30 Days of Gaming, #22 – A game sequel which disappointed you

I remember it well, tearing apart the floor of my bedroom closet in search of the original case for PlayStation’s Metal Gear Solid; unfortunately, as a younger fleshling, I was not as good as I am now about being organized and keeping good care of my videogame purchases, and I desperately needed this case. Without it, I could no longer progress. See, on the back of the jewel CD case was a screenshot of Solid Snake communicating with Meryl, giving her codec frequency the limelight. In-game, ArmsTech President Kenneth Baker mentions all of this, and it’s up to you, the gamer, to put it all together. I do believe the Internet was happening back then, but it was much slower to look things up on, and so, without the case to find that special codec signal, all future stealthiness was lost.

Visual proof for y’all:

It was magical, for sure; a wall-breaker, a mind-twist, a clever punch to make the moment truly have a lasting effect, a foreshadowing of what was to come. There’s plenty of other great things in Metal Gear Solid to talk about–Psycho Mantis was impressed by how long I’d been playing Suikoden–but alas, we’ll have to save it for a GAMES I REGRET PARTING WITH posting as I did, for some unknown reason, trade it in. Boo. Anyways, this 30 Days of Gaming topic is about sequels…

There was no such magical moment in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. Yup, there were twists and turns and surprises, but nothing really hit the mark as well as the former title did. MGS 2‘s biggest letdown was, naturally, removing the character we all loved playing as and replacing him with…Raiden. Snake handled missions with force and raw determination; Raiden, with his effeminate looks and high-pitched voice, handled them less-enthused with the occasional argument between his girlfriend Rose. Cruelty burns bright knowing that Snake is still around, disguised as a marine and offering advice during the mission. And then, of course, there’s nude Raiden, a sequence that was bewildering and baffling, that more or less summed up the entire MGS 2 experience in that, yes, we’d all been had.

Now, there’s a lot I do like about MGS 2. Namely the first chunk of the game where you get to play as Snake, the boss battle against Vamp, and shooting bad guys with tranquilizer darts and then stuffing them into lockers for non-lethal kills. But overall, it just did not live up to the same thrilling, dramatic experience as in Metal Gear Solid. If anything, it got more zany, and while a little insane humor has always been peppered into the franchise, it was usually deftly balanced with a great story and characters to care about. I never grew to care about Raiden, and I did attempt to throw himself from Big Shell numerous times; it’s unfortunate to see that he’s still an important character in the franchise years later. Doesn’t Rose know anything about smothering lovers in their sleep with pillows?

Other nominees for disappointing sequels include: Jak II, Colony Wars: Vengeance, and Dragon Age II (saying this without haven’t even played more than the demo yet). What game sequel disappointed you, dear Grinding Down readers, the most?

7 responses to “30 Days of Gaming, #22 – A game sequel which disappointed you

  1. Even though Syphon Filter was itself a coat-tail riding gimmick to cash in on the Metal Gear fad, I loved it. Syphon Filter 2 however, not so much. I recall that I only made it about 1/2 way through thinking it an unpolished, clunky, boring sequel. Which is amazing because, at the time, I didn’t even know what unpolished or clunky was. Also, Paperboy II was a travesty.

    • Oh man, I have this free demo disc from like Kay-bee Toys from way back when or something, and it has the original first level from Syphon Filter on it. I played and replayed that demo levels so many times until I’d mastered it. Never got to play the full game or its sequel(s).

  2. I had a feeling MGS2 would crop up when I saw the post title. It’s pretty much the classic disappointment of gaming sequels. I remember when I first picked it up, I was probably 12 years old or something. I had loved and cherished MGS. I’d speed run it every night for weeks, and to this day it’s still my favourite game. But it took me a good 6 years to finally beat MGS2. Because when I was 12, I must have gotten bored. Whether it was the inclusion of Raiden or not, I don’t know. But I just discarded. When I eventually picked it back up many years later and completed it, I didn’t feel a whole lot better about it. As you’ve mentioned it has some great moments, and some great characters. Vamp’s probably the best thing to come out of that whole game. But the character roster simply can’t complete with the other titles in the series. And to this day I still can’t quite understand what the fuck happens at the end of that game. All that arsenal gear stuff…my mind nearly collapsed.

  3. I like MGS2 quite a bit more than the original. The game is just so whacked out and bizarre it’s awesome. The opening tanker sequence is great fun, becoming Raiden was interesting to me, the bosses were insane (FATMAN ON ROLLERSKATES), everything was just ridiculous. Love the game.

    MGS3 is even better though.

    • I just don’t think I was ready for so much wackiness in MGS2. I absolutely loved MGS3, but only played it once, in an almost fever rush over a single weekend. I’m looking forward to it being re-released for the 3DS.

  4. I’m right there with you on this one. MGS2, while still technically a *good* game, was a major disappointment simply because it replaced Snake with a whiny little bitch. It had its moments, but it ended up making me lose interest in the series entirely afterwards. I still haven’t given MGS3 and 4 a shot yet although I hear they are both much better.

    Also, I know I am in the extreme minority for this one, but I was disappointed with Suikoden II. I know it is the holy grail of PS-era RPGs, but I just didn’t like it as much as the first game. It had some memorable moments and was still fun, but Nanami annoyed the hell out of me.

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