I've been a Metal Gear fan since 1998. The series has been near and dear to my heart. But being a big Metal Gear fan, especially a long term one. You see how often Hideo Kojima's stories revolve around a seemingly endless string of retcons, contradictions and sudden changes in plot direction. Now this isn't to say that the series is filled with nothing but bad writing. I don't believe that because the Metal Gear games have beautifully written scenes. This series never would have become what it is if the writing was truly awful.
But in retrospect, looking at the series as a whole. I really don't think Hideo Kojima himself is a "good" writer. His scripts tend to have this focus on over explaining details that aren't very relevant and even the thematic elements are really heavy handed at times. I always think back to the scenes in the first Metal Gear Solid particularly where characters will randomly go off on these big, overarching speeches about nukes, the environment, science, etc. Now this dialogue is informative and it shows that Kojima does his research which is very impressive. But it does little in building naturalistic dialogue. People just don't talk like that and it also comes off as the author shoveling so much upfront plot in your face instead of a natural conversation between two people.
And then of course you have the really ridiculous, far fetched retcons. I think one of the biggest ones being the whole Liquid Ocelot situation. First it's a ghost talking through an amputated arm (which is literally insane) and for some reason Kojima changed his mind when MGS4 came around and had Liquid Ocelot have a cybernetic arm and switch voice actors to reflect that Ocelot was pretending the whole time. The whole thing really doesn't make any sense. Regardless of which explanation you want to believe. The truth of the matter is, Kojima regretted killing off Liquid Snake and so this whole Liquid Ocelot situation came about because of that. And I also get the impression that Kojima retconned Liquid's ghost because of the backlash MGS2 received.
It's interesting because I saw an interview back when MGS4 was released and Hideo Kojima seemed to acknowledge his weakness as a writer. He said that he wished he didn't make MGS2 so needlessly complicated and that he really regretted it. I do love MGS2 the way it is now, it's a work of art. But you have to admit that MGS2 is the reason the plot in the series got way too convoluted and started hitting a critical mass of ridiculousness. MGS3 was only able to get around it because it being a prequel, the story wasn't burdened with explaining the insanity that was Sons of Liberty. MGS4 had the burden of being a sequel to MGS2 and it shows. It tries desperately to answer questions that were never intended to be answered. MGS2 was supposed to be the last one and Kojima himself has said that he never intended following up MGS2's plot with a sequel. Which is why when he decided to make another one, he made a prequel instead.
Anyways, so what do you guys think? Do you think it's valid criticism?