Nojiri Arata's Legacy of Card Fighters

Once in 2005 European Gamer InterviewsDirector Arata Nojiri said Kojima asked his team to take a “different approach” when developing a game to complement 2004's Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. This direction led to Metal Gear Solid, a grid-based, turn-based, deck-building PSP game whose villains were a pair of A puppet with feelings, murder, and hijacking.

This doesn't sound like Hideo Kojima's PlayStation classic – In addition to complex descriptions and sentient puppet bits. However, the two share a lot more DNA than you might think: Acid has all the beeps, hisses, cardboard boxes, and more we're looking for in a Kojima Labs stealth special.

But it's one of the greatest genre shifts you'll ever play. The game, which sits on the fringes of our collective video game consciousness, has been called “Sony's first Metal Gear Solid card game on the handheld.”

Well, consider these words and try to elevate Acid's place in this consciousness. It explores what Acid is and what its legacy might be.

source: Flick.

Acid's gameplay is very effective. Enter a grid-based arena with a deck of cards that you can burn to move, play to perform actions, or simply discard. Actions range from shooting with the iconic SOCOM pistol or donning classic cardboard boxes, setting spicy mines or consuming rations to heal.

It sounds simple, but Acid brings an unexpected level of complexity: status effects, drag, directional damage bonuses, and mid-mission objective changes—just some of the things you need to consider when building your deck. Use the points earned from completing missions to purchase cards, or obtain game theme packs during missions. There are dozens of decisions you need to make before leaving Acid's menu.

When you leave this menu, you can't end the game due to a wrong click or miscalculation, as your deck will always reset. You tend to burn irrelevant cards as you move and discard to the perfect hand, and then execute.

But this often leaves you waiting to pull out the perfect digital cardboard without any tension or consequences. The temptation to procrastinate for a near-perfect game is strong, and Acid's pacing often takes its toll. The enemies are happily going about their daily lives, unaware of your hand-constructed antics in some remote corner of the map. There is little pressure to deal with the matter at hand.

Strong in more ways than one

Nojiri and colleagues modeled every component of the Metal Gear Solid experience: patrolling guards, sweeping cameras, alarm states, giant exclamation points, and large silhouetted bosses; these Metal Gear Solid staples are cloned in beautifully portable form it's here. You even have to go back to previous missions to retrieve items for subsequent missions. Annoying maybe, but that's it, so Metal Gear Solid.

This is not a card game inspired by Metal Gear Solid – This is a Metal Gear Solid card game.

Details about the production of this card game are as rare as Kojima's short film. This arguably gives license to summarize what happened: Nojiri understood that Metal Gear Solid was actually a turn-based game, and saw fit to port that essence into something more suited to portable gaming.

Metal Gear Solid Ac!d. Source: Gamespot.

But Solid isn’t turn-based, you cry.Yes, I countered, Metal Gear Solid yes Turn-based. Or, more accurately, It's about waiting your turn. You watch, they move, you watch, you move, or shoot, or strangle. Both solids and acids require you to think before you act. They ask you to think before it's your turn.

This is why Acid feels so familiar – So metal gear – Even though it has a “different approach”.Just like Solid, sometimes the best approach is absolutely nothing. As with Solid, the best plan of attack is often not to do this. And, just like Solid, you can do Solid things, like knock on doors to lure guards off their beaten paths, or show those damn cameras their damn camera faces.

Those metal gear-isms are a constant source of surprise here. Each new card reveals a new tactical option and another ism that will make you smile. In typical island form, Acid's cards become self-referential. Metal Gear Solid 2's Olga Gurlukovich will draw three additional cards into your hand, along with a clip from the PlayStation 2 game itself. Silly, but not off-brand.

As a result, Acid feels like a window into an alternate reality where mainline Metal Gear Solid is actually a turn-based card combat game.If you lost your memory after a tragic accident, you wouldn't suspect that it was this Metal Gear Solid captures the feel and themes of the series very convincingly.

Every failure is a reminder that Acid is indeed a strategy game, with all the rewards and damnation it brings to the genre court.This means it can Feel hard. It doesn't help that past Solid games have accustomed us to immediacy, and it doesn't help that escape only takes seconds. In Acid, such an escape might take a dozen turns, or even minutes. You can't just solve problems here, because you're forced to live with the consequences of failure in a progressive, turn-based fashion.

But the difficulty is exciting, and hopefully you'll get the necessary crowd-control appeal when the music kicks in and you're surrounded by six heavily armed thugs who happen to be fighting just like you. They have decks, they have gear, they have those special abilities. They are players on the board who feel just as deadly and capable as you. You absolutely get that feeling when things go wrong, and even a procrastinator can't always explain it.

You could say it's Metal Gear Solid, but Metal Gear Solid is Metal Gear Solid.

There may be a reason for this difficulty, though. In a video interview – the second promotional piece of Acid I've found – Nojiri said the game was rushed to meet a December 2004 deadline for a Japanese release on the PSP. The reason why Acid is starting to have borderline issues, including some stuff that's obviously annoying, will anyone fix it – do they have time.

But they didn't, and it came at a cost.

Metal Gear Solid Ac!d. Source: Gamespot.

But it's not that solid

You could describe Acid's visuals as PlayStation 1.75. It's not as polished or framed as its PlayStation 2 cousin Sons of Liberty, nor is it as jagged and blocky as the series' 1997 fifth-generation debut. For a console that's unofficially known as the “PlayStation 2 in your hand,” it feels right for the next generation. It looks like it would fit in Metal Gear Solid, and it sounds like it would fit in Metal Gear Solid—except it doesn’t.

Because there is no dubbing.

This decision feels very un-Metal Gear Solid and goes against the franchise’s cinematic aspirations. Especially considering 2010's Peace Walker continued to prove that developers could make Sony's first handheld voice device. Gone is the classic black codec screen, and so are those overwrought vocal performances; replaced by on-screen text you have to fight your way to the gacha carnage.

Solid cinema means putting away the controller and indulging in the beauty and absurdity, each in its own right.Here, there is an anticipatory fear of knowing what one does not know Gameplay On the way. For a device that's touted to be a movie player, it feels out of place to be fully demoed on the Game Boy – just like 1997's Metal Gear spin-off Ghost of Babel did.

There are also such difficulties; in the same Eurogamer interview, Nojiri admitted that the game's teaching is not up to par.This is not a fatal flaw, but for Some.These Metal Gear Solid tropes come with a set of expectations, which means it's easy to think you know Acid because, well, it just Metal Gear Solid and Cards. But that's not the case, and it might make you angry when it goes against the foundation that Kojima has set before.

The tutorial doesn't explicitly spell out these differences, often relegating key details to pop-up messages between tasks. It's not a game killer, but it's not the smoothest landing for a game trying to shake up a beloved property and overcome inevitable skepticism.

What follows is the legacy of Acid, if it ever existed.

Metal Gear Solid Ac!d. Source: Gamespot.

Acid's lasting legacy

The shift to a turn-based card battle game makes Acid an unexpected time capsule of 2004. with randomness — a complete reversal from their modern counterparts, who scramble to be anything but turn-based, even at the risk of compromising their long-term identity.

Acid is a powerful reminder that turn-based isn't always a dirty word.

But for a series whose core themes include legacy (what we leave behind), Acid feels like a game without legacy. This isn't the first 3D Metal Gear Solid to be released on a non-Sony console, that honor went to 2002's Twin Snakes for the GameCube. This isn't the first time it's appeared on a handheld console, either, like the aforementioned Ghost Babel on Game Boy. Coincidentally, this was also directed by Shinta Nojiri.

Perhaps its legacy is a reputation for adventure, for expanding on Metal Gear Solid in a way that's engaging, strange, unexpected, and portable without corrupting the essence of its inspiration.Perhaps its legacy is an example of how to successfully transform an action game into something unique No action.

Yet even this legacy has failed us. Many of Acid's Metacritic links are broken or point to the wrong game. The ink review is now long out of print, forever forgotten. As it stands, IGN says Acid will “burn out your patience,” while PSX Extreme says it's “easily one of the best turn-based strategy games in years.” Both feel authentic, and both views feel like their average Metascore scores (75), which are solid but not spectacular.

This may explain why the Eurogamer interview always has a bittersweet feel to it, despite its short length, it's old.It feels like Nojiri has no time to make it anymore OK idea great. He knew what he wanted to change, like a student handing a draft to a teacher and trying to explain the meaning of the last paragraph; despite the circumstances surrounding its development, he was proud of what he had done and of what he thought it could become Look proud.

It's for this reason that you should play Metal Gear Acid – Because it represents a risk to multi-million dollar properties that we rarely see today.The game's director and his team played a winning hand against the odds and found success enough to make the improvements he wanted, completing the final stretch in the just-released sequel 357 days later.

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