Like a lot of other franchises, Metal Gear has also had it’s share of spinoffs and some weirdness. Like with many other franchises, only certain installments are considered to be a ‘real’ part of the series ‘canon’ (or main continuity). In MGS’s case, the main “saga” is composed of the first two MSX Metal Gear games, the five “Solid” titles, and Peace Walker. These were the stories most closely developed by series creator and director Hideo Kojima. This blog will cover those games that weren’t as closely supervised by Kojima (or not at all), but were distributed by Konami under the Metal Gear label.
NES Box Art for Metal Gear
For years, the Nintendo Entertainment System Port of Metal Gear was the only Metal Gear available in the United States, as the first two were released for the MSX system. While the game retained some story elements from the original, numerous changes were made such as an outdoor section, and not really fighting the Metal Gear but a computer instead. It also was riddled with translation errors-for example:
However, the port proved successful, and spawned a sequel of it’s own-Snake’s Revenge. Although developed before Metal Gear II: Solid Snake, it actually inspired Kojima to create the “real” sequel. As for the game itself, it’s a bit odd and doesn’t really feel as much like a true Metal Gear game as the others. The plot basically involves Big Boss being ressurected as a cyborg (Which isn’t too far off with how things go in the regular series) and mass-producing Metal Gear.
On the better side of things, there’s Metal Gear Solid Ghost Babel for the Game Boy color. A sort of alternate version of “Solid”, but this time with Snake returning to the South African Outer Heaven to battle a new type of Metal Gear. The game was fairly well-received.
Then there’s the Metal Gear ACID series, a bit of an odd one that utilizes card game turn based strategy. I honestly don’t know much about these ones, as they are largely considered to be a bit silly and don’t follow the regular MGS model.
There was a remake of the original Metal Gear Solid for the Nintendo Game Cube, called The Twin Snakes. Although it pretty much follows the plot and style of the original game, there are tweaks to the gameplay from Metal Gear Solid 2, and the graphics are also brought up to that standard. However there are a few styilistic changes to stuff such as cutscenes.
The next two perhaps the a most important and Kojima-involved non-“saga” games. Portable Ops, a PSP title, set after “Snake Eater”-has Big Boss take on a rogue version of the FOX unit, who have created the first Metal Gear in the early 70’s. In addition he’s helped by many of the Snake Eater support teams, who go on to form the Patriots. Although Kojima did not direct the title, and ignores most of it’s continuity in “Peace Walker”, several elements of it’s gameplay were incorporated in PW, including the ability to recruit troops by capture or volunteering, and a multiplayer co-op concept.
Snake with Eva, Raikov, and Ocelot.
Finally, there’s the oddly titled Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. Taking place a few years after Metal Gear Solid 4, the game features Raiden-the main character in Metal Gear Solid 2 and a supporting character in 4-who is now a cyborg Ninja, who takes on a new bunch of bad guys taking advantage of the miltary chaos after the Patriots AI was defeated. The game largely plays like a “hack and slash” game similar to Bayonetta and Devil May Cry.