The intersection of video games and books hasn't always been a ripe field for harvest. I remember reading the "Worlds of Power" books inspired by video games as a youth of which Metal Gear was my favorite but otherwise there has been little written about video games that seemed like something worth my time until I discovered the Boss Fight Book series. These books are very conversational quick reads with a smattering of history, facts, and jokes that help you appreciate the games on which they are based a little more. Reading these books are like having a really good conversation with an informed friend about the game, and if you don't have many friends doesn't that sound delightful?
This latest entry which was released last month is written by a brother-sister team who use the footnotes to rib each other throughout the book. And I almost wish this sort of footnote use was commonplace in all non-fiction works.
1 Anthony: Even if I was generally better at them.
2 Ash: I WILL EAT YOUR SOUL COME AT ME.
When I think of Metal Gear Solid as a series I think it is extremely odd as it got chest deep in moral quandaries played out within soap opera story lines with characters having almost exclusively terrible names. Thankfully, this book breaks all those things down to humorous effect.
There are two Hideo Kojimas.
One Kojima injects every Metal Gear Solid game
with earnest if overbearing discussions of nuclear disarmament,
the morality of genetic experimentation, the
nature of warfare, and the difference between patriotism
The other Kojima lets you call Rose in Metal Gear
Solid 4 and shake your SIXAXIS controller to make her
I won't spoil too many choice bits of text but I did enjoy this breakdown of the painful Ocelot battle.
The boss fight becomes a sort of ballet, if
ballet consisted of dancers moving two feet, stopping
abruptly, moving another two feet, stopping abruptly,
and then shooting each other in the face.
In the end, I kinda wanted to go play Metal Gear Solid again and see if I can finally beat it without killing anyone besides bosses. Or maybe I will keep the old Playstation locked up despite its 20th Anniversary and try out the shiny new one on my XBONE. If you grew up on this series as I did this book is a wonderful read and a bargain at 5 bucks. If not maybe another book in the series would be more appealing. I got my eyes on Jagged Alliance 2.
EarthBound by Ken Baumann
Chrono Trigger by Michael P. Williams
ZZT by Anna Anthropy
Galaga by Michael Kimball
Jagged Alliance 2 by Darius Kazemi
Super Mario Bros. 2 by Jon Irwin
Bible Adventures by Gabe Durham
Baldur’s Gate II by Matt Bell
Continue? The Boss Fight Books Anthology