Thats right, I was going to talk about Metal Gear. But first, a few quick updates. Unless it's just me, the "recent comments" bar now seems to be working. Of course, as soon as that was fixed, archive.org starting having problems. Namely, the downloads were not being counted for around a week. Now that's running again, so we're at "all systems go" for the time being.
A brief update on Chronturbo: the first episode is currently taking shape. Due to the PC Engine's first couple years not exactly being jam-packed with games, this episode will be a bit shorter than average - about 12 titles will be covered.
Additionally, there are a couple other little projects I'm working on - though nothing too exciting. First up is a complete re-recording of Chrontendo Episode 1. That episode sounds horrible and awful for some reason, and I'd like to get it more in line with later episodes.
So about that Metal Gear - its an odd little game, isn't it? Certainly, among the "classic" NES titles, MG has very little critical consensus. It's clearly a groundbreaking game, and light years ahead of the majority of 1987 Famicom/NES releases. Yet a surprising number of folks really seem to hate it. Part of this has to do with the notoriously sketchy translation ("THE TRUCK HAVE STARTED TO MOVE!") But the widespread availability of the superior MSX2 game has also led to a drop in the console MG's stock.
There's definitely something to this. The MSX MG is the better game. Regardless of the rather baffling changes made for the console release, it's still 90% the same game. The Famicom Metal Gear is still a highly original, well designed, and addictive video game, despite its not having the official Hideo Kojima seal of approval. Perhaps Kojima's distinctive, forceful and very public personality has led to modern day critics attempting to apply some sort of half-baked variation of auteur theory to his video games. Those who tend to align themselves with Kojima on such matters, might view the Famicom Metal Gear as the illegitimate offspring of Kojima's original creation: something that should be shunned in favor of the MSX game.
Not that I don't give Kojima credit for making a great game. But Metal Gear is clearly a game in the Konami style; it's foolish to think that it sprung, Athena-like, from Kojima's head fully formed. Its just as much the descendant of King Kong 2 or Ai Senshi Nicol as it is Kojima's brainchild. One often sees writers give Kojima a lot of credit for making Metal Gear a top-down non-scrolling game, since the MSX was not capable of smooth scrolling. Yet that was the very same thing Konami had been doing with other games for the last couple years!
I hope no one is going to interpret this as Kojima bashing, or anything of that nature. I'm merely trying to place the Famicom Metal Gear in its historical context - as one in a series of high quality action adventure games Konami released for the system. Placing each game into its historical context, is, after all, what Chrontendo is all about.