Shit, yo, what, shit, what? This game is actually good? Nope, it's not just good, it's awesome. Handing over development to Platinum Games was the best thing they could've done to this game and the results are clear, with Metal Gear Rising easily being better than any other Metal Gear game. On the other hand, it's also not actually a Metal Gear game. Not really.
Oh sure, it's got your wars and memes and nanomachines. It might even be canon. But there's a pretty clear shift to gameplay over story here in comparison to MGS. The story doesn't quite seem as strong and takes more of a backseat, whereas the gameplay is MUCH stronger. Not to mention the gameplay is pretty much Bayonetta. Don't expect any stealth, just a whole lotta ass kickin'.
Well I guess that's not entirely true, there are a lot of parts where you can kill enemies with stealth, but you actually end up getting a worse score than if you had fought like a man. So that's some anti-MGS shit right there. Plus, either the fall of the Patriots gave everybody left syndrome or Raiden is 100x more of an elusive fucker than Snake ever was, 'cause you can get away with some bullshit in this. Not making noise? What's that? Naw nigga. You can just run at top speed faster than a fucking train at a bitch from behind and they won't ever hear shit. You can stand like 20 meters in front of somebody and somehow they won't see you. Sometimes you can even round the corner right in front of a nigger's face and they won't see you. You can dismember a fucker just a few feet away from his partner and somehow they won't be alerted. They can even find their dead partner right in front of them in a pool of blood and not raise an eyebrow. But whatever, that's fine. That's not the point of the game and you get punished for doing this anyway, so makes sense that they didn't work much on it. Maybe they felt obligated to have some stealth element in there because it had Metal Gear on the title. Or maybe that tyrant Kojima forced it in. I can just see him walking into the office and yelling at people because the game doesn't have enough nanomachines.
But as I was saying, this is an action game, and a damn good one at that. I'm so glad to see a game that treats defense correctly after that piece of shit Ninja Gaiden 3. In MGRR you can cancel out of almost any attack or combo into the dodge, AS IT SHOULD BE. No need to worry about being locked into an animation and being unable to do anything and being forced into shitty hit and run tactics. And of course the dodge is also designed with a proper amount of invincible frames, these guys know what they're doing. However, one way in which this game is different from Bayonetta is that the dodge is actually not your main means of defense. The parry is. While MGRR doesn't have a dedicated block button like Ninja Gaiden (and I've heard bitches complain about this. "Wah, this game doesn't have a block button" Fuck you. How about you learn to play, you fucking pussy), you can parry by tapping the stick and pressing a button right as an attack is about to hit you. It's similar to the royal guard style in DMC in that it's better if you time it to just before the moment an attack connects on you. This makes it a true parry and gives you a counterattack that rapes enemies (unless they're too strong, then you might have to soften them up a little first). If you do it too early it becomes just a regular block with no special properties other than avoiding damage.
Although I liked Bayonetta's single button dodge, I actually like this game's parry system even more because while you still have to press a button, you also have to specify the direction with the control stick, which opens up the possibilities of enemies flanking you. Now not only do you have to see an attack coming, but you also have to be aware of where it's coming from. And even moreso than the dodge, you can cancel just about any animation into the parry. Hell, sometimes you can even cancel out of getting hit. Or even in the air. So defense is done very well and this makes combat fun because you can actually concentrate on reacting to enemy attacks as they come while fighting instead of worrying about whether the game will fucking let you.
And speaking of reacting, thankfully enemy attacks in this game seem a lot more manageable than some of the unreactable bullshit in Bayonetta. There wasn't really anything that made me go "Oh that is sum boolshit!", so my old man reactions appreciate it. Enemy attacks are suitably telegraphed and if they do a throw or type of attack that can't be parried they glow yellow to let you know you gotta dodge.
As far as weapons go, MGRR doesn't really have the large amounts of weapons with extensive movesets as in Bayonetta. It only has 3 alternate weapons and two of them have very few moves. That being said, it is nice how each one has a definite purpose and specific situations/enemies where they are clearly more effective than the other ones. There are actually lots of different types of swords but that's really the same weapon just with different properties like being faster/having more range/blahblah so it don't count. There are also lots of secondary weapons such as rocket launchers, EMP grenades and the legendary cardboard box but that's mainly used more when you're going for stealth so that shit don't count neither. But I guess it can't be Metal Gear without a cardboard box.
Before the game came out they hyped up the Blade Mode and the fact that you could cut things in whatever way you wanted. Usually when bitch developers talk about "innovative" stuff like this you can be pretty sure it's a gimmick that has little bearing on the quality of the game. But I guess they do it to attract bitch "gamers" who need some shiny new thing to be interested instead of core game quality. I don't fucking know. If you ask me they should be talking about the shit I'm talking about in this review. Just fucking boot up a boss fight you're particularly proud of, or a particularly good fight, set it to the highest difficulty and show what actually fucking matters. Oh but then the presenter would have to actually play their fucking game and understand what it is and what they're talking about instead of running their mouth off about some stupid bullshit no one should care about.
Anyway what was I talking about? Oh yeah, Blade Mode. Interestingly, Blade Mode is actually pretty well implemented. Not because of the cutting whatever you want shit (which is a gimmick), but because Platinum integrates its use into the gameplay in a way that's essential and fun. Basically, you hold down the L1 button to go into Blade Mode, where you can control the angle of your slash with the right stick and the position with the left stick. Enemies have a weak spot that you can cut in this mode which if you do you can then perform a "Zandatsu" where you rip their organs out and harvest them to replenish your health and fuel cells. For the weakest enemy soldiers you can just do this willy nilly but for stronger enemies you first have to break their armor/weaken them before you can cut their limbs or find a specific opportunity to do it (for example maybe you parry an enemy's attack at the right time and then counterattack and they become exposed to a zandatsu kill. Or maybe an enemy does a jumping attack on you and becomes exposed in midair just before the attack hits). This makes well-timed parries even more important because they open up Zandatsu opportunities which are the most efficient way to kill enemies. Also, while in Blade Mode you go into bullet time (provided that you have at least one full segment of the fuel cell gauge) which slows everything down, so you don't have to worry about getting raped while going for the cut. This also makes it possible to go for zandatsu and cut your enemy up even in midair, or to cut projectiles/missiles/thrown objects before they hit you, which happens a lot in boss fights. Other uses for example are cutting at a precise place in a boss's weapon to break it when they become exposed or sliding under and cutting their legs to trip them up. Basically even though the overarching concept is a gimmick, in practice it gets used so much and in such an inseparable way from the gameplay that it ends up being pretty good. Oh and it's pretty badass when you dispatch enemies efficiently through perfect use of just parries and zandatsus, that helps too.
I also gotta make a special mention for the music in this game, which is fucking awesome. Now this is a game I'd want the soundtrack of. Weirdly I think they mighta even gone overkill on awesome music because they use a different song for every boss fight and they are all great. Hell, they even use a different regular fight song for every chapter. Most games just use like 2 fight songs for the whole game or something. Unfortunately this means you don't get to hear each individual song very much because it only plays for one fight and that's it. But on the other hand, this is an action game so you're supposed to play it at least 3 times in increasing difficulties.
Which brings me to idiots complaining about the game being too short. Almost assuredly coming from pussies who only play it once on normal and don't understand the point of these games. Apparently you can beat it in 6 hours or something. So fucking what? First of all this isn't even counting all your deaths and failures and retries which will happen a lot throughout the game unless you're a pussy playing on normal or something. Second of all, like I said, you're fucking supposed to play these games at least 3 times. Third of all, do you think it's coincidence that these games are on average 10 hours long? They're fucking hard to make okay? Making an enemy or a boss isn't as easy as in an RPG or whatever genre. Not to mention it's a lot of work to design and balance for every difficulty level (or at least it should be if they're doing their job correctly). Fourth of all, that's not taking into account the fucking VR missions either. Oh right...
The VR Missions. I'm actually a big fan of these. You have 20 missions in VR space with an objective such as eliminate all enemies, or eliminate every enemy via zandatsu or get to a point without being detected etc, ranging from 30 seconds to 10 minutes long. Ah yes, the perfect length. If you clear the mission within the specified time limits you get either 3rd, 2nd or 1st rank. Getting 1st rank on all the VR missions is pretty fun and they're very well designed and well balanced. A few are even very difficult to just clear at all (I'm looking at you mission 18)! But yeah, fun stuff, game could just be nothing but these VR Missions and I'd be happy.
The boss fights are a lot of fun and well designed, better than the ones in Bayonetta, but a problem I have is that sometimes certain weapons devalue the fights. A perfect example is the fight against Monsoon: one of the most fun and well-designed fights when you do it for the first time on hard, but then once you beat him and get his weapon and fight him the second time, his weapon makes it so you can just bypass a large part of what made him fun the first time for free. Maybe they did this on purpose. To make it "ironic" or something. And if so, fuck you. A fight should be harder the second time around, and if some bullshit weapon is getting in the way of that, you fix it. That's just common sense. Make it so that when you use it he does a badass counterattack and then rapes your face off for daring to use his own weapon against him. Bam. See? Niggaz should hire me as a consultant. You get that one for free, Platinum.
But the one biggest problem I have with this game and the source of massive disappointment is MGRR's Revengeance mode (the highest difficulty). And what's the problem? The problem is that it's a lazy piece a shit. That's the problem. See, the jump from Hard to Very Hard is good because they actually change each fight and put you against tougher combinations of enemies, change some bosses up a little (a particularly awesome one was making you fight 2 of them at the same time where it was only 1 the first time around, but even just small stuff like slightly changing an attack string is appreciated) and whatnot. See, that's good. That's fun. That's how a higher difficulty is supposed to BE. But then with Revengeance they just fuck it all up. It's pretty much exactly the same as Very Hard and all they do is jack the damage way up so you die in like 1 hit. What is that shit? Did they run out of time and had to rush it out the door before they could design it properly? It's such a cop out move, and it doesn't make it any more interesting or even that much harder to be honest, because if you've already gone through Very Hard then you probably have a good handle on not getting hit by now.
But even worse, much worse, is that the jacked up damage doesn't just apply to enemies but to you as well, most blatantly of all in the damage from Just Parries so that you kill a lot of enemies and even a few BOSSES in one parry where before the fight was much more involved than that. It's so anti-fun when you just parry a boss and their health bar goes from 80% to 0% instantly. I don't understand why they would do something like this, just makes no damn sense. I mean, I'm all for not making fights overly long and not making enemies take a million hits before dying but this is too much. I wanted a fight, not this 1-hit kill dogshit. Granted, not every boss is vulnerable to parries in this way, some enemies aren't immediately vulnerable to them either, may dodge them or not give good opportunities for them, not to mention that parrying at all still takes skill, so it's not quite as retarded as the Heaven or Hell mode in DMC where you could kill everything with one bullet, but it's still a huge disappointment.
It's worth noting that the codec conversations are back in full force. While MGRR doesn't have the crazy large amounts of cutscenes as MGS4, it sure seems to go all out with the codec. The amount of dialogue you can listen to here is absurd. Pace-killingly so. I'm talking put your feet up and eat a sandwich amounts of dialogue. You get like 10 super long conversations every 10 steps or some shit, to the point where I think you'll probably end up spending more time listening to dialogue than actually playing if you listen to every conversation. But it is still your choice whether you listen to them or not, so it's not intrusive and frankly I like it. And at least it's not Raiden's wife saving your data this time, as she's thankfully nowhere to be found in this game. God I hate that bitch.
But speaking of hate, there is an annoying fuckbasket little kid with a retard accent called George that Raiden saves from some mecha raptors. God I hate that little shit and his stupid voice. Shoulda let the raptors have their way with him if you ask me. On the complete other hand, Sunny is back in this game, which is awesome because she was like the best thing in MGS4. Buuut unfortunately she doesn't appear until very late and so doesn't get very much screen time, plus she's not quite as adorable as she was back in MGS4. I dunno about you but I blame that cunt Naomi Hunter. Bitch was a bad influence. Shoulda put the raptors in a time machine and let them have their way with her.
Anyway, overall this game is great, definitely worth getting, but it could've been so much more if they didn't fuck up Revengeance. It could've easily been amazing. Even then, it does so many things well and is really good through Very Hard, far better than most shit lately.
Final Verdict: B+
Final Playtime: 47 hours