Metal Gear Solid: Pace Walker is Kojima’s shining gem on handheld consoles

"If the times need us, we will become revolutionaries, criminals and terrorists and Yes, we might all be headed to hell. Metal Gear Solid: Pace Walker is Kojima’s shining gem on handheld consoles

"If the times need us, we will become revolutionaries, criminals and terrorists and Yes, we might all be headed to hell.

Big Boss, Metal Gear Solid: Pace Walker

Ten years ago, on April 28th, 2010, Metal Gear Solid: Pace Walker was released globally and was the first title of this tactical spy and action franchise to be released on handheld consoles. Although there have been attempts to make portable Metal Gear titles in the past, none of them have been less acclaimed; But the success of Pace Walker cannot be compared, which became the bedrock of the last generation of stories that we saw in the Metal Gear franchise. Despite Pace Walker being the first unnumbered title among the franchise's original games, it was actually a precursor to the inevitable but unimaginable end to Kojima's Metal Gear saga and a memorable era in the history of his company, Kojima Productions. Pace Walker was one of the turning points of the Metal Gear franchise in its history. A turning point that was ignited by an ambitious title on a declining portable platform. A game whose creation had an incredible impact on the future.

A new role in a new format

In 2006, after the success of Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops. For the PSP, Hideo Kojima had more ideas in mind that he wanted to incorporate into another portable title in the series. Kojima, who was only a producer on the previous semi-canon game, this time, nearing the end of Metal Gear Solid 4: Weapons of the Patriots, decided that the new game would be a prequel title in accordance with his own vision of a modern sequel for consoles. There should be a hand in the franchise.

However, when 2007 arrived and entered the final year of the development of the last Solid Snake story, Kojima stopped implementing his idea. Although he wanted to make this title, he also wanted to pursue other projects he had in mind. Although Kojima had already brainstormed and written several game ideas that were just awaiting approval from his higher-ups, his budding ambitions were just beginning to blossom as he envisioned a new game engine for the games he planned to develop or collaborate on.

The Fox engine was a next-generation digital environment that could replace the engine the team had previously used, and was also a source of manipulation for all branches of Konami Digital Entertainment based on They were working on making games. Kojima considered Pacewalker as a possible lab rat for some of the inner corners of the engine's core, such as the game's cloud-centric user interface, which at the time was ridiculed by many developers and thought to be impossible. Kojima's initial plan was to begin development of the next Metal Gear Solid handheld game with the remaining team from Portable Ops. He wanted to use them to complete the product he had in mind, and then step down as director once the staff was able to continue building and developing the game without Kojima's constant supervision. But this plan was quickly abandoned when Kojima's team started experimenting with the ideas he had for the Fox engine. p>

As the development of Pace Walker progressed smoothly, Kojima realized that it was the biggest game he had made not only in the Metal Gear franchise, but in his entire career in the game industry. Although Pace Walker was a handheld console game, the development team expanded to the point where it became the size of the team that worked on the game Patriot Weapons for the PlayStation 3. Pace Walker had to endure the hardships of correcting the mistakes of the portable ops, and was also the birthplace of crucial experiments for the development of the Fox engine. Kojima was tasked with doing all of these things simultaneously, but most importantly, he had to make a Metal Gear Solid game that met Konami's expectations.

Teamwork at Work

From Kojima's point of view, the idea of a new portable Metal Gear title would have significant effects on its gameplay structure and graphics, especially if the team wanted to rise above the standard set by the portable ops. This new title had to find a new direction that would allow the series to better fit into the handheld gaming market. A market where the majority of the audience had an age group outside of the standard metal gear. Kojima stressed to the development team and Konami that Pace Walker should become the only Metal Gear Solid game with a "teens" age group instead of "adults" to match Sony's demographic for its PSP consoles. Metal Gear needed to ditch its convoluted storytelling in favor of a straightforward story that would appeal to a wider range of audiences. The audience was understandable. The writers had to make something that everyone could understand even if they had never experienced a metalgiri game. The key was to deliver a title that could fit into a player-friendly app on handheld consoles. The story of the game did not use the characters that were previously present in the Big Boss missions in Metal Gear Solid 3: Sneak Eater and Portable Aps. Even though characters like Eva and Zero had the possibility to return to this game, the fans of the series had to search the game world completely to see them mentioned and even their presence in the cassette tapes. The story is remarkably connected to the overall story of Metal Gear, but unlike most of the main games in the franchise, it can be played on its own without the need for background information. Adults focused on nuclear deterrence, child soldiers, political warmongering, and other political issues that were prominent in the 1970s did not stop. Pace Walker was still the manifestation of the soul and heart of Metal Gear despite having age restrictions. Metal Gear Solid: Pace Walker is Kojima’s shining gem on handheld consoles

Metal Gear Solid 4 moved away from the standard gameplay of the previous games and instead chose a more traditional third-person shooter format. While making Pace Walker, the team at Kojima Productions took a similar route to Patriot Weapons in order to achieve the modern console experience that Kojima envisioned. Gunplay and stealth were not the only aspects of the game that the developer team focused on. Embedding sub-management systems, unique game style and more interactive activities were just as important as optimizing the gameplay core. However, the most important feature that the game makers wanted to be seen more than anything else was the online and native connectivity of the game. They do not do it alone. They always work as a team. Hideo Kojima, Gamescom 2009

Since Pace Walker was being made for a console, one of the main features of which was the ability to play games while moving and traveling. Kojima wanted to add a multiplayer mode to the campaign part of the game, a feature that was considered impossible for other titles made in the franchise. The travel culture in Japan significantly influenced the design of this feature. Because the game was not made in such a way that it can be played in front of the TV for long periods of time, the production team tried to find the best solution for the interaction of several players with each other quickly and smoothly and for their cooperation. Metal Gear Solid: Pace Walker is Kojima’s shining gem on handheld consoles

Ashley Wood did a great job in their first collaboration on the franchise, but with the help of Yuji Shinkawa, the two have reworked the game's art style in a way that is no longer as blurry and meshy as the portable apps for the most part. The portable app still has attractive visuals, but Pace Walker's visual approach and color scheme are much better than the portable app. The backgrounds and characters were more detailed and the minimal use of color made the sequences easier to understand.

Hunters unite! After Kojima's 2005, Pace Walker featured advertisements for various products, from beverages to discontinued devices such as the Sony Walkman TPS-L2. Known to be developed by Kojima himself most of the time, Pace Walker is the first and last game in the series to feature all-out promotional content with a franchise outside of Konami. This ad belongs to Capcom's Monster Hunter Portable 3rd and was one of the most successful ads that the Metal Gear franchise has seen. Kojima met with Monster Hunter creator Ryuzo Tsujimoto at the 2008 Tokyo Game Show to discuss the projects they were working on. After discussing the development process of the new Metal Gear game with Sujimoto, the two discussed the possibility of a connection between the two games.

Sujimoto wanted Snake to appear in the latest Monster Hunter game, and on the other hand Kojima wanted creatures like the Rattalus species to appear in Metal Gear Solid. Shortly after this meeting, Konami and Capcom worked on several related promotions that continued in the Monster Hunter franchise. After playing Pace Walker, players can fight a variety of monsters from the Monster Hunter games. This can be done by talking to a talking cat called Ternia. Ternia offers Big Boss an adventure on Isla Del Monstruo. An island full of monsters where he can get valuable rewards by killing these creatures.

Peace had a price

Despite Pace Walker being one of the metal games. Gear Solid is still talked about. This game was not very popular at the time of its release. Kojima and Konami found themselves in a difficult situation where the game met with critical and audience acclaim but did not sell well outside of Japan. It had the highest scores and even a journalist like Greg Miller called it his favorite game among all games. The game did not make it to the list of the best-selling games of that year, but nevertheless it sold more than one million copies, which led to the release of the "PlayStation Hits" version. Pace Walker is also the third highest score for a PlayStation Portable game on Metacritic. It's unclear if Pace Walker was truly a success for Konami outside of Japan, as the company has repeatedly mentioned its dissatisfaction with the game's international performance. In 2010, the PSP was one step closer to becoming one of the best-selling systems in its country, but not in other parts of the world. Metal Gear Solid: Pace Walker is Kojima’s shining gem on handheld consoles

The constant travel situation in Japan led to a boom in the purchase of handheld games, while overseas the consoles were declining in popularity and being replaced by systems with better hardware. Pacewalker's sales and popularity were guaranteed in Japan, but as its release date approached, it became a bigger and bigger risk in other countries. Later in 2013, a different design was seen on the box art of Metal Gear Solid 5: Grand Zeroz compared to its Japanese counterpart. Kazuhira Miller's character was removed from the international cover art and the reason, according to Hideo Kojima, was the unsuccessful international sales of Pace Walker.

After several HD re-releases of Pace Walker, the game slowly became one of the most popular titles. became a franchise. Fans have not spoken against this game so far, but it is clear that the release of Pace Walker on home consoles was a necessary solution for the survival of its legacy, because the original Metal Gear fandom has a maximum presence on these platforms. However, the critical acclaim of Pace Walker could not stop Konami from changing its direction towards the production of mobile games. Although he has worked on titles like Boktai and Moon Knights in the past, none of them compare to the success of Pace Walker. Today, Pace Walker is a Metal Gear Solid title that became the cornerstone of the final chapters of the franchise story and its continuation in Grand Zeros and Phantom Pain. In its time, like the Costa Rican rebels and soldiers without borders in its story, Pace Walker took a revolutionary step towards the possibilities and expectations of its industry. Metal Gear Solid: Pace Walker is Kojima’s shining gem on handheld consoles

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