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Metal Gear Solid / The Twin Snakes
- Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes had the ridiculous concept of, when giving you instructions, not telling you what buttons to actually press. Rather than tell you to press the X button to climb a ladder, they tell you to push the "action button". It renders the (often forced) tutorials completely pointless because it amounts to telling you to "do the thing to make the thing happen": thanks, Colonel, care to tell the class which button is the "action button" now?
Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
- The sword gameplay in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty didn't work very well to begin with — just Raiden making short, awkward-looking slices which had only a passing relationship to how you manipulated the right analog stick. Especially annoying since it was introduced very late in the game, giving you about one minute to practice before an hour of shooting giant robots/cutscene and then final boss swordfight.
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
- For many people, the CURE mechanic was highly annoying. The concept itself was alright; if Snake suffered a serious injury (broken limbs, burns, gunshot wounds, ect.) you would go into the CURE screen and select the appropriate items to heal your wound, or else face a lowered healthbar. This rapidly got annoying during the late game boss fights, who can usually do a serious injury to Snake in a single hit, forcing the player to constantly pause and go through the CURE screen if they wanted any chance in winning the fight.
- The camouflage system, as you needed to constantly pause the game to change camo colors in order to max out your Camo Index and maintain your stealth. note As you travel through a range of environments, this becomes tedious after awhile. In a reversal to the stamina/psyche gauge issue, MGS4 fixed this with its Octocamo - just press a button to automatically blend in.
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
- The psyche gauge (due to how fast it depletes) and the stress meter (due to how fast it rises), both odd cases considering how well the stamina gauge from MGS3 was handled.
- Every single time a cutscene plays where Snake draws a gun, it will be his Operator pistol or M4 assault rifle. When gameplay resumes, he'll still have it out regardless of what weapon you had equipped. If you didn't even have it on you at the time, expect whatever weapon was in slot one to have been switched out for it. Given the sheer amount of cutscenes in the game, this will infuriate players who simply don't want to use the blasted Operator and have to keep unequipping it every five seconds. Keep in mind too that the Operator and M4 assault rifle are both starting weapons and, while they're useful throughout the game, they're quickly outclassed by other weapons: The Five-Seven found as early as Act 1 outclasses the Operator in every single conceivable aspect and the M14 EBR purchased the moment you meet Drebin not only outclasses the M4 but is a borderline Game-Breaker for being a powerful assault rifle that doubles as a sniper rifle.
- To earn the Big Boss emblem, you must not be seen by nor kill any enemies, nor use any items to recover life, and the game must be finished within five hours. Difficult, but that's the point. Ah, but the final requirement: no continues. It's doubtful that anyone could do a perfect playthrough, meeting all the requirements without the help of Save Scumming. So what that requirement boils down to is forcing a player who's been spotted or killed to exit to the main menu and reload their game. It doesn't add to the difficulty, it adds to the tedium.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
- Quiet being removed as a Buddy. After you unlock this buddy and progress the story enough, and finish Mission 41, a chain of events begins that is irreversible (and results in Quiet leaving Mother Base, being captured and having to be rescued by Snake before disappearing into the desert). This can't be changed unless one of two unapparent methods are used. The first is to keep said buddy's Bond at 90% or lower, or use a Butterfly (front) part in your emblem. It's highly unlikely that most players have done either of those two things by that point in the story, and once it occurs, there's no way to reload a save to before she disappears. To say this has angered some players is an understatement. Even worse, one of the buddy's unlockable outfits (Sniper Wolf) is only accessible by completing Mission 40, three missions before said buddy disappears.
- Said buddy being removed was addressed in an eventual patch, after modders were able to reintroduce Quiet and her missing photos in the FOB back into the PC version by changing a couple lines of code. After you lose said buddy in Mission 45, you must go back and replay Mission 11 ("Cloaked in Silence") seven times, upon which the game arbitrarily changes the mission name to "[Reunion] Cloaked in Silence" and you get the buddy back permanently back afterwards, with no in-story explanation of where why said buddy went back to their original recruitment spot, nor why Big Boss decided to put her pictures up in the FOB again. If you haven't read the patch notes, then you have no way of knowing how to do this, and even if you do, it's incredibly boring because you've likely already played the mission at least twice beforehand (the normal and "Extreme" versions).
- Deployment costs. At early stages of the game, it makes sense that there is a limiting factor associated with Snake deploying to the field (and it makes sense for certain expenditures, like calling in air support or supply drops). However, it starts getting ridiculous once the player starts getting higher-level items and weapons. Deployment costs can easily balloon to 200,000 GMP or more per sortie, and if the player doesn't understand the submenus (you can change the quality of gear you carry to lower ranks), they can quickly find themselves in the red. It becomes even more absurd with some of the FOB-exclusive weapons - why would it cost 50,000 GMP to take a pistol that fires sleeping gas rounds into the field? Even more ridiculous is that the GMP is spent regardless of whether you actually use the item; taking a missile launcher into the field and bringing it back with all its ammo is just as expensive as if you fired it dry.
- The Annoying Video-Game Helper moments brought on by comments from Miller and Ocelot, which happen each and every single time you either Fulton someone, encounter an enemy gunship or steal a cargo container. "You're going to extract him?" "Subject onboard, leave the rest to us." "He's coming too? Roger that." "Boss, get down! The enemy sniper. Stay low and crawl along the ground." Whether it's the first or 500th time, they'll still say the exact same lines. Notably, there are audio mods for the PC version of the game that eliminate these comments entirely.
- Similarly, the voice of the iDroid can really grate, as she chimes in whenever Ocelot and Miller don't. For example, something as simple as setting a waypoint and going to it will get you a few lines from her: "Marker placed. You have arrived at your destination". After you upgrade your binoculars to scan enemies and check their traits, after every single one she'll go "scan complete", for all 25 or so enemies you scan in a base.
- The Forward Operating Base (FOB) system.
- On the surface, it's a compelling way to increase rivalry and competitiveness between players and their factions, competing to see who can steal the most resources and stop the most infiltrations. In single-player mode, it's incredibly annoying - FOB invasion prompts can pop up in the middle of a mission, forcing you to scuttle your progress and go defend it yourself unless you have allies who handle the job for you.
- Even if you don't want to make one in the first place, the game hounds you to build an FOB. The only way to avoid this is to refuse the online Terms of Service agreement every time it appears, and play the game offline indefinitely. It can even be raided if you built one and you're playing offline.
- It doesn't help that the only way to get some of the higher-grade weapons, outfits and items (not to mention a boatload of additional costumes for Snake) is through the FOB mode, with no apparent way to access it offline... that is, unless you use a mod for the PC version, which unlocks all of the online items for offline usage.
- There's an entire (hidden) ending tied to this mode, which not only has an obscure means of being obtained (it is believed that this is only unlocked when every player has disposed of all nukes, something which would be nigh-impossible to do because there would always be players who would fight to keep their nukes), but it also has a key story point - Venom Snake coming to terms with looking like the real Big Boss and accepting his fate.
- An update to the system broke it entirely. Along with making it so that night invasions result in all of the troops wearing Night Vision Goggles (making it unfeasible for anyone attacking a high-level base), Konami integrated a form of "insurance service" (paid for with real-life money) to the mode. Thus, players who would normally get cleaned out by other players can pay to have their resources remain on base, while anything the attacker gains duplicates of. Some players have accused this of being a real-life protection racket instituted in a virtual product by Konami.
- One of the more notable cutscenes in the game (Venom witnessing Diamond Dogs recruits fighting in the rain, teaching them a lesson about being brothers-in-arms and stabbing himself to prove a point) is tied to whether the player's GMP (money) is at a negative level. Unfortunately, it is highly unlikely that the player will ever view this cutscene, as the game repeatedly stresses not going into the red, and at later stages, you'll be earning so much money that viewing this cutscene is virtually impossible.
Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops
- You can send enemy soldiers you've recruited instead of Snake to blend in among their former comrades. Great! Not so fast. Jonathan, a foot soldier, is ignored by those dressed like him. But other types, like an officer or scientist, will raise the alarm if they see him. Even though he's dressed like soldiers that are most definitely supposed to be there, and seeing one of them shouldn't be a surprise. There's no reason they should know he's gone over to Snake's side, either. If anything, you'd expect the foot soldiers, who he spent the most time with, to be most likely to notice something's wrong.
- On a related note, Jonathan can run past an enemy, who will ignore him. Then if they end up on opposite sides of a cargo container or some such, the enemy will react to hearing unexplained footsteps. If he comes round the corner and sees Jonathan, ostensibly one of his comrades, he'll sound the alarm.
- They'll also sound the alarm if you bump into them. Really, the situations in which they'll sound the alarm make the whole infiltration mechanic almost useless.
- Portable Ops was the first game in the series where the player could capture enemy soldiers and recruit them; however, unlike Peace Walker and MGSV, you don't have any Fulton balloons. Instead, you have to drag every soldier back to your truck, which can take minutes at a time and only increases your chance of getting spotted. You can also drop the soldier off with one of your partners, but they all spawn right next to the truck by default, so in order to actually make use of this, you have to run to one of the pre-determined hiding spots, switch to another character, and then run all the way back to where you were. So it doesn't actually save any time, it just makes things even more tedious.