img src=";loc=300;key=key1+key2+key3+key4;grp=[group]" border="0" width="160" height="600"> The inner ramblings of a videogamer: Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance review (Xbox 360)

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance review (Xbox 360)

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A worthy addition to the Metal Gear canon or a bad fanfiction?

Silly name aside "Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance" holds it's own very well when compared to other games of the hack n' slash genre, although that's not too suspiring considering PlatinumGames "Hideki Kamiya" also responsible for the critically acclaimed Devil May Cry 3 & Beyonetta,  did a fine job with the fight mechanics. Incorporating the "Zandatsu" (Cut & take) mechanic into the game was by no means an easy task, one that even Konami themselves had struggled with, but in the end PlatinumGames managed to bring the core gameplay mechanics together in a way that feels both balanced and intuitive.
Of course being a Metal Gear game, Rising is also plagued with a lot of cutscenes and dialogue, not quite as many as previous Metal Gear games mind you, but enough to sometimes break the emersion aspect. Many times I had a NPC chatting away at me and I could do nothing but walk around with the camera glued to my back (much like in Gears of war or Resident Evil 6) it's not a huge gripe, but they really could have had the some of the chatter going on in the background while I was busy cutting up cyborg fodder.

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The "cut-and-take" gameplay mechanic (aka Zandatsu) has to be one of the most fun, interesting and original gameplay mechanics to have been implemented in a hack n' slash game. The ability to carefully aim and slice open your enemy, reach in and rip out their cybernetic battery then crush it to replenish your own energy, is a process that when coupled with a variety of unique enemies to tackle never seems to grow old.

The free cutting mechanic, as well as being really fun to pull off is used a lot during boss fights, I won't go into detail but the final boss really does put your skills to the test, so if your like me and you hadn't completely mastered the free cutting mechanics before reaching the final fight, it's safe to say that you will have by the time you actually manage to beat the bloody final boss. Honestly though, the Boss fights in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance are some of the most original and enjoyable that I've personally experienced in the genre, each boss is unique, presenting a vastly different challenge and for the most part the game leaves it up to the player to carefully work out how best to go about taking them down.

There are a few sections in the game where stealth can used to progress through areas undetected, but I honestly never even tried not to get noticed and often dove head first into every potential fight, so the option to avoid some enemies is there but I don't remember ever having any reason to. There are lots of items scattered about almost ever level, ranging from stat upgrades to sub weapons and even hidden VR missions, there are collectibles in the form of "left arms" the idea here is you cut off the left arm of a humanoid type cyborg enemy and which contains all of their personal information, it's not integral to the game at all and is mostly just an extra like collecting dog tags in Metal Gear Solid 2.

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I finished my play through of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance just clocking in at around 6-7 hours but you could probably knock 2 of those hours off, since I was faffing about with the VR missions for a good bit. There is some replay value mind, but mostly only in regards to the aforementioned VR missions.

As mentioned earlier, I didnt quite get to grips with the combat mechanics as quickly as I probably should have, now that may just be my personal skill (or lack there of) but I'm generally pretty good at action hack n' slash games, so I feel inclined to attribute my difficulty in familiarising myself with the fight mechanics to a lack of explanation and in depth tutorial, that being said though, there really isn't a whole lot of depth to the fight mechanics beyond understanding how to best take down the various enemy types. Once you have finally gotten to grips with the fight mechanics though, a lot more fun can be had. Speaking of fun, I really enjoyed the cutscenes and Rising being a Metal Gear game there are naturally quite a few of them, most were well done but unlike other games in the canon they never seemed to out stay their welcome, although some of the voice acting seemed a bit hammy at times (but hey, video games) it never seemed to sour the overall experiance. Music is always going to depend on ones personal taste, but personally I liked it for the most part and felt  that some of the boss themes added another layer of enjoyment to the game.

All in all, I feel Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is an enjoyable, well polished game, could it be better? Yeah probably, but I feel it brings jut enough unique game mechanics to the mix to let some of its short comings slide. So I'm going to recommend Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance to anyone who is a Metal Gear fan and/or a fan of hack n' slash games, if however you're a Metal Gear purist and already have reservations about Rising being too "different" to previous titles in the franchise, then it might be better to give it a pass, especially if you're not a big fan of hack n' slash games in general.
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance may have it's fair share of flaws, but it's a well rounded action game that will keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.