Thursday, June 02, 2005

Maroon Shark Gives You Wings

I bought my first game in months a few days ago: Metal Gear Solid 3. I've not really had time for anything beyond 24 recently, but the end of exams is the perfect excuse to spend £30.

I'd played MGS2 to death a couple of years ago, so thought I'd jump straight into the third instalment and get straight into strafing, but not so: it's all change. All the high-tech equipment I was used to, like the companion of a motion sensor overlaid on a map which was pretty much invaluable, has been shed since the game is set during the Cold War.

So I've had to get used to when to use the Motion Sensor, Sonar and Thermogoggles to detect enemies. It makes the game much more enveloping if you let it.

It was probably quite ironic that I'd read the Gamers' Manifesto just before buying MGS3, but I did get quite frustrated with my first couple of plays. For one thing, most of the locations so far have been jungle, with gentle slopes you can run across, near-vertical slopes you can climb over, and anything in between that totally confuses Snake. And I can remember being able to climb trees without the aid of vines, so why should these guys need it?

The other main annoyance was that I had to watch 20 minutes of storyline before getting to do anything more than kill alligators. I watch this stuff so that I don't miss out on the important things, like what I actually have to do in the game. I'm just about to be told where to head next and who I've got to speak to for 10 minutes about the rain in Moscow, when the phone rings or the doorbell goes. Quick, hit pause. Oh no, pause for the rest of the game (the Start button) means skip the rest of the dialogue scene and dump me in front of some nasty guy covered in bees (how does he like his coffee!?) while I tell Random Telecoms I'm still not interested in being given gold bullion to leave BT.

Speaking of ingenious marketing techniques(!), a lady came to my door today doing marketing research on soft drinks. She seemed to have a single sheet of questions to ask, so I agreed to it. She then pulled out a 10 page pack of questions. And not simple True/False, but Likert scales (scale of 1-5 for your answers - ah, memories of my fourth year project). The "soft drinks" intro soon became quite obviously "energy drinks", or more accurately, Red Bull versus Lucozade. Some sample questions:

Do you think Red Bull are on the way up and doing well, keeping steady, or going downhill?

If you see someone drinking Red Bull, do you think that person goes against the norms of society and does what he/she wants? (It's just a drink!)

How often do you drink Red Bull when at home relaxing? (NB. As far as I know, caffeine does not relax you)

Which of these drinks do you drink while at work?
Optons include Red Bull, Lucozade Energy, Coke, Bottle Water, Fruit Juice, and Beer / Wine.

Did you know that Red Bull gives you wings and do you agree with this?

Did you know that Red Bull increases your energy, and do you agree with this? (I completely disagree since Red Bull are banned from saying so in adverts, which must make it a false claim)

Having investigated RB just now, I almost wish she'd asked me "Did you know Red Bull is banned in France and Norway because of deaths relating to its consumption?"


Blogger Stephen said...

I like my women like I like my coffee. Covered in bees.

2:31 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think one of the biggest draws to the MGS games was the storyline. So the annoyingly long cut scenes should've been expected.

"that person goes against the norms of society and does what he/she wants?"
Yeah! That's why I drink it!

Surely you'd heard about it being banned in some countries due to being linked to a couple of deaths. Or did you honestly think I'd have stopped drinking it because of that!

12:48 am  

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