Kotaku 'Shop Contest: Metal Gear Solid Product Placement Edition Winners

I'd expect a ton of submissions for a product-placement 'shop idea. But for a geriatric video game character, appearing on Sony's console you can triple the number of joke possibilities. Which were infinite to begin with.

Our most recent 'Shop Contest challenge returned nearly 1,000 replies. Not all of them were submissions but it damn sure felt like it. So picking just 20 finalists was difficult in its own right. There were no shortage of Viagra and Depends jokes, and everyone wanted Snake to endorse a competing platform or product. In the end, these were the most novel ones of a very creative set of submissions.

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Android_seb gets in for a timely sendup of our current ad campaign. BoboTheTeddy's didn't take long, but then, genius is on its own deadline. lilc09 had a good concept but needed the maps obscuring the target's face. villink's Snake-as-Shlomi was also worthy.

My winner? A tie between Hyperchicken and yabbus23, who had perfect takes on the equip-a-box theme, one beautiful subtle, the other sublimely ridiculous. Take a bow, everyone, and we'll see you for another challenge tomorrow.

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DISCUSSION

d-mitsuki--gotta-have-guts-ki-old
D Mitsuki, Gotta have guts kid!

I dislike Heavy Rain.

Lately, people seem to always dismiss a dislike for anything as simply a "you missed the point" or "this game is not bad, it's just not your cup of tea."

I do not understand this logic, because even if I missed the point I can still think a game is bad, and I can still think a game is bad just because you like it. Now Heavy Rain comes in, and I'm told I do not like it because I'm not the type of gamer it targets.

At first, I said "Ok, this may be true," but it turns out I am exactly the type of gamer that should like Heavy Rain. Yet, I don't find myself liking Heavy Rain, at all.

I guess I should begin by explaining I'm a gamer that loves story driven experiences. Sometimes I'm playing my games, but mad because I simply wish to see what happens next, and do not want to have to fight through the dungeon to see that. I generally dislike games with a weak narrative, and probably enjoy chatting it up more in Mass Effect/Persona then going through the actual "gameplay." Given all that, I still hated Heavy Rain, and explaining why is probably going to be a little more complex then saying "because this game sucked." Still, I will make my honest attempt at doing so.

To start, Heavy Rain is not really a game. Allow me to explain though, before I'm flamed. First, I will judge Heavy Rain as a game, then as a movie, then for what it is (whatever that may be). To judge it simply as a game, anybody can come to the conclusion that it is horrible, so I will try to get a little bit more complex then that. To call it a game would simply not be giving it a fair chance though...

...and that's because at as a game, it fails on all accounts. Games generally try to immerse us into the experience through the gameplay. Heavy Rain tries TOO hard. For instance, God Hand, one of my favorite games of all time (yes, you must not point out that this game is not very narrative driven, I'm not one dimensional and can like more then one type of game), is often belittled for having Gene control like a tank. To this I usually reply "you are doing it wrong," but given the nature of what I am writing I will explain better.

Like a tank, gene must "turn" his "cannon" -see : FIST OF FURY – to a opponent before attacking, yes. This is where the similarities end though, and most of these can be said for every character that doesn't shoot behind their back like Dante. Gene is fast, agile, and easily switching to multiple characters. Dodging is fast, swift, and beautiful, just watching Gene move is a art in itself (ART IN ART EBERT HAHAHA) Tanks are slow, not very maneuverable, and need help to assure they aren't blown up by some cheap explosives. Gene is fast, elegant, and a destructive force. Once you understand combat in God Hand, he controls flawlessly.

That being said, his fluid amazing movement helps you become immersed in the world. The developers have managed to allow a character with fluid amazing movement not possible in real life immerse a person in the world MORE then REAL boring, horrid movement. Unfortunately, Heavy Rain's developers decided it would be better if characters controlled like they did in real life.

This brings me to my biggest problem in Heavy Rain: Walking.

I detest walking in Heavy Rain. I did not want to search the crime scene because I would have to walk around. In Heavy Rain you are a REAL tank, you slow, not very maneuverable, and need help just to wipe your ass (let me QTE that for you....) It is absurd that the developers thought making me walk like a person would walk in real life would immerse me into the game more. At first, I may sound very stupid for that comment, but think about it. When does a game character EVER move realistically? The fact that you have to think about it attest to the fact that they never do. Even in "realistic" games like CoD4 you are super fast and always running, you basically have infinite sprint, and it's not realistic at all.

The reason for this, is because it is MORE immersive to not have a person realize they are playing a game by reminding them of how boring life is, rather then to make them behave like they do in life, reminding them they are playing a video game to escape from that.

I basically was playing Heavy Rain, walking, and getting TIRED from watching the guy walk. The ensuing conversation I had with myself was as follows. "Man, it takes SO much effort just to turn around, I want to stop doing this as soon as possible. God, this is boring, I want to go back to the prescient as soon as possible. Man, I wish I could move like one of those guys from a video game. Oh wait, I'm playing a video game. God I hate this game."

If you get over the fact that everybody walks like human beings, not video game characters, you realize next that most of the game is just fluff. The gameplay is pointless. Now, in Killer 7, a narrative driven game just like Heavy Rain you are given some weird lightgun game style gameplay that is fun in itself. You enjoy playing through it to get to the next part, and it enhances the experience, you never ask yourself "Why am I doing this?"

Heavy Rain, on the other hand, is more like "Open this door. Now, move the stick slowly to slowly open it, and move it quickly to quickly open it. See, I'm a game too!" It's not entertaining, immersive, or fun. We don't think about the velocity at which we will open doors in our day to day lives, we simply open fucking doors. Games do not have special ways to open doors at different velocities, because nobody gives a damn. The closest we get is "open" or "GAIJIN BURST", each serving some actual purpose and relevancy to a situation you can encounter. Heavy Rain, however, has many situations of opening a door at different velocities, literally and metaphorically, for many reasons.

A example is, I was playing the fat detective and he needed me to get his inhaler so he doesn't die. At this point I'm like "FINALLY! Those choices they talked so much about!" So I waited to watch him die, until I realized...he will not die. He's just there, and he will be there. Why make me have him use his inhaler if he does not die? It's not fun, it's not engaging, it's not realistic, it's just stupid. Make it a damn cutscene if I have no control over the scene whatsoever, and will derive no actual fun from it. It's a "do this scene" where I can't lose and gain no accomplishment from it at all.

The most recent Prince of Persia game took out dying. At first, I hated this, until I realized just how much I would actually be biting the dust had I in fact had the ability. After that, I thought about it, and said "If It restarted me from here after I died, wouldn't the only difference be some hot chick wasn't able to save me? Then this means I can try my hardest to beat the game, but not have to worry about raging and redoing a bunch of shit because I do so much from one missed button." It was genius, they cut out the pointless middleman of death in the game because it did not need it, and even managed to replace it with a cute girl. They did not, however, take out the fun of platforming, meaning I still have motivation to continue, and I had the personal goal still of trying my best not to die. It was win win. Heavy Rain isn't like this, it cuts out the middle man, but I WANT the middle man, because the middle man is the damn game.

There are some QTE's that are interesting enough I guess, but I actually really dislike QTE's go figure, so even those do not grip me on a gameplay level. It's like the ultimate let down to have to do exciting things as QTE's. Take God of War for example, another game I dislike. You are fighting this fucking monsters, boss is a UNDERSTATEMENT. Now, using all the skills you gained and all the abilities you surmounted, you tackle him to get ready for a amazing finisher! Then, all those skills and abilities are rendered pointless apparently because you didn't need them in the first place. What is the point of me learning one more attack to add to my combo if my character apparently can already do the "stab in eye, do two front-flips, stab guy three more times, cut his leg, gouge his stomach, and strike epic pose" combo. Why take the game out of my hands in those times in favor of a "press right buttons or die" type game. Just let me use my skills to destroy him damnit, I spent all this time learning them.

But Heavy Rain has no skills, only QTE's, and they do not make you a badass even, just a master of putting away dishes.

All that being said, I dislike Heavy Rain as a game, but once again, I simply cannot look at it from that standpoint. If I did, then I would get a ton of backlash from people saying "I missed the point" or something, so I guess that means I have to treat this one game special because it's Heavy Rain (bad game) and not Mass Effect. (good game) So now, it's movie time.

I hold to be the greatest action movie scenes to be scenes that are WHOLE PARAGRAPH IS NSFW blowjobs. The movie scene grabs your junk, just like the girl would, and plays with it. Now, as she plays with it, she builds up tension, but if she does the same thing for the whole time, it gets boring. So she mixes it up, and surprises you with all the different things she can do. Eventually, your at this point of tension where you just can't take it anymore, and you release your load and orgasm. The orgasm in this case is the shootout, which is short and sweet, the part that makes it sweeter is the tension. Orgasming all the time would get boring, so luckily we don't have sex like that. We get to have that amazing buildup and release.

Movie goers have the patience to sit through the tension and let it build. Pulp Fiction is a good example of this, such as when Sammy J is giving his speech to the men you know he is going to kill. It builds tension, and you get excited, and when it comes, you feel amazing. True Romance's ending scene is another good example of this. Now something like Rambo in my opinion is like orgasming all the time. It's boring because there's nothing too it. Just kill, kill, kill. I don't like senseless violence, I like violence with a meaning.

That being said, most games go the Rambo approach to violence, and it works OK because you are actually doing it, which changes the passive nature of it all, but it still doesn't compare to a scene with tension. Some moments in Killer 7 have this tension followed by a violent release, but at the moment that is the only game I can think of with it. Now, Heavy Rain as a Movie has the ability to do this, but it is a game! So it is the easiest way for a game to do this, right?

RIGHT! It's a cop out, but hey I'll enjoy it if you'll do it. Unfortunately, I think Heavy Rain instead goes for the "action thrills" rather then the tension in a scene thrills. See, a important part of building up tension, is that no violence needs to occur when it's building up. Nothing extremely exciting happens, that's what makes it so great. Now, a act or two of violence doesn't overshadow it completely (like I said, the girl surprises you) but if the scene is centered around something like cutting your fingers off, I do not think it works in the same way. This however, is just my personal opinion, it doesn't hold true for everybody, so you may enjoy the scenes of action in Heavy Rain more then I did.

If this was all I had to say about the movie part, then I would not hate Heavy Rain, I would say it was a bad game but possibly a good movie and in this case is not in fact my cup of tea. The reason Heavy Rain is BAD, is because it is a horrible movie.

We watch movies, once again to escape reality. Reality is boring, we want that quick escapism from the mundane and thrive for brief excitement to remember we are in fact alive, but not actually put ourselves in danger.

Apparently, everybody in Heavy Rain does too. There is a scene where you must watch your kid in Heavy Rain. Now, this could be so great, but it's not. It's just a boring scene where you are literally watching a kid. Make him do his homework, make sure he doesn't get too much TV in, etc. I'm sure some people finally got their kids to sleep just to play this game, and now they are forced to watch another virtual kid? Yeah, no. Heavy Rain is full of scenes like this that are just plain uninteresting and simply serve the developers sick fascination with real life.

Which brings me to my final judgment. Judging Heavy Rain for what it is. If I had to give Heavy Rain a clear defined definition of what it is, I would say it is a game that saw a movie, and wanted to be one when it grew up, but lost it's way somewhere and ended up trying to become the bad aspects of both mediums. Heavy Rain is not a good game, and it is not a good movie. As a mixture, that equals a not good whatever it is. It is slow to start, and boring, and would be much better if most of it was just cut out and it was made, yes, into a damn movie.

See, in movies we are generally left to fill holes with our own imagination. This is good, because the shit we are imagining is boring as I don't want to actually waste time doing it. Show a short 2 second scene with a kid scoffing his dad, and you can become aware of the tension in a household. You picture it yourself, its there, you know it. Stick me with the kid for like 10 minutes real life time and have nothing interesting happen but a trip to "that kids house" who always treated his parents like crap but they let them because of a divorce and you are kinda jealous of him because if you talked to your parents that way they would beat you but then again your happy you have both parents kinda thing, and it is just extremely boring.

The problem is, if you take out a lot of the stuff from Heavy Rain that is bad, like the pointless QTE's (not all of them, just the pointless QTE's (so like 99% of them)) or the filler "come to realize these are REAL PEOPLE type events like watching your kid, and you are left with...a movie. If you change it to where the game is funner to play and less worried about being all up in realism's kool-aid then you have...well a much less unique game (Mass Effect) Heavy Rain is a largely pointless experience, that if you somehow trudge through, will have no reason to do so again because my last complaint.

Why do I go through the whole game making a ton of choices if the killer is the same every time? Why? Why why why why why why why? It's a fucking murder mystery. If the killer is going to be the same d-bag, then there is absolutely no reason to replay the game at all. It's stupid. Really stupid. Even if you disagreed with everything I said prior to this, this alone is a dumb enough reason to just say fuck this game and not play it.

But anyway, no I do not like Heavy Rain, yes I "get it", and not, just saying "no you don't because then you would of liked it" will not make me suddenly like it, or call it a good anything.

#HeavyRain