May 21st, 2005


Metal Gear... again

Picture this: you're a renegade general who, with a few special forces units, is developing a super-secret weapon, capable of launching nuclear missiles from pretty much anywhere. You are doing this to topple the current government. You are 'assisted' by a group of US special forces who defected to your group -- though you don't have any real control over them, but for now your purposes seem to be parallel.

You find out there's an intruder. Someone is sneaking around in your base, trying to find (and rescue) the key scientist you need to complete the weapon. You have guards patrolling the area, and sometimes they see him. If they do, they alert the HQ, and HQ sends reinforcements.
That's all fine and dandy, and as it should be. However, if none of the guards ever check back via the radio, isn't that something to be concerned about? I understand that your resources are limited, and while one intruder is causing trouble at one end, another team might try something at the other end. So I understand that you don't want to concentrate all your forces to the area where the alert was raised.
But if the intruder kills all the guards, isn't that cause for an even greater alarm? Shouldn't you try to do something about that?

Maybe it's because of the Easy setting on which I play the game, but it's pretty lame now that I have the sniper rifle: there's no penalty for lying in waiting and offing the patrolling guards one by one (headshot == teh_win). There's no silencer for the sniper rifle, but if the guards are far apart, they never notice their colleague being killed. And if they come across the dead body of their colleague, this is no real cause for great alarm -- they seem to take it all in stride. I'm not really dissapointed, but I would have liked some penalty attached to simply killing all the guards in one area and then moving on.
The one special fight I had, with The Pain, wasn't that hard either: dive under water when he sends some hornets after you, then surface when he is searching for you. Then it's just a matter of treading water, pointing the AK-47 at him and unloading the clip!
Perhaps I am too used to the type of game to play it on Easy...

I was thinking that Metal Gear would make an amusing backdrop/scenario for a roleplaying game. Perhaps a superhero-game, because the special characters you have to fight do have very special powers that are like superpowers...
Or perhaps it would make an amusing Amber convention scenario: Metal Logrus! Chaos is up to no good, developing some sort of magical superweapon! A group of Amberites have to infiltrate the various Ways, and use stealth to find out what Chaos is up to! Of course, one would have to limit the usefulness of invisibility magic -- but perhaps the scent of the Pattern is enough to set the Chaosian bloodhounds hot on your trail. One would also have to modify the stats, because sneaking around an enemy base would all be based on Warfare, making for characters that are one trick ponies... Hmmm, this needs more thought.
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Bishoujo squad!

Finished series: Futakoi

Even before we moved, we finished Futakoi. My first-episode review of that series is here.

Futakoi tells the story of Nozomi, who comes to live in the town where he grew up when his father leaves to teach astronomy on Hawaii. In the town is the shrine of the twin maidens, and it is said that their influence causes many female twins to be born in the town. Nomozu knew a pair of twins back when he was little, and during a ride on a ferris wheel, they promised to all get married...
Nozomu is in middle school, and during his first day he meets lots of female twins. Most get to be quite infatuated with him over time. There's the Ichijo twins whom he knew from when he was little. There are the rich twin girls Sakurazuki, who are very naive about the 'real' world outside of their mansion.
As time progresses, we get to see how Nozomu's relationship with both sets of twins (and an assorted set of supporting characters, some of them twins as well) develops. It would have been standard harem-anime fare, if not for the fact that the feelings of the characters are pretty well developed and believable.

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Good points:
- Cute character designs;
- Interesting premise;
- Believable emotions and motivations.
Bad points:
- Doesn't follow through with the trend set at the middle of the series -- therefore no resolution.

I'll give it a 7.
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