25 of 31 people found the following review helpful
Drenched in style and saturated with speed, this is a Metal Gear like none other,
This review is from: Metal Gear Rising Revengeance - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
Being a long time MGS fan, my hopes were not particularly high with this game. The absurd title, the ludicrous box art (which looks like something from the 90s), the temporary cancellation of the project, and the departure from the MGS tradition, all led me to believe that this was a disaster in the making (despite Platinum's fine track record). Fortunately, I've been pleasantly surprised by the quality of this game... "Rising" is a blast to play for anybody who enjoys action games (whether you're an MGS fan or not).
Foremost, the game does manage to retain the feeling that it's actually occurring inside the MGS universe, despite its over-the-top nature (and in terms of physics, anything our protagonist does in "Rising" is not far from what Vamp achieved in MGS2 and 4). Longtime fans will be pleased by the inclusion of familiar sights, sounds, and themes, even if the gameplay is radically different. Raiden, of course, returns, and his inclusion as the protagonist is bound to please any MGS fan who has wanted to step into the shoes of a ninja on the level of the legendary Gray Fox.
The heart of this game, like any action title, is its combat mechanics, and here "Rising" shines. Raiden moves with an effortless grace, and when he strikes, it carries a convincing "weight" that exceeds even the likes of "God of War" and "Bayonetta". His "ninja run" while goofy in name, is a blast to execute, as are his assortment of magnificent combos.
When it comes to Japanese wackiness, I've pretty much seen it all at this point in my life. Giant robots, ninjas, and cyborgs generally come off as tired and cliched to me, but somehow, "Rising" makes these concepts seem fresh and EXCITING. What's the secret? The game uses a beautiful style of presentation that is incredibly slick, resulting in an artistic, vibrant mode of visual storytelling that is a pleasure to behold. Despite the ludicrous dialogue, mediocre voice acting, and marginal plot, the game's visual flair picks up the slack, and makes this somewhat-cheesy story work. It takes cyborg-ninjas (the "Winds of Destruction" are on par with finest of MGS bosses), and makes them viable, turning them into showmen that are simply a blast to watch and engage with. The gameplay is nicely balanced with expertly rendered cut scenes that always impress, and are kept to lengths that are actually appropriate (another breaking from MGS tradition). This game is so visually impressive, it actually made me want a bigger TV, to better digest the spectacle!
The limitations of this game are as follows: The camera will fight against you a bit too often, particularly during blade mode, when it will inexplicably perform a 180 and send you facing the wrong way (while you're using your limited energy to pull off this special move). I hope this is corrected with a future patch. Another weak spot is that the mechanics, while largely intuitive, could have been explained much better during the game. I must have missed the part where they tell you how to parry (a skill you need in order to even get past the first boss, much less complete the game), and I actually had to go online to figure out how to do it. There is no explanation of parrying anywhere in the menus. Hint: Press "square" (X on the 360) and flick the analog stick at the incoming attack at just the right moment, in order to parry.
The greatest weakness, however, is an ill-fitting soundtrack that simply does not fit with the world of MGS. Fortunately, you can go into the options from the menu and turn the music level down, while leaving the sound effects at their normal level. The soundtrack was a point of contention where Platinum butted heads with Konami. I feel that Platinum should have yielded to the judgement of Kojima and Konami on this subject, and once more retained the superb services of composer Harry Gregson-Williams.
I rate "Rising" at 4, possibly 4.5 stars. Depending on the enjoyment that can be gleaned from additional play-throughs and the acquisition of unlockables, I may bump that rating up to 5 stars. This is by no means the best Metal Gear game, but it's a fantastic, thrilling ride by any measure.
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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 19, 2013 7:56:46 PM PST
I have to disagree with you on the soundtrack after hearing some of the tracks. Great review, either way.
Posted on Feb 21, 2013 3:53:12 PM PST
Haddon Johnson says:
Also, when in Blade Mode, you can keep pressing X and gib enemies into TINY TINY pieces forever!
Posted on Feb 22, 2013 5:47:47 PM PST
As an individual in my late-twenties I disagree this is one of my favorite video game sound tracks. Mistral's track is probably my favorite boss battle out of any game I've ever played.
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 22, 2013 6:00:16 PM PST
Amazon Customer says:
To Michael and G. Bieler: I respect that you enjoy the soundtrack of this game, and I'm glad that you do so. I think one of the reasons I reacted so poorly to it is that I've been conditioned to the soundtracks of Harry Gregson-Williams from the past three MGS games. Even though this is a radically different game, my ears could not cope with the enormous change in audio!
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 25, 2013 5:28:04 PM PST
HGW wrote some of the best scores for this game series. MGS4 was off the charts. That opening scene at the start menu screen with the guitar solo just gave me those "....awesome" feelings that I was about the experience something fantastic.
But onto MGRR: So far I think its a good entry into the MGS series. I'm not a big fan of hack'n'slash games but this one keeps things interesting. Blade Mode is the craziest thing I've ever seen. Able to cut things so fluidly over and over is nuts! Full review to come when I finish it.
Until March comes then Tomb Raider gets priority.. then Bioshock Infinite.
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 25, 2013 6:10:42 PM PST
Amazon Customer says:
Yes, this game is indeed nuts, there are no two ways about it!
Posted on Feb 26, 2013 8:51:48 AM PST
A. Mushel says:
I'm really not sure where the complaint about not knowing how to parry comes from. I played the demo, which contains the first boss, and it certainly made that mechanic pretty clear.
Posted on Mar 6, 2013 12:22:56 PM PST
Mr. Hyde says:
Parry is explained in one of the tutorial VR missions (the second one I think). Easy to miss because the only time you're ever prompted to do a "Tutorial" (of any kind) is at the start of the game, and it only does that first VR mission, not the others.
I gotta say though, I am really enjoying the soundtrack so far. It did seem a bit out of place at first but somehow (to me anyway) it melds together really well with what's going on on-screen. It becomes intense and loud at all the right times and makes me feel like I'm playing in some intense fast-paced anime show :P
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