Death Stranding

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ThirdMan

Re: Death Stranding

Post by ThirdMan »

I played a little Death Standing during the Christmas break. Overall I enjoyed the minute to minute gameplay but I just can't get fully onboard with Kojima's overwrought writing and the odd product placement etc. Then there's the ridiculous names. Die Hardman. Awful. I realise I'm speaking about very superficial things here but that's my typical reaction to Kojima's games. An interesting package but I'm happy for somebody else to open it.

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Re: Death Stranding

Post by Electric Crocosaurus »

KSubzero1000 wrote:
January 22nd, 2020, 2:38 pm
But on the other hand, every piece of popular media I can think of that tries to deal with simple philosophical themes instantly gets dismissed and mocked because of it. It happened to Watchmen. It happened to The Matrix. It happened to Metal Gear.
You’re right to call me out on this because my point wasn’t phrased correctly. It isn’t Kojima’s themes that I take issue with; it’s the very literal way that he portrays them in his games. In Death Stranding we see this through characters that are literally named after their personality traits (Bridges, Fragile). It removes ambiguity and I find it distancing because it undermines the credibility of Kojima’s worlds. Yet I think the game’s underlying premise, of re-building connections against the context of various political developments (Trump’s wall, Brexit) is important. It’s also refreshing when there are other game serious that do their best to avoid being overtly political.

The Matrix isn’t better in some regards (the lead character is named Neo and is ‘the One’ after all) but the first film at least does a better job of weaving its philosophies into its plot. And even Neo has some sub-text, given it’s use to mean new or revived things.

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KSubzero1000
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Re: Death Stranding

Post by KSubzero1000 »

Electric Crocosaurus wrote:
January 23rd, 2020, 10:11 am
It isn’t Kojima’s themes that I take issue with; it’s the very literal way that he portrays them in his games.
Ah yes, that makes sense. I understand your point a lot better now. Looks like I went on a whole cultural tangent that wasn't quite necessary after all!

I don't really have that same issue because I tend to consider Kojima's signature tone to be purposefully surreal and overdrawn rather than being beholden to real-world logic. I would point out that characters wearing their main theme on their sleeve without any room for ambiguity is a relatively wide-spread trope of genre fiction which is quite common in fantasy, anime and comic book iconography for example (Two-Face, etc..).

Personally, I'm more than willing to give him a pass on his occasional lack of subtlety and narrative elegance as long as the points he's trying to make are substantial and his message sincere. Pop culture is always going to struggle in terms of respectability in many ways, but I'm glad that at least some authors try to deviate from the usual template of "Good Guys vs. Bad Guys ft. Big Explosions".

One more thing I'll say on this subject is that some of his works do actually have some very subtle and understated elements to them, it's just that they tend to be drowned out by the painfully obvious stuff and rarely get picked up on as a result.


PS: On the topic of Death Stranding in particular, I agree that the tonal whiplash is more of an issue in comparison to something like MGS2 on account of the push for realism in many other aspects of the game (gameplay mechanics, real-life actors, etc...). It can definitely be jarring at times.

ThirdMan

Re: Death Stranding

Post by ThirdMan »

KSubzero1000 wrote:
January 23rd, 2020, 10:50 am
I would point out that characters wearing their main theme on their sleeve without any room for ambiguity is a relatively wide-spread trope of genre fiction which is quite common in fantasy, anime and comic book iconography for example (Two-Face, etc..).
With comics the names are usually descriptive monikers that have been adopted by the characters themselves to reflect their physical appearance or supernatural powers.

But with Kojima the ridiculous names also appear to be the actual names. If Kojima had worked at DC then Harvey Dent would have been born Harvey Two-Face. That's the difference.

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Re: Death Stranding

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ThirdMan

Re: Death Stranding

Post by ThirdMan »

Chopper wrote:
January 23rd, 2020, 7:11 pm
Guys
So they're ridiculous sounding and deep. Well that's pretty much what everyone says about Kojima's writing. Good call.

ThirdMan

Re: Death Stranding

Post by ThirdMan »

Edit: double post.

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Re: Death Stranding

Post by KSubzero1000 »

ThirdMan wrote:
January 23rd, 2020, 6:57 pm
With comics the names are usually descriptive monikers that have been adopted by the characters themselves to reflect their physical appearance or supernatural powers.

But with Kojima the ridiculous names also appear to be the actual names. If Kojima had worked at DC then Harvey Dent would have been born Harvey Two-Face. That's the difference.
Well, yes and no.

The vast majority of MGS characters' silly monikers are military codenames that are openly described as such. But Solid Snake's real name is David, Liquid Snake's real name is Eli, Naked Snake's real name is John, Solidus Snake's real name is George Sears, Raiden's real name is Jack, Gray Fox's real name is Frank Jaeger, Fortune's real name is Helena Dolph Jackson, Para-Medic's real name is Dr. Clark and Revolver Ocelot's real name is Adamska, for example.

There are others who are only known by their codenames and whose actual names are never mentioned, like The Boss, Sniper Wolf or Vamp. But those are still codenames and the game(s) never imply that these are somehow their actual names.

The rest of the characters are only ever known by their real names, like Mei Ling, Meryl Silverburgh, Roy Campbell or Naomi Hunter. So it's not like everybody in the Kojimaverse has "NukesAreBad" written on their actual birth certificate or anything.

Haven't finished Death Stranding so I can't comment on that yet.

ThirdMan

Re: Death Stranding

Post by ThirdMan »

KSubzero1000 wrote:
January 23rd, 2020, 7:19 pm
ThirdMan wrote:
January 23rd, 2020, 6:57 pm
With comics the names are usually descriptive monikers that have been adopted by the characters themselves to reflect their physical appearance or supernatural powers.

But with Kojima the ridiculous names also appear to be the actual names. If Kojima had worked at DC then Harvey Dent would have been born Harvey Two-Face. That's the difference.
Well, yes and no.

The vast majority of MGS characters' silly monikers are military codenames that are openly described as such. But Solid Snake's real name is David, Liquid Snake's real name is Eli, Naked Snake's real name is John, Solidus Snake's real name is George Sears, Raiden's real name is Jack, Gray Fox's real name is Frank Jaeger, Fortune's real name is Helena Dolph Jackson, Para-Medic's real name is Dr. Clark and Revolver Ocelot's real name is Adamska, for example.

There are others who are only known by their codenames and whose actual names are never mentioned, like The Boss, Sniper Wolf or Vamp. But those are still codenames and the game(s) never imply that these are somehow their actual names.

The rest of the characters are only ever known by their real names, like Mei Ling, Meryl Silverburgh, Roy Campbell or Naomi Hunter. So it's not like everybody in the Kojimaverse has "NukesAreBad" written on their actual birth certificate or anything.

Haven't finished Death Stranding so I can't comment on that yet.
Well argued. I'll take your word for it as I'm simply not as well up on the lore as you are.

Let me know what Sam Porter Bridges' real name is when you find out. And Hot Coldman too, or maybe that's also a code name?

Edit: I can confirm that Die-Hardman is also a nom de plume.

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Re: Death Stranding

Post by KSubzero1000 »

ThirdMan wrote:
January 23rd, 2020, 7:22 pm
And Hot Coldman too, or maybe that's also a code name?
Well spotted, I think that's supposed to be his actual name. There's no explanation or thematic significance to it either, so that one is just dumb. Peace Walker's writing is really poor overall and I tend to ignore it which explains why I didn't think of that one. Be that as it may, that's still the exception and not the rule.

ThirdMan

Re: Death Stranding

Post by ThirdMan »

KSubzero1000 wrote:
January 23rd, 2020, 7:33 pm
that's still the exception and not the rule.
With respect, I'm not trying to lay down any rules. I think Kojima's writing is overstuffed and, at times, very daft indeed. Whether his characters' names are code names, given names or evidence of some weighty morality play makes no difference to me. They sound bloody stupid.

I understand from your many previous posts on the matter that his work is more nuanced and accomplished than people given him credit for. But there's a lot of accomplished writing out there in the world and I've only a finite amount of time to enjoy as much as I can. I can live with missing out on his. But you've clearly taken his work to heart and you also seem to be able to overlook and/or justify the silly, awkward and offensive elements of his work. So good for you. I hope you continue to enjoy it.

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Re: Death Stranding

Post by Flabyo »

Is anyone ashamed of their words and deeds yet?

(I really hope that one was just poor translation)

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Re: Death Stranding

Post by Simonsloth »

For many reasons I find his output absolutely fascinating.

You have to be prepared in that with every emotional moment around the corner there’s something bonkers or fourth wall breaking. His games are a complete mish mash of things and by no means would I put him on a pedestal for writing but for making games he is pretty fantastic...to me at least.

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Re: Death Stranding

Post by Chopper »

ThirdMan wrote:
January 23rd, 2020, 7:47 pm

With respect, I'm not trying to lay down any rules. I think Kojima's writing is overstuffed and, at times, very daft indeed. Whether his characters' names are code names, given names or evidence of some weighty morality play makes no difference to me. They sound bloody stupid.

I understand from your many previous posts on the matter that his work is more nuanced and accomplished than people given him credit for. But there's a lot of accomplished writing out there in the world and I've only a finite amount of time to enjoy as much as I can. I can live with missing out on his. But you've clearly taken his work to heart and you also seem to be able to overlook and/or justify the silly, awkward and offensive elements of his work. So good for you. I hope you continue to enjoy it.
So you come into the dedicated thread with that inane opinion, and when someone engages you in good faith, you sneer at them?

Good work, welcome back.

ThirdMan

Re: Death Stranding

Post by ThirdMan »

Chopper wrote:
January 23rd, 2020, 10:09 pm
ThirdMan wrote:
January 23rd, 2020, 7:47 pm

With respect, I'm not trying to lay down any rules. I think Kojima's writing is overstuffed and, at times, very daft indeed. Whether his characters' names are code names, given names or evidence of some weighty morality play makes no difference to me. They sound bloody stupid.

I understand from your many previous posts on the matter that his work is more nuanced and accomplished than people given him credit for. But there's a lot of accomplished writing out there in the world and I've only a finite amount of time to enjoy as much as I can. I can live with missing out on his. But you've clearly taken his work to heart and you also seem to be able to overlook and/or justify the silly, awkward and offensive elements of his work. So good for you. I hope you continue to enjoy it.
So you come into the dedicated thread with that inane opinion, and when someone engages you in good faith, you sneer at them?

Good work, welcome back.
Excuse me, but how have I sneered at him? You're way out of line there.

Ksub, Todinho and I had a long back and forth about this topic some time ago so I know from experience that Ksub has theories and tolerances that I don't have regarding what I consider to be Kojima's excesses. When I said 'good for you, continue to enjoy it', it was genuine.

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Re: Death Stranding

Post by Simonsloth »

It’s tricky to gauge tone from written word. Your post to be honest came across as extremely condescending but now you’ve clarified that you were being sincere it’s a very different prospect.

I think to most people describing something as silly then saying good for you immediately after could be construed as being inflammatory. At least that was my interpretation. Glad you didn’t mean it that way.

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Re: Death Stranding

Post by Simonsloth »

Interestingly I’ve been listening to the Giant Bomb game of the year podcasts and their attitude towards the game was quite juvenile if I’m being honest. Huge sweeping statements from individuals who haven’t really invested in the game or were forced to rush review it pre-release.

It’s not for everyone and I think there’s a lot of pre-judgement going on because of the auteur/game designer leading the project. It’s a shame as I genuinely think this is an incredibly refreshing and original piece of work which I cannot say about almost anything I’ve played in the last few years. However because Kojima’s name is on it there’s an almost childish approach to it. I think it’s a truly original and fascinating piece of media and I would encourage anyone with even a passing interest in experiencing something unique to give it a try.

ThirdMan

Re: Death Stranding

Post by ThirdMan »

Simonsloth wrote:
January 24th, 2020, 11:05 pm
It’s tricky to gauge tone from written word. Your post to be honest came across as extremely condescending but now you’ve clarified that you were being sincere it’s a very different prospect.

I think to most people describing something as silly then saying good for you immediately after could be construed as being inflammatory. At least that was my interpretation. Glad you didn’t mean it that way.
Well then I've clearly landed well wide of the mark. That was absolutely not my intention and my sincerest apologies to Ksub if that's how he felt too. I find some of the work silly etc. but Ksub had, in our prevous exchange, explained why he accepts or interprets those elements differently. So good for him for taking something from the games in spite of what I see as problems. That's what I meant but clearly failed to express.

I often shoot from the hip and I don't have a problem rubbing people up the wrong way, and vise versa, if it's an interesting clash and is civil, productive and not in breach of the charter. I love how civil this forum is more than anything else. But I don't go out of my way to upset people. I'm also happy to be corrected. In fact I've been schooled plenty of times in these forums. And I'll always be eager to apologise if I've overstepped the mark.

I'll keep an eye on my tone and try to do better in future.

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Re: Death Stranding

Post by Simonsloth »

:)

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Re: Death Stranding

Post by DomsBeard »

Had the art of Death Stranding on order with my Christmas vouchers with a delivery date of the 29th of January. It then changed to today and then today it changed to between March and April. Disappointing.

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