Over this past weekend, legendary video game designer Hideo Kojima turned 50. That’s a big deal to us at Stealthy Box because, if you haven’t noticed, the site gets its name from his iconic Metal Gear series. But I digress.
As a humble belated celebration of Kojima’s birthday, we decided to dig around and look at some of the quirkier entries in his touchstone franchise. Whether you pushed these games out of your mind on purpose or not, we feel that these black sheep are worth another look.
Metal Gear Solid: Ghost Babel
There are plenty of people that don’t know that Snake and company made their way to the Game Boy Color, but here it is. While it’s simply called Metal Gear Solid, it’s commonly referred to as Ghost Babel, the subtitle it was given outside of North America.
It’s not a 2D de-make of the PlayStation classic, but rather an out-of-continuity sequel to Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake. It plays like the 8-bit originals while still taking a couple of crucial cues from the PS1 title, and the result is one of the most critically-acclaimed releases to hit Nintendo’s platform.
This wasn’t a full-on release, per se, but it’s so damned weird that it’s hard to exclude the skateboarding minigame that was included in Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance. While bare compared to “real” skateboarding games of the day, being able to skate around levels inspired by the Big Shell as Solid Snake or Raiden was still a treat.
We’ll never see an all-out MGS skateboarding game, of course, but oddities like this help to endear the series to people that think that it takes itself too seriously. Unfortunately, the minigame was cut from the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection.
Snake vs. Monkey
Like the skateboarding game before it, Snake vs. Monkey was a tongue-in-cheek aside that made light of an otherwise super-serious game production. Unlike the skateboarding game, though, it was included in the original Metal Gear Solid 3 release, as well as the Subsistence rerelease.
As the name implies, this minigame pits Naked Snake against the simians from Ape Escape in the jungles that they call home. Instead of a net, however, you use a specialized tranquilizer gun and stun grenades. Cute! Unfortunately, it was also cut from the HD version, although this was more easily attributed to MGS3 HD also seeing release on Xbox 360. Ape Escape is a Sony joint, after all.