Reviews: Metal Gear Rising Revengeance
Is the world better without snakes?
Even by the standards of the Metal Gear franchise, this game is BOLD. Gone (for the most part) are the stealth aspects that defined every significant title in the series. Familiar faces such as Otacon, Colonel Campbell, Big Boss or anyone named Snake are nowhere to be seen. And while the typical military base and lab environments may still be seen, you'll be spending far more time fighting in massive cityscapes. There are some recurring elements (the requisite team of superpowered wackos is here, along with cardboard boxes and overlong codec calls), but the innovation deserves points. The most interesting departure, however, is Raiden's complete inability to do a pacifist run the first time through. The game that introduced him made that a series staple, but now he doesn't have the means or the incentive to do so, and as the story progresses, he loses the will as well. You have to kill if you want to recover health and energy effectively, and Raiden's characterization reflects that. At times, it even got to the point where it seemed like I was listening to a Murder Simulators message, but the game is fortunately subtle about it. The gameplay, of course, is glorious. Raiden's movements are fluid, fast and flashy, making every kill feel satisfying. The action is terribly fast paced, but the controls are responsive enough to accommodate this. Parrying is difficult to master, but well worth it. There's decent weapon and enemy variety, so the game doesn't get stale as it progresses. And the boss fights couldn't be more perfect, each one being challenging, huge in scale and/or concept and an overall joy to slice up. The only issues I really have are that the camera isn't cooperative at times (don't ever get backed into a corner), and that the stun mechanic is awful. Violently wagging the control stick to escape isn't just annoying, it's potentially damaging to the controller. The game looks and sounds as metal as its title. Bits of defeated enemies flying everywhere, waves of blue coming off Raiden's sword and explosions all get me pumped and also fail to clutter the screen or cause any slowdown. And as about half the soundtrack is outright metal songs with vocals, there will be no shortage of adrenaline. Buy this game. It succeeds in everything it tries to do and then some. You won't be disappointed.
So I've never played a MG game before. But this looked like a fucking good action game and it was made by platinum so I gave it a try. I liked Bayonetta a lot, even though I played the inferior PS3 version (failed to mention that in my review of it) but this game's combat may be slightly better in a few ways, namely the parry mechanic and the speed of things. And well, it was good. A previous review said that the game fails at teaching you how to play, but for me the tutorial worked perfectly well in teaching me my moves, and parrying felt satisfying and intuitive from the start. I'm not master gamer or anything, but I think as long as you have a moderate level of skill you should be fine. Anyway, let's get onto the other mechanics. Blade mode is fucking awesome and really makes you feel like you control the sword (FUCK YOU SKYWARD SWORD YOU SUCK) and is just generally put to good use. There's no dodge mechanic, but this is replaced by the parry mechanic which works great. The setpieces are as good as you'd expect from the developers of Bayonetta, and there are few things more I can say about that. The music is pretty good too, and helps tell the story to an extent. Now, this is my first MG, but I liked the story. It helped that I'd already wiki walked through the MGS pages here, so I understood things. I know, I'm evil. It was entertaining, including the sudden turn into a dramatic comedy for the final boss fight (played college ball ya know) It's short, who gives a shit. It's great, and begging to be replayed anyway. Anyway, I'm off to buy the legacy collection (even if the gameplay is nothing alike) See ya. YOUR REVIEWS END HERE
Fantastic, But Broken Tutorial And Mechanics Ruins Everything
Let's get this out of the way. What is the purpose of a tutorial? To explain concepts to the player, and then teach the player how to do it. If the tutorial does not explain what to do, it fails. If it gives contradictory advice, it fails. If it does not give any indication of something working it fails. Metal Gear Revengance's tutorial fails in these ways. IT tries to explain parrying, but the good Doktor gives an explanation that makes little sense. "Move your attack in the same direction as the enemy attack to parry". There are so many ways to misinterpret that. Of course, let's talk about the on screen commands which tell you something else; "Move the left stick to the attack and use a light attack to parry". So lets look at the manual, which tells you to "move the left stick to the emeny and use a light attack to parry". Which is it, metal gear? Make up your mind, goddamn it, and explain what a 'perfect moment' actually is! The game is awesome, with blood pumping music, and interesting enemies, and huge, wonderfully put together boss battles. But the game is broken, and unfair. Since the game cannot teach you how to parry to the point that I WENT ONLINE TO LOOK UP PARRYING TUTORIALS it is next to impossible to actually fight. The game quickly devolves into hack and slash desperate button mashes to try to kill the enemy before he kills you. I thought that maybe if I went back to easy mode, and used assist, I'd be able to parry. But the game still doesn't explain the mechanic anywhere near well enough to play it. That's right, even on easy mode, and assist, you cannot parry without spending a LOT of trial and error just to figure it out. This big flaw rockets throughout the game, and for the first three levels, I figured I didn't need it. I just used hit and run, and was careful enough not to get caught. But another way that Metal Gear fails, is that it gives no dodge function. And no, Ninja Running does not make up for lack of dodging. The game is unfair with a mass of attacks that cannot be dodged, and the broken combat mechanic means that it quickly catches up with you and mutates into a horrible, unplayable mess rife with frustration, screams, and anger. Now if only I could get a patch to fix parry, this game would be perfect.
This game is good.
Have you ever watched any really over-the-top fight scenes in an anime or movie and thought, "man, that'd be fun as a game."? This is that game. It's absurd and silly and somehow even a tiny bit impactful with Kojima's trademark style. It ditches the annoying 20-minute cutscenes for every boss from the other Metal Gear games in exchange for one of the game's killer hooks: the music. Every boss theme is an explanation of that particular boss's motives. It sounds fantastic, too. The gameplay is excellent and varied hack'n'slash. If you enjoyed bayonetta, viewtiful joe, or the DMC reboot's gameplay, this is another winner. Platinum is in top form with this title. Raiden moves fluidly and gracefully, and you really feel Ike your inputs are moving him around rather than triggering scripted sequences. The blade mode mechanic is fun and accessible, and the parrying is one of the most beautifully executed things I've seen from a game in years. The plot is silly and Kojima-ish, the dialogue contains more outright jokes than other Metal Gears and seems to take itself a little less seriously than the others. For God's sake, your sidekick is a talking robot dog who joins you after you purée him and he explodes! The boss fights are ridiculously cool (your first fight ends with you throwing a metal gear RAY, the rematch ends with you cutting it in half lengthwise). It's a fun, good game, and to ask anything more would be unfair.
Metal Gear Rising: Stupid Subtitle
Metal Gear is now a Hack And Slash game. A damn good one. Who would have thought sticking Platinum Games famous disregard for restraint with Hideo Kojima's utter lunacy would be a math made in heaven? The gameplay is incredibly fast and silky smooth, the characters can at times be a bit silly, but most are likable and extremely funny. Speaking of characters, the boss fights in this game blew my shit completely down the street. Just when it seemed boss battles were going the way of the dodo, Platinum swoops in and delivers epic confrontations with super cyborgs, fights that actually require you master the game mechanics. Too many bosses are just "hit this guy a lot and don't die" and while there is some of that here, they're made skillfully enough that they aren't tiring. The central mechanic is Blade Mode, and over-the-shoulder slashing mode that allows you to carefully and accurately slice enemies with your Absurdly Sharp Blade, and features the most impressive slicing engine I've ever seen. Blade Mode is essential to regaining health and energy, and for defeating the bosses. Fair warning though, if you play this game you WILL have your ass handed to you because Metal Gear Rising. Is. HARD. The penultimate and final bosses require you have mastered the (difficult, but completely badass) parry and blade mode. Speaking of the final boss, I'll conclude with saying that he is the best final boss, since the giant robot battle at the end of Intrusion 2.