Retro Reminiscence: METAL GEAR SOLID (PSOne)

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain finally released and is, most likely, utterly consuming our free time in the best way possible — that is until Fallout 4 comes out. With that, it’s time to take a look back at one of the most admired additions to the series: Metal Gear Solid for PSOne.

The History

After designing the first two Metal Gear games — Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake — it was time for Hideo Kojima to step into some bigger shoes and direct the third installment of the series.

Kojima began planning for the game in 1994 and wanted to release it for the Panasonic 3DO. This changed, however, due to declining support for the system, thus shifting to the Sony PlayStation.  When official development began in 1995, Kojima had the hopes of it being “the best PlayStation game ever,” even bringing in weapons experts to teach them on weapon handling and give the game a realistic feel. It’s safe to say that he most certainly achieved his goal, which lead to the point of him creating one of the most iconic franchises in video game history.

The game went on to sell over six million copies, for the PlayStation home console. As for its reception, it has scored an average of 94/100 on Meteoritic and is widely regarded as one of the most important games of all time, according to many gaming publications such as Game Trailers.

The Reminiscence

The reason Metal Gear Solid is one of the most important games ever is because it was the first time people saw the true possibilities of what the video game medium could achieve. It showed that there is a future for gaming when it comes to cinematics, story, and voice acting. The game’s story rivaled what major films were putting out at the time, even surpassing them in terms of depth and substance. Back then, there was not a plot in video games that even came close to what Metal Gear Solid achieved. It was dealing with actual espionage and government conspiracy theories, even diving into the possibilities of actual nuclear warfare.

Not only was the story amazing, but the way it was presented was unprecedented. Cut-scenes were used with actual cinematic vision and direction, as if watching movie. You could see the influences of action movies during the time on the game. The fact that it was backed up by an iconic cast of voice actors, made it even better. Especially Solid Snake, who was voiced by the legend, David Hayter.

At the end of the day, however, gameplay still is a deciding factor for a game, even with an amazing story and unheard cinematic cut-scenes. And, boy, did Metal Gear Solid deliver on that front too. It redefined the stealth genre and brought it into prominence. The level design for each area was superb, with the right amount of hiding spots and tactics for you to remain hidden from the enemy. Everyone remembers how amazing it was that you could knock on a wall to trick enemies. It’s such a small and simple mechanic, but it was also revolutionary.

Not everything was stealth, though. The game had brilliant action-packed boss battles, with an iconic rogues gallery, which has become a staple of the franchise. From Revolver Ocelot to the painstakingly stressful Gray Fox boss battle, there was something that was going to wow us with each battle.

Let’s not forget, however, about the most meta of bosses that no other video game has even come close to achieving since — Psycho Mantis. This boss straight up messed with your mind back then by reading your memory card data and actually taunting you during the fight based on your game saves. You even had to take your controller out and plug it into the Player 2 port just to defeat him. Who would even think of that as a way to beat a boss? Hideo Kojima, that’s who.

Metal Gear Solid is a major touch stone in video games long lineage, and without it we definitely wouldn’t be where we are now in video games, in terms of story and cinematic quality. Heck, even in terms of the possibilities of what the medium could do, it opened one door and inspired many other doors to be opened. Now, if only The Phantom Pain could come sooner. Until then, we can only reminisce.


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Categories: Video Game History

Author:David Rix

I believe that, one day, I can become Spider-Man. Read more of my dumb ramblings here: or follow me on Twitter @Epiawestastic.

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6 Comments on “Retro Reminiscence: METAL GEAR SOLID (PSOne)”

  1. 09/04/2015 at 10:29 PM #

    Reblogged this on Press Start: Get a Life!.

  2. 09/09/2015 at 12:04 AM #

    Such an impressive game. My friend and I just replayed this. More difficult than I remember but superb nonetheless.

  3. 09/09/2015 at 12:10 AM #

    Gray Fox always gets my palms sweaty!

  4. 09/09/2015 at 11:43 AM #

    The original Metal Gear Solid is a good game, especially for its time. That said, I find myself gravitating more towards 2, 3, and Peace Walker for having better controls. It’s sort of difficult going back only to be unable to shoot from a first-person (or an over-the-shoulders) perspective. Indeed, Metal Gear Solid 3 is one of my favorite games of all time.

  5. 09/09/2015 at 12:49 PM #

    Oh for sure! Especially with Peace Walker, since it has the best controls pre-MGSV, except that you can’t crawl. Still, MGS manages to hold up, even if just barely.

  6. Tommy Robbins
    09/11/2015 at 10:00 AM #

    Man, that Psycho mantis fight though. I played MGS2 and then went back the MGS1, so I thought I had seen some whacky shit –and by most accounts, 2 is crazier than 1– but the Mantis fight was super impressive for that generation of games. And even taken out of the context of time, that battle still holds up as one of the most unique boss fights I’ve ever seen.

    As a matter of fact, I think most of my memorable boss encounters are from the MGS series.

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