It all started around winter 1998 and my Dad’s friend was visiting. He knew I was into video games and asked if I ever heard of a game called, “Metal Gear Solid”. I told him that I did not but then I remembered seeing ads for it in my game magazines.
Cut to a few months later and I was at Blockbuster and saw that they had a copy so I decided to rent it. I was immediately intrigued by the character of Solid Snake upon first playing the game. He wasn’t like a lot of action heroes. Very wary of his reputatiob and a huge chatterbox. Seeing as the game was two discs, I rented it over a period of two months before finally finishing it. I had gotten the Meryl Lives ending as at the time I didn’t know there was another ending. I was intrigued but I didn’t think much of the game after beating it.
Cut to the summer of 2002 and I had recently gotten a PlayStation 2. My family was on a road trip vacation and we stopped by my Grandma’s and knew she would buy ne plenty of video games. My cousin there had a GameCube and also had Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes. He had never played the original and si made me play but I was confused since I had no idea there was a sequel out that the remake used the engine of.
On the plane ride home I bought a ton of video game magazines and learned all about Metal Gear Solid 2, thus spoiling myself on accident about the whole Raiden bait and switch. Cut to May 2003 when my Grandma was visiting during my sister’s high school graduation. She was there for about two weeks and so she bought me a ton of video games and one of them was Metal Gear Solid 2. I have a lot of respect for Metal Gear Solid 2 despite it not being one of my favorite games in the series. I thought it was bold to take away Solid Snake as the main playable character and instead make it newbie Raiden. I never got the hate towards the character as I thought he was pretty cool. The game was something else. The boss fights in the game were nothing compared to the ones in the first. Only Fortune and Vamp really caught my attention. Fatman was pretty meh to me. Solidus, while interesting, didn’t quite have the spark that Liquid had. This is also the game that introduced the craziness of The Patriots. But I still loved the game and I got wind that there was going to be a third one so I was intrigued. Summer 2005. I was sent off to spend it with my Grandma in Kentucky. I occupied my time in a variety of ways but I managed to get my Grandpa to buy me Metal Gear Solid 3. Now this was the game that changed me from “passionate” to “diehard” about the series. You play as Naked Snake, the not quite yet Big Boss, in 1963 in a mission to take down his mentor, The Boss. The game really hooked me when you get to point after the prologue where they have the James Bond esque intro with the song, “Snake Eater” playing. I loved every part of that game. The bosses were great and the story phenomenal. I even rebought the game a few months later when it was re-released with the updated Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2. In 2007, I bought a PSP just to play Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops. This is pretty much the red headed step child of the series even though I don’t think it should be. It was a good story and the game was also pretty good. It didn’t really advance the story other than explaining how Big Boss acquired so much money. The summer of 2008 was when Metal Gear Solid 4 was released. I was going through a really bad breakup at the time and was in need of a distraction. I saved up over $600 to buy a PlayStation 4 and the game I bought along with it was MGS 4. The only time I didn’t play that game was when I had to go to work. This was such a spectacular ending to Solid Snake’s story and while I had a minor quibble with how everything was wrapped up a little too neatly, I loved it. Summer 2010 was when Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker was released on PSP. This was supposed to be the official fifth entry but Konami vetoed that but one can still see that it is. The story of Big Boss continues as he rises in power and status but one can see he’s breaking down on the inside. Since this was a portable game, the missions were broken down and replayable and frankly I think worked the best. It is one of my favorite games in the series. Spring 2013 is when Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance was released. This was the first game set post Metal Gear Solid 4 and starred Raiden. It was interesting game to say the least as this was extreme action with only little stealth that the series was famous for. This showed how the franchise can break off in many ways and thus keep it fresh. While on the short side, it is highly recommended. Now as of this writing, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain will be released. The prologue was released a year earlier and this seems to be the grand finale of the series. It brings the story of Big Boss and Solid Snake full circle. I am not going to lie, I may shed a tear. This series means a lot to me in various ways. It’s linked to many moments in my life; good and bad. It showed me that video games can have a great story and multi faceted characters. Hideo Kojima is one of my idols and I would be in total awe in meeting him. So I thank Mr. Kojima for bringing such a great series into my life.