This review contains spoilers
I walked into Peace Walker with an open mind. Up until this point, I'd fallen in love with the series. Hell, I walked away from Guns of the Patriots something of an apologist. Seeing Peace Walker experiment with the formula with XCOM-inspired resource management and, of all things, Monster Hunter-inspired combat, seemed fresh and exciting.
And the interactive, comic book-esque, cutscenes in the style of Yoji Shinkawa's classic art direction? Inspired choice.
... But, and I understand this was a PSP game, the story feels so short? If you stripped away the gameplay loop you'd have maybe the short MGS game in the series. For some, that's a bonus. For me, even though it introduced Hal's scumbag father and compellingly vengeful mother, it felt... undercooked, narratively.
There's something lacking when you replace all boss fights with character-less mechs. Without that bombastic anime melodrama theatre kid energy, Metal Gear loses much of its charm.
And that you have to farm those same boss fights, over and over, to build ZEKE, and pray to the random number generator gods to bless you with the drops you need to unlock the final chapter? Yeah. Yeah, that cinched it for me.
I'm sorry to say, and it certainly hurts to, but this might be the only Metal Gear game (so far) I've outright haven't enjoyed.
... Well, onto MGSV and see if I've spoken too soon, eh?
This was... perfectly okay! The gameplay loop is addictive but–and I'm speaking personally, here–after awhile it hit a point of diminishing returns. Lacklustre bosses, short dungeons, repetitive cutscenes dragging out the same beat every time you awaken a new sage, etc.
I can't help but find this is more a physics engine that happens to have a fantasy quest attached, rather than a full game in its own right.