. If you have a card of a standard hand gun, then, well, when you use it Snake will shoot the enemy with a standard hand gun! Card stats also plays a role when it comes to facing off with enemies as well, and it basically comes down to whoever has the best cards wins.

Although the game is a TBS with a card battle based battle system, it also does feature some stealth and Metal Gear styled elements. Sometimes you'll need to be hidden in the shadows during different turns to avoid being spotted, and sometimes you have to get key cards and open doors in order to advance to the next area. While this aspect of the game is quite a bit like the older games, the game you play the game in general makes this aspect of the game very unique on its own, and I'm sure most fans never expected the game to be like this.

Really Metal Gear Ac!d isn't just a shocking game to Metal Gear fans, but it is a shocking game for Turn Based Strategy fans as well. This game takes features from the MG series, mixes them with a TBS, and the outcome is a unique experience unlike anything else, and that is why Metal Gear Ac!d deserves a spot at number 2 on this list. Even though the game did get a sequel awhile later, the original is still quite the shock, and it is something most people never expected to see in a Metal Gear game.