When I did my post on No More Heroes it made me realize on what is quickly becoming one of my favorite genres of gaming. Now for some people it's a simple action game, but I rather call them Character Action games. Character Action basically means you playing as a character in an action game, now it may sound odd, but compare No More Heroes with God of War. There are many differences between them, one is creative and has an original feel to it. The other is just the standard action platformer that really doesn't go anywhere unless you get a lot of pretty items. The two biggest companies that are known for this genre are easily Grasshopper and Platinum. The company Platinum was having it's start in 2009 with the game Madworld which I will easily talk about next week. The company is still rather fresh, but they are becoming a big name already with titles like Bayonetta and the recent Wonderful 101. What was surprising though that this company got to make a spin off game with the very famous Metal Gear series. Metal Gear is a big series as it has a large fanbase, so does this spinoff bring some new light for the franchise or was it a good attempt?
In this game, Snake is not the main character, but this is Raiden's story. For those who don't know Raiden was introduced in the Metal Gear series in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. Originally his name was Jack, but he got rid of that name because of his past. He was raised by a man named Solidius Snake and made him a killing machine at a young age. Jack was soon known as "Jack the Ripper." Soon he got away from that life and became an agent and was even called "Snake" before he was given the code name "Raiden." I don't want to get much with his story since there is a lot to go into. So this game takes four years after Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. Raiden still continues his work, but alongside the PMC Maverick Securities. The reason why this group is active is because of how the nanomachine technology used in the fourth game has now become into cyborg technology. Raiden was affected by the nanomachines and soon he was given a cyborg body of his own to control. We now play as Raiden as a cyborg as he fulfills his missions with superhuman strength. For the beginning, Raiden is incomplete, but still able to fight. On a job protecting the prime minister of Africa, the gang is attacked by a group called Desperado. They prove to be too strong for Raiden even though he took on a Metal Gear Ray by himself, but the other cyborg known as Jetstream Sam defeat him easily. Also the prime minister is killed by a villain named Sundowner and soon causes more conflict for the area. This is the true purpose of Desperado, they want to preserve war so they can gain from it. After three weeks, Raiden is given a new and more advanced cyborg body and quickly strikes back against Desperado.
This game was originally called, Metal Gear Solid Rising, but when it got cancelled and found it's way into Platinum's arm the title was changed to just Metal Gear Rising. Also another issue they had was with the stealth element of the game which is what Metal Gear Solid was known for. Atsushi Inaba who worked with Capcom back then with titles like Viewtiful Joe and Okami wanted to get rid of it since it didn't fit with the fast paced action. Personally I like the change since it's good for a spin off to take some freedoms. The added title Revengeance was added on since Kojima had the desire of vengeance since the first Rising project failed. There were even some changes in the story and script, but it still felt like Metal Gear with it's serious and goofy story. Mixing that along with how crazy Platinum can get we got one crazy game. So with stealth gone from Rising, what about the action?
You can still hide in the box.
Metal Gear Rising is a very fast paced game as the action can get insane. It's not too out of control, but prepare to have quick reactions for what to come at you. You fight new types of enemies new to Metal Gear along with some old foes like as the Metal Gear Ray as I stated before. Raiden has two types of moves, his main weapon is his sword of course, but he can perform two types of moves with them. He can use his main weapon for both attacks if you please, but soon you will have sub weapons that can help you with combos. Along with using your sword you can parry attacks by hitting the square button along with moving the analog stick in the direction of the foes' attacks. Also with parrying you can even bounce enemies off and perform heavy hits on them. When they are weak though you can let loose with the Blade Mode which is when time slow downs for Raiden as he can hack and slash through pretty much anything he wants. Blade Mode is very addictive as it never gets boring to use it as the game really offers you a lot of moments of how to use it differently. Even though there is no stealth, Raiden can still sneak around a perform Ninja Kills where you get a big strike on the enemy and go into Blade Mode to finish them off. A special move that Raiden uses called the Zandastu which makes Raiden rip out the enemies' fuel cell electrolytes so he can crush them to give himself an energy and health boost. The electrolytes is what Raiden uses to perform the Blade Mode so make sure to have it stored up so you can keep performing it. Raiden can even pick up other weapons like RPG's and cardboard boxes so have fun with exploring with those items. Each part of the story mode has a ranking systems has many fights will give you ranks on how you did. The ranks range from D to S as S ranks usually will go to you for not getting any damage or no alerts. The only complaint I have for the game is it's camera, things can get very fast and crazy and it's hard to move the camera during those moments since you need to block attacks. Then for some reason I couldn't find out how to lock onto enemies, maybe I just missed something though.
The story mode is a bit short, but there is a lot of things to do and still a good amount of replay value still. There are VR missions which are challenges you can go to whenever you want to. There is also BP points which you can gather up from the stages or foes. Then you can unlock new moves or enhancements for Raiden or his weapons. There are even side fights in each stage if you want to engage in them or not, but avoiding them will affect your overall rank negatively. The greatest part though of any Character Action game though is the boss fights. First is Metal Gear Ray which really gives you the feeling of how things will go down, it's a crazy fight that shows off a whole lot of what's to come. Next is LQ-84i who is soon called Bladewolf later on. He is a machine with a very high intelligence AI as he thinks a lot for himself and Raiden actually helps him out in the end. He is armed with a deadly chainsaw, heat knifes, and with his speed he can come at you from any angle. He can even summon foes, which actually helps you out if you don't get hurt by them. The final boss of stage two is Mistral, a female cyborg who finally found a purpose for herself. She arms herself with the arms of tiny robots to form her staff. She can even toss the little guys at you and beat you with those arms. Going onto stage three is Grad a machine that at first tries to block you from entering and fire missiles at you. Then it gets up and tries to smack you down with it's giant iron plates and fire you down with it's turrets. Monsoon is the next Cyborg you fight as he makes Raiden realize who he really is and making him accept his past. Raiden even awakens "Jack the Ripper" as it becomes a new power for you to use. Monsoon can control magnetism and can control his body to separate when he wants to so Blade Mode on him is very hard to do. Monsoon can also use smoke and appear and vanish to get a quick hit on Raiden. He even starts to send helicopters crashing at you and even making rubble combine into a giant death wheel. Raiden finally gets to fight Sundowner and he is a very hard fight, he has a shield which you can cut down after performing the Blade Mode correctly, but any wrong contact the shield will cause an explosion. Sundowner even comes with a giant chainsaw blade and even though he is covered in defenses his makes that into his offensives as well. The best fight comes when you get a rematch with Jetstream Sam as he is very skilled with his blade. He can come at you with high speeds and even when he loses his blade he will punch, smash, and kick you down. Then you fight another Metal Gear called Excelsus which is piloted by the final boss, who is a Senator, but he is a big surprise I will tell you that. Overall each boss as it's own charm with their stages and how they fight. Soon some of the machine bosses become normal enemies so get used to some of them.
Jetstream Sam, easily the greatest name ever!
I would highly recommend getting this game even if you are not a big Metal Gear fan. It's a very fun and crazy Character Action game that has a lot of charm that Platinum and Kojima give. The presentation is very nice and the fights are very good thanks to a mix of defensive and offensive combat. There is even some free DLC right now which gives you two new story stages where you play as Jetsteam Sam and Bladewolf. So quickly get your copy and carry out your Revengeance!