Still listening to Giant Bomb's 2008 Game of the year podcast - hey, it's 2 hours long - and the second half of the podcast basically finds the Bombers torn between choosing GTA4 and MGS4 as their game of the year.
I made my choice a few weeks ago, and I found it pretty easy to make. But listening to them discuss MGS4 makes me want to re-play MGS4 again. I forget how much fun I had playing that game, and even though it drove me absolutely goddamned crazy at times (my rant about Act 3 still holds*), it was still an incredibly absorbing experience.
But it's interesting to hear them talk about it because they are long-time MGS fans - or, at least, they are all quite familiar with the fiction that spans the entire series. I am not familiar with the fiction, at all, and I even looked at the downloadable MGS encyclopedia and it meant absolutely nothing to me. And I think that the whole insider-access aspect about MGS is what kept me from being more excited about it. I can forgive the ridiculousness of the storytelling, I guess, if only because it is so incredibly unique in its dedication to being totally ridiculous; the hard-core MGS fans would never accept anything less, and I have to admit that my memories of the insanity of the cutscenes are somewhat more forgiving, now that I'm not actually sitting through them and their excruciating craziness.
If you have a pro-MGS4 stance, I'd love to hear it. Otherwise, HAPPY NEW YEAR!
* I've read (and listened to) a lot of discussion about MGS4 this year, and I must say - I'm still somewhat stunned that NOBODY ELSE IN THE WORLD talked about the awfulness of the Big Mama scenes in Act 3. Nobody even talks about Big Mama at all. Am I just an asshole?