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30 Genres of Christmas
Stealth Action
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on December 04, 2009   |   Episode 9 (Show Archive)  

   

It's that time of year again, a time when Defunct Games celebrates the holidays by posting a daily theme article that should inform and delight gamers all over the world. This year we're counting down the days until Christmas by looking at 30 different video game genres. From the most popular games to the tiniest niche titles, everything fits into a genre and we're going to be there to shed absolutely no new information about that genre in this month-long feature. Join us as we celebrate this joyous season with the 30 Genres of Christmas!



This picture contains at least four dozen hints about the super secret identity of Raiden, including the fact that he's actually a time traveling alien!
How Do You Know You Are a Stealth Action Game? Unlike most action games, Stealth Action requires you to AVOID killing anybody. The idea is simple; you hide out until the coast is clear and then scurry to the next hiding spot where you repeat the whole process all over again. Occasionally you may want to sneak up behind your enemy and choke him, but since you will also have to dispose of his body it ends up being more work than it's worth. UH OH!! You got caught, now you need to run to a new hiding spot and wait for a couple of minutes. It shouldn't take much more than two or three, because the guards appear to not care that somebody is sneaking around in the shadows. If any of this sounds familiar, then you're definitely playing a Stealth Action game.

Patron Saint: Robbing a bank while simultaneously reading three spy novels and getting the plots confused.

Typical Story: You play a clone of a clone of a chemically enhanced super warrior who may or may not be the leader of an organization that is trying to take over the world. As you investigate the twisted conspiracy you learn that the real brains behind the operation

I'll give you that Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth isn't your typical Stealth Action game, but it definitely needed some representation on this list!
is none other than your unborn daughter. But just when you're trying to wrap your mind around that loose end, a maniacal werewolf drops in and transforms into a giant statue of Hitler. Confused, you track down one of your father's old contacts who reveals that all of this has been a VR mission and the real enemy is a samurai sword-carrying cowboy who lives in a giant bubble under the ocean. The story ends with a three hour long anti-recycling message that leaves everybody stunned and confused (not necessarily in that order).

What Your Secretive Step-Father Would Say: "The events in these games is pure fiction. Absolute rubbish. Only a fool would take any of this stuff seriously, so don't believe a word. I know I haven't given you a lot of reasons to trust me, after all you've only known me a couple of years and

Confession Time: Even though I own four different Splinter Cell games, I've never beaten a single one of them!
I'm always off on mysterious business. But take it from me; you don't want to believe these lies. I know, I know, it means nothing coming from me. I once came back from a salesman expo with a broken arm and two gunshot wounds, but I'm telling the truth about these games. Don't believe them, it's better that way."

Not a Stealth Action Game: Ape Escape is not a Stealth Action game, it's a platformer. However, Ape Escape 3 does feature a Metal Gear Solid-style mini-game called Mesal Gear Solid. I would also add that Solid Snake's cameo in Super Smash Bros. Brawl does not change the fact that it's a fighting game. The same can be said about New International Track & Field, Evolution Skateboarding, DreamMix TV World Fighters and LittleBigPlanet. And for the last time, Metal Gear Acid is a card game, not a Stealth Action game.

Then vs. Now? I'm sorry Metal Gear fans, but the first two Metal Gear games (both on the MSX and the NES) are practically unplayable. That doesn't mean that a dedicated snake eater can't go back and play through them, I certainly know gamers who have tried (and succeeded). But too much has changed since the 1980s. These games go beyond punishingly difficult and swerve right into being completely unfair. By contrast, today's Stealth Action games (including last year's Metal Gear Solid 4 and the long awaited Splinter Cell: Conviction) are a breeze. That's not to say that they are perfect, but I can't imagine anybody wanting to go back to the days of Metal Gear 1.
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