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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.
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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.

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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.

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