Rewind to a week ago, and my first impression of the long-awaited Metal Gear Online beta test probably wouldn't have been suitable for public consumption, dominated as it was by thoughts such as "f**king slow updates", "s**t c**k dropped connections" and "which s****k w****ler designed this g**k m***ing sign-up process?"
Metal Gear is a name that comes with baggage. Think of Metal Gear, and you think of Solid Snake, of Revolver Ocelot, Big Boss, Raiden, Otacon and a host of other improbably named characters down through the past ten years. You think of the excitement around Metal Gear Solid, the hype around MGS2, perhaps the satisfaction of MGS3's return to form. You think of Hideo Kojima's complex, philosophy-laden storylines and self-indulgent cut-scenes, and his constant claims that the next MGS will be his last - and the next, and the next. Metal Gear's baggage has piled up to the point where this is a videogaming institution, upon which many gamers have strong views. Whether it's a love of the series' great characters, a hatred for the dodgy pacing and interminable codec dialogue sequences, or a simple case of old-fashioned platform fanboyism, it's not hard to find those who profess either to love or to hate Metal Gear.