A very Metal Gear happy birthday to Hideo Kojima!

50 years ago today, a man who forever changed gaming was born, that man is Hideo Kojima. Creator of the Snatcher, Policenauts, Zone of the Enders and most importantly, the Metal Gear Solid series.

As a 23-year-old male, there are a lot of games that I missed out on over the years for whatever reason, whether it be I was too young and therefore couldn’t afford them, I didn’t have the system, or in the case of Metal Gear Solid, I was just too stupid. When Metal Gear Solid 2 came out in 2001, I remember seeing it plastered all over the place, “10/10” “5/5” “A+” “Game Of The Year.” So I ended up renting it from my local video store, I was filled with joy. Renting games was the single best part about the weekend growing up, each weekend was a new adventure. So I popped the disc into my PS2 and the 11-year-old Gary LaPlante just didn’t get it. Why couldn’t he just murder everyone on the boat in one fell swoop? Why did I have to sneak? Surely I could just kill everyone if I just tried hard enough. No, no you couldn’t, stupid 11-year-old Gary.

This would be my first and last experience with the MGS Series for a while. I always knew it was a good series, there were a lot of people that I respected who praised it. It was going to end up as one of the series that I just never got around to playing. That is until early last year, Middleeasy’s own Jason Nawara convinced me to play through them. Now for those of you who don’t know, Jason Nawara is savage when it comes to the MGS Series, he has played each game, to completion, in one straight sitting the night it comes out. He isn’t human. Over the course of the next couple weeks, I played through each game in the series, and they forever changed the way I look at video games. It quickly became one of my favorite if not my favorite series in all of gaming. Every moment was mired with brilliance. At the end of it all, tears were shed, lives were built up, destroyed and then built up again, I now am forever in debt to Jason Nawara. Happy Birthday Mr. Kojima, don’t you ever stop being a shining star.