Soundtrack Saturdays: Metal Gear Solid V – Love Deterrence (Acoustic)

I haven’t had much free time to play video games lately, but I’m finally starting to dig into the backlog I’ve accumulated. The first title on my list was Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes. You might recall that I’m a huge Metal Gear fan, and for good reason; the series has some of the best cinematic storytelling and cleverly designed gameplay mechanics in the industry. Ground Zeroes wasn’t a full game; it was essentially an early-release prologue for The Phantom Pain, which came out months later. It’s set in 1975, and you’re tasked with infiltrating an American black site in Cuba – a not-so-subtle commentary on Guantanamo Bay – and rescuing two of your allies imprisoned inside. Despite being a playable preview for the bigger game, Ground Zeroes more than proves its concept; you’re allowed to freely explore this massive map, discover its layout, and evade dozens of guards the entire time. The interactivity with objects and vehicles, the use of lighting and perspective, and the acoustics of the rain and voices are amazing.

What I enjoyed most, however, was the music. The series has always been known for its killer soundtracks, but only a handful of the games let you change the background music during gameplay. This time, you can listen to different cassette tapes – again, this is 1975 – thus giving your spy mission a little more flavor. One of the unlockable songs is this acoustic version of Paz’s character theme, “Love Deterrence.” She’s one of the prisoners you have to save, and the somber, romantic guitar melody sums up her relationship with Big Boss perfectly. Explaining the details would spoil the story of Peace Walker, but let’s just say there’s a good reason why a young woman like Paz would be locked up in a military prison…

If you want something a little more lighthearted, you can hear the original J-Pop version of “Love Deterrence” from Peace Walker here. If you want more Metal Gear Solid V, you can find the full OST here.

Good gaming, good music.

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Daily Prompt: Keeping up with the Jones’, Or: A Wishful Space Odyssey

Hey, folks. Today’s Daily Prompt is about coveting. That one utterly irresistible, yet completely unfeasible/irresponsible thing you desire. It’s a pretty apt topic for Black Friday. I could write a novella on what a dehumanizing farce that little post-Thanksgiving romp has become, but I’ll save it for a later post. This prompt is just about the new cool/shiny/ridiculously expensive thing I want. And to be honest…I don’t really have one. I’ve always been the kind of type that tries to get the most out of what I’ve got; my laptop and cell phone are both pretty dated. I own only four pairs of shoes: tennis/walking, business, bath slippers, and sandals. Does that make me cheap? Well yeah, but I don’t care. If it works and I’m comfortable, then that’s just fine. Most of my “crazy” wants are pretty geeky/artsy/tame. A Gutenberg Bible, maybe. A first edition of Don Quixote. A legit First Folio. Monet’s San Giorgio Maggiore at Dusk. A Playstation 4 would’ve been nice, but I (and everyone else I know) certainly can’t afford one. The point is that I don’t need any of that. I don’t derive the same kind of satisfaction that I’d get from going somewhere and experiencing something new. As long as I can live comfortably and explore, then I’ll have the essentials covered.

If I had unlimited funding and resources, however, I’d use them to exactly to that end. Space tourism is in its infancy, but I’ve always found the concept fascinating. I don’t think I’ll ever be cut out for NASA, but I’d still love to see space. Can you imagine it? Leaving the ground and all the worries upon it behind, breaking through the atmosphere at a gut-wrenching, exhilarating velocity. Those tense, shaky moments when you’re not sure if you’re going to make it, and the sheer relief when you do. Watching the weather patterns drift and swirl in mesmerizing patterns. Going on a spacewalk, floating forth and pondering your detachment from the world. Seeing the sunrise against the curvature of the Earth, the intensity of its light awe-inspiring and terrifying in its magnitude. There are no borders out there; you see the planet and its inhabitants bared full in all of its wonderful, tragic beauty. The entirety of human civilization, the centuries of bloodshed and progress, all contained within this one blue speck

Sigh.

Maybe there will come a time when space travel won’t be limited to the super-wealthy. It probably won’t happen for decades, but it’d make quite a retirement gift. Oh, and for the runner-up ideas? Climbing Mt. Everest and exploring the Mariana Trench. I may like to live simply, but I like my adventures epic.