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Ok, so there has been some hooplah, hubbub and general discombobulation over the NDA reviewers of MGS4 have had to undergo. Kotaku has provided some good articles about it so far, the first looking at the general concerns from a reviewer perspective and the second a response from Konami about the actual reasoning (in a vague way).

So the general company line is the following:
-Install times
-Length of cutscenes (the ending in particular)
-Number of environments
-Opening "movie"
-Product placement
-(Plus a half dozen story-specific items)

The game requires an eight minute install, as well as a number of two to three-minute installs between acts.

Of course once this frank explanation was detailed the commenting, flaming, over-reacting and bellyaching started in full force. Product Placement? I am not paying for a commercial! Installs??? What the hell, they are idiots!! Length of cutscenes?? How dare they not let me time and spoil the length of a movie scene or game in general!!

Seriously guys, what is the complaint about product placement? We already know about the energy drinks and Triumph motorcycles, product placements are par for the course in movies for ages now and Games are getting them too. This game cost an insane amount of money to make and it is only logical that they have to recoup in other guaranteed ways. I have full respect for Kojima productions and am sure we won't see incredibly blatant or illogical products placed randomly on the screen. Besides, if they can make it look this good, I won't complain!

As to installs there is a sad fact that the BD-Drive cannot read as fast as a DVD due to the size and buffer constraints so larger more complex games tend to opt with an install in order to shorten load times. Also one of the caveats is to not to mention what happens in later install sequences. This means they will be interactive and entertaining. Much better then the black screens we are used to. I would bet even the initial install is an experience and not just a blank screen.

People quickly forget that the MGS games have always had innovative ways to use the PlayStation technology and I bet that Konami/Kojima were afraid that some of the surprises would get leaked because they are that cool. your IGN's and Kotakus probably would not, but the smaller sites or less reputable ones may have. The NDA is a way to ensure surprises stay surprises. If you like MGS games you will like this better then all of them according to early press. Stop worrying about what the marketing people are doing and just look forward to what will be an AMAZING game.

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