TLS 2020 Community Playthrough: Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty

Prism

Pro Adventurer
AKA
pikpixelart
#26
Finally made some time to play this week! It's nice because MGS2 has been a very comfortable game to play so far, the context being that video games are the only task that still have the potential to cause discomfort in my hands. (though, thankfully, even that is seemingly getting better) Everyone's captions have been enjoyable to read, and I'll be looking forward to subsequent weeks.

How does it feel to be back here again? Looking forward to things? Afraid? Internally cringing?

Being back in the world of MGS2 feels fantastic. Just talking from an aesthetic standpoint, the sixth generation of consoles has a special place in my heart. Everything is still polygonal and game-y looking - but there were lots of new technologies that give objects approximated real-life properties. Cloth blows in the wind, water ripples and reflects, objects have motion trails, raindrops splatter, hair has physics, humans have just enough polygons to actually look like humans - the blend between approximated realism and polygonal game graphics is quite charming. Going from PS1 to PS2, developers were excited to make use of these new engine systems. The framing of things totally reflects that. Each effect is amplified and focused on, making MGS2 feel more dramatic and energetic than even a lot of modern games.
The ethos of MGS comes from a post-WWII time where human ethics were on people's minds - pushing states away from nuclear proliferation and towards peace, upholding the human rights dictated by the Geneva conventions, and so on. It's a voice that is sorely missing in the modern day at the national stage. Let alone the fact that MGS2 later goes on to predict and comment on the biggest issue of our modern political climate: manipulation of information in the digital age, circulation of disinformation, and importance of free will. But we'll get into that later! I'm excited to get into the crazy stuff later on. I'm also excited to hear Raiden and Rose's sappy love fights and all of those conversations like them. They're a riot, honestly.

Did the gameplay come back to you easily, or did you need to adjust? Any mishaps?

Given that the last MGS playthrough I started was an MGS1 playthrough, the gameplay luxaries that MGS2 added felt more than nice - the extra mobility, fluidity in motion, and addition of a POV view help a lot. Surveying your surroundings is much more fair and intuitive with POV as an option, and being able to hang off of ledges feels like a natural extension of MGS1's control philosophy. There's a lot of ways to interact with the terrain, something I think MGS excels at: you can crouch, crawl, dive, sidestep on walls, hang, climb, and manipulate guards through knocking. There's so many options at every level of interaction - and that's what makes it such a satisfying stealth game from a mechanical point of view.

I feel like if someone goes from MGS3-onward back to MGS2, they'll have to adjust to the controls, but since the reverse was true for me (going from MGS1 to 2), it was only a step up.
There was one big mishap in particular that I can think of. In the underground corridors before the Commandant's speech, I ran out of tranqulizer ammo during the skirmish with the Russian troops. Given that it's a necessary encounter, running out of ammo made me pretty damn nervous. I had to use CQC, and it got pretty messy...lost both of my rations.

Did you notice anything new this run?

I noticed that there was some foreshadowing during a codec call with Otacon, so I made a mental note to remember it. I didn't, though. I forgot.

Anything still confusing after all this time?

It took a moment for the overarching allegiances to square up in my head. Snake, an ex-US special force member (now independant in the private sector) infiltrates a US Navy ship that is then invaded by Russian mercenaries (which, then hosts a betrayal and hijacking)
It's easy to keep together in retrospect, but when it was happening in real-time, it took a moment.

What is your stance on dramatic coat shooting and those involved?


Gotta love the million layers of effects and the drama on top. It's high-octane craziness that MGS balances really well. I'm sure there's more that I could say from a story perspective on it, but still.

Describe your playstyle in five words or less.

"Outta sight, outta mind"
Any notable codec calls you want to talk about?

When you call Otacon to save, his attempt to fill the role of Mei Ling and give Snake advice based on historical sayings is a nice touch.
Thoughts on Olga, mechanically or character wise?

She's pretty cool. Japanese character designers are always giving Russians silver hair, for whatever reason.

Anyway, I like that she's a wild card in the story. Though she's mostly an antagonist, being neither totally aligned with the player nor totally opposing them makes her a very interesting factor in the story.
Did you listen to the Commandant’s whole speech? How does he rate as a speaker?

Y'know, his voice is pretty easy to listen to. Seeing all of the moments where he takes breaks (allow the audience to stretch, repeat himself) are amusing. I'd rate him as a good speaker.

Any other notable things I missed?

I'm curious what pictures everyone took. Giving players agency to take whatever photos they want is super fun. This time, I was able to snap a picture of Olga as she was peering out of a wall to shoot me! Among all of the posters lying around, of course.
 

Strangelove

AI Researcher
AKA
hitoshura
#33
bringing up zoe2 makes me sad that the original ps3 hd remaster was such a mess and kinda tanked the chance of a third game (also since they only really sorted out zoe2 afterwards is that why zoe1 didn't get a ps4 port as well)

this is a sorrowful sadpanda :sadpanda:
 

Roger

Triple Slash Enthusiast
AKA
Minato
#36
  1. Feels like home. My skills have depreciated a great deal but I still know the levels and patrol routes like the back of my own hand.
  2. It's slowly coming back to me, square to shoot, circle to melee, unequip to drag bodies, all that. I forgot how less fluid looking around corners is in this title compared to later.
  3. The determination of the alert team stood out, if you tranq your way through the engine room, then interrupt the guy reporting he fixed the door by tranqing him, the search team will go through the whole level, kicking 6 guys awake in their path, reporting in every time, to get to the other side of the map. And then immediately give up if you've dragged him slightly out of sight.
  4. Snake's public status at the beginning is unclear to me. He is officially recognised by the UN but also considered a terrorist since Shadow Moses.
  5. Great establishing moment for Ocelot. The Marines could have tried a lot harder to get the upper hand tho

  1. Stealth, Flounder, Hide, Tranq, Reset
  2. Otacon's saying convoy about the fishes of the deep was terrible! He must literally only consume fantranslated Japanese media to be this dense. I like that Snake gives up on challenging him on his interpretations by the second save.
  3. Good starter boss, I wish the fight doesn't keep getting interrupted because she is saying something tho. Characterwise, I rather like that she had to visibly contain her excitement at being held up, as she had no good excuse to stick around before then.
  4. I did not, but I think it was illadvised of him to denounce the Sears administration and the Navy and so on so openly in front of a bunch of grunts. Makes these Marines look like a wholly independent cult almost.
  5. Snake should work the word "fringe" into even more conversations, I am disappointed he stops doing it after the tanker.
 

Prism

Pro Adventurer
AKA
pikpixelart
#37
bringing up zoe2 makes me sad that the original ps3 hd remaster was such a mess and kinda tanked the chance of a third game (also since they only really sorted out zoe2 afterwards is that why zoe1 didn't get a ps4 port as well)

this is a sorrowful sadpanda :sadpanda:
Not to mention that ZOE is a series that’s hard to get running well on an emulator due to all of its effects, so the ports were one of the only ways to get them in a modern context. Very unfortunate...


See that's the weird thing, Zone of the Enders 2 got a PS4 release, but MGS HD Collection? MGS4? Still nothin'. :hohum:
Not even the Switch has gotten the HD collection, which is another really big missed opportunity. And I feel like it’s not asking for much from Konami, even in their current state. It’s gotten to the point where we even have to beg for ports, lol.

One can only hope for PS5 versions
 
#38
How does it feel to be back here again? Looking forward to things? Afraid? Internally cringing?

I wasn't prepared for the rush of feelings once the intro started (before 'press start'. I think this is my favourite MGS title. According to my save file, I last played in 2014. I did cringe a bit on remembering
Otacon's family life
was in this game.

Did the gameplay come back to you easily, or did you need to adjust? Any mishaps?

Little of both. I got going easily enough, but not without some significant screwups like forgetting how to hang and drop and accidentally blowing up the ship with a missed shot or two. Died a few times. Forgot where the Marines logo was and had to do without it.

Did you notice anything new this run?

Difficult to remember. In FPS mode, you can hear the rain more loudly and there's a ' rain on window' effect.

What is your stance on dramatic coat shooting and those involved?

Bit of a gamble, but Ocelot probably has one of those
bullet deflecting things
Very in character, being a combination of needlessly overdramatic and very well planned.

Describe your playstyle in five words or less.

Having fun despite being inept.

Any notable codec calls you want to talk about?

The one on Sergei Gurlukovich's background. He's basically Soviet Big Boss. There's a lot of good backstory waiting to be found if you check in on it.

Thoughts on Olga, mechanically or character wise?

I love this fight. It's simple, but there's a lot of good character work in it, in how she improvises advantages in whatever's nearby, and I love that Snake doesn't underestimate her, which is a trope that annoys me. First time through, this really made me sit up and go 'okay, game, you have my attention.'

Did you listen to the Commandant’s whole speech? How does he rate as a speaker?

Yes, actually. He repeats himself a bit, but takes breaks for stretches, which is nice. I love how the timer freezes every time he goes off script, which is both funny and great attention to detail.

Any other notable things I missed?

Well, past me, I've always been fond of how professional people are in this. Snake is so used to things going catastrophically wrong that he keeps up the mission even after mercs hijack the ship and a Cypher is watching them. Few games balance a super skilled lead and a lead obviously in danger so well.

Hope everyone's having fun.
 
#42
Clever Banner Two

Hi all, hope things are going well. Last time, we played through the Tanker, for chapter 2, we move on into something different altogether. Anyone that hasn't played chapter 1, feel free to start, I once finished an LP seven months late, so if someone beats my record I will regard that as a success. Also, if anyone feels they need more time or I'm doing something wrong, feel free to PM me or post in the thread about it.

Chapter 2 ends After the Bossfight on the Helipad.

  1. We know the sunken tanker had no oil on it. What do you think this facility really is?
  2. We have now met all three members of Dead Cell. Who do you think is the most stable of the three?
  3. Sympathetic or not to Peter Stillman’s story and actions?
  4. Pliskin seems to be hiding something. What do you think his deal is?
  5. Any noteworthy differences in gameplay from the Tanker?

  1. Quite a lot of what happens here ends up setting up pieces of future instalments. Anything stand out?
  2. There’s also a lot of dialogue doing clever foreshadowing of what comes later in this game. Any particular gems?
  3. Favourite Codec so far?
  4. Which strut is the most fun to play in?
  5. What piece of equipment have you been using the most?

  1. What do you make of Raiden and his support staff?
  2. Ditto Dead Cell.
  3. What’s your favourite bomb? Which was the most difficult to defuse?
  4. Describe your experience in 4-6 words.
  5. Anything else you want to talk about?

Good luck and Enjoy Yourselves!
 

Tetsujin

Ready for the mosh pit, shaka brah
AKA
Tets
#43
Been doing more VR missions in the meantime.
I've completed 210 missions...out of 511 :@ I do not feel like some kind of legendary mercenary yet. :monster:

Haven't reached the frustrating stuff yet but...I'll get there eventually. Thank god the trophy only requires completion. If it was first rank on all missions...mother of god. D:
 
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Tetsujin

Ready for the mosh pit, shaka brah
AKA
Tets
#44
Alright, "defused" Fatman.
Kind of appropriate isn't it. Tomorrow is the 75th anniversary of the Nagasaki a-bomb "Fat Man" being dropped. :closedmonster:

Quite a lot of what happens here ends up setting up pieces of future instalments. Anything stand out?

First thing that comes to mind is their explanation for not being able to pick up enemy's weapons and having to find item boxes instead: Every weapon is ID tagged. That'll be a major plot point in MGS4, of course...

There’s also a lot of dialogue doing clever foreshadowing of what comes later in this game. Any particular gems?

Right in the beginning the Colonel says something about Pliskin not being a factor in the "simulation" and the first time around I guess I assumed maybe they ran some kind of simulation prior to the mission to determine success probability or something buuuut that ain't quite it now is it.

Favourite Codec so far?

Calling Pliskin right after seeing him cross one of the connecting bridges decked out in a cardboard box. Raiden will ask him whether he knows anything about a guy wearing a cardboard box and whether he might be Dead Cell and then goes on to say he wouldn't wanna fight a guy like that because it looks so dumb and anyone willing to be seen like that must obviously be an utter psycho.

Pliskin:


Which strut is the most fun to play in?

I like the sediment pool. There's some verticality there but it's easy to take people out, throw them into the water, increase your grip gauge by dropping down to the lower level several times etc :monster:

What piece of equipment have you been using the most?

Probably the trusty M9 :monster:

What do you make of Raiden and his support staff?

They're not as fun as the MGS1 support. And then one of them dies once he outlived his usefulness too. Pliskin as support is cool though.

Ditto Dead Cell.

I kinda wish there were more of them, comparable to FOXHOUND in MGS1. I know they had to scrap at least two more planned members, Oldboy (who was recycled as The End in MGS3 iirc) and Chinaman who they kinda fused into Vamp for his boss battle.

What’s your favourite bomb? Which was the most difficult to defuse?

I liked the one in the distribution center. The entire conveyor belt is covered in the perfume and it's like ??? until you realize the bomb is on one of the boxes and constantly moving. This one doesn't appear on Normal and below if I remember right.
The most difficult one ended up being the one down in Strut A, before the Fortune battle. It's in a different spot on the sub from Normal mode and I briefly forgot how to reach it (you need to swing over the railing by the pool and then shimmy to the other side of the fence) and I panicked a bit with the timer almost running out.

Describe your experience in 4-6 words.

Somebody set us up the bomb
 
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Roger

Triple Slash Enthusiast
AKA
Minato
#50
  1. It's weird to think about that though Raiden has a couple of good years before MGS4, he never gets his normal blood back.
  2. I'd been going through the Codec calls and I hadn't really realised to what degree Colonel was another Big Boss analogue, mercenary army without a nation and all that.
  3. Raiden getting a culture shock concerning Vamp is definitely best.
  4. Strut F is the most fun by my rememberance, though i didn't get a lot of chance to do stuff in this chapter. Kinda gunned through it.
  5. SOCOM for holding up people, after which I choke them out.
  1. Colonel has been quite dislikable as has Raiden. Rose might actually be my favourite right now, which weird to think about. But having Pliskin around, and having him be the one telling us stuff instead of just repeating the last words of sentence like in MGS2 is major win.
  2. I appreciate just how divorced from reality this pack of crazies is. Fatman has a very memorable introduction cut scene.
  3. My favourite would be the one on the conveyer belt. A lot of thougt went into making sure being able to wait it's round through the conveyer belt on the side it would be on requires sacrifice stealth wise. The hardest would be the two in Strut D. The people on the upper level keep spotting me going by.
  4. Nothing to report... Freeze! *Choke*
  5. I've opted against picking up the M9 or the SOCOM silencer this playthrough, really humbled me about my skills, I've turned radar from off to Radar 1 otherwise it's too hard.
 
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