Escape from New York

Escape from New York ★★★★½

Ever since this month started, I've been trying to finish Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. The game was such a fun ride, with the game leaving me in pain in the end. A Phantom Pain. Metal Gear Solid is personally my favorite game series of all time, and I'm really happy that I had the chance to experience the series from beginning to end.

Currently finished 35 games this year, and 5 games left on my backlog for the first half of this year!

Since my journey with Metal Gear is over, I decided to revisit a film that somewhat influenced Kojima to create Metal Gear.

That film is Escape from New York.

The film may be "dated", but it's still a fun and awesome film! Especially for Metal Gear fans! When I watched this for the first time, I was amazed from the start! The performances, the effects, the story, and how the film perceives 1988 are just fascinating. Not forgetting the scene with Lee Van Cleef and Kurt Russell in the same room!

Kurt Russell does a great job as Snake Plissken, which felt very reminiscent of Solid Snake. Gotta love Kojima and how the film influenced Metal Gear!

I haven't seen all of John Carpenter's films, but I found myself loving The Thing and Escape from New York the most! I plan on exploring his work once Spooktober comes around again!

Was watching Escape from New York the best way to cope with finishing Metal Gear Solid? Oh yes.

To this day, Mission 43 of The Phantom Pain will forever traumatize me.

I won't scatter your sorrow to the heartless sea.

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There's someone I know that plans on experiencing Metal Gear Solid for the first time, but they plan on experiencing it by watching a "movie" of the games on YouTube where it edits the entire game and makes it viewable as a movie. To me, I feel like that's a terrible way to experience Metal Gear.

There are many games out there that can be viewable as movies, but there are some games that MUST be experienced. Metal Gear Solid is a series that must be experienced by playing through the series, NOT watching them as movies/playthroughs.

Watching Metal Gear as a movie/playthrough ruins your experience of the series since Metal Gear is a narrative that is created to play them actively, NOT watch them actively. The series emphasizes the video game medium while experiencing the games as "movies" doesn't give any emphasis for the observer. Watching the games as "movies" removes the charm about Metal Gear since the gameplay has a huge factor in all of the games.

When you interact with something in a game, doesn't it make you, the player, feel part of the world the game is in? For example, games like Telltale or Life is Strange. Whenever we choose in a specific moment, doesn't it give an emotional response to the player whether we believe we made the correct choice or not? It adds an emotional response to the player, while the observer who watches the game as a "movie" won't feel the same. Because they're not making a choice, but observing it.

Metal Gear Solid gives a lot of punches with twists and emotional climaxes to the player, and that adds more to the experience of the series. Watching those moments wouldn't convey to the observer because they're not experiencing the game, but sees it in a different perspective.

One example is in Metal Gear Solid 2. There's a moment in the game where you're told to "turn the video game console off". With the player reaching that moment, it can either scare the player or confuse them. But for the observer who is watching it as a "movie", they would only see it as a joke because they're watching the game.

Another example is Psycho Mantis reading your memory card in the first game. There was NEVER a moment like that in a game during its time and does a great job terrifying the player. He reads your memory card and assumes that he can make your game controller vibrate. And guess what? He DOES make your controller vibrate! That creates an emotional response to the player, while the observer would only see it as hilarious.

One final example is... Mission 43 of The Phantom Pain. In that mission, you, the player, have to shoot these... people. The player has spent so much time managing them, recruiting them, and seeing them welcoming the player when he returns. And in this mission, the player is forced to shoot them. Aim... and pull the trigger. So many times. While we're doing that action, a character reminds us what Diamond Dogs was supposed to represent and how we're going against what it represents. The player will have an emotional response to their actions, and realize how cruel their actions were. And for the observer... with the games being edited as "movies", they won't establish a connection to the people at all since those portions of the game are removed in the movie. The observer would feel the same as the player, but the player is feeling MORE pain than the observer. The player... has to pull the trigger, hurting themselves in the process.

And what does the observer do? They only watch it happen, not feeling the same pain that the player and main character, Big Boss, felt when he had to pull the trigger.

This issue bothered me a lot because I know that they would watch the series as "movies" on YouTube instead of experiencing the games themselves. What’s even worse is that they play a gacha game that will close in the future. It feels like this is an example of watching movies on your phone instead of watching them on a big screen (DAVID LYNCH!!).

So, reader. I ask you,
Does watching a game that has been edited as a "movie" provide the same experience as playing the game yourself?

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