My challenge :
No 2021 games . I can buy older games as my backlog is limited to 1 genre and I might want to change genre during the year according to my mood.
Physical Backlog :
Games completed :
Lunar Silver Star Harmony (PSP) Done !
- The Legend of Heroes : Trails in the Sky (PSP)
- Rogue Galaxy (PS2)
- Odin Sphere (PS2)
- Baldur's Gate : Siege of Dragonspear (PS4)
- Baldur's Gate 2 : Shadows of Amn (PS4)
- Baldur's Gate 2 : Throne of Bhaal (PS4)
Assassin's Creed IV : Black Flag (PS3) Done !
Baten Kaitos : Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean (Gamecube) Done !
- Zelda Ocarina of time (N64)
Hollow Knight (PS4) Done !
- [Replay] Final Fantasy X and X-2 (PS2)
- [Replay] At least one SoulsBorne (PS3/4)
-  Final Fantasy XIII (PS3)
-  Project X Zone (3DS)
-  Radiant Historia : Perfect Chronology (3DS)
- Rayman Origins (PS3) (started in Spring 2020, main story finished 5th of January 2021, coop with my 4 years old daughter, her first video game)
- Lunar : Silver Star Harmony (PSP) (Started 1st of January, finished 17th of January, 25h56m)
- Baten Kaitos : Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean (Gamecube) (Started 19th of January, Finished the 13th of March, around 67h)
- Hollow Knight (PS4) (Started 26th of February, Close to platinum the 23rd of April, around 83h)
- Assassin's Creed IV : Black Flag (PS3) (Started the 25th of April, Finished the 29th of May, around 33h)
- [Replay] Metal Gear Solid (PC) (Started the 29th of May, Finished the 5 of June, 8h32)
- [Replay] Metal Gear Solid 2 : Sons of Liberty (PS2) (Started the 7th of June, Finished the 15th of June, 13h29)
- [Replay] Metal Gear Solid 3 : Snake Eater (PS2) (Started the 18th of June, Finished the 29th of June, 22h25)
I remember receiving a preorder for this game as a birthday gift from my friends. Then on the release date I run into the shop which hasn't receive it... Finally I found the steelbook case edition into the supermarket next to it. I spend the entire week-end on it and finished in 2-3 days (good times where I good finished games in few days...). Then went straight into another run...
So it's not without emotion that I took the game out of my shelf. I love my steelbook case because some rust has appear on it and it gives it an authentic look (but still mad that the sticker with price couldn't be remove properly).
Let's start with my verdict : I love it and this game is a masterpiece.
First I was again shocked by how good the game looks. The environments feel much more alive compare to MGS2. You can feel that it pushes the console to its limit but for the good !
The game take places during the Cold War in 1964. So you get a lot of historical recalls/references which I love. It really make the game more "grounded and realistic". And this apply to the gameplay as well.
So now you do not have the Soliton radar which was showing the area, enemies and their vision field to you. So you must be extra cautious to go through the different area if you don't want to get caught especially since the guards have a really good sight and spot stuff from really far. So they come investigate anything suspect pretty easily.
I really appreciate how you have to rely on the first person view to observe the surroundings and enemy patrols. In addition, you can now "move" the camera in third person view : it's still a fix angle but you can move it a bit in the direction you want with the right stick, to check your surrounding. It's a nice addition.
Also the "Anti personal sensor", which detect the close heartbeat, is extremely useful. This is the item I used the most for sure. It was already present in MGS2 but I barely used it because the radar was just superior.
Then of course there is the Camouflage system : you can change your uniform at will to melt into your environment. Environment which are now mostly "natural" like jungles, swamp, forest, mountains...
You can hide the mud, the grass, against trees... You have to go in the menu each time to change your uniform, which can be a bit tedious, but it's really worth it.
Speaking of menu, I am not a fan of the new "limited" weapons and item you can carry. Because it just don't make sense. In previous game, every weapons/items you collect appeared in your inventory (via the shoulder buttons) but now they decided to limited to 8. Which would be fine for if it was really the case. But in reality you can still pick up everything and it goes to your "backpack", which you access via your menu (and pausing the game)... So if in battle you need a certain weapon, not in your inventory, you just have to pause the game, go to your backpack and rearrange your inventory... So you virtually have access to every weapons you have like in previous games but with extra tedious steps... I would be fine with limited weapons/items if it would mean real choice on what to keep. Here I just don't see the point since you can still pick up and use everything.
So overall the stealth is much better and immersive than in previous games in my opinion. But also much more difficult and frustrating sometimes... Because enemy have a really good vision (and hearing) and spot anything suspect from really far and a lot of time I was spotted by a guard that I haven't (or couldn't) see because he was too far. But it's maybe because I was playing on hard.
Then there is the new CQC (Close Quarter Combat) which is really great. You can now sneakup on guard and grab them for interrogation, use them as human shield, choke them, throw them to the ground and slice their throat in a very satisfying animation (or I am just a psychopath).
The interrogation option is really great. Guards will give you tips and trick, reveal secret passage or radio frequencies (for cancelling alert, trigger mortar shots, listen music).
The survival element is surprisingly good. You have an endurance gauge that decrease when you do effort. The lower it is, the more you shake when aiming and you HP recover slower. Speaking of which there are almost no item to heal you. I found 8 healing items in total. I did most of the game without them and had to rely on the "natural" HP recover system most of the time.
Also when you reach half of your endurance, your stomach start growling which can be a problem during infiltration phases...
So you have to eat regularly to keep you endurance high. For that you either find so ration or other "human made food", or you have to capture/kill different animals and collect mushroom.
Then the game uses the internal clock of the console. When you stop playing, the game still evolves with time. Your food (dead animals and mushroom) rot, your injuries heal and your HP recovers and, of course, you can let The End (one of the bosses) die naturally if you stop playing for 1 week (or change the time manually).
This leads me to the "experimentation" part of the game. This game, like other Metal Gear Solid, is filled with secrets. But I have the feeling it's much more present in this one. The game wants you to experiment.
As an example take The Fear boss fight. Its endurance quickly decrease during the fight so he regularly kills animals in the area and eat them to replenish it (you can beat boss by depleting their endurance instead of HP and get special reward). So I decided to try something. I throw on the game some of my rotten food... Then he went to take it but got sick and throw up (losing a lot of endurance in the process) ! This is how I beat him.
This makes different play through of the games really enjoyable. Few months ago I heard about the "nightmare hack and slash" game you can play. I had no idea it was in the game. So I give it a try this time.
Then there is "The End" you can beat 3 completely different ways. Then there is dozen of others stuff to experiment with during you infiltration (intoxiciate dogs, throw living animals to the guard...)
I love the story of this one. The mix of historical and fictional events makes wonders ! Then the character are really good. On that topic : The Boss is just so freaking badass, interesting and deep character. Her relation with Snake is really interesting. I loved their interaction.
Let's finish with the bosses. Boss fight are pretty unique (Special praise to The End, The Sorrow and The Boss) and the bosses personalities are pretty great (nice after MGS2 which was a bit disappointing on that level).
But I wish each of them had more screen time like in MGS1, which in that regard is still the best in terms of memorable cast.
Back in the day, I consider it on par with Metal Gear Solid 1. And today it's pretty much the same. I would rank MGS1 slightly above but MGS3 is a brilliant masterpiece.
What to play next :
Actually, I have already started Metal Gear Solid 4 : Guns of the Patriots
(started the 29th of June). I was not sure to go for it because I wanted to go back to a fantasy universe but the questions raised with MGS3's story changed my mind
It's the only MGS I made an unique playthrough. So I don't remember a lot of details. I remembered loving the visuals, atmosphere and gameplay. It's the story that I didn't like without remember the details. I just remember the "big reveal" that I really didn't like (major story spoiler : Big Boss being not dead
) and a surreal scene about a love declaration or wedding proposal in a middle of fight (which I start to think I misremember because I can't believe this scene really exist...)
And I am now 3h in and I can confirm that I love the visuals, atmosphere and the freaking GODLIKE gameplay. The free camera, Octocamo, the "presence ring" (a genius idea in my opinion), and finally the ability to walk while being crouched are just god's send ! I just love how Snake is moving and it's a lot of fun to play.
THEN Johnny (the joke Diarrhea soldier, present in every MGS) shows up... and I start to remember where the game lost me... I mean the guy shows up and here you're go for farts, shit in pants and diarrhea gags again and again... I was liking the small jokes from previous games but the guy now becomes part of the main story and it's annoying...
But still I love the gameplay so far and the story starts good. So I am curious to (re)discover the rest of it.